1999-2010

Thursday, September 27, 2007

PLAGIARISM EXCLUSIVE! CHICAGO TRIBUNE TO TABLOID BABY: "YOUR CHARGE IS BASELESS! THE STORIES ARE DIFFERENT!"

The Chicago Tribune is standing strong against our charge that their Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg (far left) plagiarized a story from Our Man Elli In Israel, despite the evidence we laid out. The powerful newspaper's public editor Timothy McNulty (left) was kind enough to respond to our complaints and allegations for the second time this afternoon-- and oy, what a response!

After tiptoeing around the matter yesterday, we challenged him to take a stand-- and Mr. McNulty rebutted our rebuttal with a strong denial of any wrongdoing in the case of Greenberg paraphrasing a story about former Israel Baseball League manager Ken Holtzman that was posted here weeks earlier, written-- and including verbatim translations from the Hebrew-- by Our Man Elli:
First, to be clear, your charge is baseless.

Mr. Holtzman spoke to Walla!, which has a Hebrew-language news page with sports.

Mr. Wohlgelernter quoted those remarks in a story in the English language edition of Haaretz and properly attributed them to Walla!

Mr. Greenberg also properly attributed the quotes to Walla! when he wrote his story, at the suggestion of his editor, and based on a telephone interview with league commissioner Dan Kurtzer, a conversation with a league advisory committee member and an e-mail exchange with Holtzman.

The work is Mr. Greenberg's, the stories are different.

As I understand it, you are essentially claiming that Greenberg should have given Wohlgelernter credit for translating the Holtzman quotes back into the original English.

I also understand that you will make of this what you will. I see that within 24 hours of my getting back to you promptly, you have added two mocking posts without waiting for a reply.

Tim McNulty
Sigh.

FROM ELLI'S ORIGINAL ARTICLE
POSTED AUGUST 28th ON TABLOIDBABY.COM:
In an interview on July 20 with the Israeli Web portal Walla!, Petah Tikva manager and former Major Leaguer Ken Holtzman let loose with a sweeping broadside against the Israel Baseball League, sparing no one.

He criticized the baseball fields: “They would reach the level of high schools in our country”; the teams: “Chosen at random, and in a strange manner”; the Israeli players: “There are no good Israeli players”; the other players: “According to what I can see, none of the players can reach even semi-pro baseball in the United States… the really good player would never come here”; and the Israeli fan: “There is no chance that baseball will succeed in Israel. People here relate to baseball the way people in America relate to soccer. They see it as something very boring, and it will never catch on… you can't make a big impression because there is no culture of baseball, and the facilities are the worse possible."

A season of frustration all came pouring out, and against league organizers as well.

They wanted to make the league work very very quickly,” Holtzman said. “...But they opened the league a year too soon...They should have waited.”
FROM JOEL GREENBERG'S
SEPTEMBER 17th CHICAGO TRIBUNE ARTICLE:
He was much more forthcoming in a July 20 interview with the Israeli Web portal Walla!, in which he lambasted the league and its management for what he described as a series of shortcomings.

The playing fields, he was quoted as saying, "would reach the level of high schools in our country." The teams were "chosen at random and in a strange manner." As for the players, Holtzman said, "none can reach even semipro baseball in the United States."

"There is no chance that baseball will succeed in Israel," Holtzman went on. "People here relate to baseball the way people in America relate to soccer. They see it as something very boring, and it will never catch on. You can't make a big impression because there is no culture of baseball, and the facilities are the worst possible."

Holtzman also heaped criticism on league organizers, whom he accused of rushing into the first year of play without proper preparation on the ground.

"They opened the league a year too soon," he said. "They should have waited."
What do you think?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Tim McNulty needs to look inward and ask why he works in an industry that is more reactive than proactive.

Look, Tim. We readers aren't stupid. We hardly limit our choices to print OR new media. So your defensive stance may impress the underlings in the donut room, but we see that your staff (Greenberg) not only stole the story but the SOURCE of the story so he could recreate the diluted version and repackage it for your crib sheet. I mean Trib sheet. Sorry.

*written-- and including verbatim translations from the Hebrew-- by Our Man Elli*

The egos of the print world have been coddled for so long that they don't know when to be gracious. (Or in this case, embarrassed.)

Maybe in the months ahead, Zell will trim the fat along with the crooks and liars. It could only help.

Your response doesn't cut it.
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Harrison Bergeron said...

I think that you're completely overreacting and, worse, acting not at all professionally.

As far as I can see, he correctly attributed the story. After all, Elli is hardly the only person on earth who can translate Hebrew.

Anonymous said...

It's not that Elli is the only person who can translate Hebrew. But as a journalist, Greenberg did not find the original source to translate and then coincidentally print it up 2 weeks later. He took whole quotes, along with a fully developed story, then wrote a quick paste up. Not okay. Not good.

Oh, and footnotes in books would be unnecessary if sources weren't important.

The evidence may get by the average reader... but most of today's readers are Internet-savvy. What Greenberg did was indefensible.