The Huffington Post suspended writer Amy Lee for doing what boils down to taking too much from an Ad Age story.Gawker jumped on the story, finding an ex-HuffPo employee who said, “This is what we were taught and told to do at HuffPost.“
At The Awl, Choire Sicha agrees: “The writer, who seems to be Yale class of (something fairly recent), Amy Lee, was doing pretty much what she’d been trained to do, either overtly or covertly, and she took the fall for the HuffPo, which is so obviously baloney.”
AdWeek spoke with editor Peter Goodman who made the call to suspend Lee, and the former New York Times man did little to clear up the situation. He sort of alluded to previous transgressions made by Lee but backed down from that statement by the end of the interview. He told Dylan Byers that he was not “throwing Lee under the bus” and that he, as her editor, was partially to blame.
“We are all sharing in responsibility,” he said. “This is a fail on an important issue by our news room. We’re going to take the proper steps to better, because this just simply doesn’t reflect the values that are guiding us.”
Which is a fine thing to say, except the facts of the case don’t lead to that conclusion. If Lee gets in trouble for her transgressions, Goodman should as well. He’s her editor, therefore, he is responsible for what she produces. The higher ups at Huffington Post tried to make a bad situation go away by firing Lee, a young journalist who didn’t have the power to fight back.
Conclusion: Someone hire Amy Lee. She may have erred by using too much of another reporter’s story, but she doesn’t deserve this treatment. No one does.
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