Ken Parish Perkins, in his first interview since resigning last week
as television critic at Texas' Fort Worth Star-Telegram over plagiarism
charges, said today his fateful duplication of paragraphs was the result
of failing to rewrite material he gathered for his story. He said wants
to continue "the craft of writing," and that the most surprising part
of the experience has been the "lies" told about his career.
"I'm shocked. Also, maybe I'm naive in thinking it may not have hit
the fan this way. In this technology world, it snowballed," he said
of the Internet coverage of the situation. . . . I'm a critic, I can
take the heat. I just can't take the lies.
"You can't read it," he said. "I didn't want to get it into my psyche."
He said his wife, Kim, kept up with it for a while, and "it knocked
her off her feet."
Perkins resigned last week after an editor at the rival Dallas Morning
News, in the words of Star-Telegram Executive Editor Jim Witt, "pointed
out that one paragraph in Perkins' story Nov. 10th about the ABC series
'Lost' was repeated verbatim from Entertainment Weekly with no attribution.
A further check of Perkins' stories and columns from the present to
July 2003 revealed several instances where Perkins either used a whole
sentence or long phrases in sentences verbatim without giving credit
or attribution, a violation of the Star-Telegram's ethics policy."
Perkins, 46, was one of only four African American television critics
at a daily newspaper, and was well-regarded as a writer, critic and
mentor. Witt called him "a great writer and idea person, a tireless
worker and overall excellent employee."