It’s interesting how news organizations that love to lecture everyone else on morality aren’t above a little old-fashioned thievery themselves.So I’ll be making journalistic rip-offs a recurring feature. Nominations welcome, y’all. (The address is Howard.Kurtz@newsweekdailybeast.com. And no one is completely immune to this, including us, so be sure to let me know if we run with something without crediting the original reporting.)Today’s case study: the Financial Times. The London paper goes with this lead: “Facebook has admitted that it secretly hired a public-relations group in the US with the aim of generating stories critical of Google’s approach to privacy.”Nowhere in the Friday story is there a smidgen of credit to Dan Lyons of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, who broke the story Thursday.This is more than a matter of journalistic pride. By ignoring the way the story was unearthed here in the States, the FT is distorting what happened. Facebook didn’t just decide to confess to hiring a top public relations firm to plant anti-Google stories in the press at a time when the search giant is trying to become a social media rival. Lyons got Mark Zuckerberg's company to acknowledge that it had hired Burson Marsteller, which inititally refused to identify the client in this smear effort.Lyons’ piece acknowledged that he was building on reports from a tech blogger who blew the whistle on a Burson staffer’s offer to ghost an anti-Google op-ed for him, and from USA Today, which wrote about the plot but couldn’t uncover who Burson’s client was. In other words, Lyons provided the key piece of the puzzle but credited those who had already done the spade work.How hard is that, Financial Times?This Wired account doesn't mention the Daily Beast story either. (Update: That was a followup piece. The original story did credit the Beast.)FT Managing Editor Robert Shrimsley responds that the paper did link to the Beast account when it first reported the story on its tech blog. "This is in line with our policy of giving due credit for exclusives," he says. "What is true is that by the time the story was rewritten for the newspaper story and that version published online much later in the day, the hat-tip was lost. The story had moved on significantly by then and our reporter had spoken to the parties involved but both I and he agree that we should still have given credit." I appreciate that there was at least an initial effort to give credit.Of course, news organizations often follow up one another’s work with original reporting, but it’s still good practice to credit who got there first.On the front page of Friday’s New York Times is a lengthy piece on problems in Donald Trump’s business empire. The story focuses on people who got screwed in failed condo projects to which Trump licensed his name but claims no legal responsibility, and a lawsuit by students who said they were shortchanged after paying $35,000 to a real estate tutoring program called Trump University. I wrote about both controversies for Newsweek last month and interviewed Trump about them; the story even quotes the same retired military officer, John Robbins, who as I noted lost half his down payment in a Trump project in Tampa that collapsed. NBC’s Mike Isikoff, the New York Daily News and others have reported on such Trump matters.Just to be clear, the Times did its own reporting, but conveyed the impression it was breaking new ground. And it works: Our banner headline on The Beast this morning linked to the Times story, despite the fact that we had reported much of it before.