Friday, March 24, 2006

Rebutting Bens rebuttal...

Ben Domenech resigned from the Washington Post today following a firestorm of controversy after his hiring as a conservative blogger. The final straw for WAPO were many examples of what can only be termed serial plagiarism by Mr. Domenech. He responded by lashing out at every liberal in the entire world in this screed @ (Please DO NOT use that link unless you absolutely MUST read his discourse.)

Mr. Domenech falls back to the tried and true righty method of claiming victimhood status from liberals because of his conservative beliefs. He writes:
The truth is, no conservative could write for the Post without being subject to the gauntlet of the liberal attack machine.
The truth is that the original uproar was over the fact that the WAPO decided to hire a conservative blogger without balancing that hire with a liberal. By all means, if any non partisan paper in the nation wishes to keep the appearance of non partisanship and wants to hire a conservative blogger, more power to them, presuming they balance the hire with a liberal blogger as well. Prior to the issue of plagiarism being raised the point of nearly every liberal site who harped on this issue was to either hire both sides, or no side at all. Is there any one of my readers who actually believes that if a well known liberal voice were hired for a blog titled "Blue America" by the Washington Post that the entire koolaid drinking blogosphere would not rise in indignation?

Besides which I am seriously tired of hearing the continual whining of conservatives about how oppressed they are because of their politics. You have the White House, the Congress, Fox, 3/4 of MSNBC (hang in there brother Olbermann!) 9/10ths of Talk Radio (god bless Air America and brother Schultz) and the freaking Pope! Try being a liberal and getting your point across... talk about oppression. No sooner do you speak up then you are accused of bashing America (more on that later) and loving the terrorists. So give me a break with your little "I'm an oppressed conservative" sob story Mr. Domenech and get a job as a lobbyist or something.

Mr. Domenech soon goes to the meat of the issue, that being the charge of plagiarism. However the bridge he crosses to broach the subject is telling of itself. He writes:
in the course of accusing me of racism, homophobia, bigotry, and even (on one extensive Atrios thread) of having a sexual relationship with my mother, the leftists shifted their accusations to ones of plagiarism. You can find the major examples here: I link to this source only because I believe it's the only place that hasn't yet written about how they'd like to rape my sister.
So in the course of decrying the overblown, emotional rhetoric of liberals in response to his hiring, even mentioning a scandalous accusation regarding incestuous relations with his mother, Mr. Domenech reaches the same low by saying that most liberal sites who have raised the ruckus have written about assaulting his sister. He therefore is no better than the pot calling the kettle black, and surrenders what moral high ground he lays claim to by becoming emotional and slanderous himself.

Responding to the charges of plagiarism, Mr. Domenech says:
In one instance, I have been accused me of passing off P.J. O'Rourke's writing as my own in a column for the paper. But the truth is that I had met P.J. at a Republican event and asked his permission to do a college-specific version of his classic piece on partying. He granted permission, the piece was cleared with my editors at the paper, and it ran as inspired by O’Rourke’s original.
This if anything is an admission of the charge. The source of the material was not identified by Mr. Domenech when he wrote the offending article. Saying that the piece was inspired by O'Rourke seems to bypass the fact that it was copied part and parcel without attribution. For instance while this post may be inspired by Mr. Domenech's Redstate rebuttal, all the quotes which I use by him are attributed to him. I find it strange that Mr. Domenech attempts to debunk the charge of plagiarism by using an example of a case in which he clearly plagiarized.

In defending himself of charges that he plagiarized while writing for his college newspaper Mr. Domenech says:
Considering that all of this happened almost eight years ago, and that there are no files or notes that I've kept from that brief stint, it is simply my word against the liberal blogosphere on these examples. It becomes a matter of who you believe.
The examples of this plagiarism are clear. It is not a matter of who you believe when the example is laid out in all its damning details, unless you are talking to an ardent koolaid drinker who refuses to recognize simple truth. Look at the Salon article on this and try to find wiggle room as to how this is not what it clearly is.

The final shot in the rant of Mr. Domenech is simply to inflammatory to not respond to. He writes:
To my friends: thank you for your support. To my enemies: I take enormous solace in the fact that you spent this week bashing me, instead of America.
There are two points I would like to make here.

1: How is it that Mr. Domenech thinks that all liberals focused their wrath on him to the exclusion of what he terms as bashing America? I'm sure from his perspective that there really was nothing happening in the outside world as his universe was crashing down about him. However there are many many examples of my liberal brethren continuing to raise the issues they have all along.

2: The notion that liberals bash America really has got to be addressed whenever it enters the conversation. I believe that telling the truth about an administration gone off the tracks, and a Congress that shows no ability to conduct their constitutional obligations hardly constitutes bashing America. Indeed turning a blind eye and in so doing putting the interests of your party ahead of America is more damaging to our nation. I believe what I believe out of a deep sense of patriotism. Do you mean to honestly tell me that screaming from the rooftops that this administration is wrong to allow the torture of detainees is "bashing" America? That stain on our national honor is not placed there by the folks who point out the stain. It is there because of the misbegotten policies of this failed administration. When liberals point out the failings of this administration maybe conservatives would do well to put the koolaid away, and work to correct themselves, rather than bash us.

To my friends, I thank you for reading. To my enemies I take tremendous solace in the fact that your boy at the post only lasted three days on the job before he was bounced. Maybe next time they will get it right!

Funny how you twist Mr. Domenech's main points. (Since you said not to read his article, I had to take a peek.) His main points were:

1. The liberals bashed him out of a job. Your defense was "Mr. Domenech reaches the same low..." So, you admit that the liberal attacks were low.

2. The plagarism occurred when he was a 17 year old student and was due to his editor inserting stuff into his work. You didn't address that point at all.

But I can understand your glee at silencing an opposition voice.
Actually Jeff, I wrote this post prior to several other facts becoming pertinent. 1st, Ben has now admitted that he did plagiarize on many occasions and apologized to his supporters. The staff of the National Review Online, which Ben worked for prior to founding his site found many other examples of plagiarism in his work for them. They are hardly a bunch of lefties.

In my post I never denied that there were some instances of low class behavior from lefties. But I don't see how Ben raising that issue while reaching for a low class point himself makes his point. If anything, being the "professional" writer, he may wish to simply point to the low class of several of his opponents and then move on without reaching for the cellar himself. My point here was not that all correspondence about and to Ben from liberals was pure as the driven snow.

Finally the original point was not that liberals objected to his hiring in and of itself. The left objected to the Post hiring Ben and not a balancing liberal voice. The imbalance of the hire was the issue here.

erm... also in closing! Liberals didn't force Ben to copy and paste those articles he wrote. That is something he alone bears responsibility for. And you know full well that having been caught with his hand in the cookie jar that any self respecting media outlet will not associate themselves with a serial plagiarist.
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