North’s Fox News Insider column contained a “verbatim copy of a first-person passage written by” Michael Norman in These Good Men: Friendships Forged in War. The passages in question were attributed to North’s “dear friend” Sammy L. Davis but really were written by Norman, accordingto the Washington Post.
Norman, the original author and an New York University journalism professor, told the Post he would “just like them to give a clear account of how this happened” and called it “one of the more bizarre handlings of a plagiarism accusation that I’ve ever seen.”
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North’s column has since been taken off Fox News Insider’s website, but it’s available elsewhere online. The Post explained that Fox News took the quotation out and added “an editor’s note that mentioned, without explanation, that the paragraphs had been removed and that North had included them ‘through no fault of his own.’ The note also credited Norman.” Later, Fox News Insider unpublished the column, according to the Post. The May 18 article was available here on Fox News’ website until yesterday, but is now taken down. See a cache here. The section in question appears to have been removed from North’s website’s publication of the column.
While the Washington Post noted Fox wouldn’t comment on the record, anonymous sources reportedly explained “Davis sent the quote to North via e-mail without attributing it to Norman.” North likewise told the Post that Davis provided the passages. Poynter noted that that is the same explanation that the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd gave in response to plagiarism charges. As iMediaEthics wrote at the time, Dowd was accused of plagiarizing a paragraph from Talking Points Memo in 2009. She claimed that she hadn’t read the Talking Points Memo post and instead wrote her paragraph based on on comments from a friend. The Times defended the incident as “an error.”
We have written to Fox News Insider seeking comment and will update with any response.