A great question from Ted, one of my regular visitors: I have a question for you, Jeff: If a journalist is found to have plagiarized something, or knowingly wrote something that is not true or factual (and seriously presented it as true or factual), should that journalist be banned from ever practicing journalism again?
My answer: Let’s say a baseball player uses PED once. Twice. Three times. Does that eliminate him from the Hall? Definitely not. Let’s say the best years of his career, however, are boosted by cheating. Does that eliminate him? Yes.
People screw up—you’re right. I’ve made plenty of mistakes through the course of my career. And were it to be found that, say, repeated plagerism is the source of my success, should I be banned from writing for newspapers and magazines? Yes, yes, yes. Without question. And, truth be told, I couldn’t be hired. Hell, look at Glass. Look at Blair. They’re goners, because they cheated. Forget the Writing Hall of Fame—they couldn’t land a 10-cent-a-word freelance gig at Good Housekeeping.
Same applies to baseball.