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'Marketplace' Show Drops Commentator

The public radio program says a San Diego financial advisor lifted phrases from online magazine Slate without attribution.

June 25, 2005|From Associated Press

Public radio show "Marketplace" dropped a San Diego-based financial advisor as a commentator after concluding that he lifted language from online magazine Slate.

Gabriel Wisdom had been providing commentaries for the nationally distributed program since 2003.

His last appearance on June 13 mentioned the economic theories of author Michael Panzner. Executive producer J.J. Yore said he found that Wisdom quoted phrases nearly verbatim from a May 27 column on Slate by Daniel Gross about immigration trends and the availability of labor.

Wisdom credited Panzner during his commentary, but that attribution was edited out of the final piece that ran during the program's morning edition, Yore said Friday. An apology was posted on the "Marketplace" website Thursday and is scheduled to air Monday morning in the slot in which Wisdom would normally appear.

A subsequent investigation has turned up at least five previous examples of Wisdom lifting phrases from other sources without attribution, Yore said.

"It was a mistake. I'm not a journalist," Wisdom said Friday. "I certainly didn't intend to plagiarize anybody or borrow phrases from anybody. This isn't my stock in trade."

"Marketplace," produced by Minnesota-based Public Radio International, ended its relationship with Wisdom on Tuesday.

San Diego public radio station KPBS dropped Wisdom as a commentator Friday based on the "Marketplace" investigation. Wisdom was not paid for his KPBS work and received a small fee for his "Marketplace" commentaries.

Yore said he was concerned about the incident's effect on the credibility of the program he helped create 17 years ago.

"To have that credibility harmed by someone being so careless is a great disappointment for all of us," Yore said.

Wisdom, who manages money for clients at American Money Management, said he was a bit taken aback by the reaction to the incident.

"I understand why people who write for a living are sensitive to this. But it was just a big mistake," he said. "I should have credited Slate, and I take responsibility for that.

"When you're a money manager, your reputation is everything," Wisdom said. "It's sort of shaken me."

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