The Temple Daily Telegram decided not to run Cal Thomas‘s latest column after noticing that it’s “essentially plagiarized from the New York Times,” says managing editor Carroll Wilson. “I will be looking very closely at every Cal Thomas column in the future, judging his work on a case-by-case basis.” Tracy Clark, Thomas’ editor at Tribune Media Services, tells Romenesko that no other clients have complained about the column, and that she’d forward Wilson’s letter (and links I provided) to Thomas for comment; he has yet to respond. || Letter and links after the jump.
From CARROLL WILSON, Temple Daily Telegram, Temple, Texas: Has anyone else pointed out that Cal Thomas’ recent column on the price put on a human life is essentially plagiarized from The New York Times? The Times had a story on this subject with wording Thomas has usurped. We were planning to run the column tomorrow. That column was spiked, and I will be looking very closely at every Cal Thomas column in the future, judging his work on a case-by-case basis.
NEW YORK TIMES (February 16)
The Environmental Protection Agency set the value of a life at $9.1 million last year in proposing tighter restrictions on air pollution. The agency used numbers as low as $6.8 million during the George W. Bush administration.
The Food and Drug Administration declared that life was worth $7.9 million last year, up from $5 million in 2008, in proposing warning labels on cigarette packages featuring images of cancer victims.
The Transportation Department has used values of around $6 million to justify recent decisions to impose regulations that the Bush administration had rejected as too expensive, like requiring stronger roofs on cars.
CAL THOMAS (February 24)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set the value of a human life at $9.1 million. It reached this determination while proposing tighter restrictions on air pollution. During the Bush administration, EPA calculated our value at $6.8 million. Was the difference in price caused by inflation? The EPA didn’t say.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) arrived at its own figure for the value of an American life. It says each life is worth $7.9 million. That, too, is an increase from the $5 million value FDA had assigned each human American life in 2008. The agency calculated our value while proposing new and tougher warning labels on cigarettes that include pictures of cancer victims.
The Transportation Department — yes, Transportation — put our worth at $6 million while seeking to justify recent decisions to impose regulations the Bush administration had rejected as too costly, such as stronger roofs on cars.
A fair-use rewrite, or plagiarism? You decide.