The Daily Beast's suspended chief investigative reporter has resigned over a plagiarism scandal.
Gerald Posner, who was suspended by the IAC-owned website while it investigated claims of plagiarism identified by Slate's Jack Shafer, offered his resignation Wednesday:
This afternoon I received a call from Edward Felsenthal, the excellent managing editor of The Daily Beast. He informed me that as part of the Beast's internal investigation, they had uncovered more instances in earlier articles of mine in which there the same problems of apparent plagiarism as the ones originally brought to life last Friday by Shafer. I instantly offered my resignation and Edward accepted.
What was clear was that the excellent reputation established by The Daily Beast in the last year should not be tarnished by any controversy swirling around me.
Posner, who has written 26 books, blames the switch to internet writing for an honest mistake that compromised his journalistic ethics:
I realize how it is that I have inadvertently, but repeatedly, violated my own high standards. The core of my problem was in shifting from that of a book writer - with two years or more on a project - to what I describe as the "warp speed of the net." For the Beast articles, I created master electronic files, which contained all the information I developed about a topic - that included interviews, scanned documents, published articles, and public information. I often had master files that were 15,000 words, that needed to be cut into a story of 1,000 to 1500 words.
In the compressed deadlines of the Beast, it now seems certain that those master file were a recipe for disaster for me. It allowed already published sources to get through to a number of my final and in the quick turnaround I then obviously lost sight of the fact that it belonged to a published source instead of being something I wrote.
He says he will refrain from writing for the internet "until I am satisfied that I can do so without violating my own standards and the basic rules of journalism."