Well, that was embarrassing.

7 January, 2009
Rat Fink

Ya know…

I hate to give this guy a Boot to the Head, but geez, people. If you’re going to publish a book or blog or memoirs or personal account or ANYTHING, you need to check your sources, frontways, backways, sideways and allways. And don’t think for a minute that if you publish something to the web, it will go unnoticed by all and sundry, save the people you choose.

So it was for author Neale Donald Walsch, who played the plagiarism card and got caught. Worse, he played it, got caught, and gave a slightly suspicious explanation for it. Worst, he played it, got caught, and gave a slightly suspicious explanation for it — and his book is called Conversations With God. Yikes. That don’t look good for the home team.

What’s Walsch’s excuse for using a Christmas “memory” that belongs to someone else? From the article:

Walsch wrote on his blog Tuesday he was “truly mystified” about what happened and apologized. He said he had been telling the story for years in public talks and “somewhere along the way, internalized it as my own experience.”

Now, I’m willing to give folks the benefit of the doubt. And the article does state that the story circulated uncredited for several years. But honestly now…is Neale saying he’s never in all this time come across another version of that Christmas story? Never? Even though it was widely circulated since 1999?

Hmmm. So he “internalized it” as his own memory. I guess that works, and it can happen to anyone. But it kind of reminds me of this.

I like 2-hour delays.

Fink out.

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Ross
Ross
7 January, 2009 9:43 am

I wasn’t a regular reader here back in March so I’ll comment on the James Frey debacle now. Personally I feel badly for him. As a former and current nobody in publishing, I know what it’s like to feel helpless around literary agents and editors as they do horrible things to your manuscript. Recall that Frey wrote and pitched his book as an autobiographical novel, and if read that way it’s STILL a very, very compelling book. I’ve always imagined him with his high-powered agent at some meet-and-greet, and when someone says, “so wow, that’s a true story?” his agent,… Read more »

Rat Fink
Rat Fink
7 January, 2009 9:51 am
Reply to  Ross

Ross, what an amazing story. I’m glad you shared it! Judging by the events and scenarios you wrote, shame on his publisher/agent/whomever for putting him in that position. Did he ever “out” the people responsible? I ask because if he was indeed a (nearly) hapless victim of the publishing machine (and as you know, I’m also a publishing “nobody,” so I wouldn’t have a clue), he shouldn’t have been made to sit on Oprah’s sofa and be humiliated. Hugs to you for conquering your addiction. Someone very close to me went through it, and while you already know this, I… Read more »

Stein
Stein
7 January, 2009 10:28 am

I just wanted to comment on the fact that the “Post” button after your comments is now a very fitting “Let Fly” button. Oh, and the author is sick. Doesn’t seem like he cares about God, just the mighty dollar.

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