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November 23, 2004


Nick Lewis

I've been rather annoyed at the unwillingness of many journalists to provide links to blogged sources. I wonder if the decision to not provide links is the journalists, or the editors? I suspect it to be the editors... ...but at the request of the corporate bean counters.

After all, providing links leads to less "sticky eye-balls" as David Weinberger calls them. And the less eye-balls sticking to a daily's website, the less ad-revenue. However, I fully agree that it should become standard practice to provide links. Screw the bean counters...


This is interesting. A year ago after Bush gave a speech to the National Endowment For Democracy, I was so perturbed at his frequent use of words like freedom, liberty, and democracy that I counted the number of times he used them. I made this comment on CalPundit's blog (now Political Animal at Washington Monthly):

Lofty platitudes -- freedom 36 times, liberty 18 times, democracy 30 times. Our noble cause = the way to justify anything.

That was on November 9, 2003. One week later, this turn of phrase appears in an SF Gate column by Harley Sorensen, a column picked up and still appearing at Common Dreams:

Did I say "con job"? What else can you say about a speech that mentions "Reagan" seven times, "liberty" 18 times, "freedom" 36 times and "democracy" (singular or plural) a whopping 49 times? Is the speaker imparting information or blowing smoke?

Coincidence? Probably. But you have to wonder if Sorensen was reading Calpundit, and if so, why he wouldn't just say something like, "as I picked up in blogosphere ... "

I don't think doing so would detract from his article at all.

Greg Gershman

Here's a useful site for finding plagarism online: http://www.copyscape.com/

Enter in a URL, and it searches for similar content online. For Palfrey's article, it doesn't find the instance you mention, but it does find another site that seems to have "interviewed" Palfrey.

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