Saturday, January 19, 2019

Thou Shalt Not Steal

At least without citation. Stacy McCain takes Jonah Goldberg to task for swiping Ace's MacGuffin theme: Jonah Goldberg Only Steals From the Best
Plagiarism — passing off someone else’s work as your own — is generally a career-destroyer in journalism, and what Jonah Goldberg has done in recycling an idea borrowed from Ace of Spades is perhaps not exactly plagiarism. Like, it’s not as if he cut-and-pasted entire sentences, but rather that he failed to attribute the basic idea to the guy who originated it. By his lack of attribution, Goldberg essentially cheated Ace of credit he deserved. The weird thing is that, less than three years ago, Jonah didacknowledge Ace’s authorship of the “political MacGuffin” idea in a May 2016 column about Trump’s campaign where the “MacGuffin” was the GOP nomination. But now in January 2019, Goldberg returns to the same idea — this time, with the border wall as the “MacGuffin” of the government-shutdown melodrama — and cheats Ace out of his proper credit. Maybe it’s not a career-destroying plagiarism scandal, since Goldberg had previously acknowledged Ace’s authorship in an earlier iteration of the same theme, but it sure as hell ain’t fair or honest.

By the way, my entire blogging career was stolen from Ace.

Circa 2005-2006, I was feeling trapped in the newsroom of the Washington Times and, in my idle moments, would toggle over to Ace’s and literally laugh out loud at his stuff. Ace was having fun, and I was like, “I want to do that for a living.” I met Ace at CPAC 2006, hanging around outside the Omni Shoreham Hotel smoking cigarettes, basically fangirling all over him like my daughter would behave if she ever met Harry Styles. Then in 2007, I recommended Ace to my friends at the Young America’s Foundation for a sort of blogger junket to their West Coast student leadership conference in Santa Barbara, which was nice. That was where I learned how seriously Ace takes his anonymity, by the way. He presciently understood that the Left would sooner or later want to destroy his life, and so he guarded his true identity to such an extent that he was actually registered in the hotel as “Ace of Spades.” Also, that 2007 West Coast YAF conference was the occasion when I got a Drudge-linked front-page scoop on a story based on Phillip Klein’s notes of an interview, but I digress . . .
I've had a subscription to NR for many years. My Mom bought them so many times, they may never expire. I've always liked Jonah, but he has gone a little off the rails with the anti-Trump train. I could see this as an innocent error.

But Ace is great. . .

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