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WaPo Reporter Steals Own Thunder

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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Journos at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper that first uncovered the Sen. Larry Craig controversy, are grumbling that a former colleague is reheating her own old scoops and serving them up as seconds at her new gig with the Washington Post.

Mary Ann Akers, the sly journalist in question, left her position as a gossip columnist at Roll Call last year to pen on online column for WaPo called "The Sleuth."

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But Roll Call staffers tell that since she left Akers has slacked on original sleuthing, relying instead on past items she scored under the much smaller Roll Call's employ. In the last two weeks alone, she's regurgitated quotes and scenarios from her reporting there at least three times. And a cursory read of "The Sleuth" column over the past nine months confirms that many of Akers's new stories are simply elaborations of her former Roll Call glory days.

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"This is getting to be ridiculous," a Roll Caller who insisted on not being identified tells "She should stop using her old work and find some new material.... If she really didn't want to be here, why does she keep writing about her work here?"

But is stealing from yourself really stealing? Ben Pershing, a deputy editor with Roll Call, says he's "never heard anyone here complain" about Akers's Washington Post reporting. When told by that some Roll Callers are grousing, Akers responded incredulously: "Really? Why are they mad?"



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