Is Shaun King a plagiarist or does his editor hate quotation marks?

Someone over at the New York Daily News has been thrown under the bus: senior justice writer Shaun King, or his editor.

On Tuesday King was accused of lifting blocks of content from at least three publications after The Daily Beast found two paragraphs from Kate Briquelet’s article about the alleged mistreatment of a black man in a Tulsa county jail inserted into King’s column about the same case. Beast senior editor Justin Miller tweeted the suspicious similarities:

King’s explanation was that attribution to Briquelet’s article and quotations around the two paragraphs in question were included in the draft of the story he sent to his (nameless) editor, and removed prior to publication. NYDN has backed its high-profile hire up all the way on this, including in the editor’s note now affixed to the top of the article. And, by the way, it’s an entirely plausible explanation — I’ve had it happen to me. 

But then!

King’s explanation for this was the same as before: He attributed and quoted properly, his editor removed it, and he never read the piece post-edit and pre-publication nor after it went live. King provided screenshots of what he said were drafts of both articles as he sent them to his editor, and both included the correct attribution. He also wondered if his support of Bernie Sanders and Chelsea Clinton’s presence on the board of directors at IAC, which owns The Daily Beast, had something to do with this.

And then someone found a third instance:

At this point, either King or his editor had some explaining to do. Here it is:

The unnamed editor has been fired, and NYDN maintains — as it did from the start — that King did nothing wrong. In the future, he might want to give his stuff a read-through before it’s published, or immediately afterwards.

UPDATE: The editor in question has been named by CNN’s Dylan Byers as Jotham Sederstrom. Byers only has one source on this, but it makes sense: Sederstrom is one of six names on the emails King tweeted that he sent to his editors, and just last month, King and Sederstrom shared this exchange:


[photo via]