UPDATE: Jade Bonacolta has been fired from The Spectator for plagiarism.
Earlier today, we reported on a Columbia Spectator article that had a suspiciously similar lede to a certain other paper’s coverage of the same topic: the university’s acquisition of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s archives. Since then, The Spectator has removed the article in question and replaced it with an Editor’s note confirming that at least three paragraphs in the story “were largely identical” to ones in The New York Times aka the Grey Lady aka the national newspaper of record. (The full text of the now removed Spectator article can be found at the end of this post.)
To make matters worse, the Columbia student — Jade Bonacolta, a Spectator associate arts and entertainment editor — stole the material from New York Times writer Robin Pogrebin: a Yalie. This is just like Jonah Lehrer ripping off Fareed Zakaria, amiright?
Presented below are the three plagiarized Spectator paragraphs alongside their original New York Times source material:
“Frank Lloyd Wright was notorious for saving everything, from his personal correspondence to scribbles on Plaza Hotel napkins. Since Wright’s death in 1959, these relics have been locked in storage.”
New York Times:
“The Modernist architect Frank Lloyd Wright wasn’t a hoarder. But he did save just about everything — whether a doodle on a Plaza Hotel cocktail napkin of an imagined city on Ellis Island, his earliest pencil sketch of the spiraling Guggenheim Museum or a model of Broadacre City, his utopian metropolis. Since Wright’s death in 1959 those relics have been locked in storage at his former headquarters —Taliesin, in Spring Green, Wis., and Taliesin West, in Scottsdale, Ariz.”
“Among the University’s future collection are the famous original drawings for Wright’s Fallingwater, a home designed amid a rushing stream in Pennsylvania, and the Robie House, a Prairie-style building on the campus of the University of Chicago.”
New York Times:
“Among the gems in that material are drawings for Wright’s Fallingwater, a home cantilevered over a stream in Mill Run, Pa.; the Robie House, a Prairie-style building on the University of Chicago campus; Unity Temple, a Unitarian Universalist church in Oak Park, Ill.; and Taliesin West.”
“‘While Wright is typically thought of as a lonely genius, you move him into the Museum of Modern Art, and he’s dialoguing with Le Corbusier in the company of Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, and Louis Kahn,’ said Barry Bergdoll, chief curator of architecture and design at the MoMA.”
New York Times:
“While Wright is typically thought of as ‘a lonely genius,’ Mr. Bergdoll said, ‘you move him into the Museum of Modern Art, and he’s dialoguing with Le Corbusier in the company of Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto and Louis Kahn.’”
There you have it. And not only did Bonacolta lift basically full sentences from The New York Times, she went a step further and took a full direct quote from someone she most likely never even spoke to and changed it. Fact: if it’s not in quotation marks, they probably didn’t say those words.
Click through for the full text of the original Spectator story. Read the rest of this entry »