Max Boot told Politico it was sheer coincidence that his column on youth football in The Wall Street Journal covered the same topic as a freelance column that author Daniel Flynn had pitched to the newspaper less than three weeks earlier.
Politico said Boot vowed to take legal action if Politico published the "scurrilous and unsubstantiated allegations" made by Flynn about his column.
Flynn laid out his allegations in The American Spectator, contending Boot used the same facts and in largely the same order in his Aug,. 17 column on the journal Web site as Flynn had presented in the draft submitted to the Journal's Weekend Review on July 30.
"For five straight paragraphs, Boot's piece relies on the same examples I used in my submission," Flynn wrote. "Beyond this, Boot uses these identical examples in the precise order I had employed in my piece considered by (WSJ) editor Gary Rosen almost three weeks earlier."
Politico said Boot, who is best known for articles on global affairs and national security, was approached by Rosen about doing a so-called defense of youth football on the same day Flynn's piece on the same topic was rejected.
Boot defended his work, saying it was merely a coincidence he and his researcher came up with the same points from a limited pool of data. "It's not very responsible to reprint the unfounded charges of a writer who is disgruntled because his column didn't get published when I didn't do anything wrong," Boot told Politico.
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