Reporting on Chris Alexander appearing to be recycling old articles from his book – many sourced from his previous tenure at Rue Morgue – in his Shock Till You Drop column seems to have provoked a reaction. After LPP provided evidence that an interview with Charles Band was lifted from his other editing gig at Band’s Delirium magazine and was in effect double-dipping by turning in the same copy twice for compensation some changes started to happen to implicated articles on Shock Till You Drop.
There are two critical differences between these two snapshots and the changes happened after going to press with allegations about the provenance of Alexander’s work.
From the original article posted by Chris Alexander:
From an edited version of the article, modified some time after going to press with the allegations:
It is not known who made these changes to the article but it was clearly done to conceal the copy and paste blooper and its origins. It’s a clumsy patch though because now the sentence doesn’t really make any sense. Why are they strolling down a hall to Band’s door? What hall? It remains confusing.
The following was added as a post script to the bottom of the article as well:
A post-facto attempt to properly attribute the article to its original source is a welcome change but it only confirms that this article was misrepresented in the first place as original content. It serves as both a correction and admission of wrongdoing.
While the coming clean is appreciated one wonders why this wasn’t caught. What exactly does an “editor” do these days anyhow? How is it that these were not properly attributed in the first place? Also, is this now second (and third perhaps?) run material, why is Crave even publishing it? Original and exclusive. This piece passes neither test, nor do others we noted in our initial investigation. So what is the role of an editor in the organization and just how much oversight goes into the content that is being publishing every day on the Crave network? Does this represent a shift in editorial policy?
So now that we have confirmed that Alexander was concealing the source of his work I think that poses several new questions. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear we will get much publicly out of Crave, who have thus far not been receptive to comment. What is certain is that this is a serious matter and a major gut-check for the company and its stated values.
The story is developing and LPP will continue to update.