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Another NYTs Plagiarism Scandal?

Did Maureen Dowd Lift from the Weekly World News?

by JACK McCARTHY

"Smack That Cheney-Bot!"

(Title of Maureen Dowd column comparing Cheney to a robot, New York Times, 6/17/04)

"Dick Cheney Is A Robot And We’ve got Photos to Prove It!"

(Weekly World News Cover story)

So it mere coincidence that merely a week after the Weekly World News front page revealation that Cheneys’not just a robo-liar but indeed, an actual robot, the Times’ Mistress of sarcasm, Maureen Dowd, aka MoDo, writes a column skewering "Cheney-Bot" for robotically repeating misinformation linking Saddam to Al Qaeda?

Or something worse, like plagiarizing from a tabloid?

Inquiring minds should be asking not only whether or not our VP is a robot, but whether or not robo-Bush basher MoDo(RoboModo?) has grown so desperate for another angle she’s taken to plagaring ideas from WWN.

Don’t get me wrong. I much enjoyed such classic sarcastic tinged MoDo lines as, "Republicans…took Dick Cheney to an undisclosed location to swith him with a replicant."

And: "Mr Cheney isn’t programmed to process evidence that shows he was wrong; he simply keeps repeating the same nonsensical claims as if he has a microchip malfunction."

Or: "Cheney-bot just keeps going and going: ‘He had long-established ties with Al Qaeda..He had long-established ties with Al Qaeda…brzzzrrrp."

But it was rather glaring and just a little disturbing that despite all the references to robotics MoDo never did mention WWN and its scoop that our VP is an actual robot.

When I ran this by a friend who reads the weekly tabs religiously, she said that Dowd defenders would point out that the issue with Cheney on the cover was dated June 21st. But, she pointed out, the WWN is dated a week ahead. Indeed, a google check showed that the "Cheney IS A Robot" cover appeared prior to MoDo’s Cheney-Bot column.

So come on Mo: Inquiring minds must know.

Are you borrowing ideas from the Weekly World News without attribution?

JACK McCARTHY lives in Tallahassee, Florida.