Back Shelf Beauties
The Plagiarism of Willie Waffle
On Friday, April 7, I was contacted by Eric Snider, a movie critic who contributes to eFilmCritic.com and HollywoodBitchSlap.com. They recently had discovered that a writer, Samir Patel, for the University of Missouri-Kansas City's weekly student paper, The University News, had been plagiarizing sections of 93 reviews from 19 critics over the past 13 months (a comprehensive and fantastic analysis of this discovery can be read here.).
Of those 93 reviews, Mr. Patel had taken from 27 reviews written by me. In some cases, it was a few sentences. In others, he had escalated the theft to include plagiarizing entire paragraphs and almost entire reviews word for word.
Sadly, in an e-mail to The University News' editor, Emily Iorge, Mr. Patel stated:
"While I do feel there may have been somewhat of a misunderstanding, I apologize to the readers and am resigning due to my actions. I truly didn't mean to hurt anyone, and least of all this paper."
There is no misunderstanding in this matter, especially after you see the analysis at eFilmCritic.com. The theft was blatant, intentional and gross unethical behavior that is unacceptable.
If Samir Patel had expressed regret for his actions, and apologized to me and others from whom he stole, I would have some sympathy, and forgiveness. However, Samir is a 27-year old graduate student with a teaching position at the University. He should know better, especially since he is an instructor of college students who should be setting a sterling example of integrity instead of operating like a thief in the night, so I will be contacting his department chair and the University President regarding termination of his employment and expulsion from the University. I'll let you know what happens.
I would like to thank Eric Snider and every one at eFilmCritic.com. I never would have discovered this theft on my own, and the analysis conducted by Eric and his colleagues was extremely thorough and unquestionable. He shared with me specific examples of theft of my work, which was extremely generous and in the spirit of cooperation you often do not find among fellow critics in this business. Further updates on the situation can be found at, www.ericdsnider.com.
Also, I would like to thank Emily Iorge, editor of The University News. It must have been extremely difficult to be presented with evidence of such misconduct by a subordinate, but she has been very receptive to my inquiries and served as an excellent representative of her University throughout the ordeal.
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