It has been 148 days since we first informed you of Lynn Hoppes's copy-and-pasting habits. And dear reader, it's over. All it took for ESPN to acknowledge the widespread plagiarism in its archives was for the company's news honcho, John Walsh, to float a rumor in front of a class of journalism students that I was involved in some sort of love triangle with Hoppes. (No, really. That's what happened.) Shortly after that, I was informed by ESPN's PR department that the stories would be updated.
The final tally? Fifteen stories that borrowed from Wikipedia have been affected: 12 were deleted altogether; three got a rewrite and a nasty little tagline that fairly vibrates with suppressed annoyance.
This post has been amended to remove passages that did not meet ESPN standards for original language.
The three stories that got that tagline:
- "How will Mike Tyson fare on Broadway?"
- "Christian Hosoi talks on rise, fall and rise"
- "Matthew Perry talks about NHL Awards"
And which stories have just been outright removed? Those amazingly dumb birthday posts, a Hoppes staple. Here they are, saved for posterity via Google cache:
- "Happy birthday, Mike Tyson!"
- "Happy birthday, Cansecos, Petty, Lohan!"
- "Happy birthday, Michael Cera!"
- "Happy birthday, Gary Bettman!"
- "Happy birthday, Antonio Gates!"
- "Happy birthday, Steve Cauthen!"
- "Happy birthday, Willis Reed!"
- "On Cruise's birthday, we look at his movies"
- "Happy birthday, Pamela Anderson!"
- "Happy birthday, Tom Chambers!"
- "Happy birthday, LaDainian Tomlinson!"
- "Happy birthday, United States of America!"
There are still three stories sitting in the archives that lifted language from press releases but whatever. This is a start.