Friday, November 27, 2009

Jeffrey Jolson, Publisher and Editor-in-chief at Hollywood Today, Responds to Absence of Source Attributions at Tareq Salahi ATFB Story

I just received an e-mail, titled "Libel," from Jeffrey Jolson, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, at Hollywood Today. He responds to my post, "Did Hollywood Today Plagiarize American Power on Tareq Salahi's Palestinian Ties?" Mr. Jolson writes (available publically in the comments here) that he'd never heard of American Power before, not until I posted my "libelous blog link" on his page. He also suggests that at the time of writing, there were 525 online stories of Salahi's ties to ATFP, although the screencap of Tareq Salahi at the ATFP website "may have orginated" at KABOBfest, which Mr. Jolson claims was widely availble by the time he was working on his report at 3:00 in the morning.

Mr. Jolson is actually quite amicable in the remainder of the e-mail, although he condescends without any clear journalistic (or hierarchical) justification for doing so. But to be clear:

* I did not link my post at Hollywood Today. Readers can check the
comment I left at the comment form signed as "Americaneocon," my online handle. It's a typical blog comment form, asking for the author's information, etc., and I wrote:
If I’m not mistaken, this essay cites my post, published yesterday, without proper attribution. Please update with an acknowledgement and link to my blog post at American Power Blog. At the least, please e-mail with an explanation of your sources.
* I make no firm allegations as to plagiarism. I only infer and pose questions, since I cannot know for sure, and libel requires malicious intent, of which I have none. I'm simply looking for recognition where recognition's due, if it is in fact due (and while I believe so, there's no independent confirmation -- so yeah, it's hard out there for a blogger). Thus, it's hardly accurate for Mr. Jolson to allege libel. That said, the prose styling and phrasing between my post and Mr. Jolson's are exceedingly close -- damned near identical, in fact -- so I ask Mr. Jolson to forward his specific references and links to ATFP's "America-bashing" and "power-sharing" with Hamas. When I wrote my piece last night on ATFP, I searched "ATFP Hamas" in Google, and checking the first dozen or so results turned up little specific commentary and analysis on the group's calls for power-sharing with Hamas; and besides, Mr. Jolson's essay does not cite the one piece, of the first dozen or so entries at the search, that really does, "Palestinian National Unity: The Question of Hamas (ATFP)."

* Mr. Jolson claims I erred at my entry, where he notes (
also in the comments at my post):
I am writing a follow-up story on the Salahis tonight, and am happy to quote you in it (with full credit of course) -- maybe use that paragraph of yours that further outline Taraq Salahi's links to Palestinian causes. Is he really a Palestinian national? I did not know that. The Secret Service apparently did not vet him then, yes? That alone would have gotten him an armed escort at the State Dinner, even if we are promoting peace from all sides. And he would not have gotten to shake hands with President Obama. Sorry you were wrong about that too. He did get close to the President and the honorees. The White House has issued the photo to major media, HT included though we are small compared to the Times or Post.
That'd be nice to get a quote at the follow up piece, but again, to be clear: My post links to Discover the Network's entry on ATFP (here). It's there that the group is identified as "nationalist," as in the nationalist aspirations noted in the first paragraph:
Established in 2003, the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), originally called the American Committee on Jerusalem, is a not-for-profit group whose goal is to persuade U.S. lawmakers to support the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel "in the territories occupied in 1967." ATFP favors "a two state solution, with a shared Jerusalem and a just solution for the refugee problem according to international law."
Further, I've never said a word about Mr. Salahi shaking hands with the president. My concern all along is that a Washington insider/operative with ties to a nationalist Palestinian group that has blamed U.S. foreign policy for 9/11, and that has sought to integrate Hamas into a power-sharing agreement at the PA, might not be the first person I'd trust to be whooshed into a black-tie affair of state at the White House. And, as I noted, my initial concerns were bolstered by the comments of security experts and those who've written on Secet Service protocol. I'm confident that my analysis is perfectly accurate so far.

In any case, Mr. Jolson has asked if I'd be interested in publishing an essay at Hollywood Today. That's very kind, although I'm not sure if I'll have time, considering my backlog of papers waiting to be graded, as well as my regular publishing load at this blog, as well at
Pajamas Media, FrontPage Magazine, and Right Wing News. (And that's to say nothing of the holiday family time I'm also currently enjoying.)

In his reponse, Mr. Jolson pumps up his contacts with mainstream press outlets such as Associated Press and the New York Times. But given the very strained relationships those two organizations have with the top bloggers across the web, may I suggest -- with all due respect -- that Mr. Jolson become a bit more familiar with the norms and standards of attribution common to those regularly breaking stories across the blogosphere.


FeFe said...

Salahi's "charity" is working with the Indian ambassador on an upcoming polo event. ISS infiltration a la Mumbai?