Blogger Ben Domenech Resigns From Washington Post in Plagiarism Scandal
Posted on March 24, 2006
Blogger Ben Domenech, a co-founder of the RedState blog, has resigned from his new gig as the blogger of The Washington Post's new conservative blog called Red America. Domenech resigns after several serious implications of plagiarism -- see here and here. The Post's new conservative blog had only been online for a few days. An article by Howard Kurtz says Washington Post executive editor Jim Brady would have fired Domenech anyway if he hadn't resigned first.
A 24-year-old conservative blogger hired by The Washington Post Co.'s Web site resigned today, three days after his debut, amid a flurry of allegations of plagiarism.The Red America blog also has a post explaining Domenech's resignation.
Ben Domenech, an editor with Regnery Publishing, relinquished the part-time position hours after a liberal Web site posted evidence that he had plagiarized part of a movie review he wrote for National Review Online. Previous allegations of plagiarism about Domenech's writing for the College of William & Mary student newspaper surfaced Wednesday, but the 2001 review was the first instance found since he attended college.
While liberal bloggers objected to the fact of Domenech's hiring and his inflammatory language, such as calling Coretta Scott King a "communist," it was not until they gathered evidence that he had repeatedly used material without attribution that some conservative bloggers joined in the calls for his firing.
Jim Brady, executive editor of Washingtonpost.com, which operates independently from the newspaper, said he would have dismissed Domenech if the former Bush administration aide and Republican Senate staffer had not offered to quit first. He said there was "enough smoke" in the allegations of plagiarism "that we needed to sever the relationship."
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.Ben Domenech also has a post of his own about his resignation on his RedState.com blog. Domenech is a co-founder of the RedState blog. This same RedState site was also discussed in the Edelman and Wal-Mart blog-related PR news from several weeks ago where several bloggers were caught running verbatim statements fed to them by Edelman.
An investigation into these allegations was ongoing, and in the interim, Domenech has resigned, effective immediately.
When we hired Domenech, we were not aware of any allegations that he had plagiarized any of his past writings. In any cases where allegations such as these are made, we will continue to investigate those charges thoroughly in order to maintain our journalistic integrity.
Plagiarism is perhaps the most serious offense that a writer can commit or be accused of. Washingtonpost.com will do everything in its power to verify that its news and opinion content is sourced completely and accurately at all times.