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March 23, 2006

Filed under: politics»wingnuts»domenech

Red America

In the last few days, the Washington Post introduced a dumb-as-a-brick conservative blogger, who garnered a real following around the Left side of the political blogs for such gems as his fandom of the movie Red Dawn. It was then discovered that said blogger, Ben Domenech (originally of, had a real history of plagiarism while he was at William and Mary. In the furor, Domenech resigned from the position (although I think it's more likely that the Post asked him to step down).

Now he's blaming his college editors (cut and pasted from

Virtually every other alleged instance of plagiarism that seen comes from a single semester.s worth of pieces that were printed under my name at my college paper, The Flat Hat, when I was 17.

In one instance, I have been accused me of passing off P.J. O'Rourke's writing as my own in a column for the paper. But the truth is that I had met P.J. at a Republican event and asked his permission to do a college-specific version of his classic piece on partying. He granted permission, the piece was cleared with my editors at the paper, and it ran as inspired by O.Rourke.s original.

My critics have also accused me of plagiarism in multiple movie reviews for the college paper. I once caught an editor at the paper inserting a line from The New Yorker (which I read) into my copy and protested. When that editor was promoted, I resigned. Before that, insertions had been routinely made in my copy, which I did not question. I did not even at that time read the publications from which I am now alleged to have lifted material. When these insertions were made, I assumed, like most disgruntled writers would, that they were unnecessary but legitimate editorial additions.

I hope she doesn't mind my saying this (and if you do, babe, let me know and I'll remove it), but Belle was one of the Flat Hat's editors at the time (correction: she was a writer that year, and an editor the next)--and she would never have condoned plagiarism by her writers. I also know several of her friends who edited the paper, and although they sometimes make me jealous with their skill, they leave no doubt that they really care about the writing they do. The idea that they inserted chunks of Salon articles and New Yorker reviews into Domenech's work is simply unthinkable.

This isn't about politics. It's about integrity.

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