From The New York Shitty Photo Pool

GODbitchcakes

Over the years this establishment has amassed quite a repertoire of snappy signs. I myself have even documented this phenomenon on occasion. Needless to say when I found this, one of their latest opuses as documented by Bitchcakes*, in my photo pool I had to post it on New York Shitty. Nice find!

Miss Heather

*Who also recently had the experience of someone blatantly lifting plagiarizing material from her blog.

New York Shitty Day Starter: Two Week Old News On A Blog = New York Post “News”

September 1, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Asshole, Criminal Activity, Plagiarism, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

117s3st

On August 19, 2009 I wrote a little post about Cutting Edge Fitness on my “blog”. It was at the behest of a concerned citizen and started like this:

Hi Miss Heather,

I enjoy reading your blog from time-to-time and especially appreciate the news on the developments around the neighborhood.

I’d like to share with you some information about a building on the Southside, in hopes that it can get out to others who deserve to know. So, here goes:

The building has a retail space in the bottom which is currently owned by the developer and being rented to a John Suarez, who is running it as a gym, called Cutting Edge.

Well, there are many problems here:

1) The space isn’t zoned to be a gym
2) He is occupying space in the basement and using it for classes and workout space when it is only supposed to be used as storage
3) There’s no proper emergency exit from the basement
4)He’s illegally (i.e., with no work permit) installing showers/bathrooms in the basement

The biggest problem of all is that John Suarez has been forbidden by the Attorney General to ever operate a gym. A few years back he had advertised the opening of a new gym in the neighborhood, called Core Health and Fitness. He never opened the gym, even after taking people’s money. He was ordered to pay back $172,000 in restitution, but I know for a fact (a neighbor was a victim of the scam) that people did not get their money back.

You can read my post in its entirety by clicking here. After I hit the “publish” button, August 19, I turned to the Mister and said:

I lay odds 80% in favor of this being ripped off by the “print media”. I’d give it 90% except this actually helps people.

On August 20, 2009 my tome was linked to by:

On August 23 I took up the matter with Queens Crap and Forgotten NY. We agreed this item would be cribbed— but by whom? My knee jerk reaction was the New York Post. And as of August 31, 2009 my prognostication came to pass.

The Post one-upped my lowly blogger person by sending out a professional “photographer” to document said premises (which I had done already); he was assaulted by Mr. Suarez. I learned about this via Gothamist:

gothamist

And here’s a here’s a slice of the Post’s take:

GYMRAT

Compare my fact-finding with Ms. Sutherland’s and Mr. Ginsberg’s “scoop”: they dovetail. I was more specific (because my source and I did our research). But am I cited? Of course not. Amber and Alex claimed this discovery as their own.

Yesterday’s (or two week old) news— gleaned from blogs— with ample sensationalism thrown in is the Post’s modus operandi. If the chronic practice of “print journalists” plagiarizing “bloggers” and touting their (my) fact-finding as their own bothers you, dear readers, you can contact Alex Ginsberg at:

alex (dot) ginsberg (at) nypost (dot) com

Miss Heather

“Hostelity”

May 29, 2009 ·
Filed under: New York City, Plagiarism 

postthumbalaevgrieveThere are things I want to do this curiously hazy Friday afternoon. Writing this post is not one of them. But it touches upon something I myself have experienced twice this month: a web site being used as a source for a print publication story without proper citation. Plagiarism. Thankfully this latest “incident” does not involve yours truly. You see, another thing I dislike doing is sending angry missives to people who have profited from my work. Nonetheless I feel compelled to pass this item along as it is one of— if not the most— flagrant examples of outright plagiarism I have encountered to date.

On May 28, 2009 Vanishing New York, a blog based in the East Village for those of you who are not in the know, wrote:

For some time, the New York Post has notoriously been ripping off blogger Miss Heather over at New York Shitty. She writes about neighbors angry at ice-cream truck noise, a day later, the Post is on the scene. She writes about weird graffiti, bam, there’s the Post with an “exclusive.” In that case, the journalist huffily defended himself saying that because he went to the scene and did his own research, that counts as an exclusive.

This is the Post’s MO. They take a blogger’s story, add their research, and call it their own, without ever crediting the blogger. Maybe they figure, Eh, who reads blogs anyway, especially way out there in Brooklyn?

Well, now they’re pillaging the East Village blogs. They did it to EV Grieve, calling their story on the Bullet Space squat an “exclusive.” And now they’re ripping me off

What is this latest “exclusive”, you ask? Very simple: a darkly entertaining tome about neighbors acting anything but neighborly. In this tale of noise, drunkenness and yes, Conway Twitty, we learn about the dysfunctional relationship between the patrons of the Cooper Square Hotel’s outdoor patio and the people who have the misfortune of living not only an earshot— but also a arm’s length from them and their apparently endless banter. The following are excerpts from Vanishing New York’s “Volumes I & II of Notes From the Backside” to give you a better grasp of the situation:

From Volume I, dated May 19:

…got to try the megaphone this week. About 2 am a drunk woman came out to the patio and wondered at its beauty. I pulled out the megaphone and said in a store announcer kind of voice “Attention Cooper Square Hotel douchebags: shut the hell up and get off the patio.”

Didn’t work. She said “That makes my new york experience complete” and continued to yammer away. The hotel made a half-hearted effort to get her out of there.

From Volume II, dated May 26:

We had a delicious victory yesterday. We saw that the hotel’s co-owner was sitting on the patio a few feet from our window. We put our speakers at the window.

But what to play?

The un-coolest thing we could come up with was Roger Miller and Conway Twitty’s greatest hits. Then we put on this vile, 7-minute comedy routine about a prostitute and a banana. And set it to repeat.

While highly entertaining this does not strike me as being the kind of thing that can or should qualify as an “exclusive” in a paper of record. But this is exactly what happened. Try this quote from the Post’s article on the subject (which went to print yesterday, May 28) on for size:

One resident, armed with a megaphone, leaned out his window and greeted a patron who strayed out on the patio after it was closed. When that didn’t work, he placed the megaphone next to a stereo speaker and shared a crude comedy skit.

Isn’t this more or less the same thing, albeit in less detail? Similarities abound between Vanishing New York’s coverage of this story and the Post’s article. Enough so that both City Room and Gothamist have taken note. The latter called the Post’s exclusive:

a shameless jack of original reporting

I am inclined to agree— or at the very least the timing and similarity of content demand an explanation. In closing I would like to pass along the following thoughts/observations:

  1. In the interest of fairness I eventually did get an apology of sorts from the reporter who wrote about Greenpoint’s “Nazi” graffiti.
  2. It was from this reporter I learned that the editorial staff elected to call his story an exclusive, not him.
  3. The previous brings me to a point I have been woefully remiss in making so I will do so here and now: to merely blame the reporters for lifting material from blogs is incredibly short-sighted and naive. It is all too clear this practice is sanctioned, if not out rightly encouraged, by their higher ups. In other words this is an institutional problem.
  4. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there are real stories to be followed up on out there, why this one? This is not to “pooh pooh” what the neighbors of the Cooper Square Hotel are experiencing— I understand their plight all too well. \But given the recent uptick in violence against homeless people and “crusties” at Tompkin’s Square Park— and the print media’s reluctance to report about it— I have to wonder where their priorities are. Actually I don’t have to wonder too much— it’s all about the numbers: they publish stories they think the public will read (so as to boost their circulation and reap more advertising revenue). If we didn’t read it, they would not publish it. Thus the story of a 26 year old woman who dies as a result of “wilding” in the East Village slides by and we read an amusing tale of neighbors at war instead. If you ask me this is a pretty damning indictment of not only the print media— but also the values espoused its readership. Yes, that means you and me.
  5. Ideally I envision reporters/print publications partnering with neighborhood blogs (inasmuch as I hate using the previous term) and generating some wonderful stories. Ideally. Frankly I do not see this happening anytime soon because the print media as a whole treats its online brethren (yes, brethren) with nothing short of cynical contempt. And if my experience over the last three years of writing New York Shitty and interfacing with other “bloggers” is any indication, the feeling is mutual.
  6. If anyone afflicted by the noise of the Cooper Square Hotel is reading this: try bagpipe music— just like Colt 45 it works every time!

Miss Heather

Image Credits: EVGrieve via Vanishing New York.

A New York Post “Exclusive”

May 8, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Plagiarism 

nypostexclusive

On May 7, 2009 Animal New York wrote:

The New York Post published a graffiti story in today’s paper that New York Shitty posted earlier in the week, simply confirming the Greenpoint-based blog’s observations and comments with an expert, then declaring the mysterious tags to be “Nazi cult graffiti.”

When this was brought to my attention yesterday (thanks Animal New York and Gothamist) I was literally speechless. When I noticed that Mr. Doyle and Mr. Sanderson had the temerity to call this sensationalist schlock an “exclusive” I got angry. Very. Angry. And thus I feel compelled to give these gentleman a refresher course in Journalism 101:

Culling previously published material from a web site— material, I will add, that was linked to by Gothamist and Brownstoner, among others— and trotting out an expert to verify “your” findings does not constitute an “exclusive”. It is plagiarism, plain and simple.

Those of you reading this who feel the same way and wish to remind Mr. Doyle of this fact can contact him via email at: john (dot) doyle (at) nypost (dot) com

Tell him New York Shitty sent you.

Miss Heather

UPDATE, 5/8/09: Mr. Doyle responds to a New York Shitty reader! Not only does he deny any plagiarism on his part, but it would appear he cannot spell the word for that matter. Whoops.

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