When it comes to the big journalism scandals -- plagiarism, fabrication, that sort of thing -- the arts desk tends to be left out of the action: unscathed, perhaps, but also sidelined, a mere spectator to the drama.
So it's ever so slightly startling to realize that many of the pieces purloined by Timothy Goeglein, who resigned Friday as an aide to President Bush after blogger Nancy Nall exposed his plagiarizing ways, are works of arts journalism.
Michiko Kakutani and James Sterngold in The New York Times, Tim Page and William Booth in The Washington Post, Eric Ormsby and Bruce Bennett in The New York Sun, Tracy Lee Simmons in the National Review, Roger Kimball in The Wall Street Journal -- the list goes on. All of them, and others, had their writing stolen by Goeglein, who submitted it under his own byline in "guest columns" for his hometown paper, the Fort Wayne, Ind., News-Sentinel.
The News-Sentinel said Saturday that "20 of 38 [of Goeglein's] columns published from 2000-08 have been found to have portions copied from other sources without attribution." But a quick compare-and-contrast of one such column with the original, a John Wayne centenary essay by Bruce Bennett in The New York Sun, shows that the "portion" lifted by the now disgraced White House aide could be, oh, just about the entire article -- augmented by some brief and appallingly cheesy passages that probably are Goeglein's own.