Mona Sarika once cited me as a proud Tamil and made up a bunch of quotes for a Huffington Post article. I complained and that article got pulled. Now, however, she’s been caught doing the same thing on the Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs, and her whole career is in flames. My first impression of her was that she was a bit dumb. I’m surprised it got this far.
When I spoke to her she clearly had her own narrative going in and she just wanted some names to fill in the quotes and the story she was making up. I told her repeatedly that I wasn’t Tamil but she somehow cited me as one, a sorta LTTE supporting one at that.The article was pulled and I thought nothing further of it.
The Saga Continues, And Broadens
My main impression of Ms. Sarika was that she was an dumb. I mean that not in a malicious sense, I just don’t know how else to put it. She couldn’t seem to do basic reporting (like tracking down real Tamil people) or even figure out what race I was. She didn’t spell stuff right and rather than responding to emails would just ask the same questions over and over. I couldn’t understand how she got work with the Huffington Post but that’s kind a blog site and I sorta understood. Later I found out that she was getting work at Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal and all over, and she was making shit up and plagiarizing there. So now her bullshit has blown up everywhere, including on the Huffington Post (where she’s now banned), and the Hindustan Times, and with retractions on the WSJ and Foreign Affairs.
Which is all well and good, but what were these guys thinking? First off, her articles suck. They’re just not very well written. Second, whenever I add anyone to Kottu (which is a small, local blog aggregator) I copy any suspicious text and paste it into Google. If it returns a match then I tell them it’s plagiarizing and I can’t include it. To check Ms. Sarika that’s literally all I did, but that seems beyond the ken of the editors at the Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and Foreign Affairs. Except it’s not, they should just do that. Also, when I report the first plagiarism the HuffPost just pulled the post. She then went on to burn other news organizations. I think this sort of transgression should be made public, otherwise it repeats.
But well, that name has been burnt pretty globally, and the Hindustan Times hammered her pretty hard. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.