Maureen Dowd is in some trouble today. In her column today, there’s a passage that appears to have been lifted from Josh Marshall’s post on Thursday, May 14th, at his blog, Talking Points Memo.

From Dowd’s column (5-17-2009): “More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.”

(Since editors have changed the column, here is an image of the original, thanks to the blogger who broke this story). Dowd-1

From Marshall’s post (5-14-2009): “More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when we were looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.”

Dowd’s explanation thus far is that while talking to a friend about the column in question on Friday, the friend suggested that Dowd insert the idea represented in this particular passage into her column. Dowd claims ignorance, pointing out that she had no clue her friend was giving her intellectual material belonging to someone else. Yet somehow this “weaving” of information, as she describes it, ends up in the Grey Lady word for word.

This is a big moment. It’s the old establishment versus the new order. The tale of an institutionalized pundit, who once kickstarted a plagiarism controversy herself two decades ago, producing content that, at the very least, is inspired by some dude named Josh Marshall.

The way many traditional media types view bloggers, I’m sure the verdict here will be that Mr. Marshall should have known all along that Ms. Dowd would want to use those twenty-eight words in a row and should have stopped himself from publishing that post.

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