Daily Mail lifts from WP, then asks its reporter for help finding photo

Romenesko+ Misc.
The Daily Mail liked Steve Hendrix’s story in the Washington Post about an F-16 pilot who was ready to give her life on 9/11 so much that it rewrote it. They also liked his story from Thursday’s Post, but needed some help finding a photo. They turned to Hendrix for assistance, which was a big mistake. Their email exchange is after the jump.

From: Bradford Noble

To: [Steve Hendrix]

Date: 09/15/2011 02:38 PM
Subject: Contacting Heather Penny

Hey Steve,

I work in the photo department at The Daily Mail and we are trying to chase down a picture of Heather Penny’s father to go in our story about her here, and I was wondering if you could put me in touch with the family? Or else know how I could get a hold a a photo of her dad, preferably one of them together.

Can you please give me a call at 212-543-XXXX or else respond via email. We are of course on deadline so sooner better – you know the drill.

Your article is great by the way!!


Bradford Noble


From: Steve Hendrix
Sent: 15 September 2011 15:16
To: Bradford Noble
Subject: Re: Contacting Heather Penny

Hi Bradford,

Yes, the Mail is becoming increasingly well known around here for the kind of stories you do, sometimes so similar in their entirety to our own. I do see your original piece on Heather Penney (beautiful line this: “jet fuel practically coursed through her veins.” So much better than my own clunky “She had grown up smelling jet fuel.”)

And I’m not surprised to hear you’ve got one coming on the father’s role. We had one today! And I’m honored to see the same generous attribution.

To get a photo of her father, I’d track him down and ask him. That’s how we do it.



From: Bradford Noble
To: Steve Hendrix

Date: 09/15/2011 03:38 PM
Subject: RE: Contacting Heather Penny

I know what you mean and laughed when I read your email. I’m just working here freelance but have the utmost respect for reporters like yourself who write great ORIGINAL articles.

Having said that, and at the risk of you hating me even more, do you have the contact information for the family?

Perhaps we can even get a DIFFERENT image.


Maybe a phone number or an email?

Bradford Noble
Photo Editor


From: Steve Hendrix/news/TWP
To: Bradford Noble
Date: 09/15/2011 03:54 PM
Subject: RE: Contacting Heather Penny

There’s no risk of that Brad. Try this: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=white+pages


Steve Hendrix
My reaction? They do know how to be persistent. So why can’t they do their own reporting?

Bradford Noble
As far as your email request for comment, I asked the writer at The Washington Post if he had some contact info but he didn’t feel like sharing. So I tried to butter him up saying things I thought might help me get what I needed, but he didn’t buy it.

Oh well. My Aunt Dookie always says, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!”

Perhaps the writer at The Washington Post should ask his boss for a raise, he seems like a smart guy, and how savvy to get the gossip sites involved. Sort of that “Keep that story going no matter what the angle” kind of approach. How reality TV of him, Bravo!

I congratulate him on his journalistic aplomb.


> Earlier: Daily Mail lifts photos from The Batavian — again

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  • http://www.facebook.com/bobby.ross Bobby Ross Jr.

    Yep, this happened to me during the Tucson shooting aftermath. Here’s a GetReligion.org post I wrote on The Telegraph swiping quotes from me: http://www.getreligion.org/2011/01/please-dont-steal-my-material/

  • Anonymous

    just shows how crappy the daily mail is yet again!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, and to judge by the pics on his facebook page above he freelances in many things.

  • Anonymous

    Well he’s definitely something British. What a schlub.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XOL5OEIGSHV4PCQZQNZB4AONMA Oliver M

    Actually, it’s what’s called being a lazy, arrogant hump.

  • http://www.pragencyone.co.uk James Crawford

    The Daily Mail is a crappy plagiarist title shock.  Still, it makes me laugh every time I read this sort of story.

  • Anonymous

    The telltale sign: He couldn’t manage a single paragraph without a spelling or punctuation error. How effing difficult is it to grasp that you put a period at the end of a sentence?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R2Z24SF4IZO6JIAZ2XX3AXE7IE -

    It’s simply known as, “The Daily Fail” to most.

  • Anonymous

    The real issue here is that many UK newspapers, thinking that their editors do not read the newspapers in the USA, often very often take news stories almost verbatim from USA newspapers, rewritten of course, and pass them off as British journalism. It happens almost every day and even at the Guardian. This should be exposed one day. And the practice should stop. But it won’t. This is British journalism. tsk tsk

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3EVAQK6CD2OWQHKP6PALFBWXCM Francesca Lack

    Is not the real deserving floggee in this rumpus Mr. Thomas Durante, the lad whose name appears atop the filched material? The photo researcher is kind of just a dingleberry. Pls help. 

  • http://twitter.com/Carniphage Carniphage

    Any response to the Daily mail which is not two words ending in an exclamation mark is way too long.


  • Anonymous

    The Washington Post needs to check its patriotism levels.  When the Post Office comes asking for help, you help them.  This is exactly why daily mail service might be cut off in the near future.  The shame of it all!

  • JH

    This is fantastic. The shoddy gossip site is accusing the real newspaper of running to a gossip site because they won’t hand over their sources? I love it.

  • JH

    This is fantastic. The shoddy gossip site is accusing the real newspaper of running to a gossip site? I love it.

  • Tim Fitzsimons

    This guy did exactly the same thing to me. Bradford noble. I have the emails to prove, it, too. He stole my photos from slate.com and I made them take the article down. See here:


  • andy geller

    It’s what’s called aggressive reporting.

  • Anonymous

    Too funny. He may live in NY but he’s DEFINITELY British!

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Yes, freelance. He has a website that shows he’s a NY based photographer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lancecollinsgay Edward Allen

    Hey, it works for the Daily Mail to do it that way. I prefer to do my own reporting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1553296619 Malcolm McDowell Woods

    So the Mail’s photo editor is freelance? Or was that just “saying things I thought might help me get what I needed?”
    And now Romenesko is being compared to reality TV?

  • http://twitter.com/sshistory sshistory

    This is simply precious.  Thank you for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    And when they can’t steal stuff, they just make it up.