The Montgomery County Bulletin Plagiarism Scandal

The story of the Montgomery County (Texas) Bulletin Plagiarism scandal, so far:

1) A reader pointed out to writer Jody Rosen that an article he had written about Jimmy Buffett had been plagiarized by Mark Williams, a writer for a small weekly Texas paper, the Montgomery County Bulletin.

2) Rosen contacted the editor of the Bulletin, Mike Ladyman, who pretty much blew him off.

3) Rosen did some more investigating and realized that Mark Williams had plagiarized almost EVERYTHING he wrote for the Bulletin. And a substantial amount of the rest of the content of the Bulletin also came from plagiarized sources.

4) Rosen published an article in Slate about what he had found.

5) Mike Ladyman, in response, decided to cease publication of the Bulletin.

It's interesting to read the statements of Ladyman and Williams. They truly seem to feel they're the injured parties in all of this. (Cognitive dissonance at work.) Ladyman, for instance, complains that Rosen didn't handle the process "professionally." And Williams sarcastically congratulates Rosen for "breaking an already fragile soul."

There seemed to be some question about whether Mark Williams was actually a real person, or an alter ego of Mike Ladyman. However, Williams talked to NPR's On the Media, so apparently he is real. (Thanks to Joe Littrell!)


Posted on Sun Aug 10, 2008


I've read Ladyman's response to Rosen's journalism about his publicatiion's plagiarism.

Ladyman is acting like, well, a lady man about this whole thing.

Your operation got caught, Dude. Move on with your life.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Aug 11, 2008  at  12:23 AM
Ladyman and Williams aren't sorry about the plagiarism, they're sorry they got caught.

Posted by Nicolletta  on  Mon Aug 11, 2008  at  08:38 AM
Alex, I never thought I'd see you, the famous Hoaxpert, saying that the fact someone was interviewed on the radio means that he/she is a real person. Plenty of imposters have been interviewed on radio and TV, made "personal" appearances, etc., as you well know.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Mon Aug 11, 2008  at  09:10 AM
Maybe Mark Williams is really Andy Kaufman.

But on a serious note, Ladyman failed in his job by not reacting immediately when the charges of plagiarism were brought to his attention.

And Williams is just a scummy waste of skin. His letter is offensive in its wounded righteousness. Then he tries what is becoming a very common line of defense in America, the "clinical depression" route. While depression can be a very serious condition, it's usually not the cause of criminal behavior.
Posted by Vitajex  on  Mon Aug 11, 2008  at  12:30 PM
Big Gary -- Good catch. Attribute it to a moment of laziness. I figured that the folks at NPR surely must have done their homework, and if Ladyman is Williams, then he just upped the ante by getting someone else to pose as Williams. Either that, or he's good at imitating someone's else voice on the phone.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Mon Aug 11, 2008  at  01:25 PM
"Plenty of imposters have been interviewed on radio and TV, made "personal" appearances, etc., as you well know."

[Cranky Media Guy shuffles his feet, clears his throat nervously and makes "who, me?" face]
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Aug 11, 2008  at  06:37 PM
I wonder where Mark Williams found the 'inspiration' for his letter?
I really have a feeling I have seen it before somewhere...
Posted by Mikkel  on  Thu Aug 14, 2008  at  06:00 AM
1.) there is a mark williams I have met with in person to interview him about an article he wrote as I was writing a followup article he had written.

2) There is a mike ladyman as I have met with him as we were bartering web servers for advertising in his paper.

And mark and mike are two different people.

You people don't understand the prospect of entrusting people to perform the work they were hired for and not micromanaging them. Mr Ladyman was not aware of the plagerisim or he would of never permitted it to cause damage to his newspaper he ran for over a decade.

Most articles I see talking about the demise of "the bulletin" always toss in the fact that "The Bulletin" was some wacky left wing rag/paper and it makes me wonder if it is really about the plagerism or is it a way to try and shut down an open minded paper that has controversial articles.

I believe the accusations that mike ladyman created the identity of mark williams as a ghost writer should be considered liable and slanderious and done in a malicious manner to cause damages to the name and reputation of "The Bulletin"

The Bulletin is not dead just making some changes.

Shawn Brockup
Posted by Shawn Brockup  on  Tue Sep 02, 2008  at  12:27 PM
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