Marshall: Back Off Plagiarism Charges

Dowd's mistake unintentional, says author of original line
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2009 10:22 PM CDT
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, in 2008.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo isn't joining the chorus of critics against Maureen Dowd, who admitted she inadvertently lifted one of Marshall's lines in her weekend column. "I generally think we're too quick to pull the trigger with charges of plagiarism," writes Marshall. "Whatever the mechanics of how it happened, I never thought it was intentional. Dowd and the Times quickly corrected it, which I appreciated. And for me, that's pretty much the end of it."  

Dowd has explained that she was talking to a friend about her New York Times column on Nancy Pelosi, and the friend suggested that she make a particular point. Dowd didn't realize that the friend had apparently lifted the idea nearly verbatim from Marshall on the TPM website. Dowd and the Times added a note to her column online when it was pointed out.