Ask The Editor

June 23, 2009

“The View” star accused of plagiarism

Susan Hassett, a self-published author of a book on celiac disease, claims that “The View” star Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s book on the same topic borrowed heavily from hers.

Hassett’s lawyer’s letter to Hasselbeck, which you can download at the TMZ site, cites a number of similarities.

There’s one line in each that jumped out at me. Each book talks about how shoppers should “shop in the outer isles [sic] of the supermarket.”

I can’t and won’t pass judgment on the claim as a whole but, how likely is it that both authors would misspell the word “aisles” in the same way?


– Anita Bartholomew


  1. Not surprising that Elisabeth is being sued- she hasn’t an original thought of her own, ever. She, I believe is Hanity’s biggest fan and always inserts foot in mouth by being a follower, and then when confronted, she whines like a child. She is a true republican, a habitual liar only looking out for numero uno. Susan, what a shame when you try and help someone by doing the right thing, only to be treated so unjustly. You will have your good day in court. But then again, she has Daddy Warbucks to bail her out- I think justice will prevail.

    Comment by Ellie — June 24, 2009 @ 8:50 pm | Reply

    • Her being a Republican has absolutely NOTHING to do with her writing a book on a health condition that effects many people. She is actually looking out for OTHERS by writing this book and bringing awareness. Don’t make everything about politics!

      Comment by kstephens — June 24, 2009 @ 11:49 pm | Reply

  2. Without commenting on the larger claim either way, since I don’t know enough to have an opinion, I have to point out identical errors aren’t all that unlikely. If you leave off the initial letter of “aisles”, whether as a typing error or out of ignorance, you’ll get “isles”. If you misspell the word in any of a number of ways, your spell checker may even suggest “isles” as the correct spelling, since it isn’t considering the context. Finally, many supermarkets do have islands (or isles) of produce at an outer end, so the word might have been intentionally used in one case or another. In all cases, the spell checker will pass the word as a correctly spelled word. So you have four possible scenarios in which you might get that result. 1: Simple Typo 2: Ignorance 3: Spell-Checker Auto-Suggestion 4: Alternate Usage

    In all three cases, once you make the error, and your spell checker passes it by without comment, it would be very easy to overlook during proofreading. With so many simple ways this could happen, the similarity really doesn’t prove anything either way. If it were something a bit more unlikely or idiosyncratic, perhaps, but this peculiarity is just too likely to occur.

    Comment by WanderingAuthor — June 24, 2009 @ 9:24 pm | Reply

  3. The Atkins diet said the same thing years ago…”to shop in the outer aisles”. It is not rocket science to avoid the center aisles where the processed foods, etc. are located, especially when some has food sensitivities. I tell people all the time who ask me about eating more nutritionally that they should only shop the outer aisles….maybe Susan should sue me too!

    I am very happy that Elisabeth is using her celebrity status to bring awareness to gluten sensitivities! It will make life much easier for those of us that make the choice daily to eat differently.

    Come on Susan….why didn’t you publish the book yourself if it was soooo great? Read anyone’s blog on the subject and you will get similar advice….

    Comment by kstephens — June 24, 2009 @ 11:46 pm | Reply

    • Um, she DID publish it herself.

      Comment by Beck — July 25, 2009 @ 4:25 am | Reply

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