Plagiarism Plague

Here is a column from Matt Gurney at the National Post posted Janauary 27th plagiarizing this post from the 26th where I drew attention to the inconsistency of Toronto Hydro claiming that it fails to achieve regulated reliability requirements while awarding its CEO Anthony Haines with fat bonuses. Perhaps Gurney was actually plagiarizing John Spears at the Toronto Star, whose article here also plagiarized this website.

Here is a news report from Jonathon Jenkins at the Toronto Sun posted on January 26th plagiarizing this post from the 25th where I drew attention to the coming ratepayer hit for $1.27 million when Toronto Hydro’s board of directors finally wakes up and fires rogue CEO Anthony Haines. A mitigating consideration however is that Jenkins’ recent news report on ratepayer-funded luxury automobiles at the utility did acknowledge my research as reflected in my post of the 25th.

Some of my former students at the University of Toronto will know how I feel about plagiarism. I took an unusually high ratio of students through the full process of academic discipline for failure to uphold the standards of honesty — an enforcement measure I feel is too rare in the department I was teaching in.

While I am heartened that the Toronto Star, National Post, and Toronto Sun consider the work presented here as worthy of attention, I am disappointed that these news organizations do not recognize the legitimacy of my work and my intellectual property by acknowledging their source. I would welcome any serious comments, and particularly invite the journalists mentioned above.



  1. Tom, I think the lack of retribution is tasteless, but when you support an argument with facts, I wouldn’t refer to these writers presenting the same facts as plagiarism.
    I think you should take it as complement actually. I doubt many people are looking to the MSM for original thought, but for distributing information more broadly.
    I think increasingly people look to the internet for content creation that is original, and increasingly the MSM is essentially a collection of aggregator sites. I’d suggest, to all, readers, such as Google Reader, for news from sources you want news and views from, and newspapers for knowing the marketing angle of whomever controls the publication.
    The daily MSM writer requires the skill of taking the work of others and, within legal boundaries, presenting it as their own in a manner that meets the persona, and politics, of their publication.
    They clearly aren’t required to think independently, originally, or even particularly well.

  2. I’ll sure never be mistaken for Mr. Philosophical and it does go beyond immitation … but perhaps you can look at it as a somewhat-sincere form a flattery.

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