Maureen Dowd plagiarized (or in the parlance of the Huffington Post, "inadvertently lifted") the work of a partisan left-wing blogger, reproducing it word for word, and then offering this bizarre explanation:
i was talking to a friend of mine Friday about what I was writing who suggested I make this point, expressing it in a cogent - and I assumed spontaneous - way and I wanted to weave the idea into my column. but, clearly, my friend must have read josh marshall without mentioning that to me.
Of course this could have happened to anyone who doesn't read Josh Marshall, but given how much it looks like straight plagiarism, and that it's unclear how she could have repeated Marshall verbatim based on a conversation, we assume she'll provide some corroboration for her story -- or surely the Times will have to remove or suspend her for having committed the most serious of journalistic crimes. As for the apology, having failed to attribute "a paragraph" to the proper source, and having taken credit for that work herself, Dowd can't even be bothered to use proper punctuation in the note acknowledging this "inadvertent lifting"? Is being caught for plagiarism really an occasion for a more casual style of writing?