American Playground Update: Call Me Cassandra

December 16, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Plagiarism 

Most of you remember this post. I wrote it December 13th about the American Playground being open despite conditions the Department of Buildings deemed to be imminently perilous to human life. Well, I always know when I am on a good “scoop” when a reporter comes calling. CASE IN POINT: an email I received yesterday.

Will call tomorrow. American Playground. What’s the building that’s causing its closure?…

Methinks I made that pretty clear in my post. Nonetheless, I will do so again:

Here is the “Partial Vacate Order”:

And here is the complaint regarding the adjacent property:

If falling debris is the problem, why isn’t the American Playground being cordoned off properly by the Parks Department? Perhaps our Parks person (and Open Space Advocate), Stephanie Thayer, would care to step up to the plate? This is inexcusable.

Miss Heather

Breaking On The NY Post: The McCarren Park Bathrooms Are Disgusting!

Not that this is really news to me, the readers of this web site or those who have had the misfortune of patronizing the McCarren Park bathrooms, mind you. That’s yesterday’s news. What IS news to me, rather, is apparently the Post finds it not only acceptable to poach from blogs— to which I have regrettably grown accustomed— but now they have kicked it up a notch by actually “quoting” the blogger whose material they “sourced”!

But don’t take my word for it. Look at the following screencap and decide for yourself. It is an item I posted on the Community Board 1 Yahoo group making my friends and neighbors aware of the deplorable state of the woman’s comfort station at McCarren Park. Note the date.

Just for kicks here’s a screencap of what a few other people had to say about the state of our public lavatories.

Charming, eh? If Mr. Murdoch, et. al. is so keen on poaching my material and has now seen fit to quote me perhaps he should just bite the bullet and hire me? Scratch that. Why should he buy the cow when he can get the milk for free?

Miss Heather

Quicklink: Happy 65th Birthday Bay News!

June 1, 2010 ·
Filed under: Brooklyn, Plagiarism 

To preface: I— for the sake of keeping my workload somewhat manageable— prefer to keep New York Shitty’s focus on things north Brooklyn and southwestern Queens. Today, as you can see, I am making an exception. I honestly do not know what to say about this, Sheepshead Bites’s very special birthday tribute to the Bay News, other than:

1. It is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time.
2. Their analysis is spot on.

Click here and read it for yourself. It is WELL worth the time!

Miss Heather

Now On NBCLA.com: My Photography

May 19, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11211, Asshole, Plagiarism, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

As some of you can imagine, my blog post about the above flier has received a great deal of attention. In fact, the above image has shown up on a number of web sites: Gothamist, Gawker and New York Magazine, to name a few. All the previous were professional enough to acknowledge from whom this item originated: me. Today I learned of another entity that has seen fit to use it: NBCLA.com. Yes folks that is “LA” as in Los Angeles, California.

In fact, they based a whole news item on my find. Did they bother to cite the source for it? No, they didn’t. Without further ado here it is— along with a few annotations by yours truly. Enjoy!

In a day and age when you have such notables as Rupert Murdoch calling bloggers parasites, this act of intellectual property theft begs the question as to whom is feeding off of whom. Just as the above video states the peeps at Channel 4 would like to hear from you. I would like to humbly suggest, dear readers, that you take a moment to remind these professional journalists that using someone’s work without permission (or not even bothering to give credit where it is due) is frowned upon in some circles.

Jerks.

Miss Heather

UPDATE, MAY 21, 2010: I sent a missive to NCBLA making them aware of my “issues”. It read as follows:

Yesterday it was brought to my attention that Channel  4 ran a “feature” about a flier in which a woman berates her former live-in/free-loading boyfriend. Among other things this missive noted that (the— ed. note) chap in question cheated on her with women in her apartment and did not use a condom.

Your anchor person notes that the above-mentioned item was featured “on a lot of blogs”. This, is in fact, true. I know because I am the person who found this item and posted it. I have seen the incoming links from sites which have seen fit to feature it. Gawker, Gothamist and New York Magazine’s Daily Intel number among others have seen fit to give me credit for my work (which is only fair). Your institution, however, did not. This begs a number of questions:

1. Why did you see fit to use— but not credit— my image?

2. Why is a station in Los Angeles featuring a flier which hails from Brooklyn, New York?

3. How, in any manner, can this be construed as “fair use”?

Regarding question #1: I am going to assume your reporters tracked down the source of this flier, winced at the url, deemed it unsuitable to mention on television/online but decided to feature it anyway. If this is in fact the case I find it curious given the subject matter of said flier. If a screed mentioning “nasty sex” (without a condom, no less) is suitable for your audience, I seriously doubt the word “shitty” is going to be an issue. Regardless I have a mirror site with a much less objectionable url (www.thatgreenpointblog.com) for just this purpose. You see, I have heard just this excuse from other media outlets before. A lot.

Let’s presume for a moment that your staff did not do their research as to where this flier originated. That strikes me as being very bad reporting. Which brings me to…

Regarding question #2: As distasteful as I find having my work uncredited (and it happens quite frequently) it would have at least made sense had, say, some media outlet in New York City/the tri-state area “featured” it. Why Los Angeles? I found it of particular interest that no mention of this flier’s origin was made whatsoever on your broadcast. This implicitly suggests it hails from Los Angeles. This is not true. Was this due to a lack of due diligence on your part or was it deliberate? I’d really like to know.

Regarding question #3: Lest the tone of this missive has not made it clear already I am very unhappy. Think about it from my point of view: would you like it if someone used your work without giving you credit and (undoubtedly) garnered a great many “clicks” (which usually translate into revenue) from it? I don’t think so. In fact, I would wager you make a legal issue of it. This is something I— a person who lavishes a great deal her of time on her website for virtually no compensation— am, in fact, considering.

But the fact of the matter is the genie is out of the proverbial bottle. What I want to know is where do we go from here? I have outlined my grievances with your organization. You can do one of two things: either attribute that image to its rightful owner (me) or remove that broadcast from your site. Otherwise I will be forced to seek legal redress. The choice is yours.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you as to how this problem will be resolved.

Heather

P.S.: One last piece of fact-checking for your edification: I was the person who blurred the gentleman’s (?) face on that flier. The creator did not. This was a moral, ethical and legal decision on my part. While— if in fact true— what this chap did was thoroughly reprehensible he need not have his life ruined over it (although this is clearly the mission of the woman who created it).

Here’s what I got in return.

So let me get this straight: they (being NBCLA) sees fit to cull material from a blog in Brooklyn, New York and broadcast it without giving me credit. But since I am not a “local” (I’m a Greenpoint resident and damned proud of it) I am not entitled to give feedback about a photograph of mine— from Williamsburg Brooklyn, New York— being used without my permission or being credited by NBCLA. That’s really cute. I’m sure wherever Franz Kafka is he is laughing his ass off.

UPDATE, 7:23 p.m.: We have a response!

Quicklink: Here We Go Again…

March 5, 2010 ·
Filed under: Plagiarism 

I imagine some of you have read the tome  to the left. It was published today by the New York Post. Well, a blogger by the name of Andrew Fine has some things to say about it. This is because he broke the story first:

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That theory is being put to the test.

As many of you know, I wrote an article on the seemingly ridiculous “rules of conduct” sign at the Harlem branch of Chuck E Cheese this past Monday. The article detailed how various gang clothing, conduct, and weapons were banned from Chuck E. Cheese and questioned whether the sign was motivated by the area’s racial or socioeconomic make-up. The article was well received and went a little viral with Gothamist.com, Curbed.com, Eater, NYMag.com’s food section picking it up, as well as it being re-tweeted hundreds of times. The thing that all of these outlets had in common is that every single one credited the story to A. Fine Blog. That was until this morning…

Yes folks it would appear that blog poaching season is in full swing! It is interesting to note that one Amber Sutherland is involved in this (latest) incident. If this name sounds vaguely familiar to some of you, dear readers, here’s why: she shared the byline on a certain article that made yours truly, um, rather unhappy.

You can read Mr. Fine’s whole sad story by clicking here.

Miss Heather

Image Credits: Queens Crap

Quicklink: Sheepshead Bites Gets Bit

March 1, 2010 ·
Filed under: Brooklyn, Plagiarism 

Speaking as someone who has encountered her fair share of plagiarism over the years I feel compelled to pass along this. It is by far one of the most flagrant examples of online plagiarism I have beheld to date. PERIOD.

Sheepshead Bites; February 23, 2010

You can read the whole story by clicking here.

Here’s a screencap of Perez Hilton’s blog dated February 28, 2010:

If Sheepshead Bites is to be believed (and I see no reason why they shouldn’t be) Perez Hilton did a big, BIG no-no. In any case, the time line says it all.

A piece of advice for Mister Perez: if you’re going to quote another blogger the least you can do is give props/linkage to said blogger. What you did is not “sourcing”. It is plagiarism. Plain and simple.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Special thanks goes out to Kevin Walsh of Forgotten-NY for bringing this to my attention.

Quicklink: Much Ado About Blog Poaching

September 28, 2009 ·
Filed under: Plagiarism 

screencap

Remember how hot and bothered I got when I received what essentially amounted to an admission from one of the New York Post’s reporters stating that they do, in fact, use blogs for news leads without crediting them? Mr. Ginsberg called it “amplifying”. I call it bullshit.

It would appear I am not the only one who feels this way. Read it and weep, folks.

Miss Heather

Gratitude

September 10, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Brooklyn, Greenpoint, New York City, Plagiarism, Williamsburg 

I rarely give shout-outs to blogs for the simple reason I do not have the time. After I have completed my posts, sift through the detritus in my inbox and surfed the webs I call it quits. Today I am going to make an exception. Brooklyn11211 writes in a post entitled Behold the Power of the Interwebs:

Brooklyn11211

I can independently verify Einstein’s theory of relativity. That doesn’t mean I should call it my own. The Post has no more right to its “exclusive” based on its own verification of a blog post.

You’re making a very dangerous proposition 11211. You are making the argument that “neighborhood bloggers” (the ghetto print establishment likes to relegate the likes of me and you) and journalists are equals. We’re not. Mr. Ginsberg’s missive makes this all too clear:

Post policy prevented me from crediting you in print. Allow me to do so now. You did a fantastic reporting job. All I had to do was follow your steps (and make a few extra phone calls).

I won’t discuss at length the policy of not crediting blogs (or anyone else). I’ll just briefly explain that as long as we can independently verify every bit of info, we don’t credit…

Looking forward to amplifying more of your good work in the future.

The truly nauseating thing about Mr. Ginsberg’s comment is he thought he was being nice— and that I should be somehow beholden to him for “amplifying” my scoop. I am not grateful. I am pissed off. And no amount of crying “Post policy” is going to change this. If anything, it is a clear indication of a lack of moral/ethical fiber on his part. But I suppose that comes with the territory.

Needless to say when I read Suzi Halpin’s defense of her employer I damned near had an aneurysm:

The New York Post credits blogs, bloggers, and other media all the time, as our readers know.

Except when when your readers don’t know— because your employer, the New York Post, doesn’t cite them. Which is often. Here are a few examples to refresh your memory Ms. Halpin.

fathergiorgiotriangle

September 14, 2008: I wrote a post about how the plaque at Father Giorgio Square was stolen. I happened to walk by when the police were taking a report. There was no way the institution you represent would have known about it save my blog. I published it on a Sunday. The next day Murdoch’s flunkies were on it like flies on shit. They even called the Brooklyn Kitchen to ask about their stolen tree. Is this your idea of reporting? Stolen trees?

103normanavegillespie

May 4, 2009: I get a tip about strange graffiti in Greenpoint. I post it. My readers decipher ityet it was a New York Post “exclusive”. I take up the matter and get what can be best described as a semi-literate and crazed email from its author: John Doyle. If the previous is an indication of what it takes to be a reporter, god help us all.

lets-take-mccarren-park

May 18, 2009: I wrote a post about a flier I found at McCarren Park decrying the noise made ice cream trucks. Reuven Fenton and his homeboy were on the scene the next day. I know this because a reader and contributor of mine bumped into them:

I was just finishing my run in McCarren Park when I saw a guy sporting two fancy cameras talking to another guy near the pool.  Being a sucker for men with big lenses, I ventured over to see what they were up to and it turns out they were from the Post covering a story on ice cream trucks disturbing the neighbors of McCarren Park.  I mentioned NYshitty covering the story and I asked them where they heard about this story and they said Curbed and Gothamist. Hmmm… no new york shitty? The dudes names were Reuben and Paul, wait isn’t that like Pee Wee?

I called them on it. And your publication gave me a crumby quote in return. Removed from context and not linked to despite my creation of a mirror site: www.thatgreenpointblog.com.

It was at this point I began to understand that the paper you represent depends on people like me for their livelihood.

Which brings me to your institution’s latest act of plagiarism.

117s3st

August 19, 2009: I wrote a post about “Cutting Edge Fitness” at the behest of a tipster.

It took awhile for the Post, the publication you represent, to get around to it, but lift it they did!

August 31, 2009

GYMRAT

Quite frankly, I was disappointed it took almost two full weeks for your employer to rip off this one, Suzi. I’m not a patient person. Thankfully I was engaged in other things and Alex Ginsberg saw fit to post this comment on my blog:

Post policy prevented me from crediting you in print. Allow me to do so now. You did a fantastic reporting job. All I had to do was follow your steps (and make a few extra phone calls).

I won’t discuss at length the policy of not crediting blogs (or anyone else). I’ll just briefly explain that as long as we can independently verify every bit of info, we don’t credit.

You will find that the Daily News observes the same policy, but the Times does not. (They often write an explanatory phrase like, ‘The investigation into Mr. Spitzer was first reported in the New York Post.’ That’s not a real one. I just made it up. Although I would note that another Times policy would prevent them from actually printing the name of your blog, presenting them with an unresolvable conflict between two inflexible rules.)

Looking forward to “amplifying” more of your good work in the future.

Alex

I wrote a blog post about it. And you have been hired to explain it away. There is no explanation: it is plagiarism, plain and simple.

To drive the point home (because it is all too clear Mr. Ginsberg, you and your employer is too “thick” or arrogant to “get it”) here are a few more examples:

2009_01_future-of-coney-copyGL

Gowanus Lounge, January 13, 2009:

This is yesterday’s news, because we ran the story on Curbed early yesterday morning, and we’re sure some of the papers are going to be “discovering” the story and having some fun with it today, but The Future of Coney Island website URL was acquired by a Belgian porn entrepreneur. (The Post’s Rich Calder predictably reports the story as though he discovered it without crediting Curbed for breaking the news.)

spaceinavaders

POSTED May 18, 2009

bulletspaceEVGRIEVE

May 12, 2009: EV Grieve posted this. Your reporter’s “scoop” is pretty much verbatim regurgitation of EV Grieve’s work.

May 28, 2009: the New York Post, your employer, posted this:

HOSTEL

Vanishing New York, reported about this as early as May 19,2009. What’s more he (she?) kept at it.

I have just cited seven examples where the New York Post, your employer, has blatantly lifted material from blogs without citing them, Suzi. If you need more I’ll gladly tender them to you.

I understand that you are in a very tenuous position, Suzi. The print media, New York Post included, has not adapted to the reality of online media. I suspect this is why your employer, Rupert Murdoch, is waging war on Google. When defeated the entitled try to change the rules:

Mr Murdoch, the chief executive of News Corp, was among the first to hit out at Google, one of the biggest aggregators through its Google News service.

“Should we be allowing Google to steal our copyrights? If you have a brand like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, you don’t have to.” Robert Thomson, the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal which is owned by News Corp, went further in his attack. “There is a collective consciousness among content creators that they are bearing the costs and that others are reaping some of the revenues. “There is no doubt that certain websites are best described as parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the internet,” said Mr Thomson.

I find this ironic given the worst plagiarists I have dealt with to date, as a “blogger” (and by Murdoch’s definition a “parasite” or “tapeworm”) are New York Post reporters. Could you please clarify how your employer is any different from than various and sundry parasites who troll the webs and claim my content (as well as the above-listed as their own), Ms. Halpin?

To take Brooklyn11211’s more nuanced approach: if I can verify via “independent sources” that your employer, Rupert Murdoch, is an unscrupulous shitbag who is doing everything in his power to bully independent media, plagiarizes my blog and others— constantly, spouts right-wing bullshit and wants to suppress free speech do I need to cite him? I eagerly wait your answer to this question, Suzi Halpin.

Given the number of stories your publication has lifted from my blog I have ample credentials to be a “reporter” for crap rag you call the New York Post.

HIRE ME.

Oh wait— I have ethics.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Here’s a (working) honor roll of blogs, big and small, who have found Mr. Ginsberg’s/New York Post’s conduct objectionable:

Behold The Power Of The Interwebs!

September 4, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Asshole, New York City, Plagiarism, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

Not surprisingly my latest post about the New York Post has garnered a great deal of attention. Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York has given it a shout out. As has EV Grieve and Bowery Boogie. Before I continue I would like to take a moment to tender my sincerest gratitude to my friends in the East Village; their tribulations at the behest of the local print media have shown time and time again that this is not purely a “Brooklyn blogger” problem. The practice of claiming material from a blogger as one’s own is much more pervasive; if Maureen Dowd has been caught doing just this it begs the question as to how many of her brethren are also guilty— but simply have not been caught. Or called on it.

I mention the previous because over the last 24 hours I have noticed a number of incoming links that come from web sites whose subject matter is not “neighborhood bloggers” or “blogging”. Rather, their focus is on the institution of journalism itself. Among the previous— much to my amazement— is a journalism “think tank” at Harvard University.

Neimanscreencap

What’s more, they have contacted one of the reporters who lifted my story and the New York Post’s public relations firm: Rubenstein Associates. Not surprisingly they have yet to hear back from either of the previous. You can read the rest of the above tome by clicking here.

Miss Heather

UPDATE: Snapper Patter, Techdirt, Gawker, Media Metamorphosis, Superpunch, FAIR.org, Citoyen Michel (click here to read in English) and Gothamist have thrown in their respective two cents! Thanks!!!

UPDATE, 9/10/09: Boniknik, The Desert Lamp, Manga Verdes, Mary Turck, Blogografia have joined the fray.

Reader Comment Of The Week: A Reporter From The New York Post Speaks!

September 3, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Asshole, Plagiarism, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

GYMRAT

I suspected I’d get a response from someone from the New York Post after I wrote this screed. I did. It was much more reasoned, lucid and intelligible than this one. I was pleasantly surprised, but found it disquieting nonetheless.

CommentNYS

Although you can read this comment in its entirety by clicking on the above image or by clicking here (see comments). I will post it here:

Post policy prevented me from crediting you in print. Allow me to do so now. You did a fantastic reporting job. All I had to do was follow your steps (and make a few extra phone calls).

I won’t discuss at length the policy of not crediting blogs (or anyone else). I’ll just briefly explain that as long as we can independently verify every bit of info, we don’t credit.

You will find that the Daily News observes the same policy, but the Times does not. (They often write an explanatory phrase like, ‘The investigation into Mr. Spitzer was first reported in the New York Post.’ That’s not a real one. I just made it up. Although I would note that another Times policy would prevent them from actually printing the name of your blog, presenting them with an unresolvable conflict between two inflexible rules.)

Looking forward to “amplifying” more of your good work in the future.

Alex

Gee, thanks… I think. It is not the purpose to malign Mr. Ginsberg in this post (though it invariably will). Rather, I found his comment telling about the state of print journalism in general:

1. Not citing blogs is “company policy”. As Ginsberg wrote: You did a fantastic reporting job. All I had to do was follow your steps (and make a few extra phone calls).

2. Ginsberg writes  …Although I would note that another Times policy would prevent them from actually printing the name of your blog…

I have erected a mirror site with a much less objectionable url (www.thatgreenpointblog) for just this reason. Yet the plagiarism persists. It has become all too clear that “offensive” blog urls are a red herring.

3. Looking forward to amplifying more of your good work in the future.

So this somehow makes it “right”? Inasmuch as I riff on recent journalism school graduates (which are what staffs many of the papers here— as “independent contractors”— nowadays) I do not think they are by and large dishonest. They need to eat and have a roof over their head just like the rest of us— so they abide by “company policy”.

I do not blame them for doing what they have to do to earn a living; I blame the institutions which employ them. As contractors, these reporters are paid chump change for stories and thus have to churn out a lot of material (usually for numerous publications) in order to make ends meet. Given the workload they shoulder I am hardly surprised they troll blogs for leads. What bothers me is the fact their employers are profiting from their, my and many others hard work.

There was a time when New York City had “beat” reporters. They have since been replaced by contractors— to cut costs— and neighborhood coverage has suffered as a result. “Bloggers” as you call them— I prefer to call them citizen journalists— have made up for this, among them:

Amusing The Zillion
Atlantic Yards Report
Bed-Stuy Banana
Bed-Stuy Blog

Best View In Brooklyn

I care not to recite the whole list in its entirety— much less alphabetically. They can be found on my blog roll— although I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention Sheepshead Bites or my friends in the East Village:

Vanishing New York
EV Grieve
Neither More Nor Less

And last, but not least: Queens Crap.

If my memory serves me correctly the latter four have been “amplified” by the New York Post and the New York Times recently. Much to their respective chagrins. Call us ungrateful, but we’re not content with being “amplified”; we want recognition for our work.

The sad thing is in the absence of neighborhood reporters bloggers and newspapers could forge a mutually beneficial relationship, e.g.; exchanging leads, tips, information and so forth for the betterment and edification of our mutual readerships. I do not see this happening— especially since a reporter from the New York Post has pretty much admitted to cribbing my content and “making a few phone calls” to write a story.

A story he was, no doubt, paid for writing. I wasn’t. Very few “bloggers” are.

Miss Heather

P.S.: You can read an email string between Mr. Ginsberg and someone who took issue with his plagiarism by clicking here.

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