The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

If You’re Plagiarizing in J-School …

Posted on | September 9, 2012 | 15 Comments

. . . that’s kind of a large hint that maybe a journalism career isn’t going to work out for you. Consider the case of Columbia University journalism student Jade Bonacolta, who decided that a great way to write a story would be to plagiarize a New York Times article published two days earlier.

This is stunning to me: Isn’t Columbia an elite Ivy League institution, the kind of school where you don’t even bother to apply unless you’re a valedictorian with a perfect SAT score who spent your summers working with orphaned leper children in Botswana?

So how is it that a student is smart enough to get into Columbia University, yet too stupid to figure out that she can’t get away with stealing a story from the New York Times?

Recently exposed serial plagiarist Jonah Lehrer was also a Columbia alumnus — a neuroscience major, no less — so maybe these “elite” schools are chock full of cheaters.


  • Zilla of the Resistance

    Obama went to Columbia, so it looks like they have been accepting incompetent and corrupt people for a very long time.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    You don’t get expelled for that? If only in the Spartan way of punishing you for getting caught?

  • Larry Sheldon

    Olbermann went to Columbia

  • WJJ Hoge

    Geraldo Rivera’s journalism degree is from Columbia.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Didn’t Olbermann go to the donkey semen collecting school down the road from Cornell?

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Bill Maher went to Cornell but not the donkey school.

  • JeffS

    Probably got an “A” for the assignment, and a bonus job interview for the NYT immediately after graduation.

  • TC_LeatherPenguin

    Someone notify ‘Lesser’ Ezra Klein; a next generation Journolister is waiting for her invite!

  • Bob Belvedere

    You win the ‘Best Comment Award’.

  • richard mcenroe

    I must disagree, Stacy. Plagiariasm obviously suits you for a distinguished career at NYT, TNR, Time…

  • craig henry

    Columbia hired Navasky that old defender of Hiss and the Rosenbergs to teach journalism and run the Columbia Journalism Review.

  • pabarge

    I got yer Jade picture Right Here (click). She’s the one on the right.

  • pabarge

    no he did not

  • Rich Vail

    I KNOW, I KNOW!!!! He’ll land a job @ the NY Times…he’ll fit right in.

  • zimriel

    I don’t see the problem. They should give this young lady a full professorship and tenure already.