Daily News fires editor after Shaun King accused of plagiarism – CNN


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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32 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    This is one weird story. I’m interested to see what else comes out.Report

  2. Avatar j r says:

    It is entirely possible that this was just an editorial screw up. It’s also possible that the editor in question purposefully removed the attribution so as not to have readers click away from the Daily News site. And it’s also entirely possible that some editor is now falling on his sword to save King.

    Whatever is going on, dollars to donuts is has little to do with ideology (despite the claims of both King and his detractors) and is mostly about the business.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r says:


      I’d have a hard time believing clicking away was an issue if this behavior was limited to this particular editor and this particular writer. Though I suppose we’d need to see a much more thorough audit of the paper’s editing practices (and this editor in particular) to know if that was true.

      To falling on his sword, it would seem like having draft versions of what King submitted could clear that up.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Kazzy says:

        I’d have a hard time believing clicking away was an issue if this behavior was limited to this particular editor and this particular writer.

        Exactly we don’t know whether it was or wasn’t. It’s not like it’s uncommon for a business to impose a bunch of performance metrics (get the “eyes on page” number up!) and then feign shock when it comes out that an employee used unethical methods to do it. You see this a lot in rogue trader scenarios (and throughout most of the subprime crisis).

        And it doesn’t make much sense to set someone up in a way that is easily traceable back to you. If this editor ends up taking a job at the NY Post or Breitbart, then I’ll start to suspect ideological motives. Even the personal grudge story doesn’t make much sense. Why would you set someone up in a way that sets them up for eventual vindication?

        Granted, this is all speculation on my part.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r says:

          Good points all around. We’re pretty much all speculating at this point.Report

          • Avatar j r in reply to Kazzy says:

            Speculation is great for improving your judgment. So long as you’re willing to go back and evaluate your forecasts and adjust your priors accordingly.

            In this situation, my priors tell me that business trumps ideology. Or rather, ideology is what we fight about in the comments, but business is what drives decisions in the editorial offices.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r says:


              I do an activity with my kids sometimes wherein I’ll put a bunch of objects in a bag — say wooden blocks of different color or same colored papers in different shapes — and have them guess what’s in it based on clues. We shake the bag and listen. Reach inside and touch. They usually figure it out. But I’ll challenge them by showing just one of the item. “You all predicted wooden blocks. Here is one blue one. Do you think they’re all blue?” Most will say no because they’re accustomed to blocks coming in differeny colors. I’ll take out another blue. “Now what do you think?” Again and again. Some will change their answers, some won’t. All of which is fine. There isn’t a “right” answer. But I always ask them why. And that is where it gets interesting. My goal is not to make them perfect predictors (no such thing exists) but to help them develop an approach to speculation. How long and hard do you hold on to priors? What do you do with new information? How much new information is enough to change your priors?Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to j r says:

      This turns out to be a good call — the editor fell on his own sword, claiming his own carelessness in formatting quotes that King had actually attributed.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    The thing that seems to be a fair criticism is that King takes large chunks of other peoples’ thoughts and works (with links, blockquote and attribution when formated properly), adds a comparatively minimal his 2 cents, and publishes that as original content under the banner of a well known media property.

    So the problem is he’s bring the Daily News down to an SEO aggregation game player.Report

  4. Avatar Chris says:

    At some point, people are gonna start calling him Teflon Shaun.Report