Sunday, December 18, 2016

Faked news and plagiarized "letters to the editor"

The cover story on CBS Sunday Morning, titled -- What’s to be done about fake news? -- by Ted Koppel, included the text:

There’s nothing new, of course, about using media to commit political slander. In 1796, an anonymous editorial accused Thomas Jefferson of cowardice, of running away from British troops. The unidentified author? The current toast of Broadway: Alexander Hamilton.

Our revered founding fathers could sling mud with the worst of them.

It’s not the nastiness that’s new; it’s the delivery systems.

link to CBS story:

[Koppel neglected to mention that Hamilton, tho no fan of Jefferson, helped elect Jefferson in 1800. From wikipedia:
Hamilton, however, regarded Burr as far more dangerous than Jefferson and used all his influence to ensure Jefferson's election. On the 36th ballot, the House of Representatives gave Jefferson the presidency, with Burr becoming vice president.]

* The delivery systems can include "letters to the editor."

An interesting New Jersey/Florida plagiarism connection appears in a post in a Florida newspaper, which post
includes the text:

Like local "authors" of the former seasonal diatribes against eating meat - until caught by astute letters-to-the-editor authors who actually compose their own material - they troop to websites that cater to their political interests, copy-and-paste pre-scripted letters, slap their names to 'em and shoot 'em to the local paper.


**Also in the Koppel piece was criticism by Jonathan Turley of Oliver Wendell Holmes:

To which Jonathan Turley, a First Amendment scholar at George Washington University, said, “If there was one statement of one justice in one case that I could eradicate from the face of the Earth, it would be Oliver Wendell Holmes’ statement about crying ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.


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