One key difference between online media and traditional T.V networks is that anyone is able to expose corruption and infringement irrespective of having any media qualifications. Unfortunately, in the world of traditional news and journalism, better marketing almost always beats the truth. (See Shirley Sherrod story for example.)
The Huffington Post is arguably one of the biggest media outlets on the web and when behemoth outlets like Huffington Post engages in corruption, thievery, deception and downright copyright infringement, no one really has the time to discern truth from subterfuge.
There’s simply too much noise for any sane human being to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff..especially when news come at us at lightning speed.
Here’s the short version: The Huffington Post has potentially stolen and infringed the copyrights of a smaller independent podcast and released a new podcast with similar name(s) and content.
Here is a quick summary of events
1.) The Pool Raft story referenced in both podcasts first published on 06/11/2014.
2.) Weird News with Nathan & Shandi launches their first episode on 07/15/2014.
3.) The Huffington Post launches Hardcore Weird News on 10/17/2014.
Both podcasts discuss The Pool Raft story. The time markers are:
02:40 on Weird News with Nathan & Shandi
18:00 on Hardcore Weird History.
(Note: you can download the episodes on the respective websites above, if they go down for some reason, I will mirror them)
I am not quite sure if this is intentional thievery.
The only significant similarity I see is the coverage of the Pool Raft story by both podcasts.
Covering the same content on different media outlets is obviously fair game (otherwise, FOX couldn’t report on the same stories as NBC or CBS..which would be ridiculous), so that is not evidence for plagiarism.
It’s much more likely that Nathan & Shandi happened to stumble upon an easily accessible idea for producing a podcast and that it was merely a matter of time till The Huffington Post Weird News editors (Buck Wolf, Sebastian Murdock, Andres Jauregui and Andy Campbell) decided to make a podcast out of their OWN content.
The similarities in names also seem negligible.
I don’t see any foul play here..at least, that’s my preliminary conclusion.
But…if The Huffington Post guys intentionally stole the idea from Nathan & Shandi, that is clearly unacceptable.
Unfortunately, I don’t have enough information to come to such conclusion.
If you do, I’d love to hear about it.
10/19/2014 Update: Andy Campbell (one of the Editors at The Huffington Post Weird News) contacted me with the following response:
We’ve been covering the pool raft guy for years and have never heard of the other podcast.