My 2011 Hall of Fame Ballot: II

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.

1 thought on “My 2011 Hall of Fame Ballot: II”

  1. I agree with your sentiment. But I don’t think just because someone plagerized and their best success came from that, they should automatically be banned. Sure, what they did was horrible (and unlike sports, in journalism it’s actually kind of important), but I do believe in giving people chances if I can afford it.

    With that said, if you do PEDS = plagerism. Journalists aren’t banished, but they are impossible to hire. Their integrity is tainted and skills come into question. No newspaper or magazine worth reading would hire one of those guys again, especially considering the amount of talented writers looking for a gig out there.

    I like the comparison but the only fault in it is that unlike journalism, it is possible for 75-85% of the players to be taking PEDS (you would know that better than me). But, if that amount of players were taking it, sure it’s not a COMPLETELY level playing field (it never was, is or will be) but doesn’t talent override the effect of the PEDS?

    In journalism, not every journalist could plagerize. Then we would just be reading the same thing and thus no one would achieve success.

    Just my two cents.

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