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.

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

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.

Fun With Internet Image Filchers

December 1, 2008 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Asshole 

As time goes on I am getting more and more peevish at people who for lack of proper netiquette (be it out of ignorance, sense of entitlement or sheer laziness) use/upload my images without bothering to ask, much less giving proper citation(s) of said image(s). For those of you who are wondering, here is the proper protocol for using my images:

  1. ASK. In all likelihood I’ll say yes. What’s more I will be very grateful
  2. At the very least cite who captured said image. READ: me.

The previous having been said you can imagine my delight when I received this missive from fellow Greenpointer, nice guy and incredibly talented photographer: Kitchen Prof. He wrote:

Hey Heather

I ended up having some fun, and I thought I’d tell you about it. Since Alan Colmes is quitting “Hannity and Colmes,” the pictures of Colmes from a blog post I did a while ago have been “borrowed” by bloggers writing about it. So, I thought it might be entertaining to switch out MY pictures on THEIR blogs.

These extreme right wing clowns got their Colmes pictures replaced by W in a nice uniform (screen capture attached in case it’s gone when you see this).

As of last night this image has been replaced. However I saw its modified incarnation. It was quite something.

You can see a larger image by clicking here. What amused me about this act of image theft was the perpetrators didn’t even bother to download it: they linked to it directly. Thus enabling the Professor to have quite a bit of fun. And it didn’t stop there.

And the other picture I replaced another blog remains. Alan Colmes has become a large tuna…

the Professor wrote.

And as of the writing of this post it still does. But in the event it gets pulled down here it is.

So there have you. Let’s see how long it takes before I get angry missives from the proprietors* of these respective blogs. Regardless of your political inclinations, dear readers, grabbing images on the web without citing them is not very nice. Granted, we’re all guilty of this to some degree or another but let’s try to make the web a nicer place. Okay?

Miss Heather

*Let’s face facts: anyone who would propagate this kind of claptrap HAS to be male— and probably fantasizes about wearing a dog collar and eating from a dog dish. It has been my observation that the people who make these kinds of accusations do so because they’re guilty of it themselves. Or very much want to be.

Image Credits: Freedom Brothers Screencap courtesy of Kitchen Prof

Freedom of the Press for NYC’s Bloggers

November 26, 2008 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

Speaking as someone who operates a blog I can safely assert that while I might shoulder some of the burdens shared by my friends in the print (READ: legit) media the same cannot be said about the benefits. I have been grilled by the police for taking photographs of Christmas decorations (of all things). A number of my colleagues (both in print and online) use my site as a source for news leads without citing it. Others filch images and/or intellectual property from New York Shitty and shill it as if they were their own. The previous know who they are and I see no need to mention them here.

In any case, there are a couple of blog-related items I have been meaning to pass along. First up this item I received from Queens Crap:

Dear Blogger:

ChangeNYC.Org, a new grassroots action network, was formed in part to empower New York City’s blogging community. We feel that as citizen journalists of the New Media, bloggers do a better job covering their neighborhoods, community issues, and local politics than the mainstream media. We are on the ground – in the grassroots – instantly reporting the news as we see it, free of corporate bias and control.

That’s why ChangeNYC.Org is taking a strong stand to support a lawsuit brought by civil rights attorney Norman Siegel on behalf of a City Hall blogger and two other online journalists denied press passes by New York City. We have just begun an online petition calling on the City to reform its press credentialing system to assert and protect the First Amendment rights of bloggers.

Please sign the petition below and post a link to it on your blogs, so we can show the City just how many people depend upon the work that you do:

http://www.petitiononline.com/12151791/petition.html

For more information on this lawsuit and the plaintiffs involved, check out this link:

http://truenewsfromchangenyc.blogspot.com/2008/11/freedom-of-press-for-nyc-bloggers.html

I have signed this petition. If you value reading (or writing) online content you should as well.

Last up, I have long mulled over creating a blog whose sole purpose is calling out miscreants for intellectual property theft and plagiarism. Obviously I have never gotten around to this. I’m a busy Greenpointer. Thankfully I do not need to: someone has already done it.

The site is called You Thought We’d Wouldn’t Notice…but we did and while its primary emphasis seems to be things artistic the above item should be of interest to anyone who has had their online images appropriated without their permission. Do give it a read. Those of you who wish to make a submission can learn how by clicking here.

Miss Heather

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