Tipped by a reader, the publisher of Santa Barbara website Noozhawk.com did a little digging and discovered that two of six entries written for the site by Steven Kunes were lifted from Newsweek. The articles in question — “My Children the Experts” and “Don’t Judge the Book by a Cover” — are near word-for-word duplications of work by the magazine’s Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Anna Quindlen. As a result, all six Kunes Noozhawk.com submissions have been removed:
“I’m sorry that Mr. Kunes felt compelled – for reasons that escape me – to blatantly and willfully abuse our trust, to violate our community submissions policies, and to put Noozhawk’s good reputation at risk,” said publisher Bill Macfadyen. “We do take allegations of plagiarism very seriously and will act quickly to protect our name and copyrights. I apologize to our readers for betraying their trust and to Ms. Quindlen, the unsuspecting victim.”
This Kunes guy is quite the swindler. Back in 1982, he was sued by J.D. Salinger after falsely claiming to have interviewed the reclusive author. More recently, he managed to sell an equally fictitious interview with Jimmy Buffett to The Daily Sound. That publication, like Noozhawk.com, only found out about the ruse after publication.
Kunes is also currently in legal hot water for allegedly swindling money from several individuals under the false pretense that the funds were being put towards a Robert Zemeckis endorsed film project. A preliminary hearing is set in for matter locally May 4th.