J-prof: I’d fail a student for doing what Taibbi did in Rolling Stone

City Pages | The Awl | The Cutline
In 2006, G.R. Anderson wrote a City Pages cover story (“The Chosen One”) on Michele Bachmann — a piece that Matt Taibbi borrowed liberally from for his just-posted Rolling Stone piece on the presidential candidate from Minnesota. Anderson tells Erin Carlyle:

What I will say, as a graduate of the Columbia J-School, and an adjunct at the University of Minnesota J-School, I do know that if a student handed in a story with that particular lack of sourcing, not only would I give it an ‘F,’ I would probably put that student on academic fraud.

Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates told Abe Sauer that due to space concerns, two of Taibbi’s original notes attributing work to the City Pages piece had been removed. He added that he’d “get some links included in the story online.”

Anderson’s reaction:

I’m surprised that a publication that I respect so much would actually play so fast and loose with something as simple as citations. I do know that during my course as a reporter for City Pages and other publications, I’ve quoted from Rolling Stone and attributed it to something of the effect of, according to Rolling Stone magazine article. If it was space considerations for Eric Bates, I would tell him that it’s very easy to cut five words somewhere else in the story, and put the five words in that actually cites the source. That strikes me as a basic tenet of good journalism.

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  • http://twitter.com/BrotherMatthias Jonathan Matthias

    So do you work for Jann?

    What a sad, long way they have come since Hunter. They employ a lazy punk to cull data from Manhattan.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JI2MBY6SYRL5BH6QMLJKRMGURI N.

    Read them both, don’t see any issue other than a very few routine passages, which could have easily been addressed with a single, simple “according to …” You can’t claim ownership of facts. Taibbi brings authority and voice to the story, 5 years later. 

  • Anonymous

    Roling Stone’s Bates and Taibbi recognized for the low lifes they are. I have waited so long for this moment. I have so many people to thank. (LOL.)

    By the way — here is the kicker from CITY PAGES:


    Q. Do you have anything more you want to say?
    “I have your kicker. The irony of this, is that over the last few years, I have pitched several stories to Eric Bates in particular, because I’ve wanted nothing more than to have my byline in Rolling Stone, since I was about 16 years old. I’ve pitched him several stories, one of which I know was about Michele Bachmann being a factor in the 2008 election. I pitched all of them with due diligence, and to Mr. Bates’s credit, he responded via e-mail, the same way every time, which is, “We’re not interested.”


    Taibbi. Resign. You are the Jayson Blair of 2011.

  • Anonymous

    You do know that Taibbi has blasted people for going to j-school in the first place, right? Here’s the link, but the money quote is: “I can’t believe people actually go to journalism school.” http://campusprogress.org/articles/the_vigilante_journalist. Of course, if we all were fortunate to have wealthy fathers who were major figures in NYC television news it might not be necessary to get a journalism education. But oddly enough many of us don’t. So we went to school and learned that you actually attribute your sources rather than ripping someone off wholesale and hiding behind your editor when you get caught. That’s the punk way out.

  • Anonymous

    Taibbi lives in Rolling Stone’s sewer of political pornograph. He uses manufactured quotes and misattributions to Bachmann.