Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

How Olesker Got Busted!

Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, March 2, 2006

I wondered what prompted the Baltimore Sun to review Michael Olesker's work which led to his firing – er resignation. I stumbled across this article in which The Washington Times mentions the Olesker incident.

Editors gain tool to help root out plagiarism

Newspapers have a newfangled foil for the old problem of plagiarism. LexisNexis, the Internet-based information service, now offers CopyGuard, described by spokeswoman Elizabeth Rector as a "plagiarism detection solution."

Using a "similarity index," CopyGuard produces the exact percentage of suspect text that originated from an outside source within minutes, even underlining the offending passages.
The system was tested on a trial basis by the Baltimore Sun to filter six years' worth of columns by Michael Olesker, who resigned in January after failing to attribute some of his sources.

This led me to research a little further and find that the Baltimore City Paper actually broke this story wide open with an impressive investigative report.

They followed up with this article that is pretty much the same content as The Washington Times Story. I hope they didn't plagerize The City Paper.

The City Paper wrote about this in their reporting of Olesker's firing.

Maybe this is old news to you, but the circulation of The City Paper is 100,000 copies and not widely distributed beyond Baltimore City itself. So, dear reader, I thought I would bring it to your attention – just in case. Not because I wanted to bash the liberal Michael Olesker, but because I was impressed by the liberal City Paper's investigative reporting.

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