Friday, October 19, 2007

Jon Keller, Part Two.

In the event that you were waiting at the edge of your seat to learn what Jon Keller's editor had to say about Jon Keller's book, here's part two of the Jon Keller saga. Jon Keller, as you'll recall from yesterday's blog entry, is the Boston-area media personality whose new book, The Bluest State, contains a multitude of quotations that, apparently, are unattributed to the sources from which they were originally appropriated. The Boston Herald broke the story yesterday and followed up on it today.

The Boston Herald (to which Keller frequently contributes, by the way), touched base with Michael Flamini who edited The Bluest State for St. Martin's Press. Flamini is quoted as saying (I'm psraphrasing here) that, since Keller's book is for the trade rather than the academic press, it doesn't need footnotes or a meticulous bibliography.

Well, then.

Equally frightening to this book publicist is the fact that Jeff Kiernan, the news director at WBZ-TV -- one of the two Boston-area television stations for which Jon Keller is a political analyst -- says (and here I'm quoting the Boston Herald article) that he has "full confidence in Jon’s integrity and in the excellent work he does.”

Unfortunately for those of us who receive at least some of our information on a daily basis from Boston-area media outlets, Kiernan doesn't explain why he has full confidence in Jon Keller or what, exactly, he means by the word "integrity." Perhaps the Boston Herald truncated Kiernan's comments. If so, then I would appreciate hearing the rest of what Kiernan had to say, and I trust other media consumers would be interested as well.

For the entire Boston Herald article, click here.

Oh, and to conclude the tale about the middle schooler I mentioned yesterday who failed to footnote that encyclopedia entry in her seventh grade homework assignment.... She was given a consequence. She was asked to pen an admission of guilt (for committing the p-word offense) along with an apology to both her classroom teacher and the principal of her school. And she did, and as a result, that young woman will remember to include footnotes in all of her future homework assignments for a long time to come.

This youngster was in middle school. She now knows better than to leave herself open to the charge of plagarism.

How interesting it is to me that some professional journalists out there haven't learned that lesson yet.