Former New York Times Editor Jill Abramson Accused of Plagiarism

Donald Bowers  Getty Images

Donald Bowers Getty Images

Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson has been relentlessly roasted by social media, after evidence emerged that she plagiarized material for her new book.

Many in the media-especially those whose companies and work may have been given unflattering profiles by Abramson-were intensely interested in what Merchants of Truth had to say.

Abramson sat down with ALL THINGS CONSIDERED host Michel Martin this afternoon to talk about her book and respond to the charges.

"I wouldn't want even a misplaced comma so I will promptly fix these footnotes and quotations as I have corrected other material that Vice contested", Abramson wrote, noting that Vice had previously pointed out factual mistakes. But after the show, she tweeted that she intends to "take seriously the issues raised and will review the passages in question".

Not only is there little doubt, if you read these excerpts, that the original passages were reworked and often outright copied in Merchants of Truth, but as anticipated, more examples have since been claimed.

Abramson's book explores the state of the journalism industry by examining four publications - the New York Times, the Washington Post, BuzzFeed and Vice Media.

Abramson was initially accused of plagiarism by Vice News Tonight correspondent Michael Moynihan who also posted several screenshots Wednesday on Twitter, which claimed that she had lifted off other writers' works.

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"If upon further examination changes or attributions are deemed necessary we stand ready to work with the author in making those revisions".

"I did have fact-checking, I did have assistants in research, and in some cases, the drafting of parts of the book". She added that there are nearly 70 pages of footnotes explaining where she got her information.

Abramson has defended herself by saying that her book includes extensive end notes, including web links to sources.

While it's true that footnotes were provided for some of the offending passages, many have argued that such extensive borrowing - in some cases excerpts from other sources were retooled nearly verbatim - would require Abramson to credit sources directly in her text.

But Thursday, in an interview with NPR, she admitted she "fell short". She now teaches creative writing at Harvard University. "Or put in quotations in the book".

Abramson is the former executive editor of The New York Times, and was sacked from her post in 2014. And I'm going to fix those pronto.

"The attacks on my book from some @vicenews reflect their unhappiness with what I consider a balanced portrayal", she argued. Author Corey Robin noticed in February 2018 that a paragraph in her New York Magazine feature "The Case for Impeaching Clarence Thomas" appeared to mimic portions of a 2016 article on the justice by Think Progress's Ian Millhiser.

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