CommunityPam's House Blend

Plagiarist WaPo blogger – how long can he hang on?

[UPDATE: He resigned; the WaPo letter is at the bottom. Also see the Red State reaction.]

I haven’t blogged on the travails of wingnut blogger Ben Domenech, who was hired by the WaPo as “balance” to counter the alleged liberal bias of Dan Froomkin, an actual journalist. Surf over to Eschaton, Americablog or DKos for what seem to be endless examples of Domenech’s plagiarist past and present. It’s going to be the death of a thousand cuts for this loser. Cue the tiny violin…

Aside from the liberal – ha – lifting of content from other people, one of the most ridiculous instances of bloviating was Domenech’s assertion, posted during the day Coretta Scott King was buried, that she was a Communist. Nice. He posted a lame apology once his behind was ripped raw across the blogosphere.

Chris Kromm at Facing South has a good takedown of this moron, posting the history of red-baiting and the Kings by disturbed closet Queen J. Edgar Hoover‘s FBI.

The idea that King and the movement had Moscow on speed-dial is, of course, total bunk and laughable to any informed observer (I don’t include Domenech in this category). There were surely members of the left, including communists, who were deeply involved in civil rights, including King’s close friend Stanley Levinson.

But most weren’t communists intent on helping the Soviets: for example, the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee that trained Rosa Parks and other civil rights figures — and which the right wing still uses as “proof” of King’s nefarious red ties — was led by home-grown Christian socialists and pacifists. The Kings themselves were never members of any group.

That leads to another key part of this story that most bloggers are missing. If Martin and Coretta King “associated” with communists, it was for the simple reason that leftists were often the first and most dedicated defenders of civil rights. For example, the communist International Defense League was the first group to step forward to defend the “Scottsboro Boys,” the nine black teens sentenced to death in trumped-up charges of raping a white woman (even the NAACP wouldn’t take the case).

UPDATE (2:15 PM): Finally, the folks at the WaPo couldn’t deny the sheer volume of plagiarism going on in Ben’s World, he’s g-o-n-e

Ben Domenech Resigns

In the past 24 hours, we learned of allegations that Ben Domenech plagiarized material that appeared under his byline in various publications prior to washingtonpost.com contracting with him to write a blog that launched Tuesday.

An investigation into these allegations was ongoing, and in the interim, Domenech has resigned, effective immediately.

When we hired Domenech, we were not aware of any allegations that he had plagiarized any of his past writings. In any cases where allegations such as these are made, we will continue to investigate those charges thoroughly in order to maintain our journalistic integrity.

Plagiarism is perhaps the most serious offense that a writer can commit or be accused of. Washingtonpost.com will do everything in its power to verify that its news and opinion content is sourced completely and accurately at all times.

We appreciate the speed and thoroughness with which our readers and media outlets surfaced these allegations. Despite the turn this has taken, we believe this event, among other things, testifies to the positive and powerful role that the Internet can play in the the practice of journalism.

We also remain committed to representing a broad spectrum of ideas and ideologies in our Opinions area.

Jim Brady
Executive Editor, washingtonpost.com

***

And they are in full mourning mode over at RedState.org. First Charles Bird, and then Commenter Esoteric:

By: Charles Bird ? Section: Other Politics

When blogospheric swarms gain critical mass, they can be extremely fast-moving and overwhelming. It looks like we’re in one right now, but it’s not about Darfur or the War Against Militant Islamism, but about a conservative blogger newly hired by a mainstream media outlet. The charges of plagiarism are serious business, especially the one in NRO. It may be happening at this very writing, but a complete and timely response is needed by the co-founder of this site, answering fully every charge made. I count myself a supporter of Ben Domenech, but the credibility of this site and the Redstate project is at risk. I await Ben’s response, but if the answers are insufficient, we must all strive to do what’s right.

***

Esoteric: I’ve looked at the evidence, and though I don’t like what it tells me, I won’t close my eyes to it: Domenech is guilty, and the worst part of it all is the fact that he has demonstrated serial tendencies – this isn’t an isolated deal.

The only honorable response in this situation is to remove Domenech from the masthead/editorship of RedState. Can any other conceivable option be entertained for a plagiarist? Obviously he should still be allowed to post or write diaries like any other member, but I would be deeply hesitant to promote to the front page, given that it would inevitably appear to be a tacit endorsement.

The Freeper reaction is just plain lame. Yawn.

Previous post

Jim Brady Makes Nice

Next post

Hospital patient-dumping caught on video

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding