You know those people who will say, in two different sets of inflections, “I’m sorry, but….”?
There’s the “I’m sorry, but…” where in you apologize sarcastically for having a negative opinion, and the “I’m sorry, but…” wherein you apologize half-assedly and then defend yourself in the same breath, thereby negating your apology.
Enter Judith Griggs. Well, she’s reentering. She’s kind of refusing to leave the stage at this point and someone needs to carry her off. (ETA: It appears she’s taken down her website entirely. There is a a Google cache, the text of which is what I’m addressing here.)
First there was the Statement I mentioned when I looked at What All Went Wrong and How The Trainwreck Might Have Been Less Trainwrecky.
Now, there’s a now-removed Statement on the Cooks Source website. With bonus whining!
Monica Gaudio never gave her a chance. Facebook didn’t return her phone calls. She had a lot of phone and email traffic saying what a shitty thing she’d done and they were MEAN.
I need some cheese to go with all that whine. No, I am not asking for recommendations, thanks. I like smoked cheeses, and I got me plenty of smokin’ right here. You need to huff something to make sense of these sentences:
“I took the site down becuase someone threatened to go to all the distribution spots and destroy the new issue, also to protect my advertisers.”
“Monica I am so sorry for any harm I caused you. I never ment to hurt anyone, and I think I did a nice job for you, but the fact remains that I took this without asking you and that was so very wrong.”
“Honestly, some of you have been pretty mean.”
“If my apology to Monica seemed shallow it was because I was angry about the harm she has inflicted on others on behalf of her own agenda. ”
“To one writer in particular, Monica Gaudio, I wish you had given me a chance.”
Wow, you can lay those statements as stones and use them to cross the Nile, huh?
Here’s what sets of my temper: you know WHY the internet got so pissed off? WHY it was writers among others who were livid that someone’s research and work was taken without permission and printed by someone else for profit? Because intellectual theft happens, and it blows, and sometimes, if it happens to you, there’s very little you can do about it except YELL. Intellectual theft through plagiarism happens to people so often with so little satisfaction that the only weapon that’s useful is loud public hollering about it, especially when the person responsible can’t give a decent apology what with all the condescension.
If Griggs could demonstrate for one small moment that she understand copyright, plagiarism, and ethics, maybe she’d be able to say, “I’m sorry” without any qualifying or contradictory remarks.
Her “I’m sorry but” behavior continues in interviews she’s done as well. She admits to Gazettenet.com’s Dan Crowley that she ran Gaudio’s article without permission, but then professes sympathy for anyone “who has bad publicity.” She then laments that the magazine may not survive and insists she’s “trying to protect her advertisers.”
What utter self-important malarkey. That magazine’s business model was based on ripping off writers who weren’t compensated for their work, or even informed their work was being republished for profit. Theft: not a good business model.
As I said earlier, sometimes, social costs are the ones that can be accrued fast and spent even faster. At this point, with all this “I’m sorry but,” Griggs is overdrawn. When someone who has more than an inch and a half of wrong on the hem of her dress clutches her pearls and insist she’s the victim, it’s exhausting to listen to. In the words of the great ethicist and public relations advisor Ne-Yo, “you know you’re only sorry you got caught.”
In the face of an entire Google Spreadsheet of more than 160 pieces of material lifted verbatim and republished in Cooks Source, Griggs maintains that people were mean and she should be pitied, while continuing to demonstrate a complete lack of understanding as to how plagiarism and copyright work.
The more Griggs makes this discussion about her hurt feelings and the less about her extreme and blithe violation of copyright and ethics, the less respect I have for her. Not that she was worried about my respect, but my GOSH, woman. Stop talking.
I’m relieved that it appears that she has.