One Nation News: All the plagiarism fit to copy and paste

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Last Sunday, I received a concerned email from a longtime freelancer for City Pages. She had received a forwarded email from One Nation News, a website dedicated to covering minority issues and interests in the state of Minnesota. Imagine her surprise when she saw her A List word for word in the newsletter with Joe Johnson in the byline. "What should I do? The guy even signed his name to it," she lamented.

I had to take a closer look.

It turns out that City Pages has a lot in common with One Nation News. I've got to say that at the very least their entertainment writers, Joe Johnson and Nick Peterson, are both prolific writers, and are complex dudes of varied styles who really get out and about. Joe Johnson, for example, has an interest in Lyle Lovett, just like our regular contributor Rick Mason does. He states:

"Lyle Lovett, the quirky Texan with the arid wit and virulent cult following, dubbed his last album, "It's Not Big It's Large.""

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Hmmmm. This sounds strangely familiar. Here's what our contributing writer Rick Mason had to say:

"Lyle Lovett, the quirky Texan with the arid wit and virulent cult following, dubbed his last album It's Not Big It's Large."

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And then there's Nick Peterson, who has a lot in common with our freelancer Erin Roof. Check out his summary of the Sad Accordions:

"Sad Accordions may not be as melancholy as their name suggests, but they do seem haunted by a lingering weariness. On the song "Mousetrap," lead Accordionist Seth Woods sings, "I love you 'cause you lock the door," repeating the phrase until it slowly builds into desperate screaming."

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And yet, I've heard this before. Here's what Erin Roof wrote for us last week:
 
"Sad Accordions may not be as melancholy as their name suggests, but they do seem haunted by a lingering weariness. On the song "Mousetrap," lead Accordionist Seth Woods sings, "I love you 'cause you lock the door," repeating the phrase until it slowly builds into desperate screaming."

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Mr. Peterson even shares the exact same opinions as I do on Saturday Night Nine for Nine:

"Duffers out there know -- golf can be an expensive sport. An evening practicing with a driver can be fun, but the range or the occasional evening playing on your videogame console can only satisfy you so much. Thankfully, this summertime discount special will allow players on a budget to enjoy the rolling green fairways without figuring out a payment plan on the credit card."

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It's true, Nick, I wholeheartedly agree. Here's what I said:

"As many enthusiasts know, golf can be a prohibitively expensive sport. An evening practicing with a driver can be fun, but the range or the occasional evening playing on your Wii Sports can only satisfy you so much. Thankfully, this summertime discount special will allow players on a budget to enjoy the rolling green fairways without figuring out a payment plan on the credit card."

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Whoa. There's some word choice changes in this example. Nick was getting fancy with his plagiarism here.

I hate to say it, but most of the stuff I found on One Nation News's website gives me major flashes of deja vu. In fact, many of the blurbs are nearly identical to the A List I assigned, wrote, and edited last week. I could include more, but what we're really talking about here is a classic instance of cut, paste, and delete the byline. Nice.

But the coincidence doesn't just end there. A quick Google search reveals that the staff at One Nation News shares similar opinions with other media outlets as well, including WCCO, New York Times, the Star Tribune, and who knows where else. Sometimes the byline changes, sometimes it's the same. Did One Nation News pay to reprint this material? Or is this an epic coincidence?

One Nation News, what gives? This isn't the first time I have seen City Pages copy reprinted without permission on another site, but I have never seen anything quite as blatant. Is this a cry for help? I'm very concerned.

I've tried to reach out and help, but you won't return my calls. Am I too late? Call me, let's talk: 612.372.3788.

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