We Must Defend.

By Erick Posted in Comments (139) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

It's true. Ben Domenech is Augustine. And I stand behind him 100%. He has said nothing filled with racism or hate, or bigotry. In fact, Ben has been a leader in keeping those he dubs the "evilcons" off RedState. Unbeknownst to all of you, RedState continually self-polices and purges its own ranks of those who might be allies, but are too filled with hate to function in the internet society we choose to create. We would not without Ben's insistence at the creation of RedState be so self-policing.

Ben is accused of being a racist, gay, homophobe, an incestuous lover of his own mother, a partisan, evil, and now a plagarist. He is, according to the left, a right wing Stephen Glass who gets his jollies off with his mother. Only Stephen Glass could actually make that up -- or a jealous group of haters. The lies told, from charges of plagarism to ties to Jack Abramoff are hyperbolic lies. There are no facts or truths related to any of these charges. They are meant to destroy a good and decent human being because of hate and jealousy.

Those blogs attacking the Washington Post and Ben are so hate filled and envious, they refuse to accept Froomkin as one of their own. That's one reason they continue to lose the debate -- the reality based community denies reality. It's another reason they are disingenous in this argument. Horror of horrors they now have to share the Washington Post's blog with Ben. How terrible.

For a group of people who yell at my side saying we censor them, jail them, and otherwise silence them, who now is censoring, silencing, and viciously, irrationally attacking? It's not Ben. It's not me. it's not my side. His WaPo posts have been measured, reasonable, and pointed. In fact, no one on the other side has bothered to take on his posts -- they are too busy attacking Ben and his family.

In the process these people are shooting in the foot bloggers across the board -- shutting down opportunities to advance into the mainstream media that many of us on the left and right would otherwise have. Here is a guy who got started in the blogosphere and moved toward the mainstream media only to get savagely assailed from the other side. 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? And the media gets to reaffirm its own self-image as the rational arbiters of news and opinion -- clearly 1606 must be defeated. Look at this example as another reason why -- bloggers are too immature to handle such freedom -- they must be regulated.

And now those opposed to Ben have googled prior writings that on the surface appear suspicious, 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.

Facts have never been debate winners among the haters. This is another example. But we on the right? Why are we silent when one of our own is being savagely attacked as a racist, gay, Puerto Rican homophobic plagarizer who sleeps with his mother when not in bed with his dad and Jack Abramofff? Why are we silent? We should not be, even if it costs us to defend Ben. Ben has done more and contributed more to our community than many of us, whether at RedState or elsewhere. We must not stay silent. We must defend our own. We must defend Ben. He has done nothing wrong. Nothing.

Ben Domenech deserves our full advocacy and defense. He has done nothing wrong and does not deserve urban legends about his wrong doing solely because of the lies of those who are jealous of his success. Should the other side win, they will be emboldened. And should they win, one of our own who has done no wrong will be immeasurable hurt by the hate, lies, and jealousy of those who would just as easily do it to you or me.

We must defend Ben.

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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.

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.

Domenech is just the latest one to get the "screw 'em" treatment.

These people really are twisted.

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.

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.

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.

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?

For a gentleman wise beyond his years.

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."


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.

1) he was quoting someone else. 2) the someone else he was quoting was taking an argument to its logical, offensive end.

But do it somewhere else.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I think many of Ben's ideas a nuts.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

for plagiarizing Flannery O'Connor? Beware, the swarm is coming!

 . . . 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Gotcha by JPH

Will do. Any links to an e-mail address over there?

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.

This is how I will respond to every comprehension-challenged leftist who sees fit to bring this up in the future.

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 :)

Hey, wasn't there a front-page post by Thomas above this one a moment ago?  What happened to it?  

I love Flannery O' Connor.  It's good to see another fan.  I was hoping someone would catch it.  

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 WaPo.com as well. That might take a long time (in blog minutes).

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?

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.

Please jump up and read my comments about plagiarism above.

I pulled it for the purposes of keeping Erick's up top for a while.

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.

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.

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.)

It would be an interesting little experiment

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.

  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.

Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen don't look like they are related.

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.

...(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.

...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.

The blogosphere doesn't work unless we provide credit where credit is due.

In the blogosphere, we link for a reason.

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.

I see it all the time and I'm wondering what the story is?  Thanks.

-exits

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.

Here is something Ben wrote and from the Washington Post

Domenech:

   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.

WaPo:

...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.

Domenech:

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.

WaPo:

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:

lying      

cheating

stealing

[...]

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.

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.

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.  

of being hectored about situational ethics by the left.

....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.

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.

 

....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.

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.  

....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.

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.    

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.

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.

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.    

 

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?

...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.  

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.    

    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.

       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.

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.  

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 RedState.org -- 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 Fact™ that Ben Domenech is a Bad Man™.

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 Men™, 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.

    If they did the same then they should be fired

while (goesAround)

   comesAround++;

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.

Say what you mean, fella (gal?)

     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.

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.

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.  

Do you need crediblity to write opinions on a webpage?

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

...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."  

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.

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.)

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 washingtonpost.com.  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.  

" 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

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.

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 fully risible and contemptible as the notion that one's social status during those years should be irrevocably fixed for the remainder of one's life.  

I suppose that this is what the left truly believes - make a mistake just once, and you must forever wear the appropriate scarlet latter and suffer the obloquy and loss.  Mercy is for the weak.  Enough of the running dogs of the deranged left.  May they be put out of their, and our, misery, like all rabid things - metaphorically, of course.

I suppose that this is what the left truly believes - make a mistake just once, and you must forever wear the appropriate scarlet latter and suffer the obloquy and loss.

You forgot the all important qualifier that such only applies to those who fail to obediently toe the left's mark.

Cheers.

    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.

For you to attribute my words to Nick, that could be a compliment.

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

...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.

I might not agree with him on everything, but he has a right to say it.  Also from his stand against the evilcons, he has proven to be a decent person.

The plagarism charges are highly questionable will be very difficult to prove or disprove.  The paper is out of business, and some of the decisions can never be known for certain.  Which is probably why they will be the KosKids' schwerpunkt.

I might be a target of theirs down the road, too.  It doesn't take much of a google search to figure out I do a little writing of my own and that it is expanding a little.  But it isn't just self-interest.  What the Daily Kos is engaged in is an attack on free speech.  It is digital thuggery aimed against one of the basic freedoms this country has (the second right protected, after religion).  It is an attempt to silence dissent from their views.  It is wrong, and I do not care who does it.

So, while I've had some real donnybrooks with some people here, I'm in on the attack.  We gotta move fast.  Besides, I figure that the Daily Kos can't get all of us.

...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.  

...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.

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.  

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!  

Harold, we agree on something.

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.

And thank you, sincerely.

To call things as I see them.  And when things get me riled up enough, I really don't care whether or not someone gets ticked off at me for saying what I think.

I didn't know Macho let you post too!!

Glad to see you here.

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!!

First, the setting: the time is the very early 1980s, and I'm in junior high school, and am given a creative writing assignment for English class.

So I come up with this idea of having the computer attack me, and run with it.  I write up an amusing little story along that lines, along with a clever ending, and my teacher loves it.  I don't remember what grade I got for it, but it was almost certainly an A.

Some time later (several months, maybe a year), I'm re-reading one of my old computer magazines, and come across a piece of fiction in it that's also a guy being attacked out of nowhere by his computer.  After browsing through it, I realize much to my dismay that I ended up using large parts of their story in my story, even though I didn't realize it at the time.  Sure, I had a different ending to my story, but that's probably because I had started the story differently, and my ending tied into my beginning.

Nobody but me (well, until now) ever knew that I had done this.

My point?  I put it in the subject line.  It's easy for writers, especially young writers (I was 13 or 14 then), to do something like this and not even realize that they have.

In fact, I recall that one of the first things that Helen Keller wrote was in fact a direct ripoff of a story read to her when she was very young, before she lost her vision and hearing.  She was absolutely convinced that it was her own writing and her own ideas, until the original was discovered.

So, before you start calling something plagiarism (BarbinMD, I'm talking to you among others), stop and consider your actions very carefully.  Otherwise you'll have to slander Helen Keller just to remain logically consistent.

My guess is that she lets him post.....(and probably makes him think it's the other way around too)

to a friend does not destroy the credibility of this site.

Loyalty is an emotional reaction, and has no place here. This should be a place for cold logic, and emotional reactions destroy credibility.

I agree that we shouldn't rush to judgement until hearing what Ben has to say. But the author of this diary has most definitely rushed to judgement, basically saying that the motives of most of the people making these charges (which are most definitely to destroy Ben) somehow discredit the facts. But facts exist irrespective of motives.

The facts in this case are fairly damning. One can excuse using a phrase or sentence they may have picked up somewhere else, but the sheer volume of examples lends credibility to the charge, and Ben must respond.

This is very similar to the censure motion against Bush by Senator Fiengold. Rather than attack Fiengold's arguments and rationale for censure (which is terrible on its face and could easily be shot down), Republicans question the Senator's motives and bluster about "how dare you do this to a President in wartime". This problem with Ben is no different. You can't just say what a find upstanding person he is and how you have known him all your life and that his critics are just out to get him, you need to address the facts.

Dan Rather didn't address the facts, instead he tried to impugn the motives of his accusers, same thing with Kerry and the Swift Boat Vets. They lost credibility because they didn't address the facts.

Is there any doubt if this were Dana Milbank instead of Ben, that we would be going after him with equal ferocity as Ben's critics?

Fair or not, Ben's past actions have hurt the credibility of this site. If its editors continue to blindly defend him in the face of facts, they risk losing credibility as well. And I personally would hate to see that, because I enjoy reading and posting here.

If you want to defend Ben, that's fine. Maybe his actions are defensibile. But defend him with facts and arguments, not emotional reactions.

With the very first word I read about people accusing Ben of plagiarism (can I get that on spelling-autocorrect?), God brought to my remembrance very vivid memories of my plagiarizing parts of a college term paper, English 111 circa 1984, on property taxes.  This is from the same memory that managed, this very month, to mail off a bill without a check, making the recollection a clear work of the Lord.

At the time, I had done sufficient amounts of crimes/sins to be convicted and jailed.  The plagiarism wasn't even on my radar of bad.

It would be physically impossible for me to draw and quarter another person for the behavior.  I suspect that the people behaving this way would fall instantly silent if they were under the same strictures as moi.

raising his hand here to ask the compulsory "stupid" question:

Can you say that again?  I didn't catch what you said the first time.

So, a highly successful blogger(who by the way has a very respectable resume in his own right) under an assumed name gets an awesome opportunity to go into the Liberal Purgatory of the WaPo, and help THEM look like they're trying to get a balance in their force (plagiarized from a famous movie series I will not provide a link to, thank you very much).  

The anonymous blogger has a real name, and uses it to stand up in the public square and express himself.  This public square implodes, the group-think of leftnuts takes a big collective hit off their JimJones koolaid bong, and we find ourselves in a defensive posture.  Are you kidding me?

If I recall, the most holy MLK plagiarized in college, but his salvation of Black America far outweighed his "youthful indiscretions".

Our almost President self-admittedly engaged in war crimes, but his salvation of Liberal America in Massachusetts far outweighed his "Government induced indiscretions".

Nelson Mandela (my memory fails me at the moment on the specific list) did many bad things, but his salvation of apartheid's South Africaners far outweighed this as well...oh, I apologize for forgetting to mention that our former 2-term President actually broke a law-perjury to a grand jury.  This, coupled with his extra-marital sexual indiscretions, were far outweighed by his salvation of "greedy" America.

Now, the firt reaction from the left was to hate the idea with no thought process: REACT.  

The second was to OUT augustine to the blogosphere so the marching orders could be issued to hunt down any juicy morsel to demonize: VIlLIFY.

The third has been for this community to circle the wagons: DEFEND.

The fourth APPEARS to be the standard human response: REVENGE.

I support the calls to defend Ben, OR allow that he take responsibility for any actions he may have taken that are not allowed such as plagiarism.  We, as good conservatives, need to stay on message about personal responsibility...it applies to us too if we veer off the path.

That said, the call to action should be to join together to support him personally because he is our friend and associate (much the same as those who came to defend the "big names" I mentioned above...)

The biggest call to action should be that we be redoubled in our convictions that we have the right message, and redouble our efforts to get that message out...we can drown out the noise from the rubble of the left if we do it above the fray and to the points of our convictions.

THAT is what we owe Ben most right now, and ourselves; to believe he is not out there floppin' in the breeze thinking he has been living a revolution delusion...

His school paper is not at all out of business. In fact, they have an editorial up addressing the allegations, and have prepended editor's notes to the questionable articles he wrote while they investigate.

I get out of the cage every once in a while to go to the bathroom and eat.  ;P

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...

She's like the wind.  Leon, not a word young man!

if we went back and started googling every sentence of every sentence from some of the liberal's favorite spokespeople back into the college and high school days, if we wouldn't find similar instances.

I remember one of the things that was always difficult to master, when first learning how to write papers was the art of paraphrasing correctly (granted paraphrasing is also cited).

I suspect that many a writer, when they first start to write, especially original opinion, may fall into this trap.

Which is one reason I struggle with calls for resignation, even if the plagiarism is true.  If the charges were related to his current position and current work, I might agree, but digging up college articles, on mostly fluff pieces and saying he doesn't deserve a career doesn't sit well with me.

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.

Because you seem to be so noble such an indignant protector of journalistic standards I ask: have you or your ilk been out grinding Google for plagiarism on the part of Froomkin, Millbank or any other journalist for that matter? Or is it just Red State blogger become journalist that gains the interest of your noble protectorate scrutiny? If so, the high horse you are riding has an undignified name and the Nick Danger's of the world should not really be required to iterate your ignoble method.

I suspect that if BD is what the witch hunt has made him out to be then you would have soon had evidence from his present writings to warrant a confirmational check into his past. Too bad that patience is a characteristic antithetical to piranha schooling, because the noble indignance of your claims is belied by the partisanship of your motives.

You have succeeded in discrediting yourselves. Will your own sense of righteousness event your own mia culpa or will you press your stain on the WaPo? I be waiting and watching but I expect BD will prove himself of a character that your crowd lays claim to only by the wiles of your self-righteousness.

The man deserves a fair shot to show whether he makes the mark. A lynch mob from the other side of the political tracks stands in the way. You still have a choice...oops, I guess not...too late. The stain is set...Sneer.

These lies and cruel slanders must not stand.

Even when the accused admits he is a plagarist?

 
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