Did Jonah Goldberg Steal a Link From Me?

Well… not exactly. But yes, sort of.

I guess that’s how I would characterize the situation that Tommy Christopher wrote up over at AOL and Daily Dose. The whole thing centers around a tip I sent out this afternoon about CNN’s estimation of the lefty blogosphere.

This is how Tommy characterized what happened thereafter:

What’s interesting is how I found out about the story. I was on an email list for TheCollegePolitico.com, run by Steve Gutowski, a guy that I met at CPAC. I got his tip at 1:55pm. Also on that email were NRO’s Jonah Goldberg, and Captain Ed Morrissey, who used the tip at Hot Air:

CNN asks the question: Whither the liberal blogosphere in the Age of Obama? Mark Preston asks Markos Moulitsas and Jane Hamsher how having a Democratic shutout in Washington DC will affect their blogging (via The College Politico)

See what Ed did there? He credited the source of the tip.

Jonah Goldberg at NRO used Preston’s article as a springboard to school the CNN political editor on the intricacies of the blogosphere:

For example, while it’s true that the netroot bloggers took off under Bush, most of those bloggers were the least independent from the Democratic Party. Meanwhile conservative blogs actually had an earlier foothold on the web, because the internet really began under Clinton. What Preston understands as “Republican blogs” – i.e. right-wing equivalents of Daily Kos and Firedoglake – were slow to take off for various reasons, including the fact that such blogs thrive when they represent the party out of power. This is a dynamic Kos seems to understand a lot better than Preston.

While doling out this expertise on all things bloggy, Goldberg neglects to credit Gutowski for the tip.

Ok. Here’s my take, I sent out my email at 1:55pm. Apparently, Jonah Goldberg posted his thoughts on the same CNN article I sent out at 2:30pm. That much we can know for sure. Now, it seems to me that because of this timing Goldberg probably read my email and probably used my tip without crediting me. While I may be relatively new (sort of) to the blogosphere this seems like a pretty glaring breach of netiquette (especially since an arguably more prominent blogger did go out of his way to credit me for the tip).

Of course, there is always the off off off off chance that Goldberg got the story from somewhere else at practically the same time that I sent it to him. Stranger things have happened and if Goldberg comes out and says that then I guess I’ll probably just leave it at that. But I think this little tid bit that Tommy noticed makes me want to add a couple more offs to the off chance that he didn’t get this from me:

I started to wonder, too, if Goldberg had even read Steve’s email. You tell me. From Steve‘s email:

I can’t tell if this is supposed to be an opinion piece or a news report but either way it completely ignores and even marginalizes conservative and republican bloggers.

And now, from Goldberg’s piece:

This CNN op-ed (news piece? news analysis?) is odd.

yea… pretty similar. Which, again, leads me to believe that Goldberg used my tip without crediting. But again, if Goldberg comes out and says he got the story from somewhere else I’ll probably give him the benefit of the doubt… you know a great minds think alike kind of deal. Though I must say that I did have one pseudo-run-in with Goldberg a while back that Tommy alludes to:

I asked Steve about it, and he’s “pissed” about the slight. I conjectured that maybe Goldberg didn’t know about hat-tipping, but apparently, they’ve exchanged emails on the subject before.

The exchange my lefty blogger friend is referring to happened the day that the Dem hack Gov. Richardson was confirmed to be Obama’s nominee for Commerce secretary. I sent out a tip about the post I wrote on the subject and got back a complaint from Jonah Goldberg. In his complaint he said I was “link trolling”. He also said he didn’t have a problem with link trolling but that I was being ridiculous.

That accusation really bothered me because I have a strict policy when it comes to sending out tips. I understand that the bloggers I send my tips to are busy people who don’t want to read my post just because I wrote them. My opinion isn’t important enough for that… yet. So I only send out tips on stories that aren’t being covered by the Conservosphere. Most often the tips include links to my post on the story but I also send interesting stories that I haven’t had time to post on, as is the case here.

I tried to explain that to Goldberg when I emailed him back and offered to take him off my tip list but he never responded. That’s the reason he was still on the list to receive this tip in the first place. And from that little exchange and his use of the term “link trolling”, which when correctly used refers to someone who is simply sending along useless information in hopes of getting a link, I think it’s safe to say that he understands linking well enough (and, besides, he’s a blogger at NRO he ought to know about linking and hat tips).

Which is why I am pissed about this and I want some answers from Goldberg.

But with that said I think Tommy Christopher is looking for a little more to this than there is. Now, I met Tommy at CPAC and we talk on AIM from time to time and he’s a decent guy from what I’ve seen but I think he wants to take this further than it should be taken.

What happened here was probably a simple mistake that resulted in a breach of common netiquette. It shouldn’t have happened and Goldberg should have given me credit but I think Tommy wants to make this into a case of blatant disregard of common internet practices and even plagiarism. And I think while he doesn’t like that I got burned by Goldberg he is trying to blow this story up and get into a spat with Goldberg. Here’s what he wrote at Daily Dose:

So, I emailed this story to some heavy-ass hitters in TV and blogs.  Let’s see what happens, because all of us need to get our propers, doncha think?

While I definitely agree that we all need to get our props, especially when O’rielly scumbags his way out of giving any, all I want from this is an explanation or apology including a link. It seems that Tommy wants the story to get picked up by the media so they can have another excuse to bash a conservative pundit. I hope that’s not it but that’s the feeling I’m getting from Tommy’s posts.

So, yea, it looks like Jonah Goldberg at least owes me an explination for all this and it looks like Tommy Christopher has a dual purpose for being so interested in all this. More to come I’m sure…

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Stephen Gutowski

Stephen Gutowski is an award-winning political reporter who got his start in 2009 when he founded this blog.

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