Does Mark Morford read AskMe? December 10, 2004 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Does Mark Morford read ask mefi? It sure looks like it.
posted by googly to MetaFilter-Related at 8:56 AM (49 comments total)

Let's all wave to him! Hi Mark Morford!!! Any other columns you'd like us to write for you?

(lazyweb journalism and MeFi have a long history together, you know)
posted by briank at 8:59 AM on December 10, 2004


Wow. It's not really plagarism...maybe more like one of those "starter" term papers you can buy off the web, complete with spelling mistakes and bad writing, but full of all the research, cites, and ideas you need to crib an 'A' paper in a matter of hours, instead of days!

If *I* were a newspaper columnist, I might write about this phenomena (the "cribbing off web discussions" phenomena, not term paper mills) for a week when I needed more time for holiday shopping and stuff.

Do you think Morford reads MetaTalk, too?
posted by availablelight at 9:07 AM on December 10, 2004


A virtually identical discussion of songs and products is happening on the Cafe Society board of the Straight Dope right now. Maybe he's cribbing from them.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:21 AM on December 10, 2004


Woo-hoo! Finally, someone has plagiarized me!
posted by Quartermass at 9:27 AM on December 10, 2004


I'm pretty sure Mark reads MeFi, so it's not out of the question that he saw that thread. Uncanny timing.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:33 AM on December 10, 2004


Are you trying to claim that because Mark Morford and users of MetaFilter have seen the same commercials that he actually took the references straight from the thread?

Seems a little silly.
posted by xmutex at 9:45 AM on December 10, 2004


I've noticed a fairly regular correlation between MeFi posts and what Morford writes about. Sometimes its a week or two later so maybe he's not culling ideas from here. Maybe its just that MeFi is one of those early warning news places?

MeFi usually leads the national news by at least a week.

Its part of what makes me feel cool when someone asks me what's new and then they see it on the news the next day.

If he does happen to read MetaTalk, hey Mark, bring back the edge, man! You used to be riding the razor and you've lately sort of softened into random rants. That's fine for the blogset but you're supposed to be setting the pace!

And when he was on his A game, he had some of the best columns I've ever read.
posted by fenriq at 9:59 AM on December 10, 2004


I wrote and asked him. Quelle idee!
posted by scarabic at 10:01 AM on December 10, 2004


Do report back, Scarabic! We're all waiting with bated breath.
posted by availablelight at 10:11 AM on December 10, 2004


Are you trying to claim that because Mark Morford and users of MetaFilter have seen the same commercials that he actually took the references straight from the thread?

No, I am claiming that because (a) the ask mefi thread appeared the day before the Morford article; and (b) the general idea of exploring the incongruous pairings of songs and ads is the same; and (c) a great many of the references are the same; and (d) the overall tone of the piece echoes the tone of most of the responses in the thread; that the timing of Morford's article is, to use Matt's nicely-chosen word, "uncanny."

Could be a coincidence. Could be a gestalt effect. Could be intellectual laziness. I just thought it was worth posting.


On preview: thanks scarabic! I was thinking of doing the same thing myself.....
posted by googly at 10:14 AM on December 10, 2004


BTW: It's entirely possible that MM's column might have been submitted days ago, and only posted on December 10th.
posted by googly at 10:17 AM on December 10, 2004


It's possible, as a column writer, that he was bopping around the net and got inspired by the AskMe thread. If so, what exactly is the point? Is he bad for doing it? Are we great for inspiring him? In the absence of plagiarism, I say pretty much that all's fair.

My other thought is that he'd have to be empty-handed pretty close to deadline in order for this to have been true. The column is dated 12/10, but did it run in print? Somebody grab a paper. If so, it was probably written on 12/9 or before. If he was really sitting there with ntohing to write yesterday, on deadline, then something's not right over there. But that's his problem.
posted by scarabic at 10:19 AM on December 10, 2004


Wouldn't his deadline have been well before the aMefi post? It is a weekly, after all - the ones I've worked with have a 3 or four (!) day lead time for all columns. (Which is why I don't get my news there.)
On previeow: what googly said. Good suggestion, google googly!!
posted by metaculpa at 10:19 AM on December 10, 2004


I would say a good portion of the cartoons I've done have been at least partially inspired by subjects/arguments raised on MetaFilter. I don't really get how people are suprised that a web site devoted to finding and discussing interesting items on the internet lead to people discussing interesting items found on the internet.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:48 AM on December 10, 2004


btw, I don't mind if he totally cribbed the whole story idea off Ask Metafilter if he actually did. It's cool with me if anyone does that. I'm curious if we actually had influence on his column, since that's kind of cool that ideas can get out from this silly little site into the hands of hundreds of thousands of people in SF.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:01 AM on December 10, 2004


this silly little site

Is that less cool than lola flashing on the idea to ask MeFites about it in the first place, and thereby causing a really interesting conversation about it among dozens of smart people from all around the world, with hundreds if not thousands more reading along?

I don't think so. Matt, God bless you, but you're overly impressed with mainstream media. You've got a much cooler thing going on here.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:06 AM on December 10, 2004


you're overly impressed with mainstream media

I just like it when ideas are freely shared is all. A post becoming a story becoming a comic becoming a painting becoming a conversation is fine.

Plagarism, schmalgerism, I like it when ideas pass on and get used by others in interesting ways.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:26 AM on December 10, 2004 [1 favorite]


That whole ask mefi thread is a rehash of a Howard Stern conversation earlier this week when they were having Joe Perry on. I can't remember what day it was, maybe Tuesday of Wednesday. Maybe he got the idea from there.
posted by jonah at 12:10 PM on December 10, 2004


I did ask for "any words to pass along," so I think it's fair to paste Mark's email here:

Wow. How very odd and unfortunate of them to think so. Oh my yes, I do indeed skim Metafilter (via RSS feed) now and then. Love their stuff. But I also skim about 100 other similar sites, media feeds, and newspapers. And I also have a life.

No, sorry, my col had nothing to do with them, and was very much completely inspired by me seeing the goddamn Buick commercial late one night, last week. I started compiling TV song use info from songtitle.info (among other places, like iTMS), and went from there. As a former rock-god wannabe from '80s hair bands myself ("Dream On" meant a lot to me, way back when), and as an undying music fan in general, this is a topic I know a great deal about. Never once read the Meta discussion thread that talks about it. Actually, I've never read a Meta discussion thread, period, until you pointed me to this one. Not exactly like this is an unusual or rarely-discussed topic, by the way. It's been around in music newsgroups long before MF was even a wet URL dream. Hey! Maybe I stole the idea from rec.arts.music.discussion way back in 1994!

Ah well. Looks like it's too late anyway. The mild flaming of my columns has begun. I work for a major paper, I must be an idea whore, right? Yawn. Seems many are already convinced i cribbed the idea from, well, somewhere. Just wait until they read the col i do next week on SUVs! Or gay marriage in Canada! Or prescription meds! Or about my secret stash of Fiona Apple bootlegs! Man, i steal from everywhere! Journalism is dead! And so forth.

thanks for the note.

mm

posted by scarabic at 12:21 PM on December 10, 2004


...but you're overly impressed with mainstream media

This is such a snide comment. Dude's excited that his web site was used a source of inspiration for a noted columnist in a popular paper. As anyone would be. Anyone without some sort of large stick lodged deep in their bowel, that is.
posted by xmutex at 12:23 PM on December 10, 2004


The mild flaming of my columns has begun. I work for a major paper, I must be an idea whore, right? Yawn.

If this thread is Morford's idea of flaming, however mild, then he hasn't really spent much time here. Just sayin'.
posted by clever sheep at 12:30 PM on December 10, 2004


his web site was used a source of inspiration for a noted columnist


Or not, in this case. But Matt's right. As a site that makes its living linking to other sites, there's absolutely no big deal if it works both ways from time to time. People here have an exaggerated sense that their comments are gold, GOLD. Well, if we can see it out there and think interesting thoughts about it, so can anyone else. If the mediasphere benefits from the filtering that goes on here, it's only fair, considering how much we benefit from the filtering they do out on their beats every flippin' day.
posted by scarabic at 12:30 PM on December 10, 2004


cleaversheep: Morford used have a quasi-daily newsletter that he'd drop to those on The Morning Fix list. For awhile, he would do a little cut and paste of some the red hot flaming missives he'd receive in response to his lengthier rants/observations. They were blistering - calling him a "fag from SF who has AIDS," etc. So, I don't think, if he read this thread, he perceived some of the callouts in here anything but small change.
posted by sillygit at 12:55 PM on December 10, 2004


that's so cool he answered back.

I really like him (and posted a column of his last year), but am with fenriq--where's the funny righteous indignation i loved so much? Now that Breslin's gone, Mark is pretty much it.
posted by amberglow at 12:56 PM on December 10, 2004


People here have an exaggerated sense that their comments are gold, GOLD.

I've always considered mine platinum, personally.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 12:57 PM on December 10, 2004


cleversheep, Morford posts excerpts from some of his hate mail or used to in his Morning Fix newsletter. I'm sure anyone who's been to Little Green Footballs or any of the other GOP sites is familiar with the fury.

There's a large group of people who hate him because he advocates anal sex among straights as well as gays. That seems to bother some of them for some reason.

I think its cool if he grabbed an idea from here. Even if he's too cool to admit it (yeah, I'm joking since the timeline doesn't work).

How many blog posts have arisen out of MeFi posts? Dozens in my case alone (always with proper attribution, of course!).
posted by fenriq at 12:58 PM on December 10, 2004


Sorry if my comment to #1 came across as snide. I was making the point that what Matt has here is easily as cool as anything distributed on the pressed pulp of dead trees. I do think he's overly impressed by mainstream media, in the sense that it's them that should be impressed by him.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:09 PM on December 10, 2004


I don't care if he cribbed it. That second sentence/paragraph is very funny.
posted by TimeFactor at 1:10 PM on December 10, 2004


"...he advocates anal sex among straights as well as gays..."

Who doesn't?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:27 PM on December 10, 2004


mild flame

Oh, please. It was barely a snark. It's not like anyone told him to eat a bucket of cocks.
posted by briank at 1:42 PM on December 10, 2004


My observation wasn't intended to reflect poorly on Morford. Rather, I hoped to point out how non-flamey the comments had been. If anything, there's been a nice leitmotif of admiration amid general shrugging.
posted by clever sheep at 1:52 PM on December 10, 2004


Myeah, I would cut him a tiny bit of slack if he was a tiny bit defensive. He did get an email out of nowhere pointing him to a conversation, already in progress, wherein he was more or less accused of plagiarism. If googly had just emailed him in the first place, I'm quite sure he wouldn't have even been that tiny bit defensive.

But FWIW, I think he made some legit general criticisms about the way folks here perceive folks like him. Major media = braindead idea thief, etc. I think that POV is unfettered around here, and usually wrong.
posted by scarabic at 2:05 PM on December 10, 2004


Cribbed or no, he answered the fun second part of lola's AskMe question, even though no one in the AskMe thread really did:

lola:
(2) take a product and think of the worst possible song that could be used in an advertisement for it.

Morford:
What's next, Metallica's "Fade to Black" to sell draperies? Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" to sell kiddie Prozac? Why not?
posted by Shane at 2:12 PM on December 10, 2004


FWIW, my original post was intentionally agnostic about the morality of the relationship between Morford's column and mefi. I didn't email him (though I did think about it) because I wasn't interested in accusing him of plagiarism. It should be obvious that I like his column - I noticed the similarity because I religiously read it as soon as it comes out - and I thought it was interesting that it so closely paralleled the ask mefi thread. It seemed reasonable to wonder whether he might have read the thread and used it as inspiration. And I was interested in finding out what other people thought about that. And now I have. Thanks!
posted by googly at 2:41 PM on December 10, 2004


If this thread is Morford's idea of flaming, however mild, then he hasn't really spent much time here. Just sayin'.


Just to meander from the topic a little bit, I think the "Just sayin'." adder I've been seeing with more and more frequency of late is annoying. Of course you're just saying. I didn't think you were also skywriting your comment, or stitching it into a quilt.

Also, it seems cutesy and smug. Especially with the little "dropped g".

If this ugly trend continues, the world will descend into anarchy and trees will die.
posted by Kafkaesque at 5:07 PM on December 10, 2004


What scarabic said. It's pretty pathetic that people see references to topics discussed on MeFi and immediately leap to posting "OMG, this was totally taken from us!" Whether the affect is positive ("Isn't that kewl?") or negative ("Fuckin' plagiarist!") is unimportant, just like MetaFilter in the general scheme of things. If people really think reporters and columnists have nothing better to do than eagerly search this site for possible stories, they've got a poor grasp of reality.

In this particular case, I've been seeing similar stories for years. It's a pretty obvious thing to think and write about. Get a grip, y'all.
posted by languagehat at 5:15 PM on December 10, 2004


You're an evil man, Kaf, but I love you. Just sayin'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:26 PM on December 10, 2004


Evil love is the best kind.
posted by Kafkaesque at 5:28 PM on December 10, 2004


Kafkaesque, so would it better to replace, "just sayin'" with, "eh?"

You know what I'm talking about, eh?

Just sayin' is kind of stupid because no one's actually saying anything here, they're just writin'.
posted by fenriq at 5:33 PM on December 10, 2004


Why replace it with anything? It's unnecessary. You may as well type "water buffalo" at the end of every post. Or "Spock plays the didgeridoo".
posted by Kafkaesque at 5:40 PM on December 10, 2004


Hi Kaf!

...water buffalo
posted by clever sheep at 5:48 PM on December 10, 2004


I think the "Just sayin'." adder I've been seeing with more and more frequency of late is annoying.

I agree. I haven't quite decided that I hate my own balls enough to do a callout on it, but it is an incredibly stupid little rider. Obviously you have just said something. If you mean to diffuse the passion with which you felt it (as in: 'not that I really care, I'm just sayin') why bother? Say what you mean, mean what you say, and if it isn't that big a deal to you, don't say it at all. If you expect and want to deflect lashback, maybe you need to just pull back from the "post" button completely.
posted by scarabic at 6:03 PM on December 10, 2004


Does slashdot read mefi? Does it rip it off wholesale? Two posts in 24h are lifted straight out of the front page: one and two.
posted by ori at 6:22 PM on December 10, 2004


"You know what I'm talking about aboot , eh?"
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:30 PM on December 10, 2004


That should be HI CAFF!!
(The african water buffalo is Syncerus caffer.)

Speaking of Just sayin'., how annoying is small? Only (eh heh) a little?
posted by metaculpa at 6:33 PM on December 10, 2004


Does it rip it off wholesale?

step away from the computer.
enroll in www101.
posted by quonsar at 7:19 PM on December 10, 2004


Also, it seems cutesy and smug.

...you say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by tinamonster at 7:31 PM on December 10, 2004


"November 18, 2004

Dear Diary:

Banner day! Joined Metafilter. Best $5 I ever spent that wasn't on something to eat or drink or have sex with. Have big plans! Feeling a bit nervous.

Diary, do you think the oldskoolers will find me cutesy and smug? Oh Diary, I hope against hope that they do!"
posted by tinamonster at 7:37 PM on December 10, 2004


wealthy boho yuppies, all of whom vaguely remember inhaling back in the '70s and who might've once believed Page & Plant to be demigods but who now only fantasize about owning a riding lawn mower and having sex once a month and glimpsing the babysitter's nipples through her Avril Lavigne T-shirt.

Sums me up pretty well...
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:11 AM on December 11, 2004


« Older NYC Meetup   |   I see two "December 10" headers in the green. Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments