“The termination is a terrible injustice to me.”

So sayeth Mr. Ken Powers, formerly of The Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Or to use another quote (from the past) from Powers, this whole thing was a “sham of a mockery of a sham”. Powers was fired last night and an investigation has revealed that this was not the first time that the Patriots beat writer had engaged in this type of thing. (More on that later.) First of all, a look at a few stories regarding the case. Katharine Q. Seelye of the New York Times (free registration required) reports on the story and includes this paragraph:

While The Telegram removed Mr. Powers’s Jan. 30 column from its Web site, the Boston Sports Media Watch, a Web log, reproduced it and lined up several of its paragraphs with those from Mr. King’s article.

I appreciate the paper for making the mention, especially since the subject was about an employee of an Times-owned company. The Media Drop has been following the developments in this case, as has Romenesko’s Media News on Poynter Online. For a bit more detail, Joe Strupp of the Editor and Publisher has more on the story, including reaction from Powers

Powers responded by claiming his firing was unjustified. “I am disappointed that a 20-year spotless record doesn’t mean anything,” he told Boston station WBZ-TV. “The termination is a terrible injustice to me.”

Apparently that “spotless record” was anything but. Whereas before, I had a bit of me that felt bad for Powers in this incident…I mean he really has ruined his career…I don’t feel so bad after reading that reaction. Especially because as Strupp’s article relates a statement released by the Telegram & Gazette:

“Ken Powers’ column on January 30 did not constitute his own work,” the statement said. “He does not dispute that. Further investigation has revealed that this was not an isolated incident and that he has previously used the work of others without proper attribution. We have terminated his employment and our investigation into his past work continues.”

Not an isolated incident. Not at all. In fact, the Times piece above informs us that:

Mr. Whitin said in the interview that the investigation had turned up “at least half a dozen” cases of plagiarism by Mr. Powers.

You want some more? OK. Consider a comparison of an NFL.com column from November 2nd, 2004 and Ken Powers column of November 7th, 2004.

NFL.com
Last week, it was “21 & Done,” as a sign at Heinz Field read when the Steelers broke the unprecedented 21-game regular-season-and-playoff consecutive victory streak of the New England Patriots.

Powers
Last week, it was “21 and Done,” as a sign at Heinz Field read when the Steelers broke the Patriots’ unprecedented 21-game regular-season and playoff winning streak.

NFL.com
The “Flock” touches down in “Roethlis-burgh,” as they’re calling it after stellar Steelers rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Powers
Pittsburgh was abuzz last week about the “Flock,” as the Eagles are called, touching down in “Roethlis-burgh,” as the town is being called to pay tribute to starring Steelers rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

NFL.com
Big Ben has captured Steel City hearts by not exactly coming from nowhere — he was the team’s first-round draft choice this year — but by not only starting the team’s past five games, but winning them. If Pittsburgh wins, he will tie former Steeler Mike Kruczek (1976) for the most consecutive victories by an NFL rookie QB since 1970.

Powers
A big reason for the frenzy has been the play of Roethlisberger. Big Ben has captured Steel City hearts by not exactly coming from nowhere he was the team’s first-round draft choice (11th overall) this year and starting and winning the team’s last five games. With a victory today, he can tie former Steeler Mike Kruczek for the most consecutive wins by an NFL rookie QB since 1970. Kruczek went 6-0 in 1976.

NFL.com
With nine TD passes, Roethlisberger already has broken the team’s rookie mark in the category of Terry Hanratty (8) in 1969. “He doesn’t look like a rookie to me,” Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said.

Powers
With nine TD passes, Roethlisberger has already broken the team’s rookie mark of eight, set in 1969 by Terry Hanratty.

“He doesn’t look like a rookie to me,” Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said after Roethlisberger beat New England, 34-20.

NFL.com
There will be some great sub-plots in the game. Pittsburgh running back Duce Staley, who had three 1,000-yard seasons in his seven years in Philadelphia, will face his old mates for the first time. “I spent a lot of good years in Philly,” Staley said. “All good years.”

Powers
In addition to Roethlisberger’s talents being on display, there will be several subplots to the game. Pittsburgh running back Duce Staley, who had three 1,000-yard seasons in his seven years in Philadelphia, will face his former teammates for the first time.

“I spent a lot of good years in Philly,” Staley said. “All good years.”

NFL.com
There also will be the NFL’s fifth-ranked passer, the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb (102.9), going against the league’s fifth-ranked defense, which has 17 takeaways, tied for second-most in the league … speedy Eagles left defensive end Jevon Kearse — coming off a two-sack game — against Steelers 317-pound right tackle Oliver Ross … and “T.O.” — Eagles wideout Terrell Owens, already (9) with more than half the team’s total TD catches of last year (17), against cornerback Deshea Townsend, with three interceptions on the season, including a 39-yard TD return against New England.

On top of all that excitement, the Steelers will salute the 25th anniversary of their Super Bowl XIV title team.

Powers
There also will be the NFL’s fifth-ranked passer, the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb (102.9 passer rating), going against the league’s fifth-ranked defense, which has 17 takeaways, tied for second in the NFL.

In addition, the Eagles’ speedy left defensive end, Jevon Kearse, coming off a two-sack game, faces off against the Steelers’ 317-pound right tackle, Oliver Ross.

“T.O.”Eagles wideout Terrell Owens, who with nine TD receptions already has more than half of the team’s total from last season will go against Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend, who has three interceptions. Last week, Townsend picked off New England QB Tom Brady and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown.

And, on top of all that, the Steelers will salute the 25th anniversary of their Super Bowl XIV title team.

Conclusion

A HUGE thanks to Gina for finding these stories and John for transcribing them for me. Gina is searching for other stories and if/when she find them, we’ll have them here. She’s already found another, a Mike Vrabel article from the Akron Beacon Journal which we’ll get up here in the morning.

Some might say…the man has been fired…hasn’t he suffered enough? This incident is beyond Powers now. Probably all writers out there are now considering their own situations…hopefully being grateful for what they have currently. Think about this…Powers was at the Super Bowl, in Florida doing a job that many people would be envious of. Now he’s not there. He’s unemployed. All those media types out there complaining in print and on the air about everything under the sun (rain?) down in Jacksonville should take a moment and reflect on how quickly it can all be taken away from them. All it takes is a little laziness, as exhibited by one Mr. Ken Powers. Let’s all take a lesson from it.