Patterico's Pontifications


Another Policy The LAT Apparently Doesn’t Have — Making Sure Their Columnists Aren’t Ripping Off the Column Ideas of Others

Filed under: Buffoons,Dog Trainer — WLS @ 3:13 pm

[Posted by WLS]

In his column today, Joel Stein has a humorous column take on the writings of one Ann Coulter, and why she so easily infuriates left wingers like Stein. Titled “Ann Coulter Mad Libs”, he writes a mock column under Coulter’s name in which he throws in a bunch of non-sequitur blasts a democrats in another otherwise Coulteresque conservative diatribe.

Curiously, just two days ago, Mark Heminway at National Review Online did a curiously similar” mad-lib” “mash-up” of Maureen Dowd by extracting singles sentences from a few dozen of her columns that were hidden behind the NYT subscription wall for the last year, assembling them all into a single column under her name and concluding that he hadn’t missed anything in the year she had been gone.

Now its not that both columns are exactly the same, but it seems more than simply curious that Stein came up with his “mad-lib” sendup of Coulter only two days after Hemingway trashed Dowd in the same fashion.

So, I’m wondering, is this another policy that the LAT editors do not see the need to have or enforce?


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I’m not buying that Stein stole his idea from NRO.

But he might have stolen it from this guy.

11 Responses to “Another Policy The LAT Apparently Doesn’t Have — Making Sure Their Columnists Aren’t Ripping Off the Column Ideas of Others”

  1. WLS – Bash a conservative, and they could not care less. That was always apparent, just increasingly so now.

    JD (49efd3)

  2. For what it’s worth, Hemingway seems willing to entertain the notion that Stein came up with the idea independently. Of course, that may be because he is not quite up to speed on the utter vacuity of Stein’s writing.

    JVW (951b34)

  3. Hmm. I liked the Stein column so much that I sent him a complimentary note. Having heard him on Hugh Hewitt, I was surprised that he “got it” with Coulter’s humor. I had read the NRO piece but never connected the two.

    carlitos (71edd5)

  4. Well, except that, unless he’s making it up, Stein actually had to take the time to contact Ann Coulter, have her respond, and then write the column using her responses:

    Coulter — never publicity shy — quickly replied to my e-mail request for adjectives, verbs and European cities. She also gave the essay below that little something extra that only she can provide. (For “male Democrat” she filled in “Hillary Clinton,” for instance.) Still, the experiment worked.

    Which doesn’t seem possible in the timeframe – in order to meet deadline, he’d have to have the whole thing completed one day after the NRO column appeared.

    If I’m reading it right.

    Itsme (c980a3)

  5. Given Stein’s level of thinking displayed, to date, it would have taken him a few months to get this idea, and a couple more months to get it down on paper.

    Strange, strange coincidence though, huh Itsme?

    JD (49efd3)

  6. This is curious. I can only surmise that the LA Times’ editors never read NRO. Of course, that’s not hard to imagine.

    DRJ (5c60fb)

  7. JD #5:

    No idea, don’t read enough of his stuff – or the LAT – to have much of an opinion.

    I did think he was pretty funny on Bill Maher the other night, though.

    Itsme (c980a3)

  8. Stein is a lame brain; recycling a day-old idea of someone else is better than any idea he can think up himself. Stein is a perfect columnist for the post-literate, post-quality MSM.

    jack (e88f15)

  9. Let’s Play Ann Libs! (Oct. 18)

    Hemingway’s going to have to get in line.

    MediaBloodhound (0e7c8f)

  10. Given that this idea is AT LEAST as old as Juvenal, who did it with hexams from the Iliad to mock the Greeks, and with lines from Virgil to mock his pro-Augustan propaganda in The Aeneid, I think a full-blown plagiarism probe is a hair, er, chronocentric.

    eyeball (bc3377)

  11. Joel Stein has been one of the worst writers in the US since his days at Time. His humor is sophomoric, his ideas are just plain stupid, and his writing is boring. I am really amazed there is anyone who reads him, and more amazed that anyone pays him to write.

    Mark_0454 (748816)

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