"Suspicious Nonsense": Miami Herald Plagiarized by NYT | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

"Suspicious Nonsense": Miami Herald Plagiarized by NYT

So it goes like this. The NY Times does a story about a drug called paco. In it is this passage:

Paco is highly addictive because its high lasts just a few minutes—and is so intense that many users smoke 20 to 50 paco cigarettes a day to try to make its effects linger. Paco is even more toxic than crack cocaine because it is made mostly of solvents and chemicals like kerosene, with just a dab of cocaine, Argentine and Brazilian drug enforcement officials said.

Slate's Jack Shafer read it and thought it made a good "Stupidest Drug Story of the Week" candidate.

"The unsourced assertion that paco was highly addictive because its high is short-acting struck me as suspicious nonsense," Shaferwrites. "Plenty of drugs are short-acting without being highly addictive."

So Shafer did a quick search and found a 2006 story by Miami Herald reporter Alejandra Lebanca about paco that included this line:

Paco is highly addictive because its effect is so short -- a couple of minutes -- and so intense that many users resort to smoking 20 to 50 cigarettes a day to try to make its effects linger.

So Shafer not only found the source of the "suspicious nonsense" -- but also an obvious plagiarism by the NYT.

How can you not love this business?

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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