Washington, Feb 7 (IANS) Former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson has been accused of plagiarizing portions of her new book, “Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts”.
She denied the allegations, outlined in a Twitter thread by Vice News Tonight correspondent Michael Moynihan, during an appearance on Fox News on Wednesday.
On being asked if she had any comment on the numerous similarities detailed by Moynihan, Abramson said: “I really don’t… All I can tell you is I certainly didn’t plagiarize in my book and there’s 70 pages of footnotes showing where I got the information.”
Moynihan’s tweets went viral and brought a lot of attention to Abramson’s book, which was mired in controversy even before it was published this month. He said that there were “plenty more” examples of “enormous factual errors, other cribbed passages, single or unsourced claims”, the Washington Post reported.
The thread, which focussed on three chapters Abramson wrote on the media company Vice, highlighted paragraphs containing language that appeared to be lifted from material published in Time Out, the New Yorker and the Columbia Journalism Review.
Another journalist Ian Frisch also wrote on Twitter that Abramson lifted his reporting, without attribution, on six occasions throughout the book.
When asked if there could’ve been an attribution or footnote issue in the book, the former Times editor replied: “No, I don’t think this is an issue at all.”
“Many people from Vice have been taking issue with the book,” she said. “I think they don’t like the portrayal of Vice although I think it’s a very balanced portrait and I have a lot of praise for some of their journalists and some of their stories. I like their fresh approach to news.”
Cary Goldstein, Executive Vice President of publicity at Simon & Schuster, which published Merchants of Truth, said in a statement it was “an exhaustively researched and meticulously sourced book”.
Abramson responded to the allegations again late Wednesday night, writing: “I take seriously the issues raised and will review the passages in question.”