At this point, after five plus years of observing his shenanigans from my roost in We Hunted the Mammoth Manor, there’s very little that Paul Elam could do that would really shock me.
But I have to admit that I was a bit shocked last night when I discovered a little bulletin on the internet garbage heap that is Elam’s A Voice for Men website with the title “Plagiarism discovered and removed from AVFM.” I was even more shocked to discover that Elam actually credited me with this discovery:
Recently, David Futrelle posted a piece on his agitprop site regarding an article published here which was written by Amartya Talukdar. Futrelle makes the allegation that part of Talukdar’s content was plagiarized.
AVFM staff investigated the claim as soon as we became aware of the allegation and found Futrelle’s claim to be true.
That last sentence is a sentence I never would have expected to see on AVFM, quite possibly the first acknowledgement of objective reality I’ve ever spotted on the site.
But evidently Elam is unable to keep up this level of truth-telling for long, and his “bulletin” quickly turns to damage control, minimizing the plagiarism itself and patting himself on the back for thinking about ways to try to keep from being humiliated like this again.
Indeed, even the brief portion of his note I just quoted downplays the extent — and the obviousness — of the plagiarism by now-former AVFM contributor Talukdar.
And the only “investigation” that AVFM would have needed to do to verify the plagiarism was to read my carefully documented post on the subject and click on some of its links.
I mean, the plagiarised post in question was full of paragraph-length, word-for-word “borrowings” from other sources, many of which I quoted verbatim, at length, with links back to where Talukdar got them. They basically had a solved case handed to them, with a little bow on top.
Elam continues, doing his best to downplay the extent of Talukdar’s plagiarism:
Without a doubt, there were passages in Amartya Talukdar’s piece that were directly lifted from the works of another writer or writers.
Not just “passages.” Practically the whole thing.
Elam also neglects to mention that Talukdar’s previous post, as I also showed in detail, was also heavily plagiarised.
Now, Elam, who describes himself on the AVFM masthead as its “Chief Executive Officer as well as its “Founder and Publisher,” is the person who is ultimately responsible for everything that runs on the site.
But instead of accepting the responsibility for posting numerous pieces by a brazen plagiarist on his site, and/or offering his readers an apology, Elam decides to attack me, first for noticing that he had taken down the posts without explanation and second … for being a fat fatty.
“In his fervor to blow this story out of proportion,” the thin-skinned Elam sniffs,
Futrelle followed up his initial piece almost immediately after I removed Talukdar’s material. He was so quick with his follow up assertion that Talukdar’s work had “mysteriously vanished” from AVFM that it appeared as though he was sitting there with a bucket of fried chicken, refreshing the site every ten seconds with a single greasy finger until he saw that the content had been removed.
Dude, if I were refreshing the page every ten seconds while eating fried chicken, I would have carefully kept that one finger grease-free.
Futrelle does his best to make it appear as though our intent was to remove the content and act like it was never there to begin with. In other words, the implication is that we sought to mislead our readers.
I dunno, dude, normally when a reputable media outlet takes down posts due to some egregious violation of basic journalistic ethics, they post a little note saying why. In this case the plagiarism was blatant and extensive, and there was no need for a long investigation. I provided you with all the evidence you needed.
Seems like maybe you should have posted a note.
Ah well, there’s always next time!
And I can only assume there will be a next time After all, this is the third time that AVFM has published plagiarised work in the last two years. In 2014, while apparently digging up dirt on former AVFMer John “The Other” Hembling, the site’s crack anti-plagiarism squad discovered that Hembling had plagiarised big chunks of one of his posts for AVFM.
Then last year, Voice for Men’s fake WhiteRibbon.org spinoff site proudly reposted an article on domestic violence that included some stolen material from other sites, including — irony alert! — a chunk plagiarised from feminist writer Amanda Marcotte, who’s been on AVFM’s enemies list from the start. In this case, AVFM almost certainly knew that it was posting plagiarised work — because the plagiarised piece in question had just gotten its (ostensible) author fired as a columnist for The Australian.
Maybe after another half-dozen plagiarism scandals AVFM will finally get it figured out.
But I don’t hold out much hope for them on the whole Holocaust denial thing. .
What, you ask, what Holocaust denial thing?
Well, as it turns out, AVFM’s latest disgraced plagiarist is also a bit of a Holocaust denier, given to posting Tweets like these here. Well, exactly like these here, since these are a couple of his (now deleted) Tweets. (Click on the screenshots for archived copies of the Tweets.)
When I first presented Elam with evidence of Talukdar’s Holocaust denial Tweets last year, he responded by blocking me on Twitter; AVFM’s then-managing-editor Dean Esmay, meanwhile, freaked out about the polite email I sent him on the subject, calling me a “sociopathic sadist” and a “stalker madman,’ and literally threatening to call the police.
So apparently Holocaust denial isn’t enough to get you canned at AVFM, but really really really blatant plagiarism is — provided that someone outside of their ridiculous website does all the work in ferreting it out and announces it to the world in a way that makes AVFM’s “staffers” look like the incompetents they are.
I guess that technically counts as a plagiarism policy, huh?
Now I’m really hankering for some nice greasy chicken.