David Pratt Fired for Plagiarism
TV/Radio/Print personality "Big Fat" David Pratt is a divisive figure among Vancouver/BC sports fans. You either love him or, more probably, loathe the man for his blustery, opinionated views on the topic-du-jour. (He doesn't bother me too much these days)
Well, Pratt haters will be amused to hear that David Pratt has been canned from his side gig at The Province, our local mainstream birdcage liner.
The reason? A blatant rip off of a quote by American writer Rick Reilly, who is known more for being a fraud who poops his pants.
From one toilet to another, eh?
From the mouth of the lion:
The Province is ending the column written by TEAM 1040 AM sports talk-show host David Pratt after he admitted to plagiarizing some portions of a Sports Illustrated piece written by well-known writer Rick Reilly.
The column, celebrating the winding down of the long career of Hockey Night In Canada play by play man Bob Cole, contained some clear similarities to the Reilly piece about legendary U.S. college basketball coach and broadcaster Al McGuire published in the Sept. 18, 2000, edition of Sports Illustrated.
The most striking was a passage in Reilly's piece: "They say he was born 72 years ago last Thursday, but don't believe it. McGuire dropped straight out of Guys and Dolls with a martini in one hand and a basketball in the other."
Pratt wrote in Tuesday's column in The Province: "Cole was born 75 years ago, but it's more likely he dropped straight out of Guys and Dolls with a martini in one hand and a puck in the other."
Now, Pratt claims that radio guys like him rip off/borrow quotes all the time. I suppose that is true, and it's not as if we don't all borrow/use lines.
But this? Purely lazy and purely blatant plagiarism. Pratt admits that he just wanted to go home early on a Saturday afternoon, and he got caught. Ha!
You just know that in today's Internet age, such plagiarism, especially of a fairly well-known quote, is going to be caught by somebody.
As a blogger and *cough*writer*cough*, I know better and liberally utilize quoting and block quoting in my post. How hard would it have been for Pratt to add a simple "As Rick Reilly might say" before his line? That would acknowledge the source, and he'd still have a job.
Now, Pratt's written content was pretty dull and not very intelligent. It's one thing for a blogger on a free-to-visit site, like me, to write crap, but it is another for a guy like Pratt to be paid by a newspaper, a product consumers PAY for, to write such drivel on a regular basis. Then again, The Province and the CanWest Empire is hardly known for its quality.
As an aside, I once committed by own act of plagiarism by posting material written by Rich "The American Hockey Fan", and should have been more vigilant in my posting.
A friend of mine had sent me a very humourous take-off on those Nigerian SPAM mails we receive all too often. I thought it was my friend who had written it, and so I posted it on my site. I didn't realize that Ritch had posted that material, which he wrote, the day before.
Lesson: I should have asked my friend if he wrote the material. He was known for funny stuff, so I just 'assumed'.
When you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U and ME