Patterico's Pontifications

3/23/2006

Post Blogger Domenech: Plagiarist?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:18 pm



[UPDATE: Domenech has resigned. As I explain below, especially in the updates, I think this is for the best.]

I have learned that Washington Post blogger Ben Domenech has some ‘splainin to do.

A guy at Kos noticed some similarities between this Domenech column from when he was a student in 1999, and this P.J. O’Rourke book (start reading here).

And when I say “similarities,” I mean Domenech appears to have directly lifted entire pages from the O’Rourke book.

And just to show it was deliberate, Domenech did a bit of adaptation. As this fellow notes:

How do we know this wasn’t some misunderstanding? Because BenDom adapted his column to include particular William & Mary references such as the fraternity Psu-U, former President of the College Tim Sullivan, and Sam Sadler, vice president for student affairs.

Ouch.

Now, the plagiarism in question appears to be seven years old, which raises the question: should it matter now?

This reminds me of a story I don’t think I ever told here before. In law school, Mrs. P. was writing a note for her criminal law journal about the topic of medicating convicted murderers to render them competent for their execution. She used many different sources, including a student law review note and a book on the subject.

She discovered at some point that the law review note had lifted several pages from the book. I remember sitting there with Mrs. P. (who was not yet Mrs. P.), me with the book in hand, and her with the law review note. We read out loud, in unison, for pages — both of us shaking our heads.

It was no mistake. The note didn’t even cite the book.

We wondered what to do about it, if anything. If I recall correctly, the culprit was a female at a California law school. She is probably still practicing law today. We thought about writing her an anonymous note: We know what you did.

In the end, we did nothing.

Does that person’s law school plagiarism mean that she is a bad person? a bad lawyer? I don’t know.

Does Domenech’s apparent plagiarism from 7 years ago disqualify him from blogging for The Post?

I don’t know. But it makes him an embarrassment. That much I do know.

UPDATE: Atrios has more examples.

P.S. We gotta talk about this, guys. We all talked up the fact that this guy was getting a blog on the WaPo. This is a genuine issue, and it should be discussed on conservative blogs.

P.P.S. RedState is defending Domenech and suggesting that he had permission to lift the various writings:

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.

Color me suspicious.

UPDATE x2: More evidence at Kos.

UPDATE x3: Some of the alleged plagiarism is from 2001, and was published in National Review Online.

Given that this guy appears to be a serial plagiarizer, there is a very good argument that he can’t be trusted and should be canned. I certainly have no desire to see him held up as a representative of the conservative viewpoint.

UPDATE x4: Michelle Malkin has come to the same conclusion, which will no doubt surprise her critics, but doesn’t surprise me at all.

60 Responses to “Post Blogger Domenech: Plagiarist?”

  1. I’m not sure what the WaPo’s rules are, but usually they are concerned about recent plagiarism (as in, since he started work there). To be sure, I think it would be an embarrassment for them that they have a blogger who plagiarized previously, but I don’t know what the statute of limitations on such an offense might be.

    sharon (fecb65)

  2. The potty-mouthed virulence of DailyKos and Atrios against everyone who does not wholeheartedly espouse the liberal creed detracts a lot from their credibility even with the examples they cite. Example: Following our host’s link to Atrios I scrolled through an attack on Joe Lieberman in between the attacks on Domenech.

    nk (35ba30)

  3. We gotta talk about this, guys. We all talked up the fact that this guy was getting a blog on the WaPo. This is a genuine issue, and it should be discussed on conservative blogs.

    I’m all for talking about it, but speculating about it hardly seems helpful. Sometimes waiting to get more information is most prudent.

    (I’m not implying that I don’t love speculation, btw, I do. I don’t believe it is imperative, however.)

    [I see nothing speculative about these allegations. Material was lifted, wholesale and at length, on numerous occasions. — Patterico]

    MayBee (c5700f)

  4. FWIW, my wife works at the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth. The one thing that’ll get your butt tossed in the street quicker than anything isn’t Dowdifying quotes, selective reporting, factual errors … it’s plagiarism, even when a string case can be made for it having been inadvertent.

    Diffus (ead439)

  5. Attacking Ben Domenech II

    On Wednesday, I defended Ben Domenech against inflammatory and over-the-top attacks by several bloggers on the Left, challanging opponents to, “Criticize his arguments, not his upbringing.” Now, a second round of attacks are underway that …

    Outside The Beltway | OTB (30d6b6)

  6. I was sent here from one of those wacko liberal blogs-they were giving this site credit for addressing this situation in a tad more balanced manner than most on your side. But reading this does make one wonder when do conservatives traditionally get taught that plagiarism is not OK? Is it grad school, or later?

    Concerned (0104fb)

  7. There are a lot of honest, intelligent bloggers on your side. This is the best they could come up with?

    Geek, Esq. (9405d1)

  8. I love the ability of lawyers (and prosecutors!) to rationalize anything.

    [If you think I’m rationalizing anything then you have a reading comprehension problem. — Patterico]

    jerry (049afa)

  9. Geek, I think BD’s youth, resume, and vitriol were the only bona fides they needed. I think it’s a great paper, but in this case they were more about demonstrating their own fairness than real journalism. They probably figured that “after all, it’s just a blog!” It’s good to see that kind of obtuse institutional thinking get checked.

    The intellectually honest conservative bloggers don’t have quite the level of bile that they were maybe looking for. Too sedate, aka reasoned. Also, maybe said bloggers have jobs. Some as lawyers, and some as, you know, prosecutors. Right, Jerry?

    biwah (f5ca22)

  10. Do we think he would have gotten his gig based on his non-plagiarized writing, which seems pretty poor based on what I’ve read after this scandal broke.

    Concerned (8eca0f)

  11. Domenech’s days at the WaPo are numbered. Serial plagiarists must not be allowed to represent Conservatives in major media organizations. I harbor no ill will against Mr Domenech, however, in my opinion, he must go.

    Also, I wonder how WaPo’s search committee could have failed to examine Domenech’s work and detect his repeated examples of plagiarism prior to making an offer of employment. It seems like such a basic task. Perhaps a few others at the WaPo should join Mr Domenech on the sidewalk.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  12. http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/03/24/domenech/

    Salon has a compilation of Ben’s articles written by their journalists.

    CDB (7fe086)

  13. I think they should hire Patterico as his replacement.

    Geek, Esq. (9405d1)

  14. >I’m not sure what the WaPo’s rules are, but usually they are concerned about recent plagiarism (as in, since he started work there). To be sure, I think it would be an embarrassment for them that they have a blogger who plagiarized previously, but I don’t know what the statute of limitations on such an offense might be.

    If I’m remembering correctly, the most recent offenses (see here for an up-to-date accounting of everything found thus far) are from as recent 2001.

    And, while most examples are from his college paper at W&M, there were at least two plagiarized Domenech pieces published at the NRO (2000 and 2001) and one in the NYPress (2001, plagiagrizing from a 1998 article on WaPo’s own A1).

    Dan (5ce86e)

  15. FWIW, my wife works at the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth. The one thing that’ll get your butt tossed in the street quicker than anything isn’t Dowdifying quotes, selective reporting, factual errors … it’s plagiarism, even when a string case can be made for it having been inadvertent.

    If it were up to me, I would fire Domenech for this plagarism, but if liberals are going to be consistent on this issue they have to be equally contempetous of Molly Ivins, Ward Churchill, Fr. Richard McBrien, Laurence Tribe, and others on thier side who have committed very similiar transgressions.

    JVW (d667c9)

  16. Dammit, tha word is supposed to be “contemptuous.”

    JVW (d667c9)

  17. It is basically an epidemic. I clearly don’t understand the pressures of being a professional journalist or academic, since I can’t understand why would you expose yourself like that, and bring down the craft, for lack of a stinking footnote?

    There needs to be a greater sting to getting caught stealing ideas. It sucks to think how much the literate public is, through its indifference, compicit. Obviously political persuasion is beside the point.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  18. If Google had been permitted to continue its effort to scan every book in print, that would have been a killer deterrent to plagiarism. Even without that, Google may be the greatest enforcement tool for academic honesty ever.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  19. JVW,

    Thanks for reminding us of the Left’s widespread penchant for plagiarism. Domenech’s misfortune shows the differences between the way Republicans and Conservatives reject plagiarism and how the two-faced Left protects makes excuses for the culprits.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  20. Not much need for waiting to get more information. E.g, follow the salon.com link above.

    This guy is a serial plagiarist. O’Rourke, movie reviewers, other writers… He’s got nothing to say about it in today’s posts on his blog. At this point, seems fair to conclude that’s because there is nothing to say.

    It’s jump or be pushed, probably by the end of today.

    AMac (b6037f)

  21. Here’s a little exercise for all the knee-jerk righties like Black Jack: Just once in your lives, look at one of these controversies and imagine you’re no longer in 6th grade where you can get away with whining, “But they do it, too.”

    Asinistra (c493b3)

  22. Maybe it’s an addiction. Or post-traumatic stress. Make that Wash.-Post-traumatic stress.

    Very sad, but there’s too much there to be debatable.

    Attila (Pillage Idiot) (dfa1f1)

  23. Here’s a little exercise for all the knee-jerk righties like Black Jack: Just once in your lives, look at one of these controversies and imagine you’re no longer in 6th grade where you can get away with whining, “But they do it, too.”

    I don’t see too many people here, or at Michelle Malkin, or on National Review, or at very many other conservative sites expressing the opinion that “everyone does it, so let’s excuse it.” What we have been saying is “if one of ours is going to be punished for this — and we think he should — then a liberal caught doing the same thing should be punished too.” Look at the cases in which I cited in my previous comment: Molly Ivins continues to be syndicated as a columnist; the University of Colorado has been dragging out the Ward Churchill ordeal for so long that it is clear he will either be retained or offered a buyout; and both Fr. McBrien and Prof. Tribe had their respective institutions (Notre Dame and Harvard) basically whitewash the whole matter without any serious sanction. But I guess Asinistra thinks that only those on the right should be held accountable for this kind of fraud.

    JVW (d667c9)

  24. Washington Post Steps In It ~ Domenech Resigns

    A few days ago I wrote, “This is probably the dumbest thing the Washington Post Online could have done from a long-term business perspective. First the whole Red State/Blue State meme is on the way out. Second, giving voice to one of the founders of r…

    The Agonist (0baa04)

  25. See comment #22 for a textbook example of how to make excuses for Lefty misbehavior: twist the facts and accuse others of your own sins. Extra points for underhanded mischaracterizations and gratuitous insults, non sequiturs allowed.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  26. Black Jack – I have no interest in making excuses for left-wing misbehavior. That said, I do find it frustrating and somewhat irritating that often, when anyone on the left complains about rightist misbehavior, a number of people respond with something along the lines of “leftist [x] did the same thing”.

    It’s not clear to me that it’s relevant that jimmy did something wrong when we’re talking about whether or not paul should be censured for it.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  27. Aphrael, we all have a tendency to resort to the “I’m not the only one argument,” no matter our political persuasion. What bothers me is when one side is consistently exculpated for their misdeeds. It is especially galling when left-wing faculty members and administrators cover for academic misconduct, especially at public institutions. I won’t even get into the differenes at how Bob Packwood and Bill Janklow are treated compared to Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy.

    It’s not clear to me that it’s relevant that jimmy did something wrong when we’re talking about whether or not paul should be censured for it.

    Equal treatment under the law seems relavant here. If Jimmy did something wrong can you punish him for it if you have previously ignored the transgressions of Paul?

    JVW (d667c9)

  28. Aphrael, we all have a tendency to resort to the “I’m not the only one argument,” no matter our political persuasion.

    …in other words, “They do the ‘they do it too’ argument, too.”

    mindbending.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  29. aphrael, biwah

    At the risk of putting words in JVW’s mouth, he’s NOT offering an excuse for Domenech, but pointing out the disparate treatment for the same offense one gets when it is dependant on status (income, race or ideology).

    To this day Dan Rather is feted and allowed to get away with a “well, no one has PROVED the memos are fake” as well as the examples cited above. Do understand this starts to rankle even as you don’t let a shoplifter out of jail just because the Mayor’s son was allowed to get away with shoplifting.

    Darleen (f20213)

  30. The new media is a double edged sword. And it’s a good thing, in the long run.

    A very good thing.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  31. Given Domenech’s propensity for plagiarism, he should definitely be given the sack. I, too, worked for the St-T & saw several well-known, long-time writers get booted for plagiarism. It’s always amazed me how sloppy or arrogant one must be not to give attribution. But then, I also knew at least one writer who was unwilling to give a shirttail to the lowly editorial assistant who did ALL the legwork for one of his stories. :)

    BTW, all the “conservatives are treated differently from liberals” argument started with snarky comment #7 which, if I had to bet money, was made by someone who was NOT a conservative.

    sharon (e51965)

  32. Don’t worry about “putting words into [my] mouth” Darleen, just make sure I remember to properly attribute them to you down the road (insert one of those winking punctuation characters here). I have said from my very first comment to the post that Domenech should be canned, I just wish that others were consistently held to that standard.

    JVW (d667c9)

  33. The comments at the Washington post blog post announcing Domenech’s resignation are sickening in their vitriol. The lefties are not happy with just his resignation, they want their “pound of flesh” too. (Attribution: William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”). What is also disturbing is the way so many conservatives (follow Michelle Malkin link provided by our host) allowed him to “be thrown to the” left-wing “wolves” the way Claude Allen was. (Attribution: Illustrated Russian story from book I read in sixth grade.)

    nk (4cd0c2)

  34. What really upsets the Lefties is that Conservatives demonstrate the integrity of their convictions by acknowledging misbehavior and dealing with it forthrightly. Lefties don’t do that, and they hate it when the mask slips and the public sees the red face of duplicity.

    When Nixon had to go, Conservatives waved good-bye, but when Clinton was caught lying under oath, Lefties would have named him President for Life rather than see him subject to equal treatment under the law. To this day the’re still making excuses for him: Watergate, Travelgate, Filegate, Pardongate, etc. (Wait and see, it won’t be long.)

    Ted Kennedy shows a depraved indifference to the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, and Democrats bow down and show obeisance.

    KKK Kleagle, Robert Byrd gets a pass for his past Klan activities, but Trent Lott can’t say a few kind words to an old man, who had been a Democrat, without having to resign his leadership position in the Senate.

    John Kerry lies about US servicemen and lies about his military service, and MSM and the Left slimes the Swift Boat Vets. Kerry lied again only weeks ago and still the Left looks the other way. (How many times must a man turn his head, and pretend that he just doesn’t see?)

    If Conservatives misbehave, they get the sack. Democrats misbehave, they get shielded by the media and protected by the Left. They just want to have their cake and eat it too.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  35. […] Others: Michelle Malkin Riehl World View Patterico The Volokh Conspiracy posted by: The Editors @ 1:19 pm March 24, 2006 […]

    The Unalienable Right » “Red America”: Left’s attack was about conservatism itself, not plagiarism (7a057a)

  36. “What is also disturbing is the way so many conservatives … allowed him to “be thrown to the” left-wing “wolves”” …

    How do you defend the indefensible and still retain your own integrity? Withholding judgement pending investigation is fine and should be the norm, but when a sufficiency of evidence is placed on the table, defending an unethical act becomes an unethical act in and of itself.

    The unwillingness of so many on the conservative side of the blogosphere to tolerate or defend plagiarism speaks well of the level of integrity to be found here. Conversely, the inability of so many to step away from blind defense of Dan Rather and other well known perpetrators has something entirely different to say

    Dave in W-S (2a57fc)

  37. Darleen (and JVW),

    I can understand that you feel like Dan Rather got off easy. He got busted not only being sloppy, but being biased in his sloppiness. But recall that there was no smoking gun showing intentional dishonesty – rather, a certain bias is evident from the circumstances. But he did not get off scot-free. If he had, he would still be working. But you have to forgive the partisan left if they don’t roll over because of this one incident. I should hope they wouldn’t.

    As for Ivins and Tribe, I also agree that they are pretty much busted, but think they have lost some face because of it. They are blemished, and they will never be seen as politically objective commentators. They do have established careers that offset their misdeeds, and that’s why they’re working – not because they were given carte blanche.

    Domenech is more Jason Blair than Molly Ivins, and he should go the same way as Blair. Do you think Blair got off easy?

    If there is a “selective prosecution” going on in public opinion, it is slight, and it wavers both ways. There is no controlling intent behind public opinion, and such intent is necessary (in crim law) for selective prosecution to ever be a defense to wrongdoing.

    There are honest lefties who are disgusted by the negligence and plagiarism of academics and media figures, both on principle and because it discredits the underlying POV. I don’t buy the idea that just because, IYO, the consequences for them were less than they should have been, the intellectual forgeries of an upstart like Domenech should be viewed any different context.

    You should be glad Domenech is gone, and you probably are. Your points about specific instances of bias, which have merit, will be stronger if you forego the whining and generalized paranoia.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  38. Your points about specific instances of bias, which have merit, will be stronger if you forego the whining and generalized paranoia.

    In other words, be like Patterico…not like #35.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  39. Dave in W-S # 37,

    I have no dog in this fight and I defer to you on this. But to also address Black Jack #35, liberal bloggers have been compared to a herd and conservative bloggers to a wolf pack. (Attribution: I don’t remember). The herd circles and the wolf pack rends its wounded member.

    nk (5e5670)

  40. nk,

    I may be interpreting this wrongly, but the herd vs. pack analogy conveys to me images of the herd closing ranks around the errant member, while the pack isolates the offender. Whether they attack or simply ostracize and leave open to the attacks of predators… What little I have read on this incident does not seem so much like savaging by the conservative blogosphere as disowning.

    Dave in W-S (2a57fc)

  41. My comment, at #12 represents my opinion on the proper fate of Mr Domenech. More recent readers seem to have missed it.

    As to the notion that Conservatives are like a wolf pack, I offer the following, and admit to some fondness for the ideas expressed.

    Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
    The Law of the Jungle

    Now this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky;
    And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
    As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back —
    For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  42. Black Jack,

    My comment was more on style than substance. I acknowledge your stance on the current topic, and that it is in keeping with wolf ethics. Yes, the wolves were mostly steadfast in disciplining their own. But I seem to recall that it only took a little boy to put them in their place.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  43. What really upsets the Lefties is that Conservatives demonstrate the integrity of their convictions by acknowledging misbehavior and dealing with it forthrightly. Lefties don’t do that, and they hate it when the mask slips and the public sees the red face of duplicity.

    Go check out the plagiarist’s post at Red State, and check out how much misbehavior is denied, rationalized, etc.

    Plagiarist gets to pretend he’s innocent victim, all his redstate pals buy it and console him. No responsiblity taken.

    Concerned (8eca0f)

  44. “Plagiarist gets to pretend he’s innocent victim, all his redstate pals buy it and console him. No responsiblity taken.”

    Sort of like Mary Mapes.

    sharon (e51965)

  45. Go check out the plagiarist’s post at Red State, and check out how much misbehavior is denied, rationalized, etc.

    Plagiarist gets to pretend he’s innocent victim, all his redstate pals buy it and console him. No responsiblity taken.

    Few people ever accept full responsibility for their misdeeds (I rarely do), and even fewer can do so without providing lame rationalizations. The important thing, and the point that I keep belaboring, is that Domenech was made to pay for his misdeeds in a way that is financially punitive (loss of job) and personally humiliating. Sure she was embarassed, but did Molly Ivins have to pay some sort of restitution to Florence King when she was caught plagarizing? Did she lose book sales or writing assignments? Did newspapers across the country drop her column in masse? Will Churchill ever be let go by the university, without being given a golden handshake on the way out. Did Laurence Tribe have his salary docked, or did he lose the honor of being a University Professor (the highest honor Harvard bestows on a faculty member)?

    To your point regarding Rather and Ivins, Biwah, I am not sure if they were made to pay enough of a penalty. Rather lost a lot of credibility, sure, but simply was able to move his retirement date from the evening news up a few months and was still allowed to contribute to “60 Minutes.” Recall that his ex-boss even acknowledged that Rather should have been fired, yet Rather continues his “speak truth to power” routine at his public speaking engagements. And no one to the right of, say, Hillary Clinton ever thought of Ivins as a “politically objective commentator,” so I fail to see how she paid for her misdeeds (see previous paragraph).

    JVW (d667c9)

  46. Concerned, you’re new here, but perhaps you’ve noticed this site’s a bit more intolerant of naked partisanship than most others. I don’t know what goes on at Red State and can’t explain why or what passes for informed opinion there.

    If folks at Red State want to defend Domenech, then let their arguments stand or fall on the merits, if any, not on assumed alliances with people here. If you have a beef with them, address them.

    I’ll take responsibility for what I said, although I’m unsure just what biwah is going on about, other than he usually has a bone to pick with me, and I’m guilty of jerking his chain from time to time.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  47. JVW: It may be true that we all have a tendency to resort to the “i’m not the only one” argument, but even if that is true, it is a tendency which I think we should work to overcome.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  48. Darleen: I can understand the rankling, and am even somewhat sympathetic to it. However, my experience of such discussions is that any time a conservative is criticized, I see someone responding by complaining about how liberals get away with it. It also seems to me that this kind of reaction is more pronounced and common on conservative sites (although this may be selection error in that I spend more time reading/posting on conservative sites than on liberal ones). That goes a long way towards predisposing me to believe that people are making a “we should be able to get away with it too” argument. That may be my overreaction; but I suspect that it is an overreaction which moderate leftists in general will be prone to.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  49. With regard to the remarks about the “everybody else is doing it” defense:

    First, it’s no defense for serious misdeeds or moral missteps.

    Second, other more politically driven criticisms often seem to be a case of the “pot calling the kettle black”. For example, Harry Reid going on the attack about Republicans accepting lobbyist money, when his pockets are full of it. There has been, from the viewpoint of many conservatives, a rather one-sided history of hypocritical, politically motivated attacks mounted against Republicans and conservatives and ignoring Democrats and liberals who are at least as guilty of the same offenses.

    Although the motives behind the attack on Domenech are undoubtedly political for some, the offense is not one that can be passed off as trivial or common practice. It deserves investigation and we deserve the truth.

    If the plagiarism case against Ben Domenech stands, then he should be held publicly accountable for his actions, just as have those other notables mentioned above: Biden, Tribe, Churchill. How employers and associates may choose to deal with him is a private thing. But publicly, he should be held to the same standard of justice.

    Which, I suppose, means this will all blow over by Monday.

    Dave in W-S (2a57fc)

  50. JVW, I know what you’re saying (at #42 – I won’t quote the whole thing). They got off easier than you think they deserved, and with the exception of Rather, I would agree, reservedly. But howling about injustice in the world is always a little easier to hear when it’s set forth with not just a complaint, but specific actions complained of, by specific parties, and maybe even a proposed course of correction.

    Just whose feet are you laying all this injustice at? And what should they do about it? If you say it’s all the loony left’s fault, and the remedy is for them to grow up, grow a sense of morality, etc., I hope you’ll forgive me for tuning out. Unless you can get specific, “Liberal media bias!” will be a mocking refrain much like “Save the whales!” – encapsulating a blinkered sense of injustice with no reason or purpose to carry it.

    Also, let’s not assume that Domenech has been destroyed, will never work again, etc. He will probably resurface, but much like Ivins, he probably will never regain bipartisan credibility. That, as I see it, is how justice works – akin to free market principles.

    biwah (d9507a)

  51. I think you have to read Domenech’s resignation statement at redstate before making a judgement on this sad little business.

    http://www.redstate.com/print/2006/3/24/151255/259

    My hunch is that the kid had some help with his screwing up. In addition, I suspect he is better educated now than he was then.

    This kind of lowly endeavor is policed better by the right, I think, because it is seen as an aberration. The left, however, considers lowly endeavors as routine tactics.

    http://www.redstate.com/print/2006/3/24/151255/259

    RJN (c3a4a3)

  52. What really upsets the Lefties is that Conservatives demonstrate the integrity of their convictions by acknowledging misbehavior and dealing with it forthrightly.

    So, as I understand it now, the above only applies to people on this particular site, not to those on redstate nor the blogger in question-they’re not conservatives, just wrong?

    Again, if you follow the link to redstate, you’ll see that the conservative in question does not acknowledge anything forthrightly, maintains his innocence. Apparently he resigned rather than stand up for himself. Courage, as Dan Rather, would say.

    He’s still claiming that as a teenager he didn’t know plagiarizing was wrong. I’d still like to know when he learned that it was (maybe this week?)

    There sure has been an amazing amount of coincidences to make this poor innocent lad look so guilty. I’m sure his connections and 15 minutes of infamy will get him a cushy book deal, maybe a spot on Fox, it’ll work out well for him.

    Concerned (8eca0f)

  53. Still more plagiarism turning up at the National Review. Too bad Domenech tried to sleaze out and blame all his plagiarism on editors — he’s gonna have a rough time explaining all this…

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/06_03_19_corner-archive.asp#093326

    js (166f97)

  54. Oh I agree, Biwah, that Domenech will resurface and that his career is by no means over, nor should it necessarily be. My point is that he did have to pay a penalty — the loss of his job — which others seem to have escaped.

    Since you asked, here is how I would have handled each case (just on a first impression, not after a full investigation or reasoned thought):
    Molly Ivins — if I distributed her column I would have suspended her for 6-8 weeks; if I were a newspaper editor running her column, I would drop it for at least a year.
    Ward Churchill — I would have fired his a** long before, for his gross and excessive violations of minimal academic standards; if a single instance plagarism were his only offense, I would still probably can him, or at the very least, suspend him without pay for an entire academic year and somehow seek to revoke his tenure.
    Laurence Tribe — I would at the very least demote him from University Professor, and if some other allegations against him are true (fabricating his role in winning an important Supreme Court case 20-30 years ago — search for details on the Weekly Standard website), I would fire him.
    Fr. Richard McBrien — He has already admitted to “accidentally” copying material from another columnist and apologized. If it turns out to be true that portions of his book on the Lives of the Saints contains passages cribbed from another book from a decade earlier, I would fire him. At the very least, my local Diocesean newspaper should quit running his column for a suitable period, perhaps permanently.

    You ask whom I blame for the permissiveness. In academia it seems pretty clear to me that left-wing faculty will go to great lengths to protect their liberal colleagues. A certain portion of it no doubt goes beyond politics, and is simly a function of cowardly administrators fearful of criticizing “star” faculty (look what happened when Larry Summers suggested that Cornel West do some real academic work), but a lot of it is a circle-the-wagons mentality among campus radicals (note the CU faculty senate’s knee-jerk defense of Churchill). Some of this may be attributable to the stereotype of liberals being more forgiving of transgressions, but that seems unlikely when you note how gleefully and aggressively they go after people like Domenech, Bob Packwood, Trent Lott, etc.

    JVW (d667c9)

  55. Domenech was wrong to have resigned if, as he says , he didn’t do what his critics said he did. In taking on such a high profile gig, he assumed an (implicit) obligation to his fellow conservatives to stay and defend his ideas and himself, not to cowardly beat a retreat the first time he faced a little heat. If he had truly done nothing wrong, then he should have forced the Post to fire him (as Mary Mapes did at CBS, when, to her credit, when she thought she had done nothing wrong, she stood her ground).

    And I may have the timeline wrong, but it seems as if quite a few conservatives threw in the towel long before Domenech had a chance to defend himself. In chasing him off so quickly, all we have done is shown the liberals that (at the time) unsubstantiated claims of wrongdoing are likely sufficient to make us panic.

    Yet we talk all the time about not wanting to send the wrong signal to the enemy, how important it is that we “stay the course*”. Right.

    * George Bush, 2003-2006 and counting.

    steve sturm (d3e296)

  56. Isn’t “stay the course” associated with George H.W. Bush (41) rather than George W. Bush (43)? I remember it being part of Dana Carvey’s impersonation.

    Based upon the blatant cribbing from “The Bachelor’s Home Companion” which precipitated this whole thing, I don’t know anyone can “stand their ground” and defend Domenech. I own the O’Rourke book, so I know for certain that the materal is lifted entirely. If one of his editors inserted that piece in Domenech’s name, Domenech should have raised loud complaitns and had it retracted.

    I’ll defend fellow right-wingers when I think they are being mis-treated, but I am not going to lift a finger for them when they are so blatantly wrong.

    JVW (d667c9)

  57. […] Having criticized Ben Domenech’s apparent plagiarism this morning, I think it’s only fair to link to his explanation, such as it is. In the post, he gives several defenses to the various charges. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Domenech’s Explanation Doesn’t Wash (421107)

  58. Ben was one of those [like Josh Claybourn, Hoosier Review, and others], whose weblogs inspired me to start my own, back during the Fall 2002 semester.

    He is obviously a talented writer; he served in the Bush administration, as a speechwriter for Tommy Thompson.

    So I don’t know why in the world he would do something like this. This is quite surprising.

    Why?

    Aakash (757c10)

  59. His explanations have already been contradicted by the editors of his college paper and PJ O’Rourke, so when he asks who do you believe, me or the rest of the world, I’m leaning towards the rest of the world.

    Concerned (525625)


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