Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 10:01 a.m.
Renegade Fox News employee Joe Muto got a lot of attention when he joined Gawker and started writing dispatches from the inside
of the Murdoch empire. He got only one post in before he was found out and fired from Fox, with a follow-up letter from the legal folks being sent to Gawker threatening legal action over "information and videos that have been unlawfully obtained."
Well, yesterday Muto got a visit from the cops
, who served a search warrant
accusing the "Fox Mole" of grand larceny, petit larceny, and computer tampering. Man, Rupert Murdoch sure doesn't like people rooting around in his business. Muto explains it best
: "I should have done something more innocuous, like hacked a dead girl's phone and interfered with a police investigation."
Since we're already talking about unlawfully obtained information, let's talk about Fox Nation. It's a section of the Fox News website reserved for a giant collection of aggregated stories. They're pulled together using a complex system called "just take it and hope no one notices."
The story was about an unnamed source telling the Shark Tank that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz wasn't Barack Obama's first choice for leader of the Democratic National Committee. It also says Obama told Wasserman Schultz, "Don't forget you work for me."
Fox Nation took the top half of the post and changed pretty much nothing, even attributing the information to "as per our source." Even if you set aside the questionable journalism of copying information from a blogger's anonymous source, it's copyright infringement. And that's against the law, Rupert.
There is also a bunch of stories just from yesterday that don't bother paraphrasing anything -- they stole, for example, the first three paragraphs
of a Politico story, which might be small enough to be considered fair use if the whole story weren't six paragraphs long
. There's the five paragraphs
they took from an eight-paragraph story
on the New York Post
website, the four paragraphs
they took from a five-paragraph Washington Examiner
column... This isn't hard to find. The stolen stories are cleverly categorized under "all of the damn stories."
They also hit a plagiarism home run yesterday, stealing
an entire blog post from Hot Air Pundit
. That alone would be good enough for a triple, but the poor slobs frantically posting these things get that extra base because Hot Air Pundit stole the work straight out of a CNN story from the day before
It's starting to look like... like a double plagiarism.