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Saturday, June 5, 2004
Limbaugh’s Web Staff, “Research,” and Citation

By Steven Taylor @ 11:02 am

Kevin Alyward notes that the web team at rushhlimbaugh.com don’t understand common courtesy/the basic rules of citation. In this case they have used scans from Jessica’s Well without attribution.

Indeed, whoever does the web work over there is a bit sloppy on their web research. Clearly what they do is do web searches as if that is actual research, and once finding something they like, go with it without fully source-checking or paying attention to e-mails about what they have posted.

Another case in point was the PoliBlog: FDR and the “Remember Pearl Harbor” Button, which they found online and posted on their web site (and used on the air) as an example of FDR using Pearl Harbor as a campaign issue. Ends up (as a grad student of mine found out) that the button wasn’t a button, and didn’t come from the FDR campaign-although it was an authentic item (go read the post, it is actually an interesting story).

I e-mail Limbaugh about it, and got no response, which was unfortunate, and not just because PoliBlog missed out on a major national mention, which would have been nice, but because the truth behind the story was never released to the public.

It seemed to me that at a minimum some sort of correction should have been posted to their web site.

Further, it was clear that they found the FDR graphic and ran with it, without finding out what it was (which, I will grant, I did as well, but also did research myself and posted the findings of others-which were more significant than mine-as new info was made available).

In short: the Limbaugh web site’s team exhibited poor research skills in the first place, and then did not take advantage of information provided to them, and, more importantly, treated thier web site as a static medium rather than a dynamic one.

Two notes. First, I refer to the “web team” because I highly doubt that Limbaugh is finding all this stuff himself, and I know full well that he doesn’t maintain the web site. However, this is not to absolve him of responsibility-it is his show and his name is on the site. I am just trying to be accurate.

Second, the story above about the FDR “button” is not sour grapes (i.e., they didn’t listen to me, so I am mad” etc.). Indeed, I had forgotten all about it until I saw the Jessica’s Well story. However, combined with the JW story, it struck me that both examples show the lack of responsiveness to the Blogosphere by whomever it is that answers the e-mail at EIB. In the case of the FDR piece, it meant that they were ignoring vital information that would update a story that they have propagated, and in the case of JW they are not giving credit where credit is due. To us Blogospherians, neither is acceptable. And even beyond the Blogosphere, not citing your sources is similarly unacceptable.

UPDATE/CLARIFICAITON: The Politburo Diktat and Wizbang are citing me as another example of what the Commissar has termed “blagiarism"-this is not the case. Rather my experience was one of being ignored in terms of an e-mail regarding an item that they had found independently on the web (the FDR “button"). A graduate student of mine discovered, through researching the piece and contacting the museum that had it, that the piece was not a button but an item created by Jack Ruby (yes, that Jack Ruby). Since Limbaugh had used the “button” on the air and on his web site, it seemed that an a minimum an on-line correction was warranted. But to be clear: they did not find the “button” on my site-they found it independently.

My only point about my experience was not they should have paid attention to little ol’ me, per se, but that when presented with such significant information about the piece (because Limbaugh had thought the button to be an actual FDR campaign piece) that they should have issued some kind of correction. This is something that is common in the Blogosphere, and something that someone with a web site should easily be able to do.

  • Wizbang linked with Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Thief
  • The Politburo Diktat linked with EIB - Excellence in Blagiarizing
  • Modulator linked with Limbaugh: Surely You Didn't Expect Honesty
  • Outside the Beltway linked with Limbaugh Stealing from Blogs?
  • Jessica’s Well linked with LOOKING FOR THAT 16TH MINUTE!

Click here to go to the main page.

2 Comments

  1. both examples show the lack of responsiveness to the Blogosphere by whomever it is that answers the e-mail at EIB.

    With all due respect Steven, they get about a million emails in a good week from what Rush said once. The odds a human read your mail are pretty slim.

    (unless you have a different addy)

    Comment by Paul — Sunday, June 6, 2004 @ 9:04 am

  2. A fair statement. By the same token, it is clear that they read the mail. Limbaugh often reads e-mail on air that he receives within an hour or less of them being sent.

    I am not all hot and bothered about this as Kevin is-I see it more as a failure of the EIB folks to adequately understand the web-and not just th blogosphere. It is obvious that they are finding things via searches and running with them.

    Comment by Steven — Sunday, June 6, 2004 @ 1:04 pm

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