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Minn. paper launches plagiarism inquiry

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Star Tribune said it was reviewing a year's worth of work by one of its editorial page writers after discovering that two of his pieces contained similarities to the work of a writer at The New Yorker .

Steve Berg, who has worked at the Star Tribune for 30 years, will not be writing for the paper during the review, said Susan Albright, the editorial page editor. She cited two editorials that contained phrases from or similarities to commentaries by Hendrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker.

Berg said he could not comment during the review.

Similarities between a Star Tribune editorial and Hertzberg's commentary were first brought to light in a posting on the Twin Cities-based blog Power Line.

Hertzberg, in a Nov. 6 piece criticizing President Bush and the Republican Congress, included this : "repeated efforts to suppress scientific truth; a set of economic and fiscal policies that have slowed growth, spurred inequality, replenished the ranks of the poor and uninsured, and exacerbated the insecurities of the middle class."

A passage from the Star Tribune's Nov. 10 editorial on the same subject read: "Then there's the mounting deficit, the Katrina aftermath, the constant suppression of scientific truth, and the economic policies that exacerbate inequality, heighten middle-class anxiety, and expand the ranks of the poor and uninsured."

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