My reaction to the Ben Domenech episode: I couldn't care less about
which bloggers receive the seal of approval from the big corporate
media. In fact, such approval is likely to be the kiss of death.
The intersection of the Internet, the blogosphere and the Iraq War
will come to be seen as the tipping point for the death of the big
corporate media. The big corporate media got everything wrong about
Iraq; quite a few bloggers, with expertise and intelligence greatly
exceeding big media hacks like Charles Krauthammer and Thomas
Friedman, got everything right about Iraq.
Does someone like Juan Cole require the approval of the Washington
Post to acquire legitimacy and authority? Nope. He has more
legitimacy and authority than the entire institutions of the
Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal combined.
We are entering an age of maximal Emersonian individualism in the
world media. Any person with a computer and a net connection is
potentially more influential than multibillion dollar organizations
which have achieved a state of advanced sclerosis.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Bill Giltner"
> Here's the content to go with this:
> Conservatives Show 'Wash Post' Blogger The Door
> By E&P Staff
> Published: March 24, 2006 12:30 PM ET
> NEW YORK A two-day effort by liberal bloggers to find, and
> numerous examples of plagiarism committed by Washington Post
> Ben Domenech culminated today in calls that he give up his new
> position--from some of his conservative supporters.
> Hours later, he resigned his post.
> One of his critics, most dramatically, was columnist and blogger
> Michelle Malkin. As an editor at Regnery, Domenech handled her most
> recent book.
> Conservatives had hailed Domenech's appointment to write the Red
> America blog. "I cheered for Ben, the editor of my last book at
> Regnery, when he announced his new position," Malkin wrote on her
> site today. "I criticized unhinged bloggers on the Left who leveled
> vicious ad hominem attacks against him. It's clear, as the good
> at Red State (which Ben co-founded) note, that his detractors were
> a search-and-destroy mission from the get-go.
> "But now the determined moonbat hordes have exposed multiple
> of what clearly appear to me to be blatant lifting of entire,
> passages by Ben from other writers. It is one thing to paraphrase
> basic facts from a wire story. But to filch the original thoughts
> distinctly crafted phrases of a writer without crediting him/her--
> doing so repeatedly--is unacceptable in our business. Some of the
> cases occurred while Ben was in college; he is blaming an editor
> these transgressions. But at least one other incident involved a
> he wrote for NRO after he graduated. The side-by-side comparisons
> these extensive passages is damning.
> "I certainly understand the impulse on the Right to rally around
> Domenech. But I can't ignore the plain evidence. And the charges
> be dismissed as 'lies' or jealousy attributed to Ben's age. As
> who has worked in daily journalism for 14 years, I have a lot of
> experience related to this horrible situation: I've had my work
> plagiarized by shameless word and idea thiefs many times over the
> years. I've also been baselessly accused of plagiarism by some of
> same leftists now attacking Ben.
> "The bottom line is: I know it when I see it. And, painfully,
> Domenech's detractors, are right. He should own up to it and step
> down. Then, the Left should cease its sick gloating and leave him
> his family alone."
> At the National Review's popular site, NRO Online, one of the
> regulars, Stephen Spruiell, commented, "This is bad. Perhaps it is
> fatal, but we need explanations not just from Domenech, but also
> the Washington Post on how it plans to handle this." One of the
> allegedly plagiarized articles appeared on NRO.
> Conservative writer Rick Moran wrote today at The American Thinker
> site that "what simply cannot be tolerated in any venue where the
> written word is revered and opinions respected is plagiarism. And
> according to material dug up by several lefty bloggers, the
> fact seems to be that Domenech is a word stealer of epic
> someone who has lifted entire articles from other sources and
> the words and ideas as his own....
> "With so many eloquent and able conservative writers, I'm sure the
> Post will have no problem finding someone else to take over a blog
> that should be espousing honesty and decency as the principles by
> which we on the right live by.
> "Anything short of that just won't do."
> Domenech's resignation was announced Friday afternoon by Jim Brady,
> executive editor of washingtonpost.com. This was his statement:
> "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
> 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
> 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
> "Plagiarism is perhaps the most serious offense that a writer can
> commit or be accused of. Washingtonpost.com will do everything in
> 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
> 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."
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