Philly Paper Gave Letter-Writer Big Chance — Led to Plagiarism

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By: E&P Staff

The Philadelphia Daily News got burned recently when it gave a longtime letter write a chance to step up with an Op-ed. Seemed like a good idea at the time — but resulted in a painful admission that the result was an outright case of plagiarism.

Craig Silverman’s popular www.regrettheerror site today pointed to yesterday’s Editor’s Note in the paper:

“On Friday, June 30, the Daily News published an op-ed, ‘The N-word, a never-ending obstacle,’ by Carlton R. Manley, who has been a frequent contributor to our letters page. We subsequently discovered that the piece had been plagiarized from noted writer Anthony Asadullah Samad.
To have one’s words stolen by another is one of the greatest injustices that can occur to a writer. We regret that Anthony Asadullah Samad had to suffer that injustice.”

Silverman reveals, “We found close to 20 letters from Manley that had been published in the News since 2003. The author’s note at the end of the stolen op-ed describes him as a ‘an African-American who lives in Philadelphia.’ We’ve contacted Mr. Samad to get his thoughts on the incident and to see how much of his work was stolen in the op-ed, since the News didn’t indicate how much of the piece was cribbed. One also wonders how the theft was discovered.”

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