Daily Archives: June 7, 2012

Oliver North asked “dear friend” and Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. 1st Class Sammy Davis to explain why it was important for Vietnam veterans to gather for Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s Memorial Day ceremony.

In his May 18 syndicated column, North published this quote from Davis: “Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once acted their best, men who suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped raw, right down to their humanity. I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate. But I know them in a way I know no other men.”

The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi points out those same words appear in Vietnam veteran Michael Norman’s 1990 memoir, “These Good Men: Friendships Forged in War.”

Farhi writes:

How did Norman’s words end up attributed to a man who never said them? A mistake? Or a case of plagiarism?

The question continues to rile Norman. He said he was still waiting for an explanation from North, Davis and Fox News, which employs North as a program host and published his Memorial Day column on its Fox News Insider Web site. The site promotes Fox’s programs and news personalities.

“I’d just like them to give a clear account of how this happened,” said Norman, a former New York Times reporter who is a journalism professor at New York University. “So far, they’ve been anything but clear.”

Fox News removed the lifted quote from North’s column after Farhi pointed it out, and told readers in an editor’s note that North had included them “through no fault of his own.” Later, Fox simply took the piece offline. (It remains on other sites, though.)

What the network did, says Norman, was issue “a non-correction correction and a non-apology apology” and “from a journalism professor’s perspective, it’s one of the more bizarre handling of a plagiarism accusation that I’ve ever seen.”

* Oliver North column raises a vet’s ire (Washington Post)
* Oliver North’s Memorial Day column: “Welcome Home, Finally”
* NYU at war: Michael Norman (Washington Square News)