Finally, a media outlet is taking action—and telling us about it—in response to the plagiarism controversy swirling around Margaret Wente. But it's not the Globe and Mail, which published the columns called into question by blogger Carol Wainio.
On Tuesday (September 25), the CBC announced it has "regretfully decided" to suspend the Globe columnist from appearing on the biweekly media panel hosted by its Q radio and TV program. Wente had been a regular participant on the panel for the last three years. Now she's sure to become a focus of the panel's discussions. "We are continuing to follow details as they emerge, but we can confirm at this time that Ms Wente will not be appearing on the Q media panel," the CBC said.
The CBC's move comes after Globe editor-in-chief John Stackhouse said in a published memo that he has taken "appropriate" but unspecified disciplinary action with regard to Wente's "unacceptable" journalism in a July 2009 column. "The journalism in this instance did not meet the standards of The Globe and Mail in terms of sourcing, use of quotation marks and reasonable credit for the work of others," Stackhouse wrote in the September 24 memo, which failed to use the word "plagiarism".
(The Stackhouse memo also confirmed that public editor Sylvia Stead will now report to the publisher rather than the editor-in-chief. Nevermind that the public editor has largely lost the confidence of the public, judging by many comments on the Globe site and on Twitter, for her role in the fiasco.)
On the other hand, after Wente's offensive defense and the way the Globe editor-in-chief and public editor have seemingly closed ranks around "one of Canada's leading columnists", it probably would have been refreshing to hear Wente fend for herself on Q's media panel.