After citing the same three examples he had emailed to Swan, Canby continued:

Over the course of the few hours we had to close that piece, Kolbert, Kolbert’s editor, and the checker, all looked unsuccessfully for the source of the quote. The list of unattributed uses from responsible institutions is much longer than what’s listed above and only if you put your name next to it does the quote’s provenance become apparent. But that’s a retroactive discovery, and since no one here recognized the quote as coming from your piece, that wasn’t an option at the time. I hope this makes sense to you. It was a pleasure to hear from you and I hope you are well. Peter Canby
If only Brodeur’s article was more obscure and he wasn’t “a victim of his own success,” perhaps then The New Yorker’s factcheckers might have been able to cite his work.

Unsurprisingly, Brodeur was less than pleased. You can read his reaction in an article he wrote for The Huffington Post.

In a second letter to Remnick, Brodeur asked him to respond directly about whether he approved of Brodeur’s suggested Editor’s Note. So far, there’s been no reply.

If you'd like to help CJR and win a chance at one of 10 free print subscriptions, take a brief survey for us here.

 

Edirin Oputu is a former assistant editor at CJR. Follow her on Twitter @EdirinOputu