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Pulitzer winner. Lefty hero. Plagiarist.
June 12, 2014 10:23 AM   Subscribe

Christopher Ketcham of the New Republic accuses Chris Hedges of widespread plagiarism.
The trouble began when Ross passed the piece along to the fact-checker assigned to the story. As Ross and the fact-checker began working through the material, they discovered that sections of Hedges’s draft appeared to have been lifted directly from the work of a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter named Matt Katz, who in 2009 had published a four-part series on social and political dysfunction in Camden.

Chris Hedges, previously.
posted by jenkinsEar (71 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Finally. This has been years in the making.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:24 AM on June 12 [5 favorites]


I miss Christopher Hitchens.
posted by Fizz at 10:29 AM on June 12 [7 favorites]


Everyday, every newspaper plagiarises everything important about almost all their stories from someone else - they just get an account of a public event from a rival and rewrite it and stick it in their paper.

I don't really disagree that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable. But it feels weird that it is such a media event / ridiculous ferago every time it is uncovered. Also, the right wing has developed a good defence to this. Just employ ghost writers for everything so you have someone else to blame in the event this turns out in your work.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 10:31 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Everyday, every newspaper plagiarises everything important about almost all their stories from someone else - they just get an account of a public event from a rival and rewrite it and stick it in their paper

And they are supposed to credit the other paper. Then its not plagiarism.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:33 AM on June 12 [21 favorites]


young rope-rider, can you elaborate? Was this a well-known thing about Hedges? Certainly it would make sense if lesser-known writers had noticed their work appearing in his more-publicized pieces, but it's the first time I've heard about it. I always liked Chris Hedges' writing even if he does seem like the least fun possible person to meet at a party.
posted by Aubergine at 10:34 AM on June 12 [4 favorites]


I miss Christopher Hitchens.

Which one, the socialist one, or the neocon one?
posted by Ironmouth at 10:34 AM on June 12 [9 favorites]


Which one, the socialist one, or the neocon one?

The alcoholic.
posted by goethean at 10:39 AM on June 12 [31 favorites]


young rope-rider, can you elaborate? Was this a well-known thing about Hedges?

Yes, absolutely. Leaving aside rumors that have been circulating about him for a long time, he quite blatantly plagiarized material from a 2009 article from Harper's--not exactly a tiny, unknown magazine--in 2010. Harper's also discovered further plagiarism in an article of Hedges' that they were planning to publish (and subsequently killed because of the plagiarism) in 2010.

If you want I can get into more specifics via memail.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:41 AM on June 12 [5 favorites]


Yes, absolutely. Leaving aside rumors that have been circulating about him for a long time, he quite blatantly plagiarized material from a 2009 article from Harper's--not exactly a tiny, unknown magazine--in 2010. Harper's also discovered further plagiarism in an article of Hedges' that they were planning to publish (and subsequently killed because of the plagiarism) in 2010.

If it was that blatant, why does everyone make this new article exposing his plagiarism out to be a big deal? It seems like people are genuinely shocked, but you're saying he's done this several times before.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:44 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Wow.
posted by persona au gratin at 10:44 AM on June 12


The Harpers case is discussed in TFA.
posted by persona au gratin at 10:45 AM on June 12 [3 favorites]


This article first took shape as an investigation for The American Prospect and then for Salon, both of which eventually declined to publish it.

I really wonder about what this is all about.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:47 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Everyday, every newspaper plagiarises everything important about almost all their stories from someone else - they just get an account of a public event from a rival and rewrite it and stick it in their paper.

As has been noted, that's not plagiarism.

There has been a recent push to reassert the "Hot News Doctrine" which supposes that the first to report somehow "owns" that story for a period of time. It is a deeply problematic assertion.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:48 AM on June 12 [7 favorites]


I hadn't come across these rumours though I haven't followed Hedges closely for a while. I'm a little surprised and a lot disappointed.
posted by beau jackson at 10:48 AM on June 12


the atheist one.
posted by bruce at 10:54 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


If it was that blatant, why does everyone make this new article exposing his plagiarism out to be a big deal? It seems like people are genuinely shocked, but you're saying he's done this several times before.

A lot of journalists and publishers know about these accusations, but they haven't been laid out to the general public, largely due to the small-world nature of this form of journalism and publishing.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:58 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


In fact, both Harper's incidents are noted in TFA.

The first, from 2009 -- the wholesale copying of Bartosiewicz' language -- is defended by Hedges as an oversight. It was intended to be a blockquote.

The ease with which this stuff can be discovered these days, it's a wonder folks keep getting themselves caught. Is it that hard to paraphrase and cite or quote, and cite?
posted by notyou at 11:02 AM on June 12 [4 favorites]


As an editor and fact-checker, I find plagiarism, intentional or unintentional, ALL THE TIME in the articles and books I work on.

I'm working on a nonfiction book right now in which the author has lifted great chunks of descriptive text from various sources, which has caused a bit of a flap at the publisher because it was already way past deadline and now it's going to have to be substantially rewritten.

I do wonder sometimes how works by an author of Hedges' caliber can make it all the way to publication without it being caught.
posted by vickyverky at 11:04 AM on June 12 [7 favorites]


I'm sure this accusation is all part of the corporatist conspiracy. Damn you corporations!
posted by jpe at 11:04 AM on June 12


I once accidentally plagiarized somebody. I must have read something he wrote and internalized it, and later wrote substantially the same thing. Then I stumbled on the original piece online, decided he had plagiarized me, and wrote him an angry email. He pointed out his story had come first.

I wrote back, very apologetic. It still deeply embarrasses me that such a thing would happen, even accidentally. I can't conceive of why somebody would do it deliberately. How do they sleep?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:08 AM on June 12 [16 favorites]


In referring to a different accusation of plagiarism, Ketcham notes:

Salon’s numerous attempts to get clarification of Truthdig’s correction policy finally resulted in a letter from Truthdig publisher Kaufman, who presented a series of accusations against both Salon and myself. “We are surprised that a publication as prominent as Salon would take this matter seriously,” wrote Kaufman. “In all honesty, we feel it raises serious questions regarding the true motives of Salon and Mr. Ketcham.”

Kaufman went on to note the “relative positions in the journalistic community between Salon and Truthdig and between Mr. Ketcham (and his spouse) and Mr. Hedges.” Because of these “relative positions” in the hierarchy of journalism, Kaufman stressed that “the issue of commercial motives cannot be disregarded,” and cited without elaboration “possible personal, economic and commercial gain that would be derived by Salon and Mr. Ketcham from damaging the reputation of Truthdig, Mr. Hedges, the Nation and other competitive publications and authors.” Nowhere in her letter did she address the Postman correction and its implications.


There is more to this than meets the eye, methinks; the accusations as set out in this article are pretty hard to deny.
posted by chavenet at 11:08 AM on June 12


the small-world nature of this form of journalism and publishing

I guess it's a small world indeed—I don't doubt the allegations, but could they really not have found someone a bit less personally invested to write them up? Ketcham seems to have written for almost every media outlet discussed in his article, and he is married to one of the plagiarees! He seems like a very odd choice for this assignment. I could understand having Bartosiewicz herself write a more personal piece accusing Hedges, but to assign her husband to write it and then to frame it as an investigative report is ... weird. And it's also weird that there is no quote from Bartosiewicz, though he has one quote from Katz (the only other living plagiaree mentioned) and feels like it's necessary to explain why he doesn't have more.
posted by enn at 11:12 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


He wasn't assigned it, he chose to write it and has been shopping it around to various outlets.

With that I'll step out because I'm somewhat personally connected to the story and I don't want to overtake the thread. But yeah, again, feel free to mefimail me.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:16 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


The booze-soaked smouldering mattress fire.
posted by Pudhoho at 11:18 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


I do always enjoy it when they try the bold route. Ketcham may have his biases, but comparison quotes are comparison quotes, and it seems like he's got him dead to rights. Yet Hedges is still going with the outright denial. Kind of beautiful to watch.

Seriously, though, how many chits does he have in his pocket that 3/4ths of his former editors are backing him up when the evidence is so blatant? Can they really have looked as his stuff and found nothing? And what is the fact checker afraid of that he demanded anonymity?
posted by Diablevert at 11:30 AM on June 12


People plagiarize because they can --- and all too often do --- get away with it.

I work for a chain of local newspapers; years ago, we had an intern who was caught turning in a plagiarized article. He was ever so effusive: 'oh so sorry, it was an accident; I don't know how I could have done that, I'll never do it again' and on and on and on. He was escorted out our door immediately anyway: plagiarizing is the unforgivable sin. The editors went over the few other articles he'd turned in but fortunately hadn't yet been published, and found instances in about half his work. They notified the J-school that had sent him to us for the summer; his professors basically said thanks, we'll talk to him, and that was the end of it..... we thought it was, anyway. The guy went on to write for a big-city paper until it all blew up in his face: yep, he was still doing it. (Claimed he "had to do it", because he was under a ton of social pressure to produce exceptional work.) It further turned out that he was known to have been plagiarizing as far back as his high school writing classes and HS literary magazine, as well as in his college courses and college newspaper. People saw and reported it, but he charmed his teachers/advisors/employers into believing his fellow students and coworkers were just jealous of him.

To this day, we consider ourselves lucky to have caught on to him so early that we're barely a blip on his resume.
posted by easily confused at 11:36 AM on June 12 [21 favorites]


People plagiarize because they can --- and all too often do --- get away with it.

Case in point - Margaret Wente at the Globe and Mail (National newspaper here in Canada). She still has her job as a prominent columnist, and the kicker is that she doesn't write anything even remotely interesting.

I wonder too why an author who cares so much about his subject would jeopardize his reputation and legitimacy by plagiarizing. I suspect that ego has a lot to do with it.
posted by beau jackson at 11:46 AM on June 12 [3 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod: I once accidentally plagiarized somebody. I must have read something he wrote and internalized it, and later wrote substantially the same thing. Then I stumbled on the original piece online, decided he had plagiarized me, and wrote him an angry email. He pointed out his story had come first.

I wrote back, very apologetic. It still deeply embarrasses me that such a thing would happen, even accidentally.


It wasn't to do with tea biscuits, was it?
 
posted by Herodios at 11:53 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Yes I know "that's not plagiarism" in a technical sense. I just think it is more ridiculous that we employ and defend the industry of people who do that for a job , rather than one journalist occasionally c&p'ing some passage he has seen better enunciated elsewhere and being silly with attribution.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 12:11 PM on June 12


Yes I know "that's not plagiarism" in a technical sense.

Or in any sense.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:22 PM on June 12 [5 favorites]


Yes I know "that's not plagiarism" in a technical sense. I just think it is more ridiculous that we employ and defend the industry of people who do that for a job , rather than one journalist occasionally c&p'ing some passage he has seen better enunciated elsewhere and being silly with attribution.

There's certainly a lot to critique about the practice of having an in house reporter replicate another paper's story so it can have its own version. But when something big happens and paper A's got someone on scene and paper B doesn't, that doesn't mean paper B can just ignore the fact that say a pipe bomb exploded or the mayor keeled over in a middle of a speech.

Rereporting hard news in order to have your own version seems to be far more venal a sin than what Hughes did here --- the young reporter at the local paper who did a four parter on Camden clearly did weeks and likely months of hard damn work talking to people and digging up new facts --- info significant enough that Hughes though it worth ripping off and attaching his own name to. And now instead of all that effort bringing attention to a promising young reporter, it's being used to burnish the halo of a guy with a national profile, rather than him being buggered to get off his ass and go talk to people. The nicked quote from Hemmingway --- plenty of people, as Bunny describes, have done stuff like that unconsciously. But the lifting wholesale of large passages of original repeating? Changing the "my"s to "an"s? He knew exactly what he was doing, and what he was doing was the equivalent of stealing bread from the first reporter's mouth.
posted by Diablevert at 12:26 PM on June 12 [9 favorites]


This is rather depressing :-( I read TFA and as much as I hate to say it, I concur with Diablevert - it's quite obvious what was being done here, and it's a damn shame. Hedge's column is first-rate stuff. I've read WIAFTGUM many times and it is excellent. Now his entire output is tarnished with this.
posted by ianso at 12:46 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


He's toxic waste now in the world of prog journalism
posted by Renoroc at 12:52 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


This is going to be worth a month of 'I told you so's from my partner when I tell her about it.

She thought there was something seriously off about Hedges within the first ten minutes of listening to him on a radio show, and I have been defending him.
posted by jamjam at 12:55 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


What did she think was off?
posted by Omnomnom at 2:19 PM on June 12


You'd think all editors would have stylometry tools to automatically detect this sort of thing. Might be hard to figure out who wrote it, but at least be able to detect that your reporter didn't.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:59 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Maybe editors should start running submissions through TurnItIn.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:21 PM on June 12 [10 favorites]


He's toxic waste now in the world of prog journalism

Is Firedoglake in the world of prog journalism? Jane Hamsher titled her piece The New Republic Publishes Hit Piece on Chris Hedges After the American Prospect and Salon Pass and virtually all the commenters vociferously agree with her assertion that The New Republic has published a hit piece on Chris Hedges that accuses him of plagiarism — without ever really documenting any direct plagiarism as far as I can tell.

She adds this weasly sequel to her lede, I’ll admit that my eyes started to glaze over as I read the 5700 word piece, so it may have crept in there and I had simply gone catatonic, probably to provide plausible deniability when someone demonstrates that her claim that Christopher Ketcham hadn't documented any plagiarism is false.
posted by layceepee at 4:15 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


What did she think was off?

Though she's now an atheist, she was raised a Christian, her father was a prominent figure in Campus Crusade for Christ, and she attended two different seminaries herself; and she said she heard in his voice and choice of words all the arrogance, self-righteousness, self-importance, and close-minded intolerance of the worst of the charismatic evangelical preachers of her childhood and young adulthood.
posted by jamjam at 4:16 PM on June 12 [6 favorites]


Chris Hedges has always been an asshole. His screeds have a certain visceral appeal for "lefties" like me, and that tends to obscure his utter deficiency as a thinker. But then he goes off on something you know a bit about (atheism, in my case) and you realize what an idiot he is.
posted by klanawa at 4:17 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Damn it. Hedges has been an important voice on the left for years. Now he'll be a liability. Unless he owns this, is truly repentant, and in the future he can redeem himself. That takes time, though.
posted by zardoz at 5:40 PM on June 12


virtually all the commenters vociferously agree with her assertion that The New Republic has published a hit piece on Chris Hedges that accuses him of plagiarism — without ever really documenting any direct plagiarism as far as I can tell.

She adds this weasly sequel to her lede, I’ll admit that my eyes started to glaze over as I read the 5700 word piece, so it may have crept in there and I had simply gone catatonic,


Ugh. Embarrassing.
posted by yoink at 5:56 PM on June 12


Yeah, embarrassing. Sometimes communities -- even smart ones -- succumb to community think.

Shocking, I know.
posted by notyou at 7:39 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Well, this is disappointing.
posted by homunculus at 7:56 PM on June 12


I'm amazed that anyone would try to pull this off. I mean, plagiarising Hemingway?
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:51 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


I'm glad to see him sidelined. Never read anything by him that felt like anything other than a reassertion of baby-boomer paleo-progressive dogma.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 9:37 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Oh look, he's just too busy to address a well substantiated accusation that amounts to an existential threat to his career.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 9:43 PM on June 12


Oh look, he's just too busy to address a well substantiated accusation that amounts to an existential threat to his career.
That is not Hedges' twitter account, it is a fan account.
posted by apparently at 10:11 PM on June 12


That is not Hedges' twitter account, it is a fan account.

So it is. Apparently whoever runs it thinks it's OK to speak in the first person as Hedges in that tweet. Bizarre.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 10:15 PM on June 12


The tweet reads,"Haven't gotten to reading the @tnr piece on Hedges until just now. Not avoiding the discussion, just busy/distracted lately. Doing my best." It refers to Hedges by name, which is third person. The front page of the Twitter account says it's a fan account run by Sean J. Kerrigan.
posted by gingerest at 10:45 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


My bad.

Still. Much Schadenfraude.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 11:47 PM on June 12


Definitely.
posted by gingerest at 11:53 PM on June 12


To this day, we consider ourselves lucky to have caught on to him so early that we're barely a blip on his resume.

I finally got around to seeing Shattered Glass a few months ago. It was shocking how important they considered this thing that happened to them at TNR, because here in 2014 we've had any number of cases at the "top" levels of journalism.

(It's still fairly good even if it ultimately fails to feel very relevant anymore.)
posted by dhartung at 12:45 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Is Firedoglake in the world of prog journalism? Jane Hamsher titled her piece The New Republic Publishes Hit Piece on Chris Hedges After the American Prospect and Salon Pass and virtually all the commenters vociferously agree with her assertion that The New Republic has published a hit piece on Chris Hedges that accuses him of plagiarism — without ever really documenting any direct plagiarism as far as I can tell.

I would think so, but it's the part of the left that hates Obama and the Democratic Party and everything about the American establishment left since Clinton turned up. For them, this coming from TNR may as well be coming from Breitbart. Reading these passages from Hedges where he's just replaced a word here and there is super depressing, but I'm not sure for people who really admire Hedges it amounts to much. He sued the government along with Noam Chomsky over the NDAA. He's been talking about stuff for years which places like TNR barely even touch.

Chris Hedges has always been an asshole. His screeds have a certain visceral appeal for "lefties" like me, and that tends to obscure his utter deficiency as a thinker.

When I've seen threads involving Sam Harris on Metafilter, there is plenty of dislike for him, mostly claiming versions of this very thing, that he is deficient as a thinker. Leaking these sorts of disagreements into why Hedges is an asshole is one of those reasons that people who admire him will not take the accusations as seriously as they ought to.
posted by dimejubes at 3:33 AM on June 13


Case in point - Margaret Wente at the Globe and Mail (National newspaper here in Canada). She still has her job as a prominent columnist, and the kicker is that she doesn't write anything even remotely interesting.

What do you mean she doesn't write anything interesting?! There was that piece recently about the ... well, not that one, but she wrote passionately a couple of months ago about that government policy of ... no, wait, it was a year ago, two years tops, the prime minister had just passed ... OK, bad example. Can I get back to you?
posted by anothermug at 6:03 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: The booze-soaked smouldering mattress fire.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:34 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Someone plagiarized me once, but it was such crap I was glad to see it attributed to someone else.
posted by Pudhoho at 7:14 AM on June 13 [5 favorites]


As far as I'm concerned, Jane Hamsher gave up any claim to being a real progressive when she teamed up with Grover Norquist, of all the fucking people, to write a letter demanding that Rahm Emanuel resign as Obama's chief of staff. Even before then, the Lieberman blackface incident and its effect on Ned Lamont's campaign, as well as a few other incidents, made me wonder if FDL had done more harm than good to progressive causes. Plus, firebaggers are just fucking obnoxious.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:58 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Why would he do this? Is this just laziness on his part? or arrogance? How could he think no one would notice? Baffling.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:08 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Arrogance has a lot to do with it, I'm sure. One of the quotes from the story is about how Hedges is so, so much more notable than Ketcham / Bartosiewicz that obviously they have ulterior motives for pointing out his plagiarism (because it will do so much for their careers to embarrass a bunch of their colleagues, I'm sure). They are both successful and competent journalists, so the idea that they're taking potshots to get attention is quite ridiculous, IMO. The story also notes Hedges' arrogant, belittling, and rude demeanor towards the people at Harper's who questioned him.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:21 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Every plagiarism scandal reminds me of my favorite scene from The Squid and the Whale. I found the text in the NYT:

WADDLES You said you wrote the song you played in assembly.

WALT Uh-huh.

WADDLES Why?

WALT I don't know.

WADDLES Did you have a reason?

WALT I felt I could've written it.

WADDLES O.K. But you didn't. It was written by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. I think you know that.

WALT Yes, but I felt I could've so the fact that it was already written was kind of a technicality.
posted by Xalf at 11:49 AM on June 13 [10 favorites]


God, so fucking dumb.

(Hedges also used to write pieces for Hustler; god save any poor sap who has to read those looking for plagiarism.)
posted by klangklangston at 2:55 PM on June 13


Case in point - Margaret Wente at the Globe and Mail (National newspaper here in Canada). She still has her job as a prominent columnist, and the kicker is that she doesn't write anything even remotely interesting.

Yeah but bear in mind the Mop & Pail endorsed Hudak, FFS, and you realize their editorial judgement is, shall we say, somewhat lacking.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:21 PM on June 13


(Hedges also used to write pieces for Hustler; god save any poor sap who has to read those looking for plagiarism.)

Yeah that's why I do it


looking for plagiarism
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:36 PM on June 13 [3 favorites]


Why would he do this? Is this just laziness on his part? or arrogance?

Arrogance is a huge part of it, I think; some laziness, sure, but mostly arrogance and a belief that they have a right to be admired.

Have you ever seen people who get called out for their superior-to-everyone-else attitude, like that woman in the UK last year who claimed she couldn't get dates because she was "too beautiful"? And when people laughed and said that in reality, she probably couldn't get dates purely because of her nose-in-the-air attitude, her reaction was that everyone on earth was just jealous of her and her overwhelming gorgeousness. It's the same sort of thing with Hedges: he is the one & only !!!Chris Hedges!!!, and lower lifeforms like you and me and Ketcham aren't worth the mud under his feet; we should just keep our mouths shut and kowtow to the king.
posted by easily confused at 5:10 AM on June 14


"Yeah that's why I do it


looking for plagiarism
"

The guy who used to write the "girl copy" (the text that accompanies pictorials nominally written by the model) was a huge John Irving fan, and many of the things the girls "say" are directly ripped from Irving novels.
posted by klangklangston at 10:59 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Chris Hedges responds.
posted by ianso at 4:18 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


So Ketcham is a liar.
posted by Substrata at 2:20 PM on June 17


Not really. Hedges disputes the account of an editor, Ross, as well as an unnamed fact-checker, and puts the entire allegation on Ross. As for the other stuff, it's mostly ticky-tack, but it's a bit of a step in the shit for Hedges.
posted by klangklangston at 2:37 PM on June 17


So Ketcham is a liar.

TNR is running a reply by Ketcham (and a note from the editors) right under Hedges's response.

It seems like a bunch of people would have to be lying for Hedges's response to make sense.
posted by grobstein at 11:36 AM on June 24


Do y'all know the term "chutzpah"? Chutzpah is defined by an example like the following: a boy is on trial for the murder of his parents. He pleads to the judge, "Have mercy on me, I'm an orphan!"

Hedges:
The failure by The New Republic to verify the charges by assigning an editor or fact checker to vet the story and contact me or the publications involved, violates the most basic tenets of journalistic ethics.
Editors, The New Republic:
As for Hedges's claim that the piece wasn't edited: that's absolutely incorrect. The New Republic also fact-checked it, thoroughly, over a long period of time. Hedges had been contacted by Ketcham and by another publication about these allegations before—he is quoted in response to them in the piece.
Putting all the pieces together, it's very hard to read this in a way that makes Hedges look good.

What it most looks like is the bald-faced denial of wrongdoing that is patent -- i.e., open hypocrisy. Power often countenances this kind of behavior -- a powerful person's denial of wrongdoing can be more powerful than evidence, sometimes, and powerful people learn this lesson. Despite his advocacy for the powerless, Hedges has a certain kind of power, and here we see him acting like a Tony Soprano -- caught red-handed, he lies and points the finger, counting on his status to carry the day again.
posted by grobstein at 5:42 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


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