The Mirror

Washington Examiner Accidentally Copycats The New York Times: ‘There Was No Intention To Deceive’


Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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The Washington Examiner had some explaining to do Sunday morning after sections of a New York Times story appeared on its news site under a reporter’s byline.

The piece was by Joel Gehrke, a foreign affairs reporter for The Washington Examiner.

Upon request for comment, Washington Examiner Editorial Director Hugo Gurdon told The Mirror, “Yes, an innocent mistake. You will have seen the statement by now. The error was so obvious that reasonable people will know instantly that there was no intention to deceive.”

The publication is in the process of removing the New York Times material, but will post a statement and a correction at the top of the story.

Washington Examiner‘s new managing editor Toby Harnden explained what happened.

Harnden’s statement is as follows:

“The Washington Examiner apologizes for inadvertently including paragraphs from a New York Times story in an Examiner story about Jared Kushner and Saudi Arabia. I was editing the story. During the editing process, I put a note, in an unpublished story file, that included a section from a story by the New York Times.”

“The note was intended to inform the reporter and give him an example of the kind of approach he could consider in the Examiner story. The note was not clear, however, and the reporter thought I had rewritten part of his story. The material from the New York Times was then subsequently mistakenly published in error and without any attribution. This should not have happened and the Examiner regrets this editing error.”

MSNBC’s David Gura caught the glaring mistake and called it “plagiarism” without giving the publication the benefit of the doubt. While the story appeared to be a blatant copycat or plagiarism, it was not that at all.

Gura posted about it Sunday just after the crack of dawn.

Here’s one example. There are several.

Journalists and others on Twitter clamored for an explanation.

“Thanks to @davidgura, a talented and original journalist, for pointing this out,” wrote David Sanger, a reporter at the NYT. “It would be interesting to hear the @dcexaminer explanation.”

One follower, PatriotPJ, joked, “Melania wrote it.”