Jill Abramson responded late Wednesday evening to accusations of plagiarism in her new book “Merchants of Truth,” telling followers on Twitter that people within Vice were just unhappy about her “balanced” portrayal of the company, but that she would review the passages flagged.
“The attacks on my book from some @vicenews reflect their unhappiness with what I consider a balanced portrayal,” the former New York Times executive editor said. “I endeavored to accurately and properly give attribution to the hundreds of sources that were part of my research. I take seriously the issues raised and will review the passages in question.”
Just hours earlier, Vice News Tonight correspondent Michael Moynihan posted a lengthy thread citing specific examples where he said Abramson had lifted, with only moderate edits, whole paragraphs from other articles and even a thesis paper about the company.
“‘All three* chapters on Vice were clotted with mistakes. Lots of them. The truth promised in Merchants of Truth was often not true,” Moynihan said before laying it all out in this Twitter thread. “While trying to corroborate certain claims, I noticed that it also contained…plagiarized passages.”
Moynihan is no stranger to the plagiarism beat, famously busting New Yorker writer Jonah Lehrer for fabricating whole quotations which were then falsely attributed to Bob Dylan in Lehrer’s book “Imagine: How Creativity Works.” Lehrer’s books were later recalled, and his career has never fully recovered.
Reps for Vice did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap. Abramson did not respond to multiple requests for comment Wednesday and Thursday, though she appeared on Fox News Wednesday evening roughly an hour after the story broke, denying the charges to anchor Martha MacCallum.
“I certainly didn’t plagiarize in my book,” she said — before going onto admit that she had not read the specific allegations made. Before the Moynihan accusation, the book had already been marred by widely circulated factual errors about Vice.
The latest disclosures likely mark the end of what has been a largely sympathetic media tour for Abramson, as questions about the integrity of her book continue to mount.
“Merchants of Truth” hit bookstores nationwide on Tuesday.