Addicted to novelty since 2001

Update on Ms. Yanor’s Site

This is pretty shameful. Maybe her blog page features an old column, but there’s no indication of that. Regardless, she shamefully has lifted entire sentences from this New York Times article without attribution. Here’s a chunk of her entry:

Schopenhauer wrote that its presence in a person’s heart was a clear sign of evil. but scientists who study schadenfreude take a more charitable view. however contemptible schadenfreude may seem, they say, we are programmed to feel it. when an event happens, say, in the form of a sudden job loss, the argument goes, people are prone to the same emotions they might experience if that overpaid colleague of theirs got into trouble with the boss. of course, not everyone feels schadenfreude at the same events or to the same degree. research has shown that people with low self-esteem are more susceptible to schadenfreude than those whose self-regard is high. and while some may bask in this glee unapologetically, others might quickly feel ashamed of it, and successfully shut off their schadenfreude valves.

And here’s the original source material that she stole from:

Philosophers through the ages have pondered the nature of schadenfreude. Schopenhauer wrote that its presence in a person’s heart was a clear sign of evil…But scientists who study schadenfreude take a more charitable view. However contemptible schadenfreude may seem, they say, we are programmed to feel it…

When that event comes, say, in the form of a Congressional investigation into possible insider trading, the argument goes, people are prone to the same emotions they might experience if that overpaid colleague of theirs got into trouble with the boss.

Of course, not everyone feels schadenfreude at the same events or to the same degree. Research has shown that people with low self-esteem are more susceptible to schadenfreude than those whose self-regard is high. And while some may bask in this glee unapologetically, others might quickly feel ashamed of it, and successfully shut off their schadenfreude valves.

Inexplicably, she’s dispensed with proper grammar and punctuation in her weblog entry. Is this to conceal her crime or just to personalize the material?

This isn’t the original act of plagiarism that Ms. Yanor was caught for–that was a piece about snowboarding baby-boomers. Given that piece and how freely she steals from the Times here, I wonder just how often she’s ‘borrowed’ her column from another source. You’d think that after this story broke to the national media, she might take this particular theft off her site.

UPDATE: As somebody pointed out in the comments, Ms. Yanor has removed all of the content from her site. I expected this, so I saved a copy of the schadenfreude essay discussed above. You can see it here.

20 Responses to “Update on Ms. Yanor’s Site”

  1. Maggie

    I am currently taking a class on plagerism and thought your comments were interesting and to the point. I would like to copy and paste your article into my class online bulletin board.

    We use APA stye of citation, any objection?
    Thank you

  2. becky

    No sympathy for plagiarists. As a (semi) writer myself, I can’t imagine how violating it feels to have someone steal your material without credit.

    You’d be surprised how many students still do it, and are surprised at the consequences when they’re caught.

  3. Moxee

    Oh the irony of the line at the bottom of her blog…”Content may only be published with prior written consent”…Darren, I do hope you have written consent before reprinting her “work”? :)

  4. moxee

    ooops…apparently i shoud read *all* your posts on this before commenting on the first one i read!!!! lol…am i now plagerizing your thoughts??? dammit!

  5. morph

    This is almost as good as Jack Kelley the USA Today reporter who just decieded to make things up.

  6. anacronyms

    It almost beggars belief.

    The ‘schadenfreude’ entry seems to be complaining about people gloating over her fall from grace. And yet parts of it are stolen.

    It’s just sooooo WEIRD.

    Given that Ms. Yanor’s day job is writing for the Discovery Channel, I wonder how they feel about this whole thing?

    On the other hand, I’ve found an interesting blog. Silver linings and all that.

  7. Allison

    I agree, not only was it wrong of her, the Vancouver Sun should be doing some checking. I’m not sure how good for morale it would be but perhaps newspapers could use those computer programs that can check if undergrad essays or programs are too similar. That might not be practical either and the need might not be there. A friend (an excellent writer) took journalism in university, and I’ve seen him struggle writing for one small town paper and then another. It’s difficult to get a column and the majority of people who get one aren’t going to potentially sabotage it by plagiarizing.

    I find Ms Yanors’ argument that she was not a journalist a cop-out. She would have saved more face if she had simply said “mea culpa” immediately instead of disappearing.

    But on the upside, it was good to come across this blog. Interesting site!

  8. erica

    I am not sure if Yanor should have been let go for plagerism or complete stupidity. The article she submitted is laughable. I honestly can not imagine how you can make a few changes and actually hit the print button and think that no one is going to catch on to you. She has given up her article because she is now married and that’s a lie she doesn’t want to continue with? Please.

  9. Jason King

    I find Ms. Yanor’s response the strangest part of this entire situation. No remorse, no acknowledgement that her actions may have embarrased her coworkers, no understanding of the underlying problem with doing what she did.

    Her entire attitude is a bit like her column, an attitude of being “above it all”. People make mistakes, and I can forgive people who say “yes, I completely screwed up, it was a stupid thing to do and I apologize to anyone who was affected by it”. But Ms. Yanor seems content to act like its no big deal and that she didn’t really need the job anyway.

    I really hope this isn’t a sign of things to come…there is enough cynicism towards journalism as it is.

  10. frymaster

    as my sister-in-law, a former professor of philosophy, once said to a studen:

    “these are not your words. these are thomas aquinas’ words.”

  11. anacronyms

    Yanor has apparently pulled all content off her site, including the laughable ‘Schadenfreude’ column.

    Unbelievable.

  12. Allan

    I agree with Jason (above) – as the saying went – ‘right on!”

  13. Allan

    Here is the last bit she posted on her site before she cleaned/cleared out:

    “Without Prejudice
    After almost 3 years, my career at the Vancouver Sun has come to an end. Not the best end, mind you. Not the end I would have written for myself, but as someone once said, nothing ends until it ends badly. Is that plagiarizing if I mention that quote? I really don’t know the source. For the record, I have never called myself a journalist. My articles have always had an element of fiction. Most of my readers accepted this. To make sweeping comparisons of journalistic plagiarism seems a bit unfair. If I have offended anyone, I am truly sorry. I chose to end my career because I recently married the man I’ve loved for years. I never mentioned this relationship in my column because this piece of news is not sensational enough to sell papers. So this is the true lie I choose not to live any longer. Since I no longer have my column, I’ll try to engage readers with a weekly blog. And since I no longer have a column, I’ll write a book”

    That’s it

  14. Rachelle

    Has there been any updates from the Vancouver Sun regarding Angele Yanor? Has the Van Sun revealed any other plagiarised articles?

    Aside from the moronic ramblings that were at http://www.angeleyanor.com has Ms. Yanor said anything further or is she continuing to avoid contact and save herself from the public humiliation?

    Where are all Ms. Yanor’s friends? And how come none of these friends have stepped forward to explain her actions – did they not all know that the stories there were reading each week were not real or did they just assume that the friends that Ms. Yanor wrote about were mutually exclusive?

    BTW – if you are a friend of Ms. Yanor’s and are reading this maybe you should leave a comment because I haven’t read or heard a peep from any of you.

    I heard one of Ms. Yanor’s former instructor from BCIT School of Broadcast/Journalism on the radio last week but he said very little that would be considered an explanation to Ms. Yanor’s action. He indicated that he knew Ms. Yanor, had thought highly of her, but was completely lost as to reasoning behind her actions and was as fooled as all of us were regarding this misrepresentation.

    What I don’t think Ms. Yanor realises that this is the type of activity the tarnishes the reputation of her Alma Mater, her former publisher and her former profession.

    It is going to take a long time for the Vancouver Sun to live this down and I am sure that every student of School of Broadcast/Journalism at BCIT will be taught the Yanor plagiarism story on Day One – leaving only one thing left to ponder – where is Ms. Yanor in all of this? Why is she hiding? What is her explanation (aside from the BS she tried to shovel last week)?

  15. Braddy

    Rachelle —

    The website you are on tends to take down posts that are pro-Angele Yanor.

  16. Jessica

    You are all acting like school children, why continue to scratch an iche until it bleeds? I don’t blame Ms.Yanor for not offering an explanation, cause really would it make a difference? Your minds are already set on waht a horrible person she is. What ever happened to guilty until proven innocent? Why jump the gun, and ridicule and degrate some one, with out hearing the whole truth. Angele Yanor is a smart women, I say continue to ignore this nonsense!

  17. Darren

    Actually, Jessica, we’ve all gotten past it. As you can see by the dates associated with this post and the ensuing comments, nobody has discussed Ms. Yanor since March 24.

    Furthermore, when you say “What ever happened to guilty until proven innocent?” I think you mean the reverse, don’t you? If so, this post describes some pretty compelling evidence that suggests she’s guilty.

    Maybe you can provide some evidence that Ms. Yanor is “a smart woman”. Because I certainly don’t view repeated plagiarism as particularly intelligent…do you?

  18. Darryl

    I’m doing research for a piece dealing with plagiarism in the media for next year’s Langara college Journalism review. The focus being on Ms.Yanor and other Vancouver journalists caught plagiarizing. I stumbled onto this message board, and anyone with any information that may be relevant to the piece can e-mail me. Please remember to include contact information because if you don’t, I’ll have to make up your names, and your positions, and possibly your age… Just Kidding.

Comments are closed.