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Blogger Ben Domenech Strikes Back; Calls Washington Post Editors ‘Fools’

UPDATE — Saturday, March 25, 12:31 p.m.: Domenech Admits to Plagiarism 

In his first public comments since resigning earlier today as a blogger for washingtonpost.com, Ben Domenech says his editors there were “fools” for not expecting an onslaught of attacks from the left.

“While I appreciated the opportunity to go and join the Washington Post,” Domenech said, “if they didn’t expect the leftists were going to come after me with their sharpened knives, then they were fools.”

Domenech has been under a steady stream of criticism since washingtonpost.com launched the new blog, “Red America,” on Tuesday. Domenech, an editor at Regnery Publishing (a sister company to HUMAN EVENTS), was accused of plagiarism by several left-wing blogs.

Although Domenech says there is an explanation for nearly all the examples cited by the left-wing bloggers, he felt he was left no choice by washingtonpost.com but to resign.

“I felt like if I didn’t resign, they would have pushed me out—if not today, then Monday,” he said.

Jim Brady, executive editor of washingtonpost.com, wrote a note on “Red America” this afternoon explaining Domenech’s resignation.

“In the past 24 hours, we learned of allegations that Ben Domenech plagiarized material that appeared under his byline in various publications prior to washingtonpost.com contracting with him to write a blog that launched Tuesday,” Brady wrote.

“An investigation into these allegations was ongoing,” Brady continued, “and in the interim, Domenech has resigned, effective immediately.”

Domenech posted a rebuttal to the plagiarism charges on RedState.com, a website he co-founded. Its contributors have been steadfast in their support for him.

The biggest bulk of work in question comes from Domenech’s college years at William & Mary. While working at the student newspaper his freshman year, Domenech said, he discovered his editor had been inserting the work of other publications into his movie reviews. He left the job after one semester and went to work for another publication when the editor received a promotion, he said.

“The idea that the attack machine has gotten to the level where they dig back to your freshman year of college, when you’re 17, and say, ‘Hey, this guy should have been thinking about the authority of what he was writing the same way that people do at the New York Times,’ then, I mean, it’s idiotic,” he said. “I certainly was sloppier than I should have been, but the sense that I ever felt this was significant or this was dangerous or that there was ever anything to come out of it is just ridiculous.”

Asked about the voluminous amount of documentation cited by left-wing bloggers and some conservatives’ decision to believe it, Domenech said: “In a lot of this stuff, it’s based on who you believe. And if you believe the lefties are right or if you believe someone who you know and who you’ve worked with is right, I guess the thing I would point out is that I’ve done my best to never do anything to raise any kind of question about this sort of thing. And if you look at the overwhelming bulk of everything I’ve written, you’ll find there is no question about it. The questions are about small things, a lot of them easily explainable, especially the things that come after college.”

Domenech said he was disappointed washingtonpost.com pulled the plug so quickly after the blog was launched.

“I guess the thing that bothers me the most about this is that the Post didn’t give this a chance to either blow over or work itself out,” he said. “And I feel that if they had done that, the blog would have been a great addition to their site.”

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Written By

Mr. Bluey, a contributing editor to Human Events, is director of the Center for Media & Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation. He maintains a blog at RobertBluey.com.

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