March 24, 2006

Racist, plagiarist, liar, coward

Finally breaking the silence of his actions, Ben Domenech has snivelled his way back to RedState to accuse liberals en masse of unwarranted abuse. More stunning, however, is his near-complete refusual to admit he is a plagiarist.

I've wasted enough time linking to RedState's complete descent into irrational denial at this point; you can go read Ben's homecoming address if you want. But long story short, his excuse for multiple acts of plagiarism in his college writing was that his editor actually put all that stuff in there.

I'd like to pause for a moment so you can reflect on that explanation. Seriously. Give yourself a minute.

As can be expected, one of Ben's former editors have already explained that- prepare to be totally surprised here- Domenech is a complete liar. I'm amazed we haven't been told Domenech has an evil twin brother at this point.

What makes this all disgusting is that it's a continuing pattern of an unwavering lack of concern for how his lies affect other people: other classmates didn't get the opportunities he "earned" because he lied his way to the top of the pool. He stole the words of others to gain credibility. Now he's making false accusations against former editors because he's too much of a coward to admit what every rational person in the world, as well as Michelle Malkin, have already pointed out.

For all the talk of liberals being "unhinged," I'm stunned at the level of delusion to which not only Domenech has descended, but that he has dragged RedState down to with him. There are many moments when right-wing rhetoric just invokes outrage, or anger, or frustration. I feel none of that right now. I am simply in open-mouthed awe.

It's not a spin job. It's not damage control. This person actually thinks he didn't do anything wrong. That's not a sign of partisanship; it's a sign of insanity.

Update: Credit where credit be due- Ben has finally made what I can assume will be as close to an outright admission of guilt and subsequent apology as I suspect anyone can expect at this point. I'm pretty sure that the National Review, his former school paper, and P.J. O'Rourke himself all rebutting everything he said in his previous statement had something to do with it.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery, so let's hope this breaks some of the RedState goblins from their massive stupor of denial as well.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 4:43 PM

Buh-bye, Ben

And the hacking of the gangrenous limb commences: Malkin calls for Domenech to go.

It appears the only question left is, will Ben be gone by the end of the day, or will the Post take the weekend to figure out damage control?

Update: And he's gone. I'm going to take a wild guess and suggest this was not Ben's best week.

Second Update: the Orwellian cleanup job begins. RedState has always been at war with Ben Domenech.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:58 AM

Absolutely amazing

Okay, so just to recap: here's some of the things about journalism we've learned from RedState in the last 24 hours:

-Copying multiple people's work without crediting them isn't necessarily plagiarisim.

-Reprinting someone's past writings is a clear sign of desperate hate.

-Plagiarism isn't really that bad, especially if you only did it when you were in college building a name for yourself as a talented writer.

-Investigating something for more than 48 hours is just obsessive.

-The best answer to the problem of being a racist plagiarist is to hide your identity.

-If you agree with something someone said, it doesn't matter if they're a plagiarist or not.

You know what? Maybe it really is time for a conference on blogger ethics.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:03 AM

Dear complete idiots at RedState

If someone committed multiple acts of plagiarism as a college student, it doesn't mean that's not relevant to their writings as a professional pundit. It means they should have been kicked out of college.

I swear to god, I have never seen so many bloggers negate any idea that they are on the same level as professional journalists so quickly as I have reading the clusterfuck of denial that's going on over at RedState right now. I've never seen "yeah, but" written with so many words.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:45 AM

Final(?) note on the RedState Racist

I wager it's safe at this point to deliver the postmortem on Ben Domenech. With bloggers uncovering nearly a dozen instances already of Domenech plagiarizing with various sources, including the National Review and the Washington Post- his former and current employers- to suggest that he'll be with the Post by next week at this point is ludicrous.

Scratch that. Domenech's RedState co-blogger Tacitus, as noted below, is making the valiant effort to suggest multiple instances of plagiarism across numerous sources is just a big misunderstanding, in what I can only determine is a sign of either psychosis-level denial or that Tacitus had a hearty breakfast of crack. There's a chance that with support from fellow Pajama partygoers he could present some line that allows the Washington Post to excuse what was formally considered the most unforgivable and inexcusable journalistic offense in the business, but even if Domenech stays under those circumstances, by the Right's own admission two things are established: the Post has abandoned journalistic ethics for the sake of making some bloggers happy, and Ben Demonech is most certainly not equal to any journalist.

I have to admit some unsung admiration here. For all the crap I give about the self-righteous claims from both the left and right about "citizen journalism" and other euphamisms for Some Guy With a Website claming dominance over "the MSM," it's both amazing and depressing at the same time how quickly a handful of people on Google did the job one of the largest media outlets on earth couldn't be bothered to do.

Both the ease and the speed in which Domenech was revealed to be a racist, a hack, and a liar can only be evidence that the Post didn't lift a finger to check on this guy before handing him blog space. Jayson Blair had the cover of executive support. CBS's guard memos had the initial backing of a seemingly-credible source. The Post has nothing. They are left with a crippling embarassment and not a single excuse for it.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:00 AM

Good lord

Shorter Tacitus: I like right-wing bloggers, so the first ten cases of plagiarism should slide.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:06 AM

March 23, 2006

The Harriet Miers of the blogopshere

Thanks to not backing down on this, several bloggers have now uncovered that in addition to being a racist, which I guess could be tolerated for an opinion writer, Ben Domenech is also a repeated plagiarist. I can't possibly fathom how a major newspaper could find this acceptable.

This has gone from ridiculous to unbelievable. The Post literally found the most unqualified person in the country to write a blog that "represents the majority of Americans."

Posted by August J. Pollak at 5:38 PM

That was a good thing you wrote, Anthony. A good thing.

Sorry, but Ezra is just plain wrong here.

Left or right, I have always hated the "you're just giving them free publicity" excuse. Obviously comparing a pissant right-wing blogger to the Civil Rights movement or any other historical event that required the act of standing up and being vocal against a decision is an insult to their relevance but it's honestly the same logic flow. If there was a response against Fox News and the moves to scrap the Fairness Doctrine when they first started the way there is to scuttle the ridiculous hiring by the Post of Ben Domenech, we might actually still have some sembelance of a fair and balanced news media today. Instead, it's being suggested we don't highlight that the Post now has a right-wing racist blogging for them who introduced himself by declaring that he speaks for the majority of Americans.

Unless I'm mistaken, Fox News has never been attacked with the constant carping from the left about how they're a blatantly right-wing, Bush-sympathizing propaganda tool for the White House and responded by emphasizing their attempts at political diversity. The closest they've come is Alan Colmes, who even if you believed was an equal liberal balance to Sean Hannity, in no way excuses the remaining 23 hours of the day filled with right-leaning, obviously-partisan talking heads.

You think mean thoughts about people!In other words, Ezra just suggested that we conform to the great unfairness of partisan punditry- right-wingers are allowed to bitch as much as they want about perceived bias while the left should just shut up and take it. Great, we've never heard that before. Meanwhile, Chris Bowers writes optimistically about how the reality of right-wing bloggers is that they're now part of the "MSM" in a way the left-wing bloggers aren't. News flash to Chris Bowers: when every major news center in America has at least one right-winger paid to blog for them, usually with no left-wing counterpart, that's not a good thing.

Domenech is now a blogger for WashingtonPost.com not because liberals "gave him attention," but because conservatives wailed their keyboards out about a fabricated left-wing bias. The left is refuting those complaints- granted, too little and too late as Domenech was already hired- but to say it shouldn't be done is just ridiculous. Hes not a "conservative symbol." He's evidence the Post cowed to extremists because they yelled and we didn't yell back. They didn't hire him to get publicity- they did it thinking they'd stop getting bad publicity. It's essential they are proven dead wrong. He's not "ideological protection" - he's an embarassment and the Washington Post should be made to feel embarassed.

I have no intention of acting like it's the "It's a Good Life" episode of The Twilight Zone, hoping that Anthony, the demonic little boy who wants the world exactly to his liking, doesn't wish us to the cornfield lest we act angry. The Washington Post is now paying an openly racist partisan hack to write for them. Far too many people care about why that's a problem to just "let it go" and I'm proud to be one of them.

Exactly how long will it take to accept that the right-wingers aren't just going away if we ignore them? Ten years? Fifty? I'm of course being metaphorical here, but the truth is, one of these days we're going to have to say "screw it," take the risk and clock Anthony with the back of a chair. If we never do, we're all going off to the cornfield one by one.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 1:56 PM

Oh god, yes

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the fan-based underground support for Snakes on a Plane has become so great that the filmmakers are now doing a reshoot to include more action sequences... as well as calling Samuel L. Jackson back in so he can actually say in the movie "snakes on a motherfucking plane."

This could very well end up the greatest movie ever made by anyone, ever.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:20 AM

The RedState Racist

More wit and wisdom from the Washington Post's new hire.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:59 AM

March 22, 2006

Whaddaya mean "we?"

Cecilia Fire Thunder is the President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. This week, she announced that her reservation will build a Planned Parenthood clinic. In the middle of South Dakota. And the Governor can't do a damned thing about it.

This is what heroes look like.

Update: via MetaFilter, a reminder that by morning the right wing punditry will have caught wind of this and will start explaining how the Oglala are in league with al-Qaeda. So Cecilia Fire Thunder needs your support- morally and financially- and she needs it right now. Not tomorrow morning. Right now.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:35 PM

March 21, 2006

This paper once brought down a President. Think about that.

A special moment of reflection for Ben Domenech- or rather, a special moment of reflection for the Washington Post, which is now paying him to blog- for his existing for less than 24 hours before getting called on factual inaccuracy.

You know, I'm the same age as Domenich. If any major news outlets out there would also like to pay me vast sums of money to pretend to know what I'm talking about, my contact info is on this site.

More background on the latest addition to the noble Post masthead. From uncovering Watergate to flinging poo. Or as Josh Marshall says, simply embarassing.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:15 PM

Stuck on stupid

I don't know why I'm surprised about this; after all, there are still right-wingers out there making "Al Gore invented the internet" jokes and thinking they're clever. Yet I am absolutely amazed that the "thousands dead in Iraq really isn't so bad compared to other deaths" nonsense is still up and about.

The fact that Limbaugh is placing this by a photo of himself proudly holding the American flag is the most striking part. I can't imagine anything more blatantly indicative of one's complete lack of concern for other Americans as explaining how 2,300 dead American soldiers isn't really that big a deal because more people died in car accidents.

By the way, Limbaugh opposes mandatory seat belt laws.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 1:29 PM

Faced with the facts

Barry Deutsch has an amazing post up about facing up to the rhetoric of the anti-choice crowd. I'm talking charts and graphs pointing out why all their nonsense is pretty much a baseless cover-up to hide the real truth of most anti-choicers just simply wanting women to be "punished" for getting pregnant.

Go read. Right now.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:19 AM

March 20, 2006

Newest comic - "Three years"

Today is the third anniversary of the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

This week's cartoon is presented without any additional comment.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:00 AM

March 19, 2006

She temporarily applied a yellow ribbon

Reader Paul V. has a collection up of faded yellow ribbon magnets on cars.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:40 PM