I am somewhat used to getting material from SWP ripped off. The Economist did it a couple of times early on in the history of this blog, and other less eminent writers/bloggers have done it subsequently. But seldom have I seen such a total expropriation-of Russian Yukos-like proportions-as this piece by Jennifer Rubin at the WaPo. The title and main metaphor of the piece. The substance of the analysis. Blatant and shameless.
I give away what I write here. (Some may say that’s a fair price.) I am more than pleased when people quote what I write. Indeed, that’s the primary compensation for the time and effort that I devote: I write so that my ideas, such as they are, get discussed and disseminated and yes, criticized. The ethical expectation is that credit be given. It doesn’t cost a thing. Except, perhaps, for those who are so insecure and desperate to be thought of as creative and perhaps under pressure to produce new content day after day that they take from others without attribution.
There’s a right way to do this. Felix Salmon and I have had disagreements, in public via our respective blogs. But he gives a respectful hearing to what I say, attributes it plainly (with links), and characterizes it fairly. John Kemp (also of Reuters) is another example.
And then there’s the Jennifer Rubin way.