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Kristina Ruiz Healy defends plagiarism: Part 3

Kristina called me back last night, Monday. Seems she's been out of town for a few weeks, when I was trying to get a quote from her on the Plagiarism Polka story.

After talking to her, my deepest fears were realized. Does language matter anymore in journalism? Have journalists forgotten how to tell the truth?

La Kristina's voice was crinkly, muy lastimada that she was fired. She believes she's a victim.

"I was an intern... I was learning...I wasn't a [full-time] person."

In case I didn't spell it out in the previous blogs about plagiarism, let me do it now. What Kristina did is called stealing. La girlfriend got caught before she left the house with the goods. It's poetic justice that a commentator who wrote about crime incessantly - committed a crime herself. But who doesn't think she deserves to go to jail.

The reason that the San Antonio Express-News should make the plagiarism public:

1. Bob Rivard, the Executive Editor, has made a national platform …

The SAEN's double standard for plagiarism: Part 2

When you talk about plagiarism, ay que entenderque there is a double standard. It depends on who says what. Here are excerpts of essays I wrote back in June 2003 about free-lance columnist Julio Noboa and Jonathan Gurwitz, who's a regular columnist on the Opinion pages of the San Antonio Express-News:

June 2003

This past March, Noboa’s Saturday columns were terminated from the San Antonio Express-News. The reasons given by Editorial Page Editor Lynell Burkett in the Opinion Pages were his heavy reliance on one source and a “lack of attribution” in a column, “Jenin survivors ending the silence” (SAEN, 3/1/03) regarding the well-documented Israeli assault on the Palestinian refugee town. These are charges, according to experienced journalists I’ve spoken with, that are unjust for a free-lance columnist. The attribution issue could have easily been handled in a subsequent column, they assert. Other professionals tell me that the termination is a veil for his defense of the “p” word - …

Kristina Ruiz Healy Fired for Plagiarism at the SAEN: Part 1

I never liked her columns or commentaries that had nothing to do with me. And now I understand why.

Turns out that a golden chica, Kristina Ruiz Healy, recently of Conexion and Texas Public Radio, was fired this November 4th for plagiarism. Let's be clear - it was "unpublished" – a smart editor discovered that she'd plagiarized three different web sources on a submitted story.

The word was marigold. Flowers for the dead.

The article I found that she published last was the Naco piece in the September 29 – October 5, 2000, issue for a total of 28 essays she published in Conexion this year (but I count worse than I write, so don’t quote me).

Why does the plagiarism matter? Because Rivard made a national podium for himself when the SAEN’s Macarena Hernandez, now a columnist of the Dallas Morning News, was plagiarized by the New York Times – you remember Jayson Blair, don’t you?

At the time of her firing, Kristina was free-lancing for Conexion and working 20 hours per week as …

Censorship at the San Antonio Express-News

"If you keep this up," said Lynell Burkett, Editorial Page Editor, (mas o menos, because I didn't take notes). Soft and sweet, because she's a nice lady who either doesn't care or doesn't have a clue. "If you keep this up," threatening me suavecito for criticizing the refried columns in the Opinion Pages. Before and after 9/11.

"You won't be published."

And she said this with a smile.

So began the magical odyssey of the San Antonio Express-News as columnist after columnist echoed, shadowed, boot-licked, the White House chinga-chinga policy after the Twin Tower attacks and it only got worse when President Bush and his compadres decided to invade Iraq.

I want you to know that I was censured at the very moment we were supposedly fighting for democracy.

I want you to know that the full-time columnists there were blinded by their individual and collective prejudice - and fear.

Since 9/11, some of the best journalists have left the SA-EN, fired or…