Rip, Mix, and Blog?

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Unsurprisingly, the lefty blogosphere have been making like piranhas at Ben Domenech, the conservative wünderkind recently hired by The Washington Post to author the new RedAmerica blog. Much of the outrage has been over the fact that the guy the Post hired as their house blog-conservative holds views that are, in fact, conservative. More unsettling, though, is evidence uncovered by Atrios that Domenech may be some sort of serial plagiarist: See examples one (also partially borrowed from here), two, three, and four.

Addendum: Domenech's bio says he's written for us, though I did a quick Google and Nexis search and can't find anything. It might be something that's not on the site, though our archives go back to what would've been his early teens, so I don't know what's up with that—but it's entirely possible that's just a lacuna in our archives.

Second Addendum: A 2000 profile of Domenech in the Post notes that he began freelancing at 15 and had accumulated a pile of clips before even reaching college, and Nexis doesn't turn up a bunch of my stuff for Reason either, so it's entirely plausible that whatever he wrote for us does just precede our archives. Anyway, the point was meant to be: Full disclosure, Ben may have written for us; read whatever I write about this with that in mind.

Last One: One Kos diarist is trying to keep a comprehensive list of suspect pieces and passages, of which only a few are linked above. Also, Domenech emails to say whatever he wrote for us was something very short (sounds like maybe a Citing?) in the late 90s, so it's probably just something that never got archived with a proper byline.

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  1. “Unsurprisingly, the lefty blogosphere have been making like pirhanas”

    You mean “piranhas,” bro? 🙂

  2. “I did a quick Google and can’t find anything.”

    Maybe he only submitted an article and it wasn’t accepted for publication.

  3. SR,
    He could be a regular HnR like Joe. If it’s on the ‘net, it’s in print!!

  4. All I want to know is how much he gets paid for his stale noodlings. I mean, jeez, French jokes? Dan Rather? What is it 2003?

    (Really though, anyone who can scam some $$ for blogging is ok by me. That’s like getting paid for writing poetry or performing free jazz. Who’d have thunk there was a market for it?).

  5. “Honey, I’ve just been published by Reason Magazine. Now to go update the old curiculum vitae.”

  6. Conservative affirmative action: coming to universitites soon.

  7. So, ah, Julian…

    How come there are not one, but TWO tsk tsk sentences about lefties…

    Before you, like, you know, tell us the story you’re posting about?

    Friggin media.

  8. I’ve had a RedState diary since 2004, but I was recently banned earlier this month.

    The exact reason appears to be shifting from an Atrios-level misinterpretation of my last entry, to unspecified bits from my diary there, to entries at my website such as those posted weeks after being banned.

    In actual fact, I believe it’s because I called Bush’s “guest” worker plan “un-American”, although I’m currently awaiting their next explanation in the series.

  9. How come there are not one, but TWO tsk tsk sentences about lefties.

    What???

    Lefties criticizing righties?!?!

    What’s next? Dogs and cats living together?!? And then what? Dogs and cats living together? MASS HYSTERIA!!!

    Friggen media

  10. Kwix-Good point. I am so putting “Contributor to Reason Online” on my resume. 😉

  11. Also, what did he post to McSweeney’s?

    Maybe he thinks that, because he plagiarised articles from Reason and McSweeney’s, he’s allowed to say he was published in them?

  12. The initial lefty attack on Domenech seemed a bit weak–focusing mainly on the Coretta Scott King stuff. But this plagiarism stuff is absolutely devastating. Unless it’s much less serious than it looks (and it looks pretty damn serious), Domenech is doomed.

  13. I wonder if the plagiarism is a result of his being home-schooled?

    I can certainly imagine a parent being less alert for it, and less experienced at catching it than a professional.

  14. It would have been truly hilarious if he had plagiarized a review of ‘Shattered Glass.’

  15. Julian, I think you are misrepresenting the criticism of this guy. He was hired to “oppose” Froomkin. But Froomkin, even if he offers opinions, is still an experienced journalist, and couches things in the rhetoric and restraint of journalism. Domenech, on the other hand, is a serial nepo-hire who’s “great writing” now turns out to be largely lifted from other people. That’s a silly standard that seems to play out again and again in the media: a journalist with somewhat leftist leanings but at least a modicum of professional restraint is paired against a no-holds barred political pundit whose only purpose is to shill shill shill for a particular brand of politics. There’s just no fair comparison there. Froomkin is not an Atrios.

  16. “Domenech is doomed.” (John)

    Not at all. Or, rather, not necessarily so. There are plenty of cases in which plagiarizers have fashioned successful careers. For instance, Martin Luther King’s plagiarism seemed to provide no hindrance to his career as a preacher and leader of a social movement, or did it?

  17. Still awaiting word from the WaPo about his abrupt departure.

  18. Plagiarizing a review of Bringing Out the Dead is completely understandable. To write a review, you’d need to see it, and really, why should more people than absolutely necessary have to go through that?

  19. If he’s soooo bad, why can’t the leftoids believe that the market will decide – meaning no one will read his crap?

  20. If he’s soooo bad, why can’t the leftoids believe that the market will decide – meaning no one will read his crap?

    Because if anyone’s known for an irrational faith in the easy justice of the Market, it’s clearly these “leftoids.”

  21. Unless it’s much less serious than it looks (and it looks pretty damn serious), Domenech is doomed.

    You’re living in a past that’s never coming back, dude. Nobody’s doomed anymore. We are way beyond the point were “being consistent”, “having integrity”, “making sense”, “being honest,” and so on are anything more than quaint old relics we teach to children.

  22. Domenech is doomed.

    I think that all depends on the current meaning of the word “is.”

  23. “a journalist with somewhat leftist leanings but at least a modicum of professional restraint is paired against a no-holds barred political pundit whose only purpose is to shill shill shill for a particular brand of politics. There’s just no fair comparison there. Froomkin is not an Atrios.”

    Or, to put it another way, Froomkin should be matched against someone on the same career ladder. Domenech is not – the rewards and recognition and advancement he seeks come from the GOP, not from journalists.

  24. Come on people. Don’t you recognize a scam when you see one. The post obviously checked this guy out and uncovered the plagiarism. That’s why they hired him.

    They probably did a Deep Throat to someone a Daily Kos (in the Nixonian sense) so that it would come out.

    What a better way to smear the whole right side of the blogosphere

    Damn liberal media.

  25. I think Ben’s just confused. Maybe he didn’t publish an article IN Reason, he just had a Reason article published. Somewhere else.

    Simple mistake.

  26. Is anyone on the right ever doomed these days? I mean, look at John Lott for crying out loud. You’d think the man would no longer be welcome in polite company and yet he’s still got a position at AEI (oh wait…).

    Domenech’s days at places like the WaPo are over but I’m sure he’ll find a very comfortable home somewhere on the right.

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