NYT's Ethicist Rips Off Colleague's Column

Cohen nabs a previously-published question from another columnist
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2008 3:53 PM CST
In this July 22, 2008 file photo, traffic passes in front of The New York Times building in New York.    (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
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(Newser) – Is it right for an ethics columnist to steal a reader’s question from a colleague? It apparently is for the New York Times’ Randy Cohen, writes Alex Carnevale in Gawker. Today’s Ethicist column includes a question printed in another column last month. “The paper now has more advice columnists than questions for them to answer,” Carnevale writes.

The questioner asks whether it is ethical for a man to lie about why he stood her up—hit by a bike, he claimed—but the real question is why the Times let ex-David Letterman scribe Cohen rip off the query. “If they exercised good editorial judgment, we wouldn't have to listen to a comedy writer crib questions from other columnists because he couldn't make up his own,” Carnevale writes.