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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Wall Street Journal reads Roger L. Simon... 

...but it doesn't give him any credit.

Yesterday, Roger L. Simon broke the story that Kojo Annan was more deeply into the oil-for-food scandal than previously thought, and that Kofi Annan knew about it to some significant degree. This came via Roger's exclusive post revealing that the Volcker investigators interviewed Pierre Mouselli, a former business partner of Kojo Annan. Roger spoke to Mouselli himself briefly and with his attorney at greater length. The story deservedly set a new one-day unique visit record for Roger's blog.

This morning, The Wall Street Journal is running an editorial (free reg. required) with all the same information in it. Although the WSJ says it also interviewed Mouselli, the story bears such a similarity to Roger L. Simon's post that it looks for all the world like a clip job. It is hard to believe that Paul Gigot or Dan Henninger didn't read his post before writing their editorial. Unless Roger learned of the Mouselli interview via a Journal reporter (which is possible), the Journal should have given Roger credit for the story.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers! Please take a moment to look around!

UPDATE: Roger Simon has now clarified that he did not learn of the Mouselli interview through a Journal source. It now therefore seems clear that the WSJ should have given Roger credit for a story that was big enough to warrant an unsigned editorial.

UPDATE: Roger Simon received an email from Bret Stephens at the WSJ reporting "that their Mouselli opinion piece came from Mouselli's attorney, Adrian Gonzalez, calling them, and was not inspired by this blog. Frankly, I am pleased to hear that since the WSJ has been one of the few major dailies that are not normally threatened by blogs and acknowledge them."

I am, too.

34 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Mar 29, 02:06:00 PM:

Why do you assume the WSJ didn't learn of this themselves from Mouselli? Of course the stories are similar; they're about the same thing, and from the same source. That doesn't prove it's a clip job.  

By Blogger Kimberly, at Tue Mar 29, 09:26:00 PM:

This is more evidence that the mainstream media plays fast and loose with the rules when it comes to crediting weblogs as sources. Something very similar happened to me. A reporter from the National Law Journal, a respected legal newspaper, read my blog, The UCL Practitioner, and wrote an article based on my work without giving me proper credit. The National Law Journal later published a "clarification," but the damage had already been done. By that point I had lost the opportunity for the article's original readers to understand that the source material came from my blog.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Tue Mar 29, 10:55:00 PM:

Anonymous Guy: I agree that "clip job" was probably too harsh. But the editorial reported facts that Roger had published twelve hours before the editorial went up, when neither the WSJ or any other paper had reported those facts. I would be quite surprised if the editor who wrote the editorial hadn't read the facts on Roger's blog first. I'm not saying that the WSJ did anything horribly wrong here and I didn't mean to climb particularly high on the horse, but I do think it would have been classier to mention the first mover on the story.  

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