Not to brag, but I’ve recently been plagiarized. Actually, this has happened to me plenty of times before but it’s usually the work of some 3-hits-per-day blogger (and yes I’m talking to you, Metafilter!) who has decided to cut and paste something I’ve published on this site or elsewhere on the web, and just added a little “check out what I just thought of in this very moment” intro before it.

In this instance, it was a slightly better-known source: The Times of London. One of their stringers put together a list, aimed at the ‘dating set’, called 50 Reasons Why You’re Still Single, which borrows generously and very specifically from a list I co-authored for RADAR Magazine a while back, called “100 Reasons Why You’re Still Single.” (I’ve written about that list here, and included all the items I wrote that made or missed the cut in RADAR.) One of the other RADAR writers was nice enough to point out the instance of plagiarism and, at first, I wasn’t especially concerned. Those lists we do for RADAR are goofy and I took the act of plagiarism about as seriously as I took the lists themselves.

Then I remembered that this writer actually got paid to steal our jokes, and by a much higher profile publication than RADAR. (Well, to be fair, Cesarean Sluts Magazine has a higher profile than RADAR. But still!) Upon realizing this, I was all, “I’LL DRINK HER MILKSHAKE!! I’LL DRINK IT UP!!!” But not in the good way; I mean that in the bad, “street” kind of way, like on The Wire. While I wait for other string-pullers to make sure this “journalist” (burn!) is promptly taken down, all the way to Chinatown, it’s nice to know that other sites linking to the Times London article have at least had the decency to acknowledge this list was largely swiped from RADAR Magazine. In any case, Camilla Long, I’m waving the shame finger at you! As a writer for the Tatler, how does it feel to be tat(t)led on, Miss Long??? (super value burn!)

Oh, and speaking of those RADAR lists, if you pick up the current issue of the magazine and flip the back page, you will find yet another RADAR 100, and it’s all about the ways we’re trying to save the environment…WITH CRAZINESS! And, if you live in the UK, I guess you can read Camilla Long’s identical list in the Times, with all references to “elevators” changed to “lifts.” (snap! crackle! burn!)

[Update: the offending list has been removed without apology, but the story of its plagiarism has been covered by The Guardian UK and, more depressingly, New York Magazine’s “Daily Intelligencer.” From reading the comments on the NYMag piece, it seems their editors ‘borrowed’ the facts supplied to them by a writer who must have pitched the story in an email, then made up the story surrounding those facts all by themselves while attributing them to the writer. It’s a crazy world when a journalist has to use the comments section on his own story to voice a complaint about the ineptitude and unprofessionalism of his editors. The NYMag thing was especially interesting to me because, just as Camilla Long apparently took submissions from friends and published them without any further examination, in reporting on the story NYMag kind of did the same thing. I can say this because they seem to have gone out of their way to make fun of RADAR in the piece by including this really long and not especially pointed scenario where RADAR’s editors conceived their original list together on cocktail napkins. If they’d actually done any work they would have known that piece was not written by RADAR’s editors. Maybe NYMag assumed the byline on our list was just a formality, because that is a practice to which they’re so accustomed in their own day-to-day work. (NYMag, ask Camilla if you can borrow her bucket of sand because you’ve been burned…a smidge!)]

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