Froomkin defended himself:
But apparently, Howell wasn't representing just the readers of the WaPo:
Update: Over at E&P, Len Downie removes any doubt about which master the WaPo serves in this matter: "We want to make sure people in the [Bush] administration know that our news coverage by White House reporters is separate from what appears in Froomkin's column..."
So the WaPo decided that "in order to provide balance", they need to hire a hard-line right-wing blogger. As the blogger Billmon pointed out in the comments to The Moderate Voice
Also, the spin that baby Domenech somehow offsets Dan Froomkin is pure hokum. If you look at what Froomkin actually writes, it's not really blogging -- more like instant analysis of the day's White House-related media stories with a lefty spin. If anything, it's Froomkin who offsets Howie the Whore Kurtz's Media Notes column -- and the other oligarchs in the Beltway punditburo, who have a built-in tendency to lick the boots of the powerful, and who lately have found the taste of Republican shoe polish to be particularly yummy.
So, as per Billmon, the hiring of Ben Domenech was completely unnecessary as Howard Kurtz was already balancing Dan Froomkin before Froomkin was even hired! In fact, Froomkin was the balancing that Kurtz required. As MediaMatters pointed out:
Domenech, on the other hand, while he does claim previous employment as a "political journalist," is first and foremost a partisan activist -- a Republican operative who has worked for the Bush administration and Cornyn, is currently an editor at a conservative publishing house, and who describes himself as "the youngest political appointee of President George W. Bush."
Soon turned out that the new WaPo blogger was a bit more hard-line then they had bargained for.
By: Augustine [Pseudonym used by Domenech]
And phones in a message to the March for Life.
I think we can get a little pissed about this.
This story shall the good man teach his son
Domenech later dismissed this comment as:
Keep in mind the "old two-line comment" was only six weeks old. Not exactly "my salad days, when I was green in judgment." His editor James "Brady called it 'a silly comment' but said he is satisfied with Domenench's admission of error." The News Shop takes very strong issue with the comment, demonstrating that Brady has no idea as to what he's talking about and explains in detail why it's the comment of an out-and-out racist. Domenech also posted this choice remark without comment:
As firedoglake points out:
Progressives, liberals and Democrats were also annoyed by some lines from his first post for the WaPo:
Democrats who have won major elections since 1992 have, with very few exceptions, been the ones who distanced themselves from the shrieking denizens of their increasingly extreme base, soft-pedaled their positions on divisive issues and adopted the rhetoric and positions of the right -- pro-free market, pro-business, pro-faith, tough on crime and strongly in favor of family values.
In other words, anyone who's not a Republican or a DLC person (Not a whole lot of difference there) is not one of the "majority of Americans", meaning progressives, liberals and Democrats from the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" (As Howard Dean would say) need not apply.
But finally, it was plagiarism that caused WaPo to pull the plug and accept Domenench's resignation. Kind of amusing to read the comments on a RedState blog entry. Commenters were taking Michelle Malkin to task for coming out and admitting that Domenech had plagiarized::
It's sort of difficult to present plagiarism as anything but an open and shut case when one is presented with the following:
Maryann Johanson writes:
Most kids come up with plans to post flyers about recycling and such, but Trevor's brilliantly simple idea astounds even his teacher…
Ben Domenech writes:
Most kids come up with plans to put up recycling flyers or clean up the neighborhood, but Trevor's idea astounds even his teacher…I mean, it's not that it's really difficult or complicated to determine that a sentence has been lifted almost word-for-word with a few minor, cosmetic alterations.
It's most interesting to see the reaction from those who defended Domenech, how people over the last several years have defended themselves against attackers from the left blogosphere. Very, very interesting similarities displayed by a wide variety of people.
Debbie Schlussel, whom I've previously referred to as “skanky”, contributes a very good column on plagiarism. She has very little sympathy for Domenech and a whole lot of pride of authorship and respect for other peoples' work. Cheers for Schlussel!