It’s a Fine Messerschmitt They’ve Gotten Themselves Into…


[The Red State comment threads for the We Must Defend and We Must Attack posts (see below) are archived against future accidental catastrophe or totally not-on-purpose misplacement, after the jump.]

We Must Defend. | 137 comments (137 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
I stand with Ben. By: Clayton

(User Info) (#1)

Make up your own mind. By: joelado
Ben Domenech stated under his alias Augustine the following.

“It just happens that killing black babies has the happy result of reducing crime. I do not question the research or logic of Levitt’s argument. If a specifiable group is inordinately responsible for a social problem, it follows that eliminating a large number of people belonging to that group will reduce the problem.”

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#13)

Learn to read. By: Leon H Wolf
Learn to read more than the first three sentences of any story, that is.

Then, when you have mastered that skill, research on the rhetorical devices of “irony,” “sarcasm,” and “hyperbole.” Then fill out the contact form with the results of your research, and you may post again.

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#14)

You idiot By: krempasky
1) he was quoting someone else. 2) the someone else he was quoting was taking an argument to its logical, offensive end.

“My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.”
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#15)

Learn to read, idiot By: Thomas
But do it somewhere else.

If this is mastery, then I’m a donut. – Mike Krempasky
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#16)

Out of context much? By: MrsNachos
It seems to me that you may have copied and pasted something out of context here. Would you mind backing up this up with some actual context, please? I’m not buying what you appear to be selling here.

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#18)

Hello, Mrs. Nachos!!!! By: itrytobenice
I didn’t know Macho let you post too!!

Glad to see you here.

I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful 100 percent.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#122)

You can’t have one without the oooother By: ConservativeD
My guess is that she lets him post…..(and probably makes him think it’s the other way around too)

That meteor is headed straight for us, with the fire, and the impact, and the hundred percent chance of pain… Pain in the glavin!!
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#125)

I’m not as controlling as I sound… By: MrsNachos
really, I’m not.

and when I finish counting to 10 you will wake up feeling refreshed and happy and forget you ever heard this. 1…2…

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#131)

Hello to you, too! By: MrsNachos
I get out of the cage every once in a while to go to the bathroom and eat. ;P

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#130)

Excuse me? By: Clayton
My mind is made up. I’m speaking as myself, and as CEO of Redstate, Inc.

Now if you’d like to have another shot at Ben’s quote, but this time in context, go ahead.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#20)

Like a typical lefty By: hunter
you are too lazy to know the difference between quoting a claim and making a claim. You are so bigoted and blinded by your bigotry that you only live to tear down those whom you hate…..which is nearly everyone.

Seeking truth with confidence
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#22)

It was irony . . . By: bobbyB
. . . an ironic and semi-satirical statement concerning the invalidity and the irrationality of the “black activists'” support for the abortion cause.

I’m almost certain that, in your past, you have used the words “I . . . fellate . . . horses.”

Okay, maybe not in that order, but, hey, you said those words, right?

Stupid, yeah, but as valid as your (either knowing and dishonest, or simply ignorant) critique.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#28)

Back atcha, joelado By: JPH
I think you’re a racist. This is what you stated in your post.

It just happens that killing black babies has the happy result of reducing crime.

These lefties are as mean as it gets.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#33)

5 – and By: Leon H Wolf
This is how I will respond to every comprehension-challenged leftist who sees fit to bring this up in the future.

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#37)

What’s the ‘5’ stuff? By: exitsfunnel
I see it all the time and I’m wondering what the story is? Thanks.


[ Parent ] (User Info) (#64)

References a former post-rating system By: NotSoBlueStater

“Hindsight alone is not wisdom, And second-guessing is not a strategy.” – GWB
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#101)

5 [nt] By: Paul J Cella

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise men, redeeming the time, for the days are evil.”
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#99)

These attacks must not stand By: mr smith
I am honored to call Ben Domenech a friend, and will be proud to stand at his side no matter what.

We must be ferocious in defending one of our best. These lies and cruel slanders must not stand.

(User Info) (#2)

Let me further add By: Leon H Wolf
That if all of the ankle-biting midgets currently attacking Ben had everything they’d done since they were 16 subjected to a netroots swarm, some stuff a lot more suspicious than this would turn up.

This will, of course, never happen, becuase they will never accomplish anything significant enough to motivate even a small number of people to care.

I stand behind Ben.

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
(User Info) (#3)

I stand with my friend. By: Thomas
And echo Leon.

If this is mastery, then I’m a donut. – Mike Krempasky
(User Info) (#4)

The netroots are evil By: Neil Stevens
Domenech is just the latest one to get the “screw ’em” treatment.

These people really are twisted.

(User Info) (#5)

Agreed By: ConservativeD
I don’t know Ben/Augustine outside of his writings here (and now Red America), but I stand with him. Those who wish him to be gone from the WaPo have offered no critique of his points, just smears.

That meteor is headed straight for us, with the fire, and the impact, and the hundred percent chance of pain… Pain in the glavin!!
(User Info) (#6)

Ben=Augustine By: Mike D in SC
Well, knowing that, I can now say that Ben’s posts here, so long as I have been a member of this site, have been overwhelmingly level headed, cogent, logical and polite. They don’t come within a parsec of how he is being characterized by the loony left.

Congratulations on your new high profile blog, Augustine. I will read it with much more interest now that I know who you are.

“Universal” coverage means compulsory coverage, just with prettier political spin. – Thomas Sowell
(User Info) (#7)

but are they his word? By: Bob Brigham
In the blogosphere, we link for a reason.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#62)

And, your point is…? By: smagar
Say what you mean, fella (gal?)

“Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?” (Macaulay)
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#90)

Benefit of doubt By: itrytobenice
I think he hit the wrong ‘reply to this’ button.

Course he could be another one of those nuts that Thomas (my hero) hasn’t got to yet!!

I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful 100 percent.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#123)

Other then stating By: JPH
our support for him here, what else can be done?

It’s very important to defend conservatives who are under such vicious attack. If we don’t, then we only have ourselves to blame when RINO’s and mavericks dominate the Republican party. Conservative leaders, both in gov’t as well as the media, need to know that they’ll have the full backing of the rank-and-file when they go out to battle the often vicious libs and their sidekicks in the media.

As for the plagiarism charges, let them get rid of Doris Kearns Goodwin, then we’ll talk.

(User Info) (#8)

Call the Washington Post By: Erick

Broadbandblog: Give Me Highspeed or Give Me Death
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#12)

Second this. By: MrsNachos
Not only that, but spread the word that this is happening. If it continues, there will be no forum for us. They want their free speech for them, but not for us and they aren’t beyond using skeazy tactics to get it.

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#25)

Gotcha By: JPH
Will do. Any links to an e-mail address over there?

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#35)

I’ve only been posting here since January By: DAHmich
and I don’t know Ben. I haven’t seen very many posts by Augustine.

but only because permissions obtained and judgments made offline were not reflected online by an out dated and out of business campus newspaper. But that’s all the opponents want – just enough to sabotage a career, though in the process they will sabotage themselves. Facts have no meaning. Only impressions have any bearing on this. The charges of plagarism are false, meant to bring down a good and honest man. The presented facts to prove plagarism are specious — products of shoddy work. One could easily think the producers of 60 Minutes II were behind them.

I don’t know any of the details. Obviously, you do. Do you have any links where I can read the truth, instead of the spamming we’re getting from the left?

The principal difference between RedState and Kos, is the principle difference between RedState and Kos! ©
(User Info) (#9)

brilliant and the oldest city in North America-nt By: gamecock

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#11)

saintly, too (nt) By: blooch

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#135)

I stand ready to fight. By: machiavel
For a gentleman wise beyond his years.

(User Info) (#10)

Well said. By: MrsNachos

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#29)

Augustine? Cool. By: c17wife
I wondered that a couple of times myself, but didn’t give it much thought.

Ben does deserve to be defended and we must. This is just yet one more example of the idiots on the left trying to take down a conservative for one reason and one reason only. They know Ben is effective and it scares the hell out of them. As long as the right has effective voices to counter the noise, they will continue to lose. Let’s keep the pressure on the idiots and keep Ben’s voice and intellect in the medium.

Somewhere in Massachusetts, a village is missing BOTH its idiots.
(User Info) (#17)

Who cares about Ben? By: Bob Brigham
OK, I know the rules, but I want you to all imagine where the profanity should have been written in what I’m going to say. I’m a Democrat and I like to swear.

That said, I think this whole thing is nuts. I don’t like the WaPo giving Augustine an online column just as you would complain if they gave me a column. Yet if that were to happen, I’m sure all of you could come up with plenty of reasons to attack my ideas without attacking my being.

Personally, I think the Washington Post is favoring your side far too much and I don’t like that. But Ben has been discredited if for no other reason than the plagiarism (yes, I complained when one of our Congressman was caught doing the same thing).

I disagree with a great deal written in this post (especially the part of Ben doing no harm), but I agree with this:

Should these people succeed, how many bloggers from either side will ever again get so far? I would suspect none — not when there are people closer to the media who would fit the bill. The media, already skeptical of both the left and right side of the blogosphere, gets to watch us all tear each other apart over something that would otherwise be insignificant. What media company would want to take the risk of a blogswarm?

The last thing anyone wants is a peeved blogswarm. I believe that the internet allows the best ideas to rise to the top — on both sides — and that should be encouraged. In a medium where anyone can post under any username, the debate should be about the ideas.

(User Info) (#19)

P.S. By: Bob Brigham
I think many of Ben’s ideas a nuts.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#21)

I do. By: MrsNachos
I care about Ben. I care about swearing, but this isn’t a post about it, so I think it’s off topic.

Maybe I’m being snippy, but I think that there are plenty of blogs out there for you to celebrate all of the left-leaning columnists out there. Why on earth would you choose to complain about someone who writes for this particular site?

How many papers/documents have you written in your lifetime? I recently graduated college and they have a nifty new program out there that will literally take your entire paper and sift through it and tell you if there is any bit of plagiarism in it. I would be glad to go through yours and I’d bet my car (not a new one, but it’s nice) that you’ve done it a time or two without even realizing you were doing it. In fact, one thing I’ve learned in college is that people don’t realize how hard it is to NOT plagarize. You’d be hard pressed to find a single person in the entire civilized world that has been required to write a paper that didn’t plagarize, whether on purpose or not if they had someone who wasn’t specifically schooled in editing for those kinds of things looking over their work. I think you need to chill on the accusation.

With that being said, Congressmen aren’t exactly trustworthy, are they? Before you get snitty, I think that about just about all of them. Yours and mine. I think Ben is trustworthy and works hard to make sure that his work is his own. Have you actually READ anything Ben has written? You’d remember if you had because it’s just that good.

Like I said, I will personally go through any paper you’d like for me to if you think you’ve never done it and feel like throwing a stone or two. I enjoy research and could use a good project. I’m a geek like that.

At least we agree with something, eh? We do have to make sure we are allowed to be heard.

Sure, I agree we should be allowed to debate it, but that’s not REALLY what you wanted. Seriously. You don’t start a post with “who cares about Ben?” if you wanted a debate. You start a post with something like that because you want a reaction. I hope I’ve reacted suffiently to give you the warranted attention so we can go back to being supportive.

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#34)

You should By: ConservativeD
go through some of the lefty sites and put their posts into your little program.

Not that a nice person such as yourself should be subjected to lefty blogs 🙂

That meteor is headed straight for us, with the fire, and the impact, and the hundred percent chance of pain… Pain in the glavin!!
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#38)

It would be money well spent By: MrsNachos
I haven’t bought the program, but certainly would do so just for this purpose. For Ben, absolutely. My sociology professor had it and he had us turn all of our papers in via word document. I think it would be a worthy investment, don’t you?

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#44)

absolutely By: ConservativeD
It would be an interesting little experiment

That meteor is headed straight for us, with the fire, and the impact, and the hundred percent chance of pain… Pain in the glavin!!
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#52)

Hmm By: zuiko
You might need to then through another program to distill the text down to the 25% that isn’t F-bombs (and worse) first.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#65)

Well, f-bombs are automatic Eminem plagiarism By: MrsNachos
aren’t they? 😉

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#132)

I throwing flowers not stones By: Bob Brigham
When I said “who cares about Ben” I meant to focus the debate upon his ideas, not his person. I think that is important as ad hominem attacks are more fun than relevant.

I don’t think I made my point very clear as I was typing with one hand and playing with my dog with the other. The point I meant to make is that we should have a debate of ideas, not people. If there are major instances of plagairism, I have a problem with that because then it isn’t Ben’s ideas.

But if it is Ben’s ideas, let’s talk about them. That is what I like about Red State, it allows a conversation which is moderated to ensure that it isn’t about users, but ideas.

Here is another thing I think we can all agree upon: there needs to be some fresh voices in broadcast media. I refuse to pay for NYT Select, but if Krempasky had a slot I would probably, maybe, potentially, buy a subscription — because what he has to say would probably be interesting enough for me to want to read it before bed instead of waiting for the dead-tree version in the morning.

The blogosphere allows people to be recognized for the quality of their ideas, not their senority in serving major papers. That is a good thing. It should be encouraged.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#53)

Movie. Reviews. By: Leon H Wolf

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#55)

wolverines! By: Bob Brigham
Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen don’t look like they are related.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#56)

Neither do Jessica and Ashlee. By: Leon H Wolf

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#57)

yup By: Bob Brigham
Who would think it is cool to substitute Ashlee for Jessica? Plagiarism isn’t cool and is threatening to give the MSM an excuse to disregard the ideas of people who aren’t already players. We should debate ideas, not steal them from others. Online, if you want to reference something you use a link. It is basic, it is the common rule that unites liberals and conservatives.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#58)

Patrick Swayze is a beautiful thing. And I love By: MrsNachos
She’s like the wind. Leon, not a word young man!

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#134)

Perhaps I misunderstood you and if I did, I By: MrsNachos

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#133)

As a professor myself… By: miholo
…(at a business school) this is simply not true. It’s fairly straightforward in 99% of the cases to distinguish between coincidental similarities, re-worked sentences, and copy-and-paste jobs. I’ve already seen half-a-dozen examples of Ben’s writing next to the original source to have come to believe that he did regularly plagiarize in college. Whether that’s relevant or not for his later writing career is another matter, but let’s not obfuscate things. The Salon column about the Russert quote doesn’t look good either. Personally, I believe in second chances, but only after you fully acknowledge what you did wrong.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#59)

A Good Man is Hard to Find… By: MrsNachos
and even harder to discredit. I’ll give the liberals and nutters their fair due in that it was a lovely, hard-fought try, but the bottom line is that Ben is a superb writer and an amazing person. If this is the best they can do, frankly I’m surprised.

I’ve been an abuse team manager and high schoolers do better than this.

I stand behind Ben. And frankly, I’m more annoyed at the lack of creativity. Liberals and whiners, please ask your 17 year olds for some creative input next time.

Ben, we adore you. Stay strong.

Everybody likes nachos.
(User Info) (#23)

Shall we now discredit you By: DAHmich
for plagiarizing Flannery O’Connor? Beware, the swarm is coming!

The principal difference between RedState and Kos, is the principle difference between RedState and Kos! ©
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#27)

🙂 You make me feel all warm and fuzzy By: MrsNachos
I love Flannery O’ Connor. It’s good to see another fan. I was hoping someone would catch it.

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#41)

a few things… By: Pete Bogs
calling Coretta Scott King a “communist” was not measured or reasonable… he’s since retracted, but he was probably talking off the cuff – meaning, how he actually feels – then thought the better of it when the complaints started flooding in…

oh, and it’s plag(i)arist or plag(i)arism…

(User Info) (#24)

Eh… By: MrsNachos
I’m not a big fan of Mrs. King. I felt like she capitalized on some things she, as a wife, shouldn’t have, but such is life. Welcome to the USA.

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#45)

and I apologize for going off-topic By: MrsNachos

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#46)

Reasonable By: JPH
And this is reasonable. Or this. Or this.Or this.Or this. I could be here till tomorrow and still not be finished.

You guys are so full of it.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#50)

Assume the worst and extrapolate. By: trevino
Assume, for a moment, that the plagiarism charge is true. For the sake of argument, assume that.

Now, having accepted this, what are we left with?

1. It is the sole critique of Domenech by the left with any objective merit.

2. It does not have much merit, as the profferred examples are:

— Old, dating wholly from Domenech’s teen years.
— Confined wholly to movie reviews.

The Lord should be so kind that this would be the worst said of me at 19.

(User Info) (#26)

Amen (nt) By: Thomas

If this is mastery, then I’m a donut. – Mike Krempasky
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#30)

Well… By: BarbinMD
Here is something Ben wrote and from the Washington Post


Officials representing the Justice Department announced Wednesday Attorney General Janet Reno had decided someone from outside the department and the FBI should lead a new investigation into the actions of the FBI prior to the assault on the compound.


…officials said Attorney General Janet Reno had decided that someone from outside the department and the FBI should lead a new investigation into the use of potentially incendiary tear gas cartridges by federal agents during the final assault on the compound.


An FBI official also said that on a videotape obtained from the headquarters of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team in Quantico, a team member is heard being granted permission by a superior to fire flammable military tear gas into the compound more than four hours before it burst into flames, killing 76 people inside.


An FBI official said that on a videotape, a Hostage Rescue Team member is heard seeking and being granted permission by a superior to fire potentially flammable military tear gas more than four hours before the Branch Davidian compound burst into flames, killing 76 people.

From the William & Mary honor code

Infractions of the Honor Code include:


Cheating is the act of wrongfully using or taking the ideas or work of another in order to gain an unfair advantage. It includes, but is not limited to:
(1) the act of plagiarism

And finally, Domenech on Jayson Blair:

Jayson Blair sells his story, a fact that upsets me even more than Stephen Glass’s return through The Fabulist. Glass at least served a period of penance, like Marv Albert or something. Blair wants to go straight from getting shredded in the NYTimes to climbing the NYTimes bestseller list. While I’m not quite on the same level as Goldberg’s righteous anger, I do feel that there should be no quarter given to Blair’s vile lies.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#66)

Oh, good. By: trevino
A dKosser.

Not sure what your point is, but if you mean to state that I’m wrong about just movie reviews: you’re right. I was wrong about that. The rest stands.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#67)

you defended your friend n/t By: Bob Brigham

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#68)

My point By: BarbinMD
Yes, to point out that you were wrong about movie reviews, to point out that he violated the honor code on multiple occasions while at W&M, and to point out his own words about plagiarizing.

To defend a friend is admirable, but recognizing a fault is a part of being a friend too. I’ve read no less than 10 examples of his lifting wholesale excerpts from other writers…it is stealing and you know that. Pretending that he wasn’t old enough to know any better is disingenuous. I’ve read a lot of your writing and I don’t believe you’d accept this behavior from anyone else.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#69)

Even Peter Singer…. By: trevino
….admits he’s partial to his mother.

In that vein, forgive me for partiality to a friend. Or not, as you prefer. Loyalty is not a surpassing virtue, and I suspect it ranks lower with me than with most of my erstwhile RS colleagues. But we agree on this much: it is a virtue.

The W&M stuff, in isolation, does not concern me overmuch. (And the W&M honor code, not at all.) As part of a pattern extending beyond it — well, at some point we’ll have to let Ben speak for himself. I am confident he will.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#71)

No, I understand that By: BarbinMD
As I said, he’s your friend so you’ll defend him.

As for violating the honor code? Agreeing to abide to an honor code is giving your word…an oath that your character stands for itself. I think that’s important.

And there’s a new example that’s been found…another one lifted from page A1 of the Washington Post.

Standing by your friend is admirable…but supporting and excusing aren’t the same thing.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#72)

Putting something into…. By: trevino
….context — in this case, my own context, wherein I’ve done far worse things than plagiarize — isn’t “excusing.” As I told someone else earlier, if we assume the worst of Domenech, then yes, it would make me look all nice and principled to simply shun him. “That fellow, so high-minded, he’ll kick you to the curb once your flaws are exposed! That’s an honest man.” I could pretend he’s uniquely contaminated, and implicitly worse than me. And no one would know better.

But I would.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#73)

Well By: BarbinMD
I think we’re beyond the point of assuming anything. But you misunderstand. I don’t expect (nor advocate) kicking someone to the curb because of a mistake, while pretending moral superiority…not at all. That would be more dishonest than overlooking obvious wrongdoings.

At any rate, we both know where we stand, so I won’t belabor my points. I look forward to reading his explanation.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#74)

In that case…. By: trevino
….it’s unclear to me what you do expect, beyond an outright statement that plagiarism is ipso facto a wrong. On which — well, yes.

Sadly, it seems that the majority of your fellow-travelers do strenuously advocate “kicking someone to the curb because of a mistake.” But not, of course, because of an inherent dislike for the mistake per se.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#75)

Don’t get me wrong… By: BarbinMD
I don’t expect you to kick him to the curb. He’s your friend. But I think the Washington Post should let him go immediately. He was an adult, albeit a young adult (still is), and made a decision on many, many occasions to present the work of others as his own. Any publication that pretends to have any jounalistic standards cannot keep him on their staff.

Whatever his explanation, the examples are piling up and his credibility, outside the sphere of those that know him, is gone. That may be a hard truth, but the truth nonetheless.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#76)

Oh, of course By: Neil Stevens
Any time the radical left coordinates an attack on a conservative in a purportedly-unbiased, widely-read news source, he must be fired immediately. Even if he has done nothing wrong in the course of his work there, or even has been accused of doing nothing wrong.

That is the goal here, and if the Post ditches him, then the point will have been driven home to the mainstream press: deviate from our preferred bias, and we attack. The point will also have been made to the right: attempt to speak out, and you will suffer attacks on yourself personally and professionally.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#77)

5 (n/t) By: Centerfire

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#79)

I beg your pardon By: BarbinMD
I was unaware that plagiarism was only unacceptable to the “radical left.” To say this:

That is the goal here, and if the Post ditches him, then the point will have been driven home to the mainstream press: deviate from our preferred bias, and we attack.

And Mr. Domenech would be a victim with no personal responsibility for his own actions?

It’s a shame that the truth (Domenech plagiarized on multiple occasions) is considered an attack. And it’s a shame that the notion that a newspaper should not employ a plagiarist is being argued against or being held up as proof of bias.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#80)

Responsibility for actions By: Neil Stevens
Why should the Post fire him for something he did in college?

If he did this at the Post, I could see ditching him immediately. Are you saying he did?

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#81)

I said he plagiarized… By: BarbinMD
…Washington Post articles (links available at your request), not that he plagiarized since writing for them.

But his past actions, particularly when they are directly related to the job he was hired to do (write), make it completely relevant. Everything he has ever written or will write is now called into question.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#82)

The freezer is filling up with revenge now By: Nick Danger

But his past actions…

That is true, but not many of us could withstand close examination of everything we did in undergraduate school. No state would ever give me a driver’s license if they had any idea of some of my performances as an 18-year-old behind the wheel.

Let’s face it: this was ugly, and it is going to unleash ugliness. I know how to use Google, too. Everybody on our side of the ditch knows how to use Google. What has been uncorked here has only begun to bubble. If it’s ‘politics of personal destruction’ you guys want, it is politics of personal destruction you will get. Let the bloodletting begin. Dana Milbank had better hope that he has never cribbed a phrase. If he has, I’ll find it. Froomkin, too.

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you’re dead.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#84)

Okay By: BarbinMD
Revenge for what? Because of Mr. Domenech’s decision to plagiarize? As I said earlier, you can stand by a friend without defending their wrongdoings…and plagiarism is stealing, plain and simple. A writer who plagiarizes has no credibility.

As for Froomkin or Millbank, if they did the same then they should be fired…but that wouldn’t excuse Mr. Domenech.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#86)

Agreed By: Nick Danger

If they did the same then they should be fired

while (goesAround)

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you’re dead.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#88)

And btw, you agree… By: BarbinMD
…that others found to plagiarize should be fired, yet you defend Mr. Domenech and say if he is let go it will be because the Washington Post said, “deviate from our preferred bias, and we attack.”

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#95)

Open mouth, insert words By: Nick Danger

yet you defend Mr. Domenech and say if he is let go it will be because the Washington Post said, “deviate from our preferred bias, and we attack.”

I said no such thing. So don’t put words in my mouth. I merely note that one good turn deserves another. Surely you can’t object to uncovering all the dastardly plagiarists out there. The media is probably full of them.

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you’re dead.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#105)

I was responding… By: BarbinMD
…to Neil Stevens. That was something he had said. I put no words in your mouth. And please recall, I agreed that any journalist found to have plagiarized the works of others should be fired.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#110)

I know I’m entering the fray a little late here… By: DAHmich
but the thought occurs to me:

any journalist found to have plagiarized the works of others should be fired.

Did Ben Domenech study Journalism in college? IS he a trained journalist? Or a blogger, like so many of the rest of you!

There IS a big difference you know. Trained journalists LEARN all about plaigerism, libel and the laws concerning journalism…bloggers don’t!

Just a small point, but still a point!

The principal difference between RedState and Kos, is the principle difference between RedState and Kos! ©
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#114)

plagiarism, too erly to spell! n/t By: DAHmich

The principal difference between RedState and Kos, is the principle difference between RedState and Kos! ©
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#115)

I should be flattered By: Neil Stevens
For you to attribute my words to Nick, that could be a compliment.

Or it could just mean you’re not reading carefully, darn.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#107)

No, it means neither of you are… By: BarbinMD
…reading carefully. You posted your comment, Centerfire gave you a 5 and then I responded to you, excerpting (and did you notice the quotebox ;-)) from your post. In fact, Nick Danger didn’t enter the conversation until we had each made an ensuing post.

So just as I didn’t put words in Nick’s mouth, I didn’t attribute your words to him.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#111)

Ha! Mea Culpa By: BarbinMD
I just realized which post you were referring to. I beg your pardon. When I typed that response, I hadn’t realized you’d entered the discussion.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#112)

To you too, Mr. Stevens n/t By: BarbinMD

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#113)

Yeah, I get it By: Neil Stevens
If they really want to, they can find an excuse. They can just print that “embattled Republican blogger Ben Domenech, after exposure of past inflammatory writings in connection with — a so-called 527 group similar to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group critics say leveraged loopholes in federal campaign finance laws to unfairly smear John Kerry’s military record — as well as the unearthing of ethics problems in his past, has left us with questions about his character, and so we feel it best to discontinue Red America at this time.”

It’ll sound good, because it’ll be the same kind of thing they write all the time about Republicans, and it will become a Known Factâ„¢ that Ben Domenech is a Bad Manâ„¢.

Then next time anyone asks why they slant left, they’ll just say “What, because we don’t have more Domenechs?” It will be implied that the only way they’re not balanced is in Bad Menâ„¢, and that will be that.

Unfortunately for them, that will also continue them down the path of declining relevance and revenues, so the Post will get theirs, too.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#87)

No, they don’t need an excuse By: BarbinMD
Mr. Domenech provided a reason by his own actions. That Mr. Domenech plagiarized multiple times and because of that, his credibility has been destroyed.

That’s the bottom line.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#93)

Credibility for what? By: Neil Stevens
Do you need crediblity to write opinions on a webpage?

It’s an excuse to appease the far left, nothing more.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#94)

The need for a writer… By: BarbinMD
…to be credible is his/her most important asset. And of course there is the issue of integrity. He passed off the work of others as his own. And responding to your “And further” here:

First, you don’t think people in college are responsible for their own actions? If a college student got drunk and killed a friend in a car accident, I don’t think they should ever be allowed to drive a school bus. If a college student has (what he says) is a onetime fling with a 13 year old, they should never be allowed to professionally interact with children. You get my drift…now I am by no means equating negligent homicide and pedophilia with plagiarism. But in all three examples, the decisions they made as a college student does disqualify them for particular kinds of work.

And could you please clarify your second point before I address it? I’m not sure where you’re going with it. Thanks.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#108)

And further By: Neil Stevens
And even if Domenech were in a real reporting position at the Post, are you seriously suggesting that because someone was stupid in college, he should be forever banned from that line of work?

Sounds to me like you’ve bought into how journalists are so full of themselves that they see their ‘profession’ as so vital to the national security.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#96)

Disingenuity By: Centerfire
Pretending that he wasn’t old enough to know any better is disingenuous.

…in approximately the same fashion as pretending that your interest in this is chiefly about the journalistic standards employed by the Washington Post.

As opposed to, you know, flogging the alleged plagiarism as a convenient means to kick a political opponent in the groin, out of naked partisan rancor.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#78)

Alleged? By: BarbinMD
I can supply multiple linked examples. That aside, you pin motives on me that aren’t there.

Credibility is what counts in a writer, IMO, be they liberal, conservative or somewhere in between.

And I must point out that you accuse me of “naked partisan rancor” in a nakedly partisan and rancorous manner.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#83)

The hits just keep on coming. By: Centerfire
You can supply multiple linked examples… of, indeed, alleged plagiarism, accusations of which Ben has yet to respond to.

I pin motives to you that you say “aren’t there”… but which can be easily imputed to you given your interest in this matter, as one of the Kos Kidz flogging the plagiarism angle to attack Ben after the first five or six angles didn’t draw blood.

Credibility is what counts as a writer, you say. regardless of political affiliation… and yet you’re here, finger-wagging at Ben, instead of setting your own house in order. Deal with the prominent frauds on the left (Paul Krugman, call your office), and we can talk about Ben Domenech.

And while you can claim that I’ve accused you of naked partisan rancor in a nakedly partisan and rancorous manner, you’d be contradicted by the plain text. I’m sure you’d prefer your transparent partisan opportunism and sanctimonious posturing about journalistic integrity to go unchallenged, but such challenges are not ipso facto partisan rancor; they’re calling a spade a spade.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#137)

So Barb. By: Leon H Wolf
Your contention is that two reporters, reporting on the same story, from apparently the same source, have two stories that look superficially similar, and that’s plagiarism?

I have a job for you. Go down to a local law school (if you’re in MD, they certainly exist aplenty). Breeze by the law library and ask to see the student appellate briefs they have on file. Compare any two from a given year, in which very smart people, not copying off each other, are writing about the same set of facts.

Here’s a hint, they’ll look a lot more similar than anything you’ve brought up here.

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#102)

I don’t normally comment here, By: hilzoy
because I think it’s your space, and I respect it. And you may end up banning me for this; I don’t know. However:

I would urge you to read all the examples. There are quite a few of them by now, and not all of them come from the college paper. Some are from NRO.

I have not previously written on Ben. However, I wrote on the plagiarism here. I did not write it without checking things out fairly thoroughly, and I would not have written about it had I not concluded that there was pretty serious evidence of a real problem.

I’m only writing this here because I respect your willingness to stick up for one of your own, but I would nonetheless urge you to check all the examples out. It is be an awfully long series of failures to cite permissions, etc. To me, it looks a lot like serial plagiarism.

As I said, feel free to ban me. But for what it’s worth, I am not writing this to tear anyone down, or to cause trouble here. Quite the opposite.

(User Info) (#31)

I’ve read them By: Leon H Wolf
First, it’s an exaggeration to say that there are “some” from NRO. There’s one. And again, it’s a movie review. And it’s also the most spurious of all the claims.

Second, I would encourage you to spend some time reading around the other articles on FlatHat and see if you can discern that ANYBODY’S articles (particularly in the review section) have permissions cited.

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#32)

My 10 cents worth By: MrsNachos
Please jump up and read my comments about plagiarism above.

Everybody likes nachos.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#47)

Wrong tack By: brendanm98
FWIW, I think that lumping the plagiarism charges in with the silly racism stuff is not the best manner in which to address the left-wing blogswarm.

The racist stuff is obviously stupid junk, mostly aimed at RS rather than Ben and based primarily on that funeral post of Blanton’s. The plagiarism stuff is hardly relevant to Ben’s clear talent for writing and his heartfelt championing of the conservative viewpoint, but on the surface it’s difficult to discredit. Some clarification from Ben would go a long way towards defusing the situation. At this point, I don’t see why you would want to treat the charges as having equal merit.

As someone who has enjoyed Augustine’s presence here (even though he’s oh so very very wrong on pretty much everything), I don’t appreciate the petty and mean-spirited attacks coming from the left-wing blogs, and I join you in condemning those that clearly cross the line. Speaking only for myself, I think you can more effectively assist Ben by allowing him to explain the plagiarism charges, if he deems necessary, and focusing your ire on the groundless racism accusations.

(User Info) (#36)

You can understand By: Clayton
Since the left side of the blogosphere didn’t exactly ask for Ben’s explanation at the outset, but instead literally attacked him, you may be able to understand any trepidation at engaging them.

Further, while I’ve been in contact with him regularly today, I can imagine that he might be talking with as well. That might take a long time (in blog minutes).

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#43)

the left side was the left By: Bob Brigham
No matter what, plagiarism hurts the blogosphere which is why we offer links. I was really, really, really, PO’d when some on my side made excuses when one of our congressman was caught doing this.

I think we need more voices in the media, not less. Of course, some will be conservative. That is why I’m disappointed at the personal attacks against Ben when (as a Democrat) I think his arguments are easy enough to address head on. This shouldn’t be a debate about Ben, it should be a debate about ideas. But that is hard to do when somebody is stealing another’s ideas.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#63)

I’d actually like to hear Ben’s explanation By: Azael
I assume it’s forth coming?

The best things are collectives
(User Info) (#39)

What do you think? By: Leon H Wolf

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#42)

Post above this By: Neil the Ethical Werewolf
Hey, wasn’t there a front-page post by Thomas above this one a moment ago? What happened to it?

(User Info) (#40)

Yes By: Clayton
I pulled it for the purposes of keeping Erick’s up top for a while.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#48)

bloggers as journalists By: Johnny Gentle famous crooner
I thought the whole allure of bloggers was that they aren’t journalists. What i don’t get is why i’m supposed to feel one way or the other about bloggers getting mainstream gigs. All i really feel is that they cease to be bloggers and instead become initiated into the league of bloated, self-satisfied “pundits.”

a blogger is a blogger because of their direct access to the readers–they’re not ten steps removed from the readership, sitting in some musty office, using yellowed stylebooks and answering to 20 editors. Rather, they speak off the cuff (albeit not without researching). And when they’re wrong, they get called on it almost instantly.

However, you start working for the Post, i think you lose just about all of that–you’re not a blogger, you’re a columnist. You’re Cal Thomas, Maureen Dowd, etc.

I don’t think bloggers should seek to be incorporated INTO the media.Rrather, they should see, to be the media’s watchdogs. They should influence and balance the media. And that’s sure hard to do when you’re writing under your own byline and getting a paycheck from the Post.

just my thoughts, anyhow.

(User Info) (#49)

Leon: By: hilzoy
I didn’t think that one was spurious at all. Domenech in NRO:

“Translucent and glowing, they ooze up from the ground and float through solid walls, wriggling countless tentacles and snapping their jaws. They’re known as the Phantoms, alien thingies that, for three decades, have been sucking the life out of the earthlings of “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.””

Cox News:

“Translucent and glowing, they ooze up from the ground and float through solid walls, splaying their tentacles and snapping their jaws, dripping a discomfiting acidic ooze. They’re known as the Phantoms, otherworldly beings who, for three decades, have been literally sucking the life out of the earthlings of the human.”

In any case, there’s another NRO piece on Atrios that I didn’t use because the source doesn’t have an author listed, and I thought: I’m not printing it unless I know that Ben D. didn’t write both. There are also more examples coming out on dKos; see, for instance, here.

I should also say that offhand, the idea of seeking and receiving permission to publish lightly massaged paragraphs from someone else’s film reviews is peculiar. In any case, I wrote to one of the authors, and if I hear back, I’ll let you know. (If banned, I’ll forward the email.)

(User Info) (#51)

hilzoy By: Leon H Wolf

1. You won’t get banned for what you’re doing here.
2. I saw the movie in question. What both reviews have presented is an accurate description of a phenomenon that is hard to describe. Based on the paragraphs you have here reprinted, you’ve shown nothing more conclusive than someone who remembered some of the words another reviewer used when describing the visual effect of the ghosts in FF.

Let me put it this way. Recently, I finished reading a book on life issues that was very compelling and logically worded. In particular, I found it to be very effective at expressing some of the rather complex philosophical questions that attend this debate in very simple ways. Since I’ve read that book, I’ve been chewing a lot of the ideas in my head, and I’m sure if you read over my posts from the last month, you’ll find me saying things that are on the surface very similar, and it’s possible that I may have even used some identical turns of phrase (although this certainly was not intentional and I didn’t have a copy of the book in front of me while writing any of the aforementioned posts.) That’s not plagiarism, that’s being influenced.

All the same, Ben can answer for himself on these issues. I stand by my original comment in this thread, however (I think it’s number three), and will continue to do so even if someone produces a videotape of Ben doing everything they’ve accused him of – because none of what he did in his teenage years, even if we grant that it is all true – will diminish from the truth and strength of what he is doing now.

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#54)

I’ve seen… By: miholo
…half-a-dozen other quotes juxtaposed to the original where the plagiarism is clear — you know where they are and you can link to them if you want. As I said above, it’s not clear whether or not things he wrote in college have much relevance for Ben’s later writing career (although the Russert issue is after college), but he needs to come clean ASAP. Friendship and loyalty are a good thing, but don’t let your ethics be situational.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#60)

indeed By: Bob Brigham
The blogosphere doesn’t work unless we provide credit where credit is due.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#61)

I savor the irony… By: Centerfire
of being hectored about situational ethics by the left.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#70)

I have a question. By: Morgan Orlins
What EXACTLY is an “evilcon”? I’m reasonably sure I know what a NEOCON is. It’s that mean, evil Jewish conservative (guys like me) who has left the Dems to go with the party of freedom, the GOP. When we’re not working or blogging we take turns playing “monster under the bed” for the left, causing multitudes of Depends moments for those sheet soilers.
So is “evilcon” somehow related to neocon? I was wondering if I was getting a new title. Pray tell.

(User Info) (#85)

Evilcons By: Neil Stevens
Well, from what I gather, the Evilcons are Nazis, Klansmen, and affiliated scum, hiding in sheets painted with an elephant.

They try to make common cause with Republicans on issues like border security, and make us all look bad when their hateful, stupid, racist rhetoric gets mixed in with our own.

They also try to recruit among us. They buy in to the lefty rhetoric that all Republicans are really racists, and so try to seduce us over to their side.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#89)

Great imagery Neil ! By: Morgan Orlins
Hiding in white sheets eh? I know the type. I have blogged in the past with a guy who was convinced that Neocons are actually Neotrotskyites. These leftists and “evilcons” do occupy their own little fever swamp, don’t they?
This all seems far too complicated to me. Doesn’t it seem like there should be two divisions, those who believe in the Constitutionally limited government envisioned by the Founders on one side, and totalitarians of all types on the other? Makes more sense to me.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#91)

“on the surface appear suspicious” By: MaxMillion06
On the surface they appear almost exact, with perhaps as much of 95% of the text of the original piece finding its way, almost word for word into Ben’s stuff. Plagiarism is serious business.

I applaud everyone here for holding off on a rush to judgement. That being said Ben Domenech needs to speak directly to these charges and in detail with some specifics. And Red Staters need to put aside a persecution fantasies or blind loyalties and view only the facts.

This incident has the potentional to inflict serious harm on ALL blogs (I don’t think the other guys realize this).

If plagiarism did occur – by a blogger who got a bigtime gig with the WaPost – bloggers of all stripes will be labeled as hacks whom you can’t trust by the corporate news execs under pressure from blogs.

(User Info) (#92)

Defend with eyes open, Erick By: von
Erick writes:

The charges of plagarism are false, meant to bring down a good and honest man. The presented facts to prove plagarism are specious — products of shoddy work. One could easily think the producers of 60 Minutes II were behind them.

The charges of plagarism against Augustine may be based on old writings. They may be ultimately inconsequential. From what I’ve read so far, however, the charges of plagarism are not false.

If you want to mount an effective defense of Augustine, grasp the nettle. Don’t deny that the nettle exists, lest you present too fat a target for your opponents. Choose a ground to defend that cannot be so easily refuted. (This is called framing the issues, and Republicans used to be fairly good at it.)

For we have a peculiar power of thinking before we act, and of acting, too, whereas other men are courageous from ignorance but hesitate upon reflection.
(User Info) (#97)

Checking in for Team Domenich By: smagar
Count me as a Big Ben supporter. He helped create this site, and has been among the wisest of its proprietors.

(I hope “wiseist” is a word. If it isn’t, I do deserve some points for creativity. At least, I’m pretty sure I spelled it correctly. If it is a word, that is. Anyway…)

The thoughts that made Ben well-known in the blogosphere, and the skills and intellect that caught the attention of the WaPo, are clearly his. Is anyone on the left contending that Ben is actually a front, for a ghostwriter somewhere? Or, that there’s some brilliant writer chained in a closet somewhere, whose work Ben is stealing?

This is not an attempt to punish Ben, or enforce “ethical standards” of journalism. It is an effort to silence him. Failing that, to stain his reputation so badly that, whenever he speaks, a cloud will hover over him.

This appears to be an earnest attempt by the left to create so much agita that the WaPo deems Domenich’s blog to not be worth the trouble. And, the left may be on to something. I recall a Hugh Hewitt interview with the editor of When asked who his most popular blogger was, the editor said Froomkin, far and away.

I’m sure the WaPo knows this. And, I’ll bet it promotes Froomkin’s work because the Washington Post Corporation (or, whoever owns them), wants to market to that demographic that likes seeing snotty comments about President Bush in print. Froomkin services that demographic.

My guess: Atrios and Kos commenters are trying to get that demographic–which apparently is an important component of the WaPo’s customer base–to pressure the WaPo into making the “sound business decision” of dumping Ben. The plagirism and racism charges are simply pretext.

I’m here for Ben. I’ve read the charges, and I’m unshaken in my support for him. As we all should be.

A friend is under attack. One who’s done quite a bit for us, and for the conservative and Republican movements overall. So, save the buts and howevers and other qualifiers for later.

I’ll stand on one hand with Ben and guard this bridge. Just tell me which hand to stand behind.

“Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?” (Macaulay)
(User Info) (#98)

Agreed — full support By: jannelsen
For his writing, intellect and guts, i.e., Ben came into this full knowing the vitriol he would endure, thereby demonstrating a strong character — stronger than mine, to be sure.

I suspect the Washington Post editors also anticipated the attacks and still made the deal with Ben even knowing the consequences. The Post is no stranger to hate, bile and campaigns levied against it; imagine the number of angry, unhinged e-mails it gets every hour.

Besides, no one likes to back down in the face of furious sanctimony.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#117)

Simply put.. By: jdub19

” When one is loyal to the truth, we say he is a person of integrity. When one is loyal to the truth under intense opposition, we say he is a person of great integrity” R.G.D.

Full support for Ben

(User Info) (#100)

God almighty. By: Maximos
When I reflect upon all of the improprieties in which I was involved, from high school on through my years as an undergraduate, I shudder at the thought that any one of those things might be invoked to justify denying me employment, or to discredit any argument I may have articulated to advance a political philosophy. The notion that one’s misconduct or errors of judgment during those years should be determinative of one’s future station in life is as full


Comments: 33


Gav- I’m working on the post about Ben’s replacements. Log onto gmail if you want to chat about it with me.


I had never heard of RedState before this whole brouhaha

It’s astonishing…does anyone know of people like the commenters there in real life? So overwrought and ponderous, like they’re all acting in a very bad high school play:

A friend is under attack. One who’s done quite a bit for us, and for the conservative and Republican movements overall. So, save the buts and howevers and other qualifiers for later.





Domenech Strikes Back; Calls Post Editors ‘Fools’…

FLASHBACK: New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines resigns…


It’s amazing how many of them don’t think plagiarism is a big deal – that it’s something we’ve somehow *all* done.

I’ve just finished up a degree in history, which involves a LOT of paper writing – probably second only to an English degree.

I’ve never plagiarized ANYTHING. It just hasn’t happened.

This is not to say that I haven’t cut corners on paper writing before – but mine have all been of the “use six examples to make your point where one would have done the trick in order to meet the minimum page requirement” variety.

Plagiarism is the most odious thing taht a person who cares at all about the written word and the free exchange of ideas can do.

And I see he’s now got a post up at Red State blaming his editors at the school paper for it. Way to join that culture of personal responsibility, whiny-boy.


In the name of civil discourse, I have one thing to say to our friends at RedState:



Oh, and apparently Mr. Homeschool Journalist thinks that liberals “explode” weaknesses in their opponents.

Sigh….my mom used to be an English teacher. It’s not even funny, just terribly depressing. What are they teaching kids in schools nowadays?


It’s really hard to follow this without any formatting–what with the handles and signatures and quotations all looking the same–but I know you’re just archiving this for us. Yet it’s easy to see some definite trends. Just to name two:(1) Red State posters not having paid any attention to the documentation of the plagiarism. Folks (as Rush would say), we’re talking about a kid lifting entire paragraphs out of other people’s work. It’s not a question of “he didn’t know what he was doing” or poorly attributed quotations. There is no gray area here, and it doesn’t take a fancy “newfangled computer program” (haven’t these things been around for years, by the way? Idiot.) to detect it. He stole other people’s work, plain and simple, and probably built his reputation on these writings and was awarded a career on their basis (that, plus the nepotism). I will go so far as to pose a rough equation: Plagiarism + Nepotism + Jingoism = “Conservative” Commentator. (2) Blind chauvinism that leads to such sadly thoughtless characterizations of congresspeople as “yours and mine.” YUCK. I could see disowning individually repugnant Republican representatives (if I lived in WI, I’d disown Sensenbrenner, and of course the president is claimed by no decent human being). But to disregard an entire section of Congress, unexamined, on the basis of political affiliation? Only a Republican could do that so lightly in public. And I make that gross characterization consciously. Pbbbth! and Hsflfflsps (or however the “cat-hiss” sound effect goes).


I was a little surprised that Box Turtle Ben and WaPo actually parted ways. Dick Cheney could have just ordered PJ O’Rourke to ghost-write all of Benji’s columns from now on. It’s the Republican thing to do.


P.S. Commenter #98 doesn’t know whether “wisest” is a real word and dithers about it at some length before quoting Macauley Culkin. (OK, I know, I’m kidding.)


I have an active account at RedState; I got in before the wall came down. If the SN! hivemind would like to insert a little [additional] levity into the discussion over there, post some suggestions.


Just cut and past something from Kaye, “Grogan.”, where she’s reacting to some attack on Dubya. Substitute “Bush” for “Ben”

…see if anyone catches the, you know…plagiarism. I’m sure the lunacy will go completely unnoticed.


Perhaps someone should explain to Ben the difference between “explode” and “exploit”?

My head a’sploit!


Good idea. I’ll try a bit from Nixon’s resignation speech.


“Standing by your friend is admirable…but supporting and excusing aren’t the same thing.”

Uh-oh. Looks like BarbinMD’s about to get banned.


The comments about Ben’s “Red America Ends” post are pretty priceless too. Here’s commenter #59, responding to someone pointing out that a poster on DKos claiming to be Domenech’s former editor dismisses Ben’s charges that the apparent plagiarism was due to the editorial staff:

For all we know, these “editors” were a bunch of liberal kooks intent on setting Ben up to tear him down later (I’m sure Ben’s politics were no mystery to the rest of the Flat Hat staff, and these “editors” seem to be conveniently lurking on Atrios). They could have easily snuck passages into Ben’s original work, and stored this nugget away as ammunition against his promising future. It’s really sad what antics people will stoop to…

That’s some seriously great paranoia. These people are the best!


Yes, read the comments on Ben’s “Red America Ends” post. I only scanned them, but he is apparently their new martyred hero.

These people are truly batshit insane.


just love the ‘Willi Messerschmitdt’ image. RS flaming down outa’ the BLUE SKY.


There’s one argument I see people making that’s really, really pissing me off. The one about how it’s “easy to accidentally plagiarize”.

Well, it IS easy to accidentally plagiarize. But it’s NOT easy to accidentally plagiarize the way Benny has.

The type of plagiarizing that is easy to do is when you use a major theme or idea that another author is responsible for.

Here’s a sort of crude example, just to make it easy to see how that works. If you wanted to write a paper about how it’s odd that Robert McNamara didn’t do some specific thing while in office, especially considering that he was a member of the “best and brightest generation”, you’d have to give credit to David Halberstam, even if the words “Best and Brightest” never appeared in your paper. The reason for that is (as far as I know), Halberstam is the originator of the “best and brightest” thesis, which posits that the same traits that made Kennedy’s cabinet so brilliant helped, in part, to bring them down – they were idealist wonks, and unable to deal with the idea that they could *ever* be wrong about *anything*.

So, yeah, plagiarism can happen accidentally – if you somehow never heard of David Halberstam, you could have come up with this idea independently. Good luck proving that, though.

But plagiarizing whole sentences? By accident? Not gonna happen.

Nice to see how much this crows prizes ethics.


wow Marita. I really wouldn’t have believed it. that is some seriously deluded thinking.


Kathleen – agreed. That’s some POWERFUL wingnuttery.

For the record By: Thomas

I repeat: Should the entire American Left fall over dead tomorrow, I would rejoice, and order pizza to celebrate. They are not my countrymen; they are animals who happen to walk upright and make noises that approximate speech. They are below human. I look forward to seeing each and every one in Hell.

Note: If he wants to see us all in hell, doesn’t that mean he is planning on being there also?


Ooh, mr. x, we should send that one off to David Neiwert. I hear he collects gems like that and wears them around his neck in the way the rest of us animals wear the shrunken heads of our rightist enemies. Ooga booga.


I guess Thomas didn’t get the memo from Ben about how he was trying to engage in serious discourse, and he decried rancourous attacks.


does anyone know of people like the commenters there in real life? So overwrought and ponderous

It helps to read them in the stentorian tones of the Movie Trailer Voice Guy. In a world… where things aren’t always as they seem… instant success can turn to instant failure… Ben Domenech is Augustine in “Red America.”



Ben got promoted and assumed that everyone woiuld be afraid of the WaPo and lie for him, *just* like they do for Cheney, Rummy, and Bush.

Thanks S,N, for acting as the memory hole for the next time one of these dolts put on journalist pants.

Overwrought? no.

Sadly, Opinionated fucks are opinionated fucks. I’m one. So are the Redstaters.

But how do they think they are above the fray, when they are the very chum that begins the fray.

also, can I get my ‘liberal machine’ union card already? I still get the 10% discount of Streisand films with it, right?


Latest excuse:

Martin Luther King Jr. was a plagiarist too!!1!!


mr x. – I think the christianist idea is that once you get to heaven the teevee has a live feed of hell running 24-7 so that the righteous get to enjoy watching the heathens and liberals suffer their torments.

with your host, the Gipper himself, 40th President of the USA, St. Ronald Reagan.


I think the christianist idea is that once you get to heaven the teevee has a live feed of hell running 24-7 so that the righteous get to enjoy watching the heathens and liberals suffer their torments.

No less an authority than Thomas Aquinas thought so.


tehl4m3 —

Thanks for thinking of me. I managed to sniff this one out on my own anyway. These things float like turds to the top of the punchbowl. My job is fishing them out so you don’t have to.

And I prefer not to wear them around my neck. That would not be fun. Best just to take pictures and leave it at that.


Who was that masked cetacean?


“It just happens that killing black babies has the happy result of reducing crime. I do not question the research or logic of Levitt’s argument. If a specifiable group is inordinately responsible for a social problem, it follows that eliminating a large number of people belonging to that group will reduce the problem.“??

Oh Wow! And a “Sieg Heil” to you too Ben Domenech! Sounds like being a Plagiarist is just the Tip of the Iceberg for him.

Did he Plagiarize Rudolf Hess too? I vaguely remember a documentary that mentioned that Hess wrote something like that regarding their favorite target…


Neiwert, so you say you’re disguising the fact that there were turds floating in the punchbowl? And then you blithely allowed us to continue drinking punch? Nice!


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