This morning, we published a piece on a pattern of heavy borrowing in Malcolm Gladwell’s recent work at The New Yorker. We came to the only conclusion merited by the facts at hand: Gladwell had plagiarized. But that’s not how Gladwell’s editor sees it. Instead, David Remnick stated what Gladwell did was very much “not plagiarism.” Unlike the public lashing he gave Jonah Lehrer in 2012 for an arguably lesser offense of self-plagiarism, Remnick seems to have had the magazine fall on its sword for Gladwell.
As with our findings with Fareed Zakaria and Benny Johnson, a few people have commented that these are “just facts” or “just usual paraphrasing.” They’re wrong, but we want to help them see why.
The following exchange with Vox.com’s Joseph Stromberg should be useful for any journalist unsure about the seriousness of Gladwell’s journalistic sins.