Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Dan Johnson Story

This week's North Coast Journal features a story about local developer Dan Johnson. He's been in the news lately over the Arcata High graduation plagiarism incident. While the story wasn't exactly friendly, it does show him to be a pretty stand up guy in my book. The kind of guy that doesn't ask for jobs, he makes them.

As far as the plagiarism thing goes, yep, so he used something someone else wrote in his speech. Big deal. It should just be embarrassing at worst. I didn't know much about the guy at first, but the story confirms what I suspected from the beginning: He's being targeted for who he is, not the plagiarism.

If anyone else had done the same thing- especially someone left of center or not well known- I'm sure most would have just rolled their eyes during the speech, tried to ignore it and then moved on. The only reason this has gotten so much attention is because Dan Johnson is successful and thus became a political target.
Lest anyone accuse me of playing my own politics over this, I beg to differ. I don't like it when anyone makes a mountain out of a mole hill.

Despite being pretty much a Clinton hater at the time of his Zippergate scandal, I was one who didn't think it a big deal. Clinton lied, and I didn't blame him. The same accusations of Johnson not apologizing enough, or not apologizing sincerely, plagued Clinton back then. I was one of many who felt we should just drop it and move on.


At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Intentional or not, Mr Johnson didn't give credit to the person wrote speech until he was exposed. Is this the behavior we want to model to the young adults he was addressing?

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

It's not that big of a deal.

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would u republish someone's article without giving them credit. Bad or good, I would assume those are your words.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I'm sure I have without thinking at some time or another.

Sometimes, even when you give credit it's not enough. I recall giving a plug to a guy who had a newsletter of sorts and he threatened to sue me, anyway.

That all Johnson had to do was give proper attribution to his "speech" seems to me tells a lot about how petty it is.

At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Julie Timmons said...

Couldn't disagree with you more. Dan J is not being targeted because he is a developer , it's because he's a SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER who, like teachers, is expected to provide a positive role model. The fact that you think plagiarism is "no big deal" means you should re-examine your values. Mind if I rip off a few of your posts? After all, its no big deal.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

He tried to do a cute presentation that backfired because he forgot, or neglected, to say he hadn't wrote it. I'm shocked!

Go ahead and use any of my posts you want, with or without attribution. Since they're nearly all the exact opposite of what you would write, I don't think I have to worry about it.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Rose said...

Reminder: It absolutely comes down to who it is - and whether they're politically correct or not. Many of the same people vociferously denouncing Dan Johnson were and are HUGE supporters of Paul Gallegos, whose plagiarized "My Word"s in the Times-Standard were excused away as 'just something lawyers do. - copy and paste'

Most notably, Ken Miller and Sylvia de Rooy, the same Ken Miller who supports Paul Gallegos DESPITE his plagiarizing THE OX-BOW INCIDENT by ROBERT LOUIS FELIX in his PUBLISHED OP-ED "MY-WORD" IN THE TIMES STANDARD. ◼

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Good point, Rose. I'm not familiar with all the names, but I've gotten the impression that most of those still beating us over the head with this are lefties who tend to ignore it when someone they like blows it.

You may want to cross post your comment over at the North Coast Journal as Sylvia De Rooy and some others are commenting this is all about plagiarism.

At 10:51 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Now that Rose reminded me of that Gallegos episode, I went back to check and see how I reacted to it. I was pretty sure I was pretty middle- of- the- road about it. Hey! Aren't I always?

Yep. If you go back to my September 7, 2006 post (, you'll see my comment where I was pretty even handed about it. I even admitted to a kinda plagiaristic thing I did once or twice of using a paragraph or two from someone else's letter to the editor to make my own.

Back then we had a couple statewide Libertarian Party e-mail lists. LPers from around the state would often post letters on some issue saying it was available for use by any of us should we want to send it to a local paper.

I didn't like the vast majority of the letters posted, but I found a paragraph or two in a couple to be pretty hard hitting. I'd use those paragraphs as a base for writing my own letter.

Is that plagiarism? I'm sure some might think so, but no harm done.

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plagiarism is lying.

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

And Prog attack gangsters now being led by the NCJ which is just a plain libel rag now using the community's culture for grandstanding Prog hit piece writers. Who never look at their own, e.g. Gallegos who goes scott free of the same criticism these anti-community people are leveling at Dan Johnson. And please, the attempt to make Dan's boo-boo into an international cause is stupid because school board members are notorious for representing the people of their community and that includes people who aren't handy with words, like Gallegos..

Judy and Ryan, stop being such hypocrites selectively attacking Republican members of the community for special character assassination treatment.

At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for seeing the whole picture, acknowledging the mistake of Mr. Johnson and those who will NOT move past it. I would love to compare the number of hours given back to the community through volunteering of Mr. Johnson personally to those who are running his name through the mud. I would gamble that he has has given more time than those bashing him added together. I am talking hours, not dollars.

An apology cannot be demanded and then criticized for not being "good enough". He made a mistake, acknowledged it and owned it.

At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These things end up court so that really that petty to some not mention the slippery slope.

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Brian said...

"He tried to do a cute presentation that backfired because he forgot, or neglected, to say he hadn't wrote it."

Fred he said that he wrote it for his daughter during his speech, that's not just plagiarism it's straight up lying. I don't want a liar on my kids school board and I don't want them to think it's okay.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

Brian, if you talked to most of the members of school board at McKinleyville or Fortuna or most any small mostly rural community in America you will find people who will make mistakes just like you have. If you were trounced for all your errors of judgment by hostile people who seem to hate you only because of your politics, not what you actually do in the community, would you be so quick to judge? I can't remember ever hearing of any school board where every school board member is a saint and word smith. It's a personal attack on Dan because of his politics by a group of political gangsters, yes, gangsters who gang together to deal out character assassination libel in public media to get at community members who politically disagree with them. In short, the tactics of the critics are far worse than the culprit they want to hang in effigy since they can't outvote his community support.

At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This thread has attracted all the local online nutcases. Good job Fred!

At 5:33 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

Yes, Fred, thanks for bringing this Prog smear job on Johnson to your blog readers attention. Obviously you hit a nerve with one of the Proggie character assassins or junior bolster. Keep up the good work.


Post a Comment

<< Home