Last updated on August 4th, 2017 at 01:24 pm
In the spirit of full transparency, here’s an email chat between myself and Crikey editor (and ex-Age content provider) Jonathan Green:
Tim: If Irfan Yusuf or anyone at Crikey had bothered to contact me prior to publishing Irfan’s ridiculous complaint about running a press release without the author’s permission (!), I’d have been happy to forward a copy of the press release as sent to the Telegraph(contrary to Irfan’s claims). You people are hopeless.
Green: I think his point was rather that your commitment to sourcing the best in original written opinion goes no further than the re-publishing of press releases. You people are hacks.
Tim: If that was Irfans’s point, mate, why didn’t he say it more directly? I suppose because it’s completely untrue; our “commitment to sourcing the best in original written opinion” obviously goes further than simply publishing press releases.
Green: Dunno. Guess it’s some sort of ESL [English as a second language – ed] thing.
Irfan arrived in Australia about 38 years and 120 kilograms ago; he was just five months old at the time, and has since acquainted himself well enough with English to become a practicing lawyer. Whatever his faults, they can’t be excused by any struggle to overcome a language barrier.
Crikey obviously assumes that correspondents with non-Anglo names – like our pal Irfan – are a baffled breed of recent arrivals, bravely composing their missives with the help of “Say it in English” guidebooks and any native speakers nearby in the ‘Net cafe. Use this to your advantage; if you seek an audience for inaccurate, ill-researched theories, simply send them to Crikey using the name “Jurgen”, “Shalooba”, “Tløt”, or “Oonki”. They won’t check your claims, and they’ll believe any subsequent dispute arises from a misinterpretation of your barely-intelligible semi-English patois.
Whatever. At least Crikey has since run this correction:
In an item published Friday, Crikey claimed that Sydney’s Daily Telegraph had published an opinion article it had lifted from a website. In fact, the article – in the form of a press release – had been sent to the paper. Crikey also used the phrase “almost plagiarism”, which was inaccurate. The piece ran under the author’s name.
UPDATE. Confused and angry English-learner Paco writes:
Estimado Señor Blair:
Maldito sea! I am sending many comments to your – how you say?, -“blog”, and I doan believe I ever give you the permiso, no? Yet you publish. Why is this? I write and send comments – ay! So many, many comments – but I never say, “Hey, Tim Blair, you want show this to the world, is ok with me, compadre.” You maybe take advantage of my bad English, yes? You know, this doan happen in Cuba. The peoples write comments there, they doan have to worry about them being published.
Anyways, I got my eyes on you, Tim Blair, so ten cuidado!
I think his point is rather that my commitment to sourcing the best in original written opinion goes no further than the re-publishing of excellent blog comments. Although it may be some sort of ESL thing.
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