The Harvard Independent is now calling the Kaavya Visnawathan story Kaavya-gate. That of course is their prerogative. Heck, they’re college students. But the Times, after first imbibing the Kaavya story hook, line and stinker, is now chasing the bloggers. The Times got in a couple of swift kicks on Kaavya this morning, pointing out that there was another book it sure looks like she plagiarized, by Sophie Kinsella.
It’s amazing that western civilization managed to get through a bunch of other publishing hoaxes, Janet Cooke, Rich Cohn, Stephen Glass, Michael Finkel and the Epstein kid (Jason, Jacob?) without the internet putting red ants in the doer’s underpants. (Yes, I wish the internet had been there for the Vince Foster death in ’93, but) the internet has no goddamn sense of proportion.
When are you going to let up on Kaavya? The girl’s 19. When has the chick paid enough for her crimes? When does the story, unh, lose its interest? When is your Gotcha gland fully palped? O.K., I agree: maybe Kaavya should make a full confession. Maybe, as a comment-er said to me below, She should give back the money. But is that our business? I’m not sure. Little, Brown has behaved like mensches. Isn’t it up to them and Kaavya whether they get the money back?
What’s enough? Should we pillory her in Harvard yard? Should we give her a big red P to stitch on her shirt?
Secretly now I’m pulling for Kaavya. Go write a book about what happened, hon. But please—lose the Range Rover, you’re destroying the glaciers.