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As plagiarism scandals go, this is a weird one.


Most plagiarism cases unfold pretty similarly: someone discovers one case of copypaste-ivitis, the writer denies any culpability and chalks it up to a mistake or misunderstanding, someone else discovers more examples of wrongdoing, the writer apologizes and is fired, the world moves on.

On Tuesday, New York Daily News’s Shaun King—one of the paper’s most high-profile and therefore intensely scrutinized writers—was accused of copying an entire paragraph from a Daily Beast article. King took to Twitter to deny any wrongdoing and blame it on an editing error, but other reporters uncovered at least three other instances of his articles containing identical, unsourced passages from other sources.

Here’s where we go off-script. King, a Bernie Sanders supporter, blamed The Daily Beast for surfacing the allegations because Chelsea Clinton sits on its board, then forwarded a series of emails to media reporter Dylan Byers supposedly showing his original articles with hyperlinks and citations included. Subsequently, the Daily News issued a statement backing up King’s story and alleging that it fired an unnamed editor who had repeatedly removed King’s citations from his articles before publication for reasons unknown.

All told, not the best day for any party involved. And the story’s far from over—the New York Daily News has not supplied the name of the editor.