I don't know who Barden Winstead of Rocky Mount, N.C., or Chris Barone of Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, are, but they both write a lot like Scott Wadsworth of Port Charlotte. Word-for-word alike, in fact.
Wadsworth is a financial consultant in the Port Charlotte office of A.G. Edwards. He's too busy to write his own financial advice column. The trusted advisor, however, is not too busy to use a column someone else wrote and tell Charlotte Sun editors to put his by-line and photograph on it. At least the guy in North Carolina had the class to attribute his column to "A.G. Edwards." Wadsworth didn't bother with this nice detail. And, for his hubris, he loses all credibility. I mean, if one steals copy ...
The fine print at the end of Wadsworth's column doesn't say "this column was originally written by so and so," or "this column originally appeared in such and such." It urges readers to contact Wadsworth by phone or mail -- for honest advice, one presumes.
At the very least, alert newspaper editors should have but a big black box around the copy and clearly labled it "advertisement."