Wednesday, January 25, 2006

R J Matson Plagiarizes Bill Mauldin In the Post Dispatch

R.J. Matson, a political cartoonist employed by the St. Louis Post Dispatch disgraced one of the most historical cartoons of all time in yesterdays paper. He plagiarized Bill Mauldin. It's bad enough that he plagiarized Bill Mauldin, but he did it "front & center" at the St. Louis Post Dispatch, which was Mauldin's newspaper from 1958 - 1962. Mauldin won a Pulitzer while at the post (his second) in 1959.

The cartoon that R.J. Matson plagiarized was the "jeep being shot" Mauldin creation that Amazon currently has as the lead on his book here

R.J. Matson is an "extreme left" political hack cartoonist who shills for the extreme left political hack editorials of the Post each week with a tie in cartoon that relates to their particular offering. The Post has a blog up addressing the Matson Plagiarism here.

I posted the following on the blog:

While the comment from Matson about intent gone wrong is reassuring to know, failure to follow through would appear to in fact make it plagiarism. Perhaps R.J. was too absorbed in his next “Bush Obsessed Bashing” themed cartoon and became distracted from preventing the plagiarism. As a correction how about having RJ Matson draw a cartoon of himself standing beside the Bill Mauldin original. He could have a rifle labeled plagiarism pointed at his foot, and show it going off…………………

I think that is a "perfect" correction to the plagiarism, serious I think it would gain Matson some credibility back......

The STL Today Online Editor (Kurt Greenbaum) thinks that's not fair and hides behind a liberal/conservative blind:

Sorry, but I don’t think that’s fair, Steve. He said he made an error. I’m not sure how this gets turned into a liberal/conservative issue.

Your right Kurt it's not about liberal vs. conservative, it's actually about plagiarism. This is yet another low point for the St. Louis Post Dispatch. A current political hack cartoonist plagiarizes a legend who was employed by them at one point, and they refuse to address the severity of the matter. Instead they say its a right of center attack. No, its a question of credibility Kurt and the Post aint holding much these days.

Well just remember when reading the St. Louis Post Dispatch, plagiarism is just an error........................................


Homage vs. Plagiarism

This link to Grand Valley State University has a cartoon example that seems to fit into this discussion on the Matson cartoon. It also has a definition of plagiarism which states:

PLAGIARISM: using anyone else's ideas, words, graphics, music, or other material without giving them credit (citing the material). Paraphrasing and sampling, when the sources are not cited, are examples of plagiarism.

I did not see anything citing or giving credit to Mauldin’s cartoon. Some have suggested that the Mauldin cartoon was so famous and so well known that no citing was required on Matson’s offering. Is that true, do something’s require citing and some not? What is the line that separates the two?