I wondered why, in the nearly two weeks that passed since DovBear was caught plagiarizing 12 in twelve posts, why none of his many critics could find further examples of word theft. Blogger, screenwriter and DB uber critic Robert Avrech confidently noted that these 12 (he counted 14, but 2 were specious) examples were only the tip of the iceberg, and he dismissed claims by DB supporters that12 posts containing unattributed language out of a total of more than 3000 posts did not show a pattern of stealing. Most of us argued it showed, if anything, sloppiness.
DB enlisted the help of another JBlogger, Renegade Rebbetzin, and had her check all 3000 plus posts using plagiarism software paid for by DB. She reports her findings here. (Read a few paragraphs into the post.) They amount to: 1. Many posts crediting an author (Dave Barry, for example) but with no exact source cite (i.e., page 12 of book X) or hyperlink. 2. Two instances of one line or short phrase, incidental to a post, lifted from a source but not written as a quote. 3. One post made entirely up of a brief, comic anonymous email widely circulated and posted by many, many bloggers – all without attribution, because there was none to give. (Still, it should have been posted as an anonymous quote.)
Her findings point to what many of us thought: DB isn’t an intentional thief; he’s a sloppy, rushed writer who made mistakes. Those mistakes needed to be corrected and he has done so.
But Renegade Rebbetzin’s findings also point to another possibility. The anonymous blogger who outed DB, the so-called DovWeasel, appears to have miraculously found the only instances of plagiarism in over 3000 posts. He claims to have done so in two hours of looking. How could that be true unless he used plagiarism software to find them? I believe he did or was fed the information by someone else who did. That would make his claim that the 12 (or 14) cases found were the "tip of the iceberg" false and intentionally misleading. Worse than that, when combined with how DB was outed, it points to a hit, an organized attempt to destroy DB. That indeed is what I believe happened.
Who would have motive to do this? In my mind, the finger points to the right of the JBlogisphere, but I’m not sure who. Readers, what do you think?