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Occupy the Washington Post

Oct 24, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 06 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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And then there’s the anti-Semi-tism. To the old saw about “death and taxes” it’s safe to add that another one of life’s inevitabilities is this: Wherever two or three lefties gather to complain about Wall Street, at least one of them will blame the nation’s economic woes on the less than 2 percent of the population who eat Chinese food on Christmas. Anti-Semitic signs were obvious at Occupy Wall Street protests, especially when compared with the thin gruel reporters cited in accusing the Tea Party movement of racism.

Now we don’t think Occupy Wall Street is necessarily defined by anti-Semitism. There are enough protesters to encompass a large and diverse assortment of unpleasant ideologies. But the fact that the protests were in large part inspired by the left-wing Canadian magazine Adbusters ought to give people pause. 

The magazine’s editor, Kalle Lasn, has repeatedly been criticized for publishing such quality articles as the 2004 cri de coeur “Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?”—which consisted of a list of prominent Jewish intellectuals accompanied by some barely coherent commentary about how Jews were responsible for the war in Iraq, or something. Adbusters later ran afoul of the Holocaust Museum by repurposing the museum’s images of the Warsaw Ghetto as part of an inarticulate gripe about Gaza. David Duke himself has felt moved to defend the magazine publicly. Can you imagine if the Tea Party were largely the creation of such an unsavory character?

As expected, the media are going out of their way to help the Occupy Wall Street movement along. A Time magazine poll last week reported the movement twice as popular as the Tea Party. Of course, the magazine achieved this result by asking a question that was more loaded than a Kennedy scion at an open bar. The poll emphasized the group’s supposed opposition to bank bailouts. Time further failed to mention in its poll that the Tea Party was protesting bailouts over two years ago. (And when the Tea Party objected to bank bailouts, they did so without the class warfare, demands for forgiving imprudently incurred student loan debt, and poor hygiene.) 

So what else can the media do to sell the public on this movement? Former MSNBC host Donny Deutsch went on Morning Joe last week and made a modest proposal: Occupy Wall Street needs a “Kent State Moment,” but, you know, without the violence. We’re not sure what Deutsch is getting at, and frankly we don’t want to know. But until Deutsch and the rest of his media peers get their wish, we’re pretty sure that burning SUVs and pooping on police cars is unlikely to have the intended galvanizing effect.

Plagiarism Watch

The Scrapbook notes, with regret, that plagiarism has claimed the reputation of yet another journalist. Kendra Marr, a onetime Washington Post reporter lately employed to write about transportation for Politico, seems to have published at least seven “Politico stories that borrowed without attribution from work that had been published previously in other publications,” in the words of her editors, announcing her dismissal.

Betsy Rothstein of FishbowlDC reported all this in the usual manner; that is to say, Marr’s plagiarism was treated as an aberration, as if plagiarism were a terrible misfortune that had befallen the reporter, not something she had done.

Marr was a beloved reporter in the newsroom. .  .  . She was conscientious, solid. .  .  . Those who know her well say there is no way Marr did this maliciously or even, necessarily, knowingly.

Worst of all, “we’re told, her career in Washington journalism is effectively over.”

To which The Scrapbook can only say: Wait a minute. To begin with, while Kendra Marr may be “solid” and “conscientious” to her friends and colleagues, evidently she was not so conscientious or solid as to refrain from stealing somebody else’s hard work and publishing it as her own. Indeed, nowhere in the Politico memo or in the Fishbowl item may be found the names of the poor writers whose work was purloined by Kendra Marr for attribution to Kendra Marr. If this was not done “knowingly,” then Marr has problems beyond plagiarism; and if it was not done “maliciously,” then what is the term for such intellectual thievery?

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