Say goodbye to the Washington Post Online's new conservative blogger, Ben Domenech.
Conservatives today joined in the chorus of howls, which began on the left, as bloggers such as Atrios found more and more examples of the young writer's cut and pasting. His blog, which began only Tuesday, had been called Red America.
Jim Brady, WashPo.com's executive editor, wrote:
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.
Brady said The Post will continue to investigate allegations that Domenech used other people's work without attribution. Brady also reaffirmed his commitment "to representing a broad spectrum of ideas and ideologies in our Opinions area."
Domenech, meanwhile, addresses some of the accusations at his space on Red State:
The truth is, no conservative could write for the Post without being subject to the gauntlet of the liberal attack machine. There is no question in my mind that any RedState contributor writing for this blog would have found leftists delving through his high school yearbooks and grade school book reports in an effort to discredit and defame him. And if you too were a sloppy teenage writer, your errors or the errors of others wouldve been exploded.
I have a great many friends who are willing to stand and defend me on this. I appreciate their support. I have enormous respect for Jim Brady and the vision he has at WPNI. But while the folks at washingtonpost.com understand my position and are convinced by my arguments on many of these issues, they also feel that the firestorm here will only serve to damage us all, and that there is no way this blog can continue without being permanently tagged to this firestorm. Therefore, I have resigned this position with washingtonpost.com.
This is a shame. As you all know, I am a conservative, but not a partisan I believe had this blog been allowed to continue, it would have been a significant addition to the Post's site. The Post showed bravery by including a conservative voice, and I hope they continue to seek that balance.
Jay Rosen, journalism professor at NYU, sees this episode as an opportunity for an open, nationwide search for three bloggers - conservative, liberal and perhaps libertarian.
When I say open I mean open: anyone can apply. But experience as a political blogger counts. You have to be an original linker and be able to think for yourself. Finalists and semi-finalists are named. Theres a weeks try-out period for the final few and a big bake off at the end all with comments enabled. The competition would generate high interest online, and give the winning bloggers a great introduction.