After admitting to plagiarizing multiple passages from Miami Herald stories and other sources, Gerald Posner has resigned as chief investigative reporter for the Daily Beast.
Posner, a Miami Beach author best known for investigative books such as Miami Babylon, posted an explanation of his resignation on a new blog, claiming he'd often create 15,000-word master files for his stories that had to be edited down to 1,000 to 2,000 words. He explains he must have lost track of what he had written and what he had borrowed from other sources. Posner also claims he had trouble shifting from the role of a book writer to churning out two stories a week for the "warp speed of the Internet."
Again, the accuracy of my reporting stands in these articles. And in the meantime I again apologize to all my readers, as well as to the editors and my colleagues at The Daily Beast. I will be returning to my next book project, and several documentaries on which I am working. I shall not be doing journalism on the internet until I am satisfied that I can do so without violating my own standards and the basic rules of journalism.
Meanwhile, Gawker has an interesting explanation of the culture of the Beast. Founded by Tina Brown -- who took the reins at the then-newly relaunched Vanity Fair at the young age of 29 before moving to The New Yorker in the early '90s -- the Beast runs an editorial operation that's a weird hybrid of web and magazine publishing.
Since Brown conceives of the Beast as something like a weekly magazine, Sunday nights are typically a marathon frenzy of to close stories which can go on well past midnight. We're not exactly clear on why this has to happen -- we've heard that she considers, for reasons we can't fathom, Monday to be the most important day on the web -- but apparently Sunday night is the last chance for Brown to tweak, recast or completely overhaul stories for all-important Monday. This magazine-like effort, however, does not appear to ensure magazine-like results. The Daily Beast recently had to dismiss one of its recent marquee names, Tiger Woods scoop-generator Gerald Posner, for run-of-the-mill plagiarism. Blaming the "warp speed of the net," he says he inadvertently copy and pasted newspaper copy into his stories, something magazine fact-checkers are expected to catch.
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