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Never-Ending Bill for President 'Dilbert' Saga

As my faithful readers know, Redmond magazine was the first publication to seriously suggest that Bill Gates run for president. As you might also know, overexposed cartoonist Scott Adams had the same brilliant idea six weeks after you all heard about it -- and proceeded to take full credit.

One "Dilbert"-loving columnist, NetworkWorld's Paul McNamara, took the bait, and guessed that "Cartoonist Scott Adams started this flapdoodle with a Nov. 19 post on The Dilbert Blog that suggested there isn't anything wrong with this country that President Bill Gates couldn't cure in less time than it takes to get a new operating system out the door. Hey, everyone enjoys a good chuckle...and don't you just love that Dogbert?" Uh, no, and as for Dogbert, definitely no!

The otherwise upstanding Mr. McNamara continued his speciousness by again giving Adams full credit, even after the Barney/Adams idea seemed to die on the vine.

I've got to admit to being a little miffed, and whipped off this heated little message to my old pal:


As a columnist, imagine that you wrote a piece suggesting that Bill Gates run for president.

Before publishing, you do a thorough search to make sure the idea is not derivative. You find it's not.

You publish the column to 135,000 subscribers and many more pass along readers.

You also post it on the Web where you have a substantial audience.

There is a quick and passionate reader reaction.

Let's say you did this in October of last year.

Six weeks later, Scott Adams blogs about the same topic, and a different columnist from a different publication gives Adams total

Now, let's say the person who wrote the first column about Gates explained to the second columnist who it was that actually published the idea first, and did so to a broad audience.

You would think the second columnist, let's call him Net Buzz, would give proper credit the next time around.

Instead, this columnist, who purports to stand for honesty, once again gives credit to Scott Adams and then fawns over the fact that Adams sent him a seven-word reply.

If that happened to you, would you be irritated? I thought so.

Paul did apologize for his oversight, but somehow never bothered to correct it.

Posted by Doug Barney on 03/20/2007 at 1:15 PM

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