Gotcha! So admit it, already

Gerald Posner, whose books include Case Closed and Secrets of the Kingdom, told The Associated Press that a flawed research methodology for Miami Babylon, a nonfiction work released last fall by Simon & Schuster, led him to use text from Frank Owen’s Clubland without giving credit.

A flawed research methodology? And the AP wrote that down without laughing up a lung? Dude, in my world, that’s plagiarism. Plain and simple.You stole something, lied about it, and got caught. And this is the best you can come up with? Flawed research methodology? Am I the only one disgusted?

It seems that we’ve sunk so far down into the goo that we can’t face our own shame and admit it when we’ve been caught doing wrong. Instead we clothe our words in fancy pants verbs, nouns, and adjectives that POOF! absolves us of all responsibility. What a gig!

So now you can feel free to insult anyone you want. Go ahead, be outrageous. Tell someone their grandmother wears Army boots, or tell your friend his dog has a secret tattoo that implies he’s ambiguously human. Plagiarize ’til the cows come home. There is no ownership of one’s actions or utterances, so the sky is the limit. Rude, boorish behavior is our new playground.

Someone takes issue with something you said? Tell ’em to go blow. After all, you weren’t insulting, they just simply misunderstood you. It’s their fault if they’re offended.  If you happen to lift passages of someone else’s published works, thereby costing your publisher thousands, well, so what? Get over yourself already.

The classic catch-phrase in this twisted U-turn toward devolution is “It’s not my fault.” Yah-freaking-hoO! Thank the All Powerful Cosmic Muffin that the shopworn  “the buck stops here” is finally o-ver. Whew!  Because, golly-gee, apologies are sooo personal, and our tank-sized egos [like Mr. Posner’s] can’t manage to choke out something like, “I did/said a wrong thing, and I’m so sorry that my lapse in judgment hurt so many people.  I. Was. Wrong.”

I know, what a concept, eh? A sad state of affairs.

I’m yanking my tongue out of my cheek to remind everyone that taking full responsibility for your conduct puts you on a much higher peg of the evolutionary ladder. Because, really, no one is fooled by the blatherings of Mr. Posner or the troll who says, “Hey, it’s your fault if you’re offended.” For those people, I wish them nothing but lifelong boils and hairy warts on their chins.

10 Responses to Gotcha! So admit it, already

  1. Carol says:


    One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to teach them that the only person responsible for their words and actions is the person they see when they look in the mirror.

  2. NinjaFingers says:

    Tell me about it…

  3. catwoods says:

    Ditto Ninja who dittos Carol.

    Thankfully our 9th grade English teacher called out all the kids who plagiarized last year. She sent notes home to parents then did a two week series on original writing versus borrowed writing.

    Hopefully they learned soemthing that Mr.Posner has somehow failed to grasp.

  4. Aston West says:

    Maybe they should make those kids copy (verbatim and handwritten) War and Peace instead… 🙂

  5. Frank says:

    This one will really make you all sick…

    To think, too, that she is going to get an award from folks who are quite aware of what she did.

  6. From the article link that Frank sent:
    Although Ms. Hegemann has apologized for not being more open about her sources, she has also defended herself as the representative of a different generation, one that freely mixes and matches from the whirring flood of information across new and old media, to create something new.

    I love that – a “representative of a different generation that freely mixes and matches…” What a steaming pile of yak droppings. I weep for the future.

    Gawd, I need a drink.

  7. Ivan Pope says:

    I see this all the time. Somebody does something bad, be it a politician or a company or whatever. They are called out on it, but then, rather than admit it plain and simple, they come up with a fancy phrase to describe how it happened. Sure, they apologise, but the phrase they use obfuscates what they really did, gives it a veneer of technical error, as if it wasn’t really anyone who did that thing. ‘flawed research methodology’ fits the bill precisely. If you don’t examine it, it sounds like some sort of technical error that we’re glad to have drawn to our attention. But what does it actually mean? What was the flaw? How does it make sense? How often did it happen then? Who invented this methodology? The press, as usual, don’t ask the difficult questions. They let it ride. We are all poorer for it.

  8. e are all poorer for it.

    Indeed, Ivan. Indeed.

  9. Pelotard says:

    Truly, this sad state of affairs is to be regretted. 😉

  10. Lauren says:

    Ethics. Responsibility. Self-respect. Pride in a job well done. Honor.

    That’s what the real heroes have. It’s not what the media heroes have, however, and that’s the shame of our society is that it prefers the media heroes.

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