Publisher's Note

This is the first in a series of periodic conversations I'll be starting with our readers. Perhaps regularly. More likely, I'll write when I have something interesting to say. (Or at least when I think I have something interesting to say.)

It is somewhat unusual to hear from the publisher of an editorial Web site. But so much about the Web, and Web news in particular -- and even Web advertising -- is different and unusual that I thought it was time to give you a greater sense of how we approach some of that "newness" and hear your opinions on the subject, as well.

What sparked this note is the fact that washingtonpost.com, in recent months, been the recipient of a number of exciting awards. In January, we won 31 of the 90 video awards given to television and multimedia journalists by the White House News Photographers Association. Just recently, at the Newspaper Association of America's Digital Edge Awards, we were recognized for Best Overall News Site, Best Entertainment Site, Best Employment Strategy and Best Automotive Strategy.

The awards say much about what kind of investment we have put into building not only a great news site, but also one that serves the needs of our audience in other facets of their lives as well.

The last couple of years have marked a turning point of sorts for news on the Web. I'll offer an analogy to explain what I mean.

When moving film first developed, early filmmakers relied heavily on the techniques of still photography to inform their work. And they told stories primarily the same way they were told in live theater, just on film. Later, as directors became more comfortable with moving images and developed new tools and nuances, film quickly became a unique medium in its own right, with a language, reach and power all its own.

With the advent of television, much the same transition occurred. With new technology, new tools and techniques were developed to tell stories.

The Web is now experiencing that same shift. Where online news was once simply print or TV on the Web, it has become so much more than that. Online news has rapidly come of age, with the ability to tell stories and share information and reach people at any time of the day unlike any other medium.

That maturity has also been noticed on the business side, with major advertisers increasingly moving greater percentages of marketing budgets to online advertising.

Along with other forms of media, the Web offers another compelling choice for accessing information. The goal of washingtonpost.com has been to make it even more compelling.

For most of 2005, that's what we spent most of our time and energy doing. In the last half of the year, we became the first major newspaper site to launch a host of editorial and business innovations.

Understanding that our national, international and local audiences have different needs and priorities, we launched unique home pages targeted to location. With Technorati we opened up our news pages to bloggers, allowing you to see who's saying what about issues around the globe. We launched a new Opinions page, a revised and updated City Guide, more than 30 blogs on a range of issues and a Congressional Votes Database that allows voters to easily keep track of the decisions made on their behalf. One of the most recent blogs, On Balance by Leslie Morgan Steiner, has generated a lot of discussion around work and life balance, an area that many of us who are juggling raising a family and working understand. More recently, we have added Del.icio.us "tags" to our articles, a service that lets you bookmark individual articles for sharing and future reference.

News has never existed in a vacuum. But before the Web, your opinion about the news was limited to your immediate sphere of influence -- coworkers, friends, family. Now with the tools that we offer on washingtonpost.com, that sphere can include the reporter, the editor, the newsmakers and in a very real sense, people in nearly every nation around the world.

What we have planned in 2006 will take that concept even further, with a focus on innovations that will increase the utility of news and information on the Web as a tool for daily living, with greater integration of our award-winning multimedia, and provide more effective ways to communicate your views and the views of others to a broader audience.

I think it will be exciting. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Caroline Little
CEO & Publisher, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive

By Washingtonpost.com Editors |  March 22, 2006; 2:32 PM ET  | Category:  Misc.
Previous: New Blog: Red America | Next: Ben Domenech Resigns

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Let that woman go. She is a man-hating, husband-bashing, shrew. She embarrases WaPo.

Further, the Red State blog is a debacle. It's assanine fraty-boy level muckracking command from repub's HQ.

Posted by: OnBalance = UnBlanced | March 22, 2006 02:37 PM

Clarification:

Post above refers to Leslie Morgan Steiner. She berated her own husband in her blog AND that of a friend in another post.

Red State refers to the blog by Ben Demenech (sp?). He is known for racist comments about black leadership and literal interpretation of the bible.

Both are designed to stir the pot. Both generated enormous negative commentary.

Caroline Little, you are responsible for this content. Do something about it. Or you will lose those precious awards (not to mention your readers).

Posted by: | March 22, 2006 02:41 PM

Hi,

I was wondering if the someone at the Washington Post is going to provide any more insight into the creation of this Red America blog. Specifically, answering these questions would be a good start:

Who made to decision to start Red America? Why was it started?

Will the post consider hiring a liberal progressive blogger? If not, why?

I thought one of the lessons regarding the last time comments were pulled from the Post is that your silence was a large part of the problem.

If you don't plan on answering these questions, fine, just let us know that you won't be answering them. If you do plan on answering them, please let us know when and where.

Thanks

Posted by: John | March 22, 2006 02:41 PM

it has become apparent that Ben Domenech has posted on the web blog Red State under the pseudonym Augustine.
On the day of Coretta Scott King's funeral, he wrote, "The President visits the funeral of a Communist. And phones in a message to the March for Life. I think we can get a little pissed about this."

Do you stand by these statements?
Could you please ask Ben Domenech to clarify why he felt it appropriate to call a revered civil rights leader a communist?

Thanks.

Posted by: james | March 22, 2006 02:49 PM

Hi,

I was wondering when you wrote that "This is the first in a series of periodic conversations" if you plan on actually responding to readers here? Will you be answering their questions and actually be conversing with them?

Thanks.

Posted by: John | March 22, 2006 02:55 PM

If this is a conversation, then why aren't your editors deep in the fray of the 500+ comments on the last post on the Red State blog?

BTW, I think the Post's creation of the Red State blog was a capitulation to the right's unending criticism of good journalism, and that it is a decision you will come to regret, if you have not already.

Posted by: Jimbo | March 22, 2006 03:00 PM

I do think that the major current flaw of the comments sections of most post blogs is the lack of interactivity on the parts of the editors in question.

Most websites tend to react on the fly to comments. With 500+ on the last thread, that's tough to do, but even one or two comments from the the powers that be might be welcome. What do you think?

Posted by: edward | March 22, 2006 03:06 PM

Dayum, the lefties are all in a twist. On Balance catches it? Such a harmless little blog. But I guess Red America has gotten them all fired up. Funny how their reasoning works; cancel the print subscription because of something the free, separate entity did. Isn't that like punching the kid you can reach because you can't get near the guy who actually did you wrong?

Posted by: Stick | March 22, 2006 03:08 PM

I'd like to know what criteria the Washington Post used to decide which blogger to choose. From what I've read, the blogger they did choose has absolutely nothing by way of education, experience or ability to reason and write. I can't figure out for the life of me why Ben Domenech? Was the WaPo paid to hire him?

Posted by: Tena | March 22, 2006 03:10 PM

dear Ms. Little.

Go read the 400 plus comments on the "post.blog" thread on the creation of the "Red America" blog....

then explain to serious journalism consumers why the WPNI should not be considered a bad joke with lots of high tech bells and whistles attached....

it doesn't really matter how many awards you win for "design" --- its "content" that counts, and washingtonpost.com is flushing itself down the toilet with crap like Red America.

Posted by: p.lukasiak | March 22, 2006 03:12 PM

On your new "blog," Red America:

I would like to congratulate you, recommend Ann Coulter for the position of omsbudsman, and help you bid a fond farewell to the reality-based community.

Sig heil!

Posted by: It's happening here | March 22, 2006 03:16 PM

Red America is not Red America. It's elite Republicanism. It's white insider-ism. It's nepotism. And ChickenHawk-ism. Frankly, it's offensive.

And I don't see how this will help you win readers. There are NO POSITIVE COMMENTS so far. Read through it yourself.

Posted by: | March 22, 2006 03:20 PM

Going back to December, John Harris and Deb Howell started a campaign to pigeonhole Dan Froomkin as a 'heavily-opinionated' liberal, under documented pressure not from real readers, but fake readers, in the guise of White House operative Patrick Ruffini.

It took barely 90 days for the Post to realize its goal of 'conservative balance,' which means for each and every journalist, there must be a partisan conservative voice to represent the 'opposing viewpoint.'

Milbank is experienced and not a liberal. Froomkin is exquisitely qualified a journalist and not a liberal.

If this is really a 'conversation,' and not an effort to draw eyeballs or punt a real discussion down the field, then can you please explain to the readers why an inexperienced non-journalist raised in urban environs and educated in oldline institutions has been chosen to represent something called 'Red America?' Mr. Domenech's pedigree looks more like that of a Country Club Republican (child of politcal operative, one mixed up in the Abramoff scandal, no less; drifting through life on political and family connections) than that of a true middle America 'red stater.'

In his first posts, he insults the very medium that now pays him, as well as, if polls are correct, the majority of Americans with legitimate questions about the president's leadership.

Further, he uses language that seems eerily reminiscent of the kind of inconsiderate and counterproductive language that caused the Post.com to disable commenting capabilities in January over Deb Howell's inaccurate assessment that Abramoff had directed money to Ds as well as Rs.

Putting this guy on Post letterhead is not a trivial matter. He's a racist and his intention is not to put forth conservative viewpoints objectively for real discussion. His intention is to widen the divide that has afflicted our country the past 5 years.

You can do better.

Posted by: Ben, but not that Ben or the other not-Ben | March 22, 2006 03:21 PM

Boy, Brady and the gang that couldn't report straight just don't get it, do they? Talk about repeating the same mistakes...

Look, Ms Little, allow me to help you. When you have another rebellion of the peons (aka, "readers") on your hands, it is time to address the reader complaints. It is not the time to pop up a post talking about how swell you are and how many awards you have gotten.

And most assuredly it is not the time to declare a committment to interactivity when while you studiously avoid resonding to the complaints.

Web 101. Actually, this is PR 101 which preceeds the web, but why make a big deal of that?

Posted by: Heh | March 22, 2006 03:38 PM

Hi,

It seems like you won't actually be conversing with readers here (your description of this post as a "conversation" seems to be rhetoric at this point). Does anyone from the Post editorial staff or higher actually read these comments or are you wasting everyone's time here?

Thanks.

Posted by: John | March 22, 2006 03:39 PM

Lissen to all the winey libs. Your all just afraid because Bens' going to bring the house every day! Your afraid to here the truth so just keep puting your fingers in your ears and yeling "I cant' here you!" as loud as you can! Your afraid of an onest debate because you just dont' have the brains to mach up with one of teh sharpest brians on the right! Id' feel sorry for you if I didnt' hate you so much.

Posted by: | March 22, 2006 03:40 PM

People, People, calm down

I just heard that Ben Domenech has enlisted to go to Iraq

Posted by: dave | March 22, 2006 03:41 PM

I am disappointed in your new Red America column. I believe the credibility of your newspaper has been compromised. You have always been known as the breaking open of "Watergate" newspaper. Although your investigative reporting has been less than stellar of late, I am appalled you are now compromising the integrity of your paper by hiring a far right politician like Ben Domenech to pen such a column. Not only does he not represent most Americans, he does not represent your newspaper.What could you be thinking?

Posted by: Natalie | March 22, 2006 03:44 PM

This is such a bad idea it renders me speechless. WaPo should have standards higher than this. I'm going to cancel my subscription.

It's a sad day :(

Posted by: poliblogist | March 22, 2006 03:44 PM

I'm probably in the minority here, but I applaud the addition of a conservative blogger to balance out Froomkin and Milbank online. Will you also be adding a column in the Front Page section to balance out Milbank's liberal print column as well?

Posted by: Fred | March 22, 2006 03:57 PM

It's fine to hire a conservative blogger for your online paper. Preferably an experienced and accomplished thinker and writer who is capable of challenging readers across the political spectrum. But this young, callow Ben? This smirking jerk? What are his qualifications? Why should the Post choose him, of all people?

Perhaps I ought to ask a more pointed question: Who is he related to on your staff? Because if this isn't a case of nepotism, then I can't account for it.

Posted by: Roy | March 22, 2006 04:02 PM

I am appalled to read Red America, which reads like a load of bile. This doesn't balance a rabid left wing rant, because there isn't one in the Post, nor should there be. It is the same phenomena of right wing pundits being paired with mainstream journalists for 'balance' on Sunday interview shows. This is disgraceful and a threat to journalistic integrity. For shame!

Posted by: Tom | March 22, 2006 04:05 PM

On a side note, Mr. Domenech could not have asked for a better start publicitywise. Just about every major blog, both on the left and right, provided a link to his site. In a few short days, Domenech probably just became the most visited blog on Washington Post.com.

Congrats Ben.

Posted by: Fred | March 22, 2006 04:09 PM

Red America? I didn't realize we were fighting communism again. Oh my, we all seem so consumed fighting this "war" on terrorism and we don't seem to be having much success. Doesn't seem like we need any more enemies.

Posted by: | March 22, 2006 04:09 PM

I would like to congratulate the Washington Post on its many awards and technical prowess in moving to the web. Technically you are doing a great job.

In terms of editorial judgement I agree with over 98% of the recent reader comments... you suck.

Posted by: Gary Denton | March 22, 2006 04:12 PM

I think we need to find more common ground, rather than just reinforcing our differences. I think the Red State blog is a step toward further division and not an advance.
Can't we all just get along? If not, can't we all just express our opinions in the same place? Does everyone really need a place where they will get 100% agreement? (If so, you sure didn't grow up in my family, but you're part of my American family regardless.)

Posted by: come on over to blue | March 22, 2006 04:16 PM

Yes, Ms. Little, to echo some of the comments above, it's not a conversation if you're not actually responding to what the readers have to say.

I'd like to hear why, at a time when you are cutting newsroom jobs, you decide to bring a hack like Red States Domenech on staff?

Posted by: Nick | March 22, 2006 04:20 PM

"But before the Web, your opinion about the news was limited to your immediate sphere of influence -- coworkers, friends, family."

Ms. Little, I appreciate every WaPo staffer writing to the readers. But, sadly, this still isn't a dialogue, but a one way street. Great, we can post our opinions. So what? Even if the majority of the readers has righteous complains, your company tends to ignore them. The responses in the discussions about Froomkin and the Abramoff funds were late, objectionable and unsatisfactory.

Do you think the majority opinion on new blogger Domenech will finally lead to a decision that will satisfy the readers?

Posted by: | March 22, 2006 04:21 PM

"But before the Web, your opinion about the news was limited to your immediate sphere of influence -- coworkers, friends, family."

Ms. Little, I appreciate every WaPo staffer writing to the readers. But, sadly, this still isn't a dialogue, but a one way street. Great, we can post our opinions. So what? Even if the majority of the readers has righteous complains, your company tends to ignore them. The responses in the last big discussions were late, objectionable and unsatisfactory.

Do you think the majority opinion on new blogger Domenech will finally lead to a decision that will satisfy the readers?

Posted by: Gray | March 22, 2006 04:22 PM

I just have to laugh at liberals who are getting this worked up over The Washington Post hiring a conservative. Seriously, they have just about every other opinion columnist at this paper (Froomkon, Milbank, Fisher, Malloy, etc...) as well as I am sure a majority of the so-called objective reporters at this paper on their side. Yet the prescence of one single conservative somehow makes The Washington Post a mouthpice of the GOP.

Ben Domenech must be proud to know how much power he has....

Posted by: Jonas | March 22, 2006 04:24 PM

Wtf is the problem with this ridiculous comment filter? This is really annoying!

Posted by: Gray | March 22, 2006 04:24 PM

Jonas, now what would you call Krauthammer, a pinky commie???

Posted by: Gray | March 22, 2006 04:25 PM

I believe the term is PINKO commie.

Okay, now we are up to two conservatives. I'll even thrown in George Will to make three. That three conservatives against the entire reporting staff of The Washington post along with the likes of Froomkin, Milbank, Malloy, Fisher.

Posted by: Jonas | March 22, 2006 04:28 PM

Ms. Little,

The web is indeed a new medium with different rules than print media. One of the main differences is that it makes Top-Down control of public opinion much more difficult. While publications used to have the choice of ignoring reader feedback, blogs and the web create self-reinforcing "swarms" of feedback.

These swarms cannot be controlled or silenced. Smart online companies will learn to respond to and engage with the swarms. Trying to swat down a swarm of wasps is a losing proposition.

It's a new model that is understandably scary to Old Media companies. But it shouldn't be. Bloggers are not insects, they are real people with real lives and jobs who have real opinions (I refer you to Blogads.com's 2005 reader survey). They are US Citizens. Don't be afraid of them. We're supposed do be a Democracy after all, no?

You wrote:

"But before the Web, your opinion about the news was limited to your immediate sphere of influence -- coworkers, friends, family."

That is very perceptive of you. But there is another cognitive aspect to the web, that pertains especially to "open comments" like what you have here, but which I suspect will be once again shut down because of the Domenech uproar.

With open comments, not only will the WaPo staff be able to see the comments, but also anyone else in the world who visits this page.

This is very different from "mailing a letter to the editor". The only people who are aware of the complaint or comment are you (your immediate sphere of influence) and the editor who has the ultimate choice not to share your comment with the rest of the readership.

Therein lies the difference.

Posted by: Shystee | March 22, 2006 04:29 PM

Jonas, you don't read the Post regularly, right? What about Samuelson? Nobody has ever called him a liberal. And there are many columnists that really aren't left wing, but middle-of-the-road, like Ignatius, for instance. And don't forget all those guest writers, like Cheney. Hell, AP just fired an editor for publishing a Dem senator's column, but here it seems to be ok that WaPo editors are doing the job for the GOP. Where exactly is that liberal bias? That's just right wing brouhaha.

Posted by: Gray | March 22, 2006 04:44 PM

Again, you're making the same mistakes all over.

What do you folks think is going to happen here? You've had 24 hours to write up a response on the groundswell agains Benny Boy.

Instead you insult the readers by posting a "rah-rah, we're so great" item by Ms. Little. On top of that, she insults everyone's intelligence by claiming a "conversation".

You now have well over 800 commenters and rising, and you insult their intelligence or hide. Sound familiar? Sort of like last time with Lovey Howell?

Look kidz...how many times do we have to tell you? Interactivity means you have to interact. And a groundswell of anger from your readers means a fast response is in order. Sending Ms. Little to inform us how fab you all are will just get readers angrier.

You need an official response yesterday. Not this pap.

Posted by: Sigh | March 22, 2006 04:50 PM

Gray,

I guess I can;t figure out why having a conservative voice to balance out Dana Milbank and Dan Froomkin is so bad. Would you at least agree that there should at least be a daily column to counteract the constant anti-Bush rhetoric coming from Milbank and Froomkin? Seems to me you are suggesting only liberals should have columns.

Posted by: Jonas | March 22, 2006 04:51 PM

This needs to be said again:

Interactivity means you have to interact. And a groundswell of anger from your readers means a fast response is in order. Sending Ms. Little to inform us how fab you all are will just get readers angrier.

You need an official response yesterday. Not this pap.

Posted by: Steph | March 22, 2006 05:00 PM

Jonas,

The balance to Froomkin and Milbank would be an intelligent conservative ywho can actually back up his comments with sourcing. Froomkin literally lists out around 50 cources he comments on in each column.

But a mouth breathing bloviator doth not equal that.

Moreover, neither Froomkin nor Milbank are pure ideologues and party hacks. Not are they far on any political spectrum.

The equivalent would be me demanding "balance" for Ceci Connelly and Lovey Howell by insisting the Post give Kusinich a blog to push his ideas.

You don't balance center-right or center-left by loading up a twitching ideologue.

Posted by: John | March 22, 2006 05:02 PM

Dear Ms Little,
I'm sure you are way above reading any responses to your article, as of course only you and co-horts have the answer and solution to everything. Just in case you might read it or your many assistants might report to you, I would like to let you now how incredidble hypocritical it is of you to write this article and already in advance warn the reader that their responses are completely irrelevant. All you seem to care about is bragging about these useless awards and how they will look in your office. You don't care about your readers, you despise them, because you hate that they actually have an opinion and want to let you know. The 'sick' group of people that surrounds you and advise you are more important than the readers that made you what you are. These readers will leave you in drones when they become aware how insignificant they are in the WAPO corporate structure and the complete disregard you have for them in the whole process, which is of course all about money and influence in Washington. You don't really care what the newspaper used to stand for, you and your buddy's power grab will be the death for the paper, which of course you don't care for as long as you all will make lots of money when you have to sell.
You are drifting dangerously close to the very dark side of playing the game to win at all costs.
Jandebont

Posted by: Jandebont | March 22, 2006 05:08 PM

Jonas,

As a real conservative, one who is disgusted with George Bush & Co., I really like smart conservative columns. I think conservatism needs a clear, sharp voice to argue its worldview and lift its rhetoric above the dumbed-down Fox News style that characterizes conservative discourse. The problem with "Red America" is that it perpetuates every negative stereotype about conservatives, and it prolongs the ridiculousness of the debate. Oh, and the child who writes it is not a journalist, although this is ostensibly a news outlet; and further, he was until recently employed by the very administration still in power. The complainers, I have to say, are correct here, until the left is represented at the Post by an unqualified, highly partisan activist prone to whiny rants. (And come on, most of the supposed "liberals" you cite are Bush apologists; Froomkin does challenge the administration, but then again, so do I -- and I'm far from liberal.)

Posted by: Marjorie | March 22, 2006 05:14 PM

I am impressed with your awards and sincerely applaud WP.com's efforts to become more interactive. It is a direction that all major newspapers will have to go eventually. And surely there will be a bit of a learning curve.

That said, I am really surprised to see the total lack of response here. The Howell fiasco developed because a simple factual error was allowed to go unaddressed even after hundreds of reasonable comments. As people felt ignored they got more angry and hostile. When howell finally responded she was disdainful and dismissive and the factual error has to this day not been corrected. That was a real mess, but fine, it was the first major firestorm that the Post faced and should have been a learning experience. Instead you are doing it all again.

If you really want to embrace interactivity, please open real dialogues with readers. I have felt dismissed by Post staffers even for simple questions like the sometimes-difficult-to-navigate layout of WP.com. On the other hand, the daily politics discussions are interactive and for the most part beyond the call of duty in terms of respect. Maybe they should be the model for other parts of the site.

The decision to hire Domenech is a bad one for far more reasons than simply because he is conservative. He is an avowed partisan political operative with a record of very hateful rhetoric, apparently for the sole purpose of furthering political division. This is very different than the perceived liberal bias by some of the Posts other columnists who are rational and credentialed journalists seeking to further understanding, even if with a certain perspective.

Given the current political situation - the GOP controls all three branches of governement, the president's approval is in the mid-30s and the VP is in the teens, most of the major policy initiatives of the past five years have been disastorous - it is only natural that there should be a glut of negative lines written about the administration and Republican party. To balance this by adding an conservative operative simply to balance the number of nice and bad things said about the GOP is simply idiotic. It means balancing honest reporting with rhetoric.

Seriously washingtonpost.com, this is just silly. Please address our concerns in one way or another. And for the print Washington Post, just because you are technically a different entity, don't think that you are not associated with the hate speech over at Red America. This is a tarnish on your pages as well.

Posted by: pughd | March 22, 2006 05:16 PM

Dear Caroline Little,

you forgot to mention the most important award the WaPo has received recently:

The Best Lapdog award from the hatemonger right. A statue of a gold-plated chickenhawk, with a cluster of Rush Limbaugh's warts.

Posted by: Taniwha | March 22, 2006 05:25 PM

While I am a bit shocked to find the new opinion blog "Red America" (I consider WP to be just a bit right of the NYT), I applaud your efforts to reach out and broaden your appeal, even though I consider it strictly a business/economic and decision. After all, listening to your customers is probably a wise decision. Thanks...

Posted by: Deagle | March 22, 2006 05:41 PM

They reaklly listen allright. The response has been deafening in it's absence.

Posted by: Oh yeah... | March 22, 2006 05:49 PM

Pay no attention to the elephant in the room.

Has everyone at the Post lost their marbles?

Carolin, there are hundreds of people already trying to have a 'conversation' with you. The problem is that you're nor responding.

The Washington Post's drift to the hard-right is disturbing, and the drift towards mediocre journalism and mediocre writing maybe even more so.

Just answer the questions: why was Domenech chosen? Were you aware of his racist pronouncements? Were you aware of his family connections to Jack Abramof?

From the pro-war editorials (opposed by a plurality of the American public when you wrote them), to Jim 'I have a shrine to Bush in my home office' VandeHei, to Jim Brady, to Deborah Howell, to Deborah 'Karl Rove's stenographer' Schmidt, to old Nixon/Ford hand Ron Nessen, etc., etc., we're getting to the point where it's hard to tell the Washington Post and the Washington Times apart.

Posted by: mzw | March 22, 2006 06:25 PM

Why won't someone from the Washington Post respond to any of the comments here? Why does the publisher write that this is a conversation and then refuse to take part in any kind of dialogue?

Posted by: Stephanie | March 22, 2006 06:32 PM

Maybe hiring a stereotypical smear-mongering right-wing blogger is WaPo's joke on their conservative critics. He'll be an easy target. It's like local newspapers in the South who choose the least persuasive of the nationally syndicated liberal columnists to 'balance' their conservative editorial pages. But it's still bad judgement.

Posted by: Julian | March 22, 2006 06:38 PM

I was excited to see that there was a "Comment from the Publisher" post up this afternoon, since it seemed likely the publisher would want to address the outrage about the hiring of little Ben.

Apparently not, though. We know about these awards, Ms. Little, we read about them when you were awarded them. The comment you need to make is why you have hired a racist hate-monger (there is simply no other description) who recently worked for the current regime and whose father is tied to its most corrupt parts.

Please continue your adventure in interactivity by actually interacting with your readers on the topic they are most concerned about: the steady debasement of an incredibly important institution. I have written letters to the ombudsman, the executive editor, and Jim Brady. All I have received is a response from Jennifer that referred me to the Post blog, where I may leave a comment. I have done so, as have many others, but still no interactivity.

There has been no explanation of Ben's hiring. One is overdue. Please get to it. Right away. If you are unable to clearly articulate the reasons for his selection, perhaps Mr. Brady or Mr. Graham can do so.

Thank you.

Posted by: TeddySanFran | March 22, 2006 06:45 PM

This may be the problem:

"Little joined WPNI in 1997 as general counsel. She was promoted to vice president, administration and general counsel, in 1998. She became senior vice president of business affairs and general counsel in 1999, then assumed the roles of chief operating officer in 2000 and president in 2003. In January 2004 she was promoted to CEO and publisher.

Posted by: | March 22, 2006 07:02 PM

someone else posted this....

"This may be the problem: 'Little joined WPNI in 1997 as general counsel.....' "

BINGO!!!!

and you deserve credit for finding this, so please post your name (unless you really want anonymity) because I really want to post this around.

Caroline Little isn't a journalist, or even close to a journalist. She's a complete and utter corporate hack who (obviously) doesn't give a flying fig about journalism, let alone transparency and interactivity. She's a freaking LAWYER --- and now she's the person telling people like Brady to keep their mouth shut, because the less the Post admits, the better its legal position will be.

Lets face it, Ben D. is perfectly capable of committing libel --- and as a lawyer Caroline Little needs to minimize WPNI's exposure. That means not admitting what over 800 people have already pointed out -- that Ben D. is purely and simply a partisan hack who is completely unqualified to be blogging for washingtonpost.com. Little has two choices --- admit WPNI made a mistake and fire Domenech (and piss off Post big shots like Harris, Howell, and Downie), or order Brady and the rest of the WPNI staff to say absolutely nothing in response to all the valid criticism that the post has received.

Right now, silence is all about damage control for Little....

Posted by: p. lukasiak | March 22, 2006 07:34 PM

Sigh. The repeat of the Howell "run away" behavior just demonstrates for sure what we all thought about Brady and gang.

Cowards.

Posted by: John | March 22, 2006 07:54 PM

Apparently the Post has decided that the American people, and particularly all those millions in the "Red" States, only respond positively to rants, namecalling, and bullying recitation of memorized cliches.

It's rather naive to believe that such nonsense represents any of the "forgotten" out here in the heartland. Somewhere along the line, our media has decided that interrupting others and ideological fits are an appropriate substitute for meaningful dialogue. Meanwhile, nothing is accomplished to tackle the myriad of problems in this nation, and there is no real discussion left in the press.


Posted by: Kevin | March 22, 2006 08:21 PM

can you please be a little more up-to-date with your links in the drop-down menu on the front page of your website to access blogs, etc.? the link for the post.blog takes us to the old URL, even though it says the URL changed on february 17th. that's over a month. isn't there someone at washingtonpost.com who can keep up on things like that?

Posted by: imgoph | March 22, 2006 08:26 PM

The let that guy go so they could afford Benny.

Posted by: Nope | March 22, 2006 08:35 PM

hey, i need a job

i can type and stuff

i think the war is awesome, but i'd rather blog

so, can i have it?

-dave

Posted by: dave | March 22, 2006 09:01 PM

Ms. Little:

You wrote:

"This is the first in a series of periodic conversations I'll be starting with our readers. Perhaps regularly. More likely, I'll write when I have something interesting to say. (Or at least when I think I have something interesting to say.)"

[Jim Brady said the same thing in his introduction to the blog, responded rarely and only to attack any blogger with the fortitude to question Deborah Howell's erroneous column of two months ago, and then dropped out of sight.]

"It is somewhat unusual to hear from the publisher of an editorial Web site. But so much about the Web, and Web news in particular -- and even Web advertising -- is different and unusual that I thought it was time to give you a greater sense of how we approach some of that "newness" and hear your opinions on the subject, as well."


[You bet it is unusual! What happened to old Jim? Is this 'newness' anything like that "truthiness" that Old Jim fostered on the previous blog?]

"What sparked this note is the fact that washingtonpost.com, in recent months, been the recipient of a number of exciting awards."

[What really sparked your note was an attempt to limit the damage of Old Jim's hiring of Ben Domenech and 2) Old Jim's botching of the previous blog operation and his unwillingnes to get back on again.]

"In January, we won 31 of the 90 video awards given to television and multimedia journalists by the White House News Photographers Association. Just recently, at the Newspaper Association of America's Digital Edge Awards, we were recognized for Best Overall News Site, Best Entertainment Site, Best Employment Strategy and Best Automotive Strategy."

[That was then, this is now!]

"The awards say much about what kind of investment we have put into building not only a great news site, but also one that serves the needs of our audience in other facets of their lives as well."

[More grist for the bulls--t mill.]

"The last couple of years have marked a turning point of sorts for news on the Web. I'll offer an analogy to explain what I mean.

When moving film first developed, early filmmakers relied heavily on the techniques of still photography to inform their work. And they told stories primarily the same way they were told in live theater, just on film. Later, as directors became more comfortable with moving images and developed new tools and nuances, film quickly became a unique medium in its own right, with a language, reach and power all its own.

With the advent of television, much the same transition occurred. With new technology, new tools and techniques were developed to tell stories.

The Web is now experiencing that same shift. Where online news was once simply print or TV on the Web, it has become so much more than that. Online news has rapidly come of age, with the ability to tell stories and share information and reach people at any time of the day unlike any other medium.

That maturity has also been noticed on the business side, with major advertisers increasingly moving greater percentages of marketing budgets to online advertising.

Along with other forms of media, the Web offers another compelling choice for accessing information. The goal of washingtonpost.com has been to make it even more compelling.

For most of 2005, that's what we spent most of our time and energy doing. In the last half of the year, we became the first major newspaper site to launch a host of editorial and business innovations.

Understanding that our national, international and local audiences have different needs and priorities, we launched unique home pages targeted to location. With Technorati we opened up our news pages to bloggers, allowing you to see who's saying what about issues around the globe. We launched a new Opinions page, a revised and updated City Guide, more than 30 blogs on a range of issues and a Congressional Votes Database that allows voters to easily keep track of the decisions made on their behalf. One of the most recent blogs, On Balance by Leslie Morgan Steiner, has generated a lot of discussion around work and life balance, an area that many of us who are juggling raising a family and working understand. More recently, we have added Del.icio.us "tags" to our articles, a service that lets you bookmark individual articles for sharing and future reference.

News has never existed in a vacuum. But before the Web, your opinion about the news was limited to your immediate sphere of influence -- coworkers, friends, family. Now with the tools that we offer on washingtonpost.com, that sphere can include the reporter, the editor, the newsmakers and in a very real sense, people in nearly every nation around the world.

What we have planned in 2006 will take that concept even further, with a focus on innovations that will increase the utility of news and information on the Web as a tool for daily living, with greater integration of our award-winning multimedia, and provide more effective ways to communicate your views and the views of others to a broader audience.

I think it will be exciting. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Caroline Little
CEO & Publisher, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive"

Why not get on here now and answer the questions being raised by your readers?]

Posted by: Tom | March 22, 2006 09:52 PM

"It is somewhat unusual to hear from the publisher of an editorial Web site... I thought it was time to give you a greater sense of how we approach some of that "newness" and hear your opinions on the subject, as well."

Here's my opinion, how about taking part in the "conversation" that you started?

Posted by: | March 22, 2006 09:59 PM

I don't know which is worse: logging onto the Post website, which is free but features ads showing exotic open-mouthed models heaving their breasts towards me (the elderly mastectomy survivor) OR logging onto the NYTimes site only to find that everything I want to read, I'm expected to pay for. I would really, really appreciate your getting some sponsors who aren't using sex to sell their products. Couldn't you talk up the site to the National Artichoke Association?

Posted by: Patricia R, Sweeney | March 22, 2006 10:16 PM

I'm not really sure if this blog can go on without acknowledging the elephant in the room. His name is Ben Domenech, and he's the last person that the Washington Post should have any association with, much less hire to write a column.

Why the Post would associate with someone who says things about their staff like the following is incomprehensible:

"I just have this specific and deep-rooted dislike for everything Dan Froomkin says and does. He's one of the dozen or so people in the world that I just detest - along with Noam Chomsky, Eric Alterman, Louis Farrakhan, Barbra Streisand, Kate Michelman, Mitch Albom, Michael Irvin, David Duke, Peter Singer, and Rick Reilly."

Posted by: AltHippo | March 22, 2006 10:44 PM

Good grief! The wingnuts have managed to sabotage a respectable newspaper and morph a serious political forum into ranting and name-calling. Now all of us are so distracted we can't think straight. Is this a conspiracy, or what?

Posted by: Junboy | March 22, 2006 11:05 PM

How does a boy who grew up in Washington, DC all his life, home-schooled and deeply sheltered in a family of vast priviledge and great influence, represent heartland America?

It doesn't get any more elite than a white boy whose father is a high-level Republican operative, and best pals with Jack Abramoff himself.

A boy who, thanks to his family connections, got handed a job in the white house with no qualifications.

Ben Domenech doesn't represent 'red America'. He represents the Washington, DC-based hard-right Republican elite -- the same people who are now taking over the Washington Post and destroying the great institution that Katherine Graham left us.

He also happens to be a racist who called Coreta King a communist on the day of her funeral, and who called 'some members' of the Judicial branch worse than the KKK -- and much, much more, as you could have found out with 15 minutes of due diligence.

But, even without any due diligence, you must have known that his writing skills are abismal.

Is there anything left, anything at all left in Washington that doesn't operate on cronyism and nepotism?

Posted by: mike | March 22, 2006 11:11 PM

I'll just say this, if the left would spend just 10% of the time they spend worrying about a single blogger at The Washington Post, they might actually win an election once in a while....

Posted by: Fred | March 22, 2006 11:28 PM

Is the WP trying to compete with Limbaugh, O'Reilly, or the New York Post?

If the WP felt the need to have a conservative blog on its site, it could at the very least have chosen some intellectually challenging and intelligent blogger to promote a healthy debate.

Instead, the WP settled for intellectual mediocrity, shrillness, and hate-spewing, by hiring an infantile 24-year-old with no journalistic skills, but a long track record of addled-brained viciousness, to provide "balance".

It is official! The WP has now become a pathetic rag. Congratulations!

Your newspaper has given in to the intellectual mediocrity that the Bush crowd has been promoting for the past five years.

Your subscription revenues are definitely going to take a hit. As for your advertising revenues, rest assured that they are going to melt like snow in the sun as intelligent and intellectually curious people put pressure on advertisers to dissociate themselves from a publication that has now become putrid.




Posted by: Devil's Advocate | March 22, 2006 11:40 PM

Dear Fred: Your GOP nazi friends couldn't win a single election without cheating via Diebold machines. Please go fight in your master's war, and preferably come back in a ziploc.

Posted by: Taniwha | March 22, 2006 11:46 PM

I write with sadness, for the newspaper you represent as a public person has forsaken its moral duty to a public ethic and the public politic. “Red America” written by Ben Domenech is a column that has no resolve other than to diminish all other credible writing published in your newspaper. Its very existence alongside side of your other writers diminishes your renown.
A renown just recently making a comeback alongside other papers. Papers who in today’s world must show a profit line above 20% net and are found to be doing it by catering to the lowest denominator of Joe Pyne journalism and speaking of that type of unsubstantiated verbiage refer only to G. Bush in his latest attempt at “strawmanship”. You will pay a heavier price in international and national credibility, and canceled subscriptions will not be the proof! The proof will lie in the scholarly works devoted to debasing your credibility and they will be read as time unfolds by a public increasing wary of unethical behavior.
I ask only that you hire scribes who at least do some fact checking and have something to add to the discussion warranted today, namely the daily attack on a future.

Posted by: Willie | March 23, 2006 12:00 AM

I gave up on the post months ago when I realized you were incapable of analysis and asking hard questions of this administration and the Republican controlled government policies all of which have devastated this country and dismantled a perfectly good democracy.

But, curious about this much hyped new Red blogger, I decided to look into the infant analyzer. The Post should be ashamed of posting his writing. My disenchantment with your paper has turned to disgust. Please give up the pretense of "fair and balanced" since you have followed Fox New's definition of it. Orwell, a man of integrety, thoughful analysis, and reflection would be saddened by the upside down definitions that pemeate the Washington Post these days.

Good-bye Washington Post.

Posted by: Peggy Kass | March 23, 2006 01:49 AM

Hi,

Yesterday a pundit at a flagship conservative magazine emailed me and claimed that he was paid $50.00 for each article and zip for blogging in their online forum. Fifty US dollars. If I wished to be snide, I could say the magazine should ask for $45 back. But that's not the point.

Reading Ben's pointed reminder that he occupies the same space as Pulitzer Prize winner George Will forced my realize I've been wasting my time reading the Washington Post first when I log on. I can take the pro-Bush slant, the bizarre claims of Jim Hoagland and Charles Krauthammer. Their opinions are born of reason and research.

The result is that I'll likely cancel my subscription to TNR, drop the WP completely, go back to the LA times and sign up for Times Select. I've read the WP online for ten years. That part is over.

I don't mind paying to be informed and I'd rather pay for quality than indulge Ben and his bosses Jim and Fred. I'll drop by periodically, although right now I can't imagine why.

Posted by: Paulhayashi | March 23, 2006 09:31 AM

My day is now complete - I have been called a Nazi.

Posted by: Fred | March 23, 2006 09:41 AM

The Red America decision for me was the last straw! I do not even care to debate it with you; however, I will say my subscription to the Post has already be cancelled.

Posted by: Barbs | March 23, 2006 09:45 AM

No Fred, your friends were called that. You were called a chickenhawk coward.

Posted by: Taniwha | March 23, 2006 09:46 AM

I'm embarrassed for and by the Post.

The Washington Post, both paper and online, can just forget about preserving its credibility. The hiring of Ben Domenech is just the latest in the Post's transformation into another Fox News.

I'd like to ask Ms. Little this question posted on another blog:

"How symbolic is it that "Red America" is to be represented by a twentyfour year old homeschooled self-described superior intellect, whose primary contribution to humanity, aside from being too cowardly to fight in his much-vaunted war but not too cowardly to make a few quick bucks off the names of people who weren't, has been the advantages of constant nepotism from his very well connected Republican father?"

Are these values that the Washington Post supports?

Posted by: Corinne | March 23, 2006 09:51 AM

Deb Howells actual comment was that Abramoff had given money to both R's and D's. That was inaccurate. He did,however, direct money to both D's and R's. That would be an accurate statement.

Posted by: Stick | March 23, 2006 09:55 AM

My apologies for misreading what you meant.

I guess calling people "Nazis" and "Chickenhawks Cowards" is part of this "reasoned and sensible debate" the left wants to have....

Posted by: Fred | March 23, 2006 09:58 AM

So what is the lesson here?

Opinions count as qualifications, so long as they are loud and shrill enough.

Professional journalists must be "balanced" by hacks.

The mindless political divide (right/left, blue/red) continues unabated, with the Post only serving to reinforce these simplistic definitions.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Posted by: Roy | March 23, 2006 10:03 AM

Ms. Little, the blog feedback has been down for half a day, allegedly because of a bandwith limit. This is one of those things that really shouldn't happen at a major interactive service.
Who made the decision to host this section at an obscure californian company called IHNetworks.net, which isn't even competent to build a proper website for their own business?
Do we really have to believe that such a level of incompetence may coincidentally happen at washingtonpost.com?

Posted by: Gray | March 23, 2006 10:04 AM

Giving Ben Domenech the honor of preaching to neo-cons who are ruining America and Iraq...next the world, is an ass in the face of your intelligent readers. Please don't empower hawks and oligarchs.

Posted by: Mr.Francis Howard | March 23, 2006 10:13 AM

Mr. Domenech got this gig because his father is a close confidant of Jack Abramoff, something the Neocon hacks at the WaPo, esp. Howard Kurtz, have every intention of covering up.

Posted by: stephen | March 23, 2006 10:21 AM

Continuing, Domenech's father was actually the Bag Man for Tom DeLay's illegal corporate contributions, the ones DeLay is under indictment for. Domenech actually laundered the money.

Stuff you can't make up.

Of course, since Kurtz is a shadow Republican operative, none of this will ever see the light of his column.

Posted by: stephen | March 23, 2006 10:24 AM

Almost 24 hours later, almost 500 comments later, and I believe Ms. Little has yet to grace us with any replies.

This is a "conversation" like Joycelyne Elders' favorite word is sex.

Posted by: Jay | March 23, 2006 10:32 AM

Why would she respond? Think of all the free hits at the website The Washington Post is getting by NOT responding?

Liberals are actually helping The Washington Post make more money since now they can charge advertisers more money due to the increase in traffic.

Posted by: Fred | March 23, 2006 10:38 AM

Ms. Little might be a publisher of a website, but it sure isn't interactive and this sure isn't a conversation. Ms. Little, how about you stop talking down to your readers and show them some respect by responding?

Posted by: John | March 23, 2006 10:44 AM

"I guess calling people "Nazis" and "Chickenhawks Cowards" is part of this "reasoned and sensible debate" the left wants to have...."

You mean the "reasoned and sensible debate" like Mouthy Child Ben's blog post in which he whined about Dems and the "unhinged elements of their base, motivated by partisan rage, Michael Moore conspiracies"?

If you can't take it, Righty, don't dish it out.

Also, if you support the war, go fight it. If you don't, you're a chickenhawk coward.

Posted by: Taniwha | March 23, 2006 10:44 AM

Stick:
"Deb Howells actual comment was that Abramoff had given money to both R's and D's. That was inaccurate. He did,however, direct money to both D's and R's. That would be an accurate statement"

Wrong. There is no evidence to support that Abramoff, through any of his channels, directed any money at all go to Dems. Nearly all of his Indian clients were givers to both parties and elected officials prior to Abramoff's association with said clients.

In fact, a commissioned analysis by a non-partisan research firm shows that the amount given to Dems in the Abramoff period DROPPED by 9% while contributions to Re's WENT UP by 135%. In the same period of Abramoff's influence, those tribes affiliated with Abramoff gave twice as much to Re's as Dems, and those tribes NOT affiliated with Abramoff gave twice as much to Dems as Re's, which is an opposite pattern.

To posit that Abramoff 'directed' (in this sense, influenced the choice of who to give to and how much to give) contributions to Dems as well as Re's simply because there exists a document previously in Abramoff possession that includes line items designating contributions to both parties is specious at best, intentionally misleading at worst.

My take is that, if he could have, he would have 'directed' giving to Dems drop to ZERO, but the tribes, racially depicted in this story as unable to think for themselves, resisted Abramoff's total influence and continued to give to Dems, though in diminished amounts.

The full report of this study can be read here:

http://www.prospect.org/web/printfriendly-view.ww?id=10924

There. With 5 minutes and Google, a lowly peon could uncover and illustrate truth about Abramoff that Deb Howell could not with a week and a by-line in the Washington Post.

Posted by: Ben, but not that Ben or the other not-Ben | March 23, 2006 10:45 AM

WASHINGTN POST CO B

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Posted by: Position: Flacid | March 23, 2006 10:46 AM

Tee Hee. Taniwha complains about Mr. Domenech refering to "unhinged elements of their base, motivated by partisan rage, Michael Moore conspiracies" at the same time she is calling people Nazis.

I think she just about proved Mr. Domenech's point herslef....

Posted by: Fred | March 23, 2006 10:49 AM

Fred, if you want to be taken seriously, you have to show a minimum level of brain activity. "Nazis" is in quotation marks! It's not Taniwha who said that, k?

Posted by: Gray | March 23, 2006 10:56 AM

The Washington Post Dictionary:

Conversation (n.): An exchange in which one party invites another to discuss thoughts, opinions, and feelings, and then refuses to listen or respond in any sense.

Balance (n.): A state of equilibrium between facts and rhetoric ("Deb Howell brought balance to the discussion by giving equal space to the Flat Earth Society").

Credibility (n.) (archaic): An unnecessary or irrelevant concern.

Posted by: Paul Curtis | March 23, 2006 11:03 AM

Fred, quid pro quo. Your rightwing pals insult the rest of us, we'll insult you back. Deal, chickenhawk.

Posted by: Taniwha | March 23, 2006 11:04 AM

"Liberals are actually helping The Washington Post make more money since now they can charge advertisers more money due to the increase in traffic.

Posted by: Fred | March 23, 2006 10:38 AM"

Nice try, Fred. I'm sure I'm not the only one who never sees the advertisements on this site because my PC blocks them before they're ever loaded. Nor is any analysis of my surfing trends going to be of much value because "web beacons" (formerly known as "web bugs") are blocked as well. Nope. The only revenue the Post will make from all this is from the redstate readers who probably click more often than bluestate readers on the big tits and dating service ads that pop up.

Posted by: Philip | March 23, 2006 11:21 AM

Paul Curtis-

Nice!

Posted by: Jay | March 23, 2006 11:28 AM

WASHINGTN POST CO B

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Posted by: Position: PARALYZED! | March 23, 2006 11:31 AM

Wrong. There is no evidence to support that Abramoff, through any of his channels, directed any money at all go to Dems. Nearly all of his Indian clients were givers to both parties and elected officials prior to Abramoff's association with said clients.

Ben, there is "evidence" that Abramoff did, at least indirectly "direct" (i.e. people on Abramoff's "team" suggested donations to Democrats, and in some instances the advice was taken) contributions to Democratic candidates.

What is missing, and what makes Brady, Howell, Schmidt, et.al. dishonest, is that they have provided no *proof* to back up the accusations they made about Abramoff and contributions to Democrats --- and the evidence they did offer up was dishonest in the extreme. (The evidence I cite in the previous paragraph was from independent research I've done, along with work done by people like Ron Bryaent from Raw Story and EmptyWheel at The Last Hurrah.)

In other words, don't say "no evidence" --- there is "evidence". There is also "evidence" that Jim Brady, John Harris, Len Downie, Caroline Little and Deborah Howell are completely corrupt political hacks who don't give a flying fig about journalistic principles --- in fact, there is considerable "evidence" to support those assertions. But "proof".... not quite.

Posted by: p.lukasiak | March 23, 2006 11:32 AM

Is the new Red State Blogger really that racist Augustine?

Posted by: Patrick Kennedy | March 23, 2006 11:38 AM

Patrick,

Apparently he is! The WaPo should be proud it hired a racist fascist.

Posted by: Taniwha | March 23, 2006 11:43 AM

Would you all please stop using my name in vain?!?!?!?!

Posted by: Chickenhawk Coward | March 23, 2006 11:58 AM

I agree, stop using my name in vain!

Posted by: Nazi | March 23, 2006 11:58 AM

http://www.redstate.com/print/2005/9/30/123649/894

"People who are poor and black are a drag on society. We would all be better off if there were fewer of them. Since we have, with little success, spent trillions of dollars over the past several decades trying to make poor blacks non-poor, it is time we recognize that there are more efficient means of eliminating the drag.... "

(and this is actually representative of the whole piece....)

this was posted by "Augustine" (i.e. Ben) on Red State on 9-30-2005. He's actually posting (without any comment) something that someone else wrote in a "religious" publication called First Things.

(Hat Tip to Steve Gilliard)

Posted by: p.lukasiak | March 23, 2006 11:59 AM

I hope the Washington Post doesn't take the shrillness in here or any other thread on this topic as an excuse to disregard, ignore, or attack the posters of these comments. Instead, I hope the Post takes a long, hard look at itself and tries to understand what it's role has been in inviting this shrillness.

Posted by: Steph | March 23, 2006 12:04 PM

The Post will ignore all customer comment, regardless of whether or not it's shrill or calm. They don't care. They only care about the rich GOP tools who pay them lots of money to hire their chromosomally-challenged fratboy mindset children.

Posted by: Steph | March 23, 2006 12:08 PM

Steph,

I believe they'll ignore the criticism regardless. Look at how they define 'discussion' as "the big business folks come in and pat themselves on the back but don't listen to reader concerns".

Posted by: Taniwha | March 23, 2006 12:09 PM

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Milbank is NOT an opinion writer. He writes on the news side and thus the idea that washingtonpost.com needs to "balance" him with a conservative blog is ridiculous. It's like saying, "We need to balance Howie Kurtz, so we'll bring in some nonjournalist, special interest hack."

Posted by: nlw | March 23, 2006 12:53 PM

Just because Dana Milbank appears in teh "news" section doesn't mean he isn't an opinion wirter. Dana Milbank is nothing more than a Democratic Party toy soldier that spits out whatever the DNC wants him to write. The difference between Milbank and Domenech is Demonench at least admits his bias while Milbank tries to claim he is objective.

If The Washington Post really wants to provide balance, they should allow a conservative column to appear in teh print edition side-by-side with Milbank's column.

Posted by: Fred | March 23, 2006 01:03 PM

Fred,

That's what Charlie Krauthammer's for.

Posted by: Taniwha | March 23, 2006 01:14 PM

I think the big question now is, Will the Post publicly explain the process by which Ben Domenech was hired? What sort of background work was done? And after Ben has been let go, will the Post explain why?

Posted by: james | March 23, 2006 01:14 PM

WASHINGTN POST CO B

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Posted by: Position: Cautiously Optimistically Aroused | March 23, 2006 01:20 PM

Krauthammer is on the editorial page. I am talking about someone in the "news" section to counteract the liberal Dana Milbank.

Posted by: Fred | March 23, 2006 01:27 PM

There is a rumor on the web that your new blogger, under a pseudonym, accused Coretta King of being a 'communist.' On what grounds? Her husbands assocation with Stanley Levison in the 1950s? That was J. Edgar Hoover's reason for harassing King constantly--indeed for trying to get him to commit suicide with the threat of blackmail. But all the recent scholarship makes it clear King himself was not a Communist in any way, shape, or form. And I've never seen anything anywhere suggesting that his wife was a Communist. Since your blogger doesn't allow questions or comments, could you pose the question to him? thank you

Posted by: bobby | March 23, 2006 01:34 PM

...just why are publishing the Augustine guy? You must surely have been tipping over when you discovered the concept of balance.

Posted by: vic | March 23, 2006 01:47 PM

who cares if he posts racist remarks under pseudonyms? so what if he thinks King was a commy? he was probably 12 when he wrote that stuff. now he's much more mature at ... 24

Posted by: | March 23, 2006 02:00 PM

24 hours later, and still nothing from the powers that be. Wow, this is some great conversation!

Posted by: phil mccracken | March 23, 2006 02:11 PM

Fred,

"Krauthammer is on the editorial page. I am talking about someone in the "news" section to counteract the liberal Dana Milbank."

Dana Milbank reports news, not his opinion. Otherwise, he'd be in the opinion section.

You have your little Chickenhawk Homeschool Runner in the Opinion Section with his "Hate Everyone Who Ain't My Kinda Redfascist" blog. We'll simply have to have the post bring in someone who's not a moron to balance out the intellectual black hole that is Red Amurrikuh.

Posted by: Taniwha | March 23, 2006 02:15 PM

Re Red America: You really need to Google anyone being hired for such a high-profile position. Now Brady will be embarrassed, Bush-like, to back off.

Posted by: Bartolo | March 23, 2006 02:25 PM

Fred, you imbecile, have you ever read Jim VandeHei?

Posted by: Fred- | March 23, 2006 02:28 PM

Stop complaining about my friend's son. His father was Tom DeLay's money bag man, a real stand up guy, if you know what I mean. And the Post surely does know: they've been doing a great job covering our behinds. Ben's dad helped me get things set up with the White House in our goal of, as I said before, 'permanently removing the Democratic party from power'. Just because we used money laundering and bribes when working towards that goal, it doesn't mean that it wasn't a worthy goal!

But getting back to my buddy Domenech, it was only natural that we would get his boy to work in the White House as well. It's true that the boy can't write very well and has said a few politically unwise things, but it was under a pseudonym, so that doesn't really make him racist. Given that the good people at the White House (and, not to boast, myself as well...) have such cred with The Washington Post, it was only natural that we'd get them to hire Ben.

So what if he was homeschooled in one of the most priviledged insider right-wing Republican families in Washington, DC? He's our boy, and he represents our kind of heartland America!

Love,

Jack Abramoff

[p.s. -- dear Post censor, this is legitimate satire, written by the poster also known as 'mike', please do not delete.]

Posted by: Jack Abramoff | March 23, 2006 02:36 PM

1100+ posts on main thread.

115 here on the "God, aren't I and my team fabulous" discussion thread.

Silence.

Is anyone on the Post.com staff not a pathetically gutless coward?

Posted by: Cowards | March 23, 2006 02:53 PM

People who are greedy and Jewish are a drag on society. We would all be better off if there were fewer of them. Since we have, with little success, spent trillions of dollars over the past several decades trying to make greedy Jews non-greedy, it is time we recognize that there are more efficient means of eliminating the drag. Stated so bluntly, many readers might find that way of putting the matter morally problematic. The extermination of anti-social elements does, after all, have a somewhat controversial history."

indeed....

of course, according to Ben D. there is absolutely nothing anti-semitic about the above statement. Even though it reads like something out of one of Hitler's speeches -- according to Ben, it couldn't be anti-semitic if Hitler was saying it to make a speech about what a bad thing abortion was.....

Posted by: p. lukasiak | March 23, 2006 03:29 PM

well, it turns out that Ben can add "plagarist" to his list of qualifications now....

http://yourlogohere.blogspot.com/2006/03/nail-meet-coffin.html

Posted by: p,lukasiak | March 23, 2006 03:37 PM

From the Washington Post's Newest Writer:

"Some people have taken issue with an old two-line comment of mine on RedState.com where I referred to Coretta Scott King as a Communist on the day after her funeral...Mrs. King participated in many different political causes, some of which involved associations with questionable people, but referring to her as a Communist was a mistake, hyperbole in the context of a larger debate about President Bush's political priorities."

Wow, he sounds so sincere. Perhaps the Post should rename the blog: Red Baiting America as that still seems pretty apt.

Could editors at the Post please answer the following questions: Who made to decision to start Red America? Why was it started? Will the post consider hiring a liberal progressive blogger? If not, why?

Your silence smacks of cowardice and hypocracy.

Posted by: Steph | March 23, 2006 03:39 PM

oh man the plagiarism thing stix!

Posted by: Ben Domenbech, Nazi | March 23, 2006 03:45 PM

Ms. Little,

It has come to my attention that you recently hired a blogger for your new "Red America" section.

It has also come to my attention that this blogger, Ben Domenech is a plagiarist.

A column he wrote while at William and Mary--and available here:
http://flathat.wm.edu/November191999/opinionsstory2.html--was clearly plagiarized verbatim et literatum from the work of writer and humorist P.J. O'Rourke.

--you can get a sample of O'Rourke's work here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/087113375X/ref=sib_vae_pg_176/103-2710431-5495058?%5Fencoding=UTF8&keywords=real%20parties&p=S05F&twc=12&checkSum=aQx3Z%2BY2G5IYmTMguHOh62tWccqPbDBb15LNZcwG4Bw%3D#reader-page

I expect that the Post will immediately fire Mr. Domenech.

Posted by: steve | March 23, 2006 04:06 PM


Y'all don't understand. Little Ben was hired because he is ONE OF THEM. Rich, white, elite, sheltered, the good life handed to him on a platter through his father's connections. Never a need to examine his core beliefs. Never a need to expose himself to the riffraff.

Ben represents the Washington Post. His writing reflects what the management believes but can't say our of convention and tradition. Brady, Howell, et al, really do believe that this man represents conservatives like themselves. And so he does.

After all, he, a former Bush Administration official, was recruited, vetted, interviewed, and hired, by Brady and apparently Carol Little. Apparently the interview recounted by Ben himself didn't raise red flags, and you really have to believe that they knew what they were getting.

Either that, or Dana Milbank pulled a big juicy fast one, on the way back from the woodshed. har har.

Posted by: James | March 23, 2006 04:08 PM

(Washington DC)The Washington Post's newest writer, Ben Domenech, apologized today for calling civil rights leader Coretta Scott King as a communist on the day after her funeral.

"Mrs. King participated in many different political causes, some of which involved associations with questionable people," Mr. Domenech stated, "Despite this, calling her a communist was hyperbole in the larger debate about whether President Bush should have attended her funeral or gone to a anti-abortion rally. My bad."

The Washington Post writer also clarified that when he posted an article that began "People who are poor and black are a drag on society. We would all be better off if there were fewer of them", he really meant the opposite of that. Mr. Domenech, who posted the article to his former blog with no additional commentary, stated "I didn't think I needed to qualify the idea that when I posted that black people are a drag on society, I was really showing how disgusting this thought is".

The Washington Post writer further added, "I can recommend a good reading program for people with disabilites if they didn't get this."

Mr. Domenech's editor and publisher at the Washington Post were unavailable for comment.

Posted by: Ed | March 23, 2006 04:11 PM

It just seems to me like this is worth repeating: compounding the Post's many recent mistakes is the fact that it has just hired a plagairist: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/3/23/152531/888

And we're still waiting for that "conversation" to start...

Posted by: Paul Curtis | March 23, 2006 04:12 PM

I esp. liked this from Big Dumb Ben:

"Some people have taken issue with an *old* two-line comment of mine on RedState.com where I referred to Coretta Scott King as a Communist on the day after her funeral."

So just how long ago was that King funeral, anyway? A year? Two years? Try NOT EVEN TWO MONTHS AGO!

What a wanker. Nice hire, Post. You guys really are pathetic.

Posted by: dave | March 23, 2006 04:30 PM

(Washington DC) The Washington Post's newest writer, Ben Domenech, today was accused of being a plagerist.

The 24-year old Washington Post writer, who recently apologized for calling civil rights leader Coretta Scott King a communist, is accused of copying word for word a chapter on how to throw a real party from P.J. O'Rourke's book "Modern Manners". Mr. Domenech published the chapter under his own name in his university's humor magazine.

"We all knew he faked it at the time," said a college roommate of Mr. Domenech, who asked to remain anonymous because he had not been authorized to talk about the incident. "I mean, c'mon, Ben was never invited to parties. Of course, he'd have lie or plagerize to write an article about parties."

"Ben was more into playing Contra-3 on his Nitendo that going to parties," said another friend, who asked to remain anonymous because Ben stilled owed him money and he wanted to make sure he had a chance of getting it back.

"He had this whole theory that people who worried about bodybags in a time of war were like people who hit the reset button. Or something. He didn't go to parties. He was kind of wierd."

Mr. Domenech's editor and publisher at the Washington Post were unavailable for comment.

Posted by: Ed | March 23, 2006 04:37 PM

Ms. Little
I am astounded that you are allowing Ben, the Red State blogger, to stay on board the Washington Post.

If I were you, as soon as this came to light, I would have dismissed him.

For such cases apologies are not enough, even if they are sincere, although in this instance I doubt that your new blogger is sincere.

What are you waiting for?

Posted by: lib | March 23, 2006 04:39 PM

Last Trade: 739.00
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Posted by: Position: Limp | March 23, 2006 04:47 PM


O! The Irony!

"'Mrs. King participated in many different political causes, some of which involved associations with questionable people,' Mr. Domenech stated"

This from a guy whose father was the laision between the White House and CONVICTED FELON JACK ABRAMOFF himself.


It just doesn't get better than this. It just doesn't.

Posted by: James | March 23, 2006 04:50 PM

Continuing our "conversation"...

It's becoming apparent that there in fact may be a PATTERN of plagiarism by Domenech. In addition to apparently plagiarizing O'Rourke, Domenech seems to have copied material from Salon.com's Stephanie Zacharek (discovered by DKos contributer "silence"):

http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2006/3/23/152531/888/61#61

Posted by: Paul Curtis | March 23, 2006 05:00 PM

(Washington DC) The Washington Post's newest writer, Ben Domenech, defended his practice of making money selling U.S. Marine Corp themed mugs.

"No, I would never join the Marines," stated the 24-year old Washington Post writer, who recently apologized for calling civil rights leader Coretta Scott King a communist and faces accusations of plagerism. Until recently, Mr. Domenech sold mugs online bearing phrase: "Marine Sniper: You Can Run But You Die Tired,"

"Look, I support the Marines. I don't think you have to be in the Marines to make money off the Marines," stated Mr. Domenech, "You think all those people selling 'PornStar' shirts are in that business?"

Mr. Domenech's editor and publisher at the Washington Post were unavailable for comment.

Posted by: Ed | March 23, 2006 05:27 PM

Ms. Little, what exactly is YOUR definition of 'interactive'? It's now much more than 24 hours after this discussion started, there's more than 1200 comments on the main thread, and no response from WaPo staff at all!
At least imho this is not interactive, this is not a dialogue, this behavior can only be described as retreating into the shell. Again.

Posted by: Andy Ludwig a.k.a. Gray | March 23, 2006 05:30 PM

I am still trying to figure out why anyone would go to the web site of a national newspaper to read the rantings of someone that is already posting and accessible elsewhere on the Web.

If the Post doesn't endorse this "opinion," then why bother providing special access to it when anyone who wants to read such stuff can certainly freely go to the web site?

Posted by: Kevin | March 23, 2006 05:35 PM

(Washington DC) The Washington Post's newest writer, Ben Domenech, today defended his description of federal U.S. judges as being "worse then the KKK."

"Judges allow abortions," stated the 24-year old Washington Post writer, who recently apologized for calling civil rights leader Coretta Scott King a communist and faces accusations of plagerism.

"Unlike the KKK, they don't even use the vile pretense of skin color. They dismiss the value of all unborn lives, not just the lives of ethnic minorities."

Mr. Domenech also defended his description of Washington Post Dan Froomkin as a "a lying weasel-faced Democrat shill."

"I mean, come on, look at him," stated Mr. Domenech, "Tell me he doesn't look like a weasel or at least a ferret."

Mr. Domenech's editor and publisher at the Washington Post were unavailable for comment.

Posted by: Ed | March 23, 2006 05:38 PM

Does this site's award for "Best Employment Strategy" get retracted for hiring serial plagiarists like Ben Domenech?

Posted by: Eric R. | March 23, 2006 05:53 PM

(Washington DC) Washington Post.com Opinions editor, Hal Straus, recently defended the hiring conservative writer Ben Domenech. Mr. Domenech, the Washington Post's newest writer, is accused of having plagerized and publishing several articles while attending William and Mary University.

"When WP.com launched Opinions we said we wanted this new area to be about a variety of voices across a broad spectrum of political and cultural thought," Strauss stated. "We never said that it was about original thoughts or opinions. If our writers copy and paste from other writers, that's fine with me."

"Ben Domonech is an Internet pioneer," continued Mr. Strauss. "Ben is an accomplished writer and someone who is willing to challenge sloppy thinking even if, occasionally, he plagerizes it from other writers.

Washington Post publisher Caroline Little and exective editor James Brady were both unavailable for comment.

Posted by: ed | March 23, 2006 06:00 PM

James,

Got it in one bud.

The Post is neither liberally nor conservatively biased on a consistent basis. It is _class_ biased.

They pretty much are a stereotype. On cultural issues, they tend left. On economic issues, they tend right. And don't even get started on their Editorial staff, who's writing positively drip with "here's what the lowly peons should do".

So does Ignatius. And now they have Howell, who's disdain for readers is truly hilarious for an "Ombudsman".

I honestly believe no one there at the decision making level saw anything the slightest bit wrong with hiring an untalented rich guy's kid without much checking. After all, he came from the "right stock", and went to the "right6 schools".

I sincerely doubt that anything is goinbg to come from the massive reader complaints, other than another round of sneering Sundays from Lovey, and whining from Brady about how mean everyone is.

Posted by: John | March 23, 2006 06:05 PM

You are making terrible mistakes in strategy and execution.

If you want to hire a conservative blogger for balance, so be it. Couldn't you have found one that:

-wasn't a pseudo-racist?
-didn't have a history of plagiarism?
-wasn't so obviously lacking in intellectual curiousity?

More to the point, you must understand that you are under increased scrutiny from your readers.

Not only do they have the tools and market power, but you've also blown the biggest single building block of future success for all media businesses: trust.

Your readers are losing trust in you - fast.

I'm not just embarassed by your decision; I'm also startled by your almost total lack of managerial competence and lack of understanding of what the future driver of success as a publisher are.

Posted by: uh | March 23, 2006 06:06 PM

This is beyond surreal.

I can only conclude that the hiring of Ben Domenech was a scheme cooked up in the bowels of the Washington DC liberal establishment (or in the middle management of the Washington Post) to portray conservatism in the worst light possible.

Would be rather like hiring Louis Farrakhan to represent the Democratic Party perpective.

Posted by: phasis | March 23, 2006 06:16 PM

Unfortunately for the Post, you've managed to step in doo doo again, in your choice of Ben Domenech for a blogger.

I wish I could feel for you, but I find it hard to. Not after your previous debacles with Woodward and the Abramoff brouhaha.

Posted by: Barbara | March 23, 2006 06:34 PM

So, is Ben fired yet?

Posted by: Cynicor | March 23, 2006 06:41 PM

I admit to being flabbergasted - isn't there anyone at all at the Post that has the slightest clue about who and what are said on blogs ?
Did you really think that Redstate is credible ?

Isn't there someone you can ask for advice before you embarrass yourselves further ?

Posted by: Patrick ONeill | March 23, 2006 06:48 PM

It's a rather sad day when the Katharine Graham's newspaper feels it has to hire a Republican propagandist because Republicans think facts are biased. It's even sadder when the great minds that run Mrs. Graham's newspaper can't find anyone better to express conservative opinion in this country than an embittered young racist and serial plagiarist. Of course young Master Ben will, I'm sure, be joining the military soon to help out the cause he so believes in. Maybe in the future, conservative opinion could be represented in the Post by George Will, Charles Krauthammer, David Broder, Sebastian Mallaby, Robert Samuelson, Jim Hoagland, or Fred Hiatt....oh, wait a minute.
Or maybe the Post could really go out on a limb, reach beyond the Beltway establishment and hire the man who is, as near as I can tell, the last honest, lucid conservative in the country, Stephen Chapman of the Chicago Tribune.
Donnie Graham's stewardship of his mama's paper is the best argument for an inheritance tax since Paris Hilton was first photographed.

Posted by: Jim | March 23, 2006 06:49 PM

Really, I taught him that attribution is next to godliness (after cleanliness but before truthiness). I told him that cut and paste ended at kindergarten. I encouraged him to express himself through HIS words, not someone else's.

Oh, my head hurts.

Posted by: Ben's Father | March 23, 2006 07:06 PM

Are you aware of Ben Domenech's father's connections to Jack Abramoff? Apparently he was the Bush admin man whose job was making Jack happy. After Deborah Howell's debacle as regards Abramoff, is this really the message you want to send your readers? Really, hiring the offspring of an Abramoff crony is too low for words.

What a joke. I won't hold my breath waiting for an answer.

I'm also curious why the Post went out of its way to hire a racist. Why don't you just rename the paper the "Red State Post."

Posted by: MikeR | March 23, 2006 07:13 PM

My university students get an F for plagiarism. The F you should give has four other letters, Fired!

Posted by: The Plough and The Stars | March 23, 2006 07:17 PM

As an occasional reader of the Post, I do not much mind that you have created a new blog for Ben Domenech, however execrable his opinions or rhetoric. He has a right to say whatever, and you have a right to publish whatever.

But the issue of plagiarism is a journalistic sin. You must respond somehow, even to defend Mr. Domenech, or give up any pretense to self-respect. At least News of the World makes stuff up creatively.

Posted by: ChiTom | March 23, 2006 07:18 PM

I've never felt compelled to comment on a blog before, but is this Red State guy a joke? He can't write, he seems to be borderline racist, and he's basically an idiot with no understanding of the issues!

Makes me think this guy's a plant to make conservatives look bad.

There are a lot of great conservative bloggers out there, why in the heck did you hire this loser?

Posted by: Ted | March 23, 2006 07:19 PM

What a clown show your hiring process must be!

Posted by: Captain USA | March 23, 2006 07:20 PM

Ed: your faux news releases are fabulous! Keep 'em coming.

Little and Brady: if you haven't gotten the message yet, you *hired a plagiarist.* He lied to you, just as he stole from other writers. He misrepresented himself. You will have to fire him at some point. There is no way around this. You're in Jason Blair territory. For your sakes and ours, you must dump him right now and save at least some face. You cannot keep a documented plagiarist on-board and be taken seriously as a major newspaper.

Posted by: Gary Morris | March 23, 2006 07:22 PM

So, you've dumped 10 percent of your news-room staff and have picked up a serial plagarist, racist, virulent right winger. I guess this is what passes for journalism in the Bu$h regime. I bet Jeffrey Gannon/Guckert might be available as well. If he doesn't have any current assignations...I hear he's not a reporter. He should fit in with the new Washington Post very well. Who's the publisher these days? Dr. Josef Goebbels?

Posted by: steven | March 23, 2006 07:28 PM

Dear Mr. Brady why did you hire Ben Domenech when he is a known plagiarist and racist? Don't get that move sir.

Posted by: joe helgerson | March 23, 2006 07:30 PM

Perhaps if you had launched both a Red State and a Blue State blog we could have had a real discussion and nobody would have been angry enough to start background searches to find Mr. Domenech's plagiarism.

Now you should probably show him the door.

Posted by: Dennis in AZ | March 23, 2006 07:30 PM

At this point the absurdity is as much in piling on as in pointing out the obvious:

The Edsel was a better concept and sold more units.

I do wonder what Mr. Broder (and even Mr. Krauthammer) have said to you, on and off the record, regarding the placement of a non-degreed plagiarist at the vanguard of your public interaction.

Perhaps your vetting process could use some improvement. I understand Harriet Miers may have some availability. I'm sure she could offer her insight.

Posted by: Roadmaster | March 23, 2006 07:30 PM

Saw Red State and couldn't didn't bother to read all of the posts in this thread.

Special treatment for this one particular voice?

I don't do slanted media.

Baltimore Sun will have to do.

To think I have, on many occasions, defended your rag.

Shameful.

Posted by: smafdy | March 23, 2006 07:31 PM

Hey guys!

Thanks for this Red America thing, it's hilarious! This has been one of the funniest things to watch develop. What were y'all thinking? Geez, what a joke.

Now, I'll admit, WaPo still has some great journalism going on, but this is seriously so sad it's effing hilarious. And that is in itself is sad, but i digress.

Maybe y'all should have a quick refresher course on journalism ethics and "business 101".

Best,

Posted by: OnShakedown | March 23, 2006 07:33 PM

Kudos to "Ed" for his "Dateline: Washington DC" pieces on the "response" to Ben D's scandals....

Posted by: p.lukasiak | March 23, 2006 07:33 PM

Well, I see cowardice still rules with the Post.com team.

BTW - Your drop down link to this blog still points to the old location. Imagine how many BLATANTLY OBVIOUS BUGS COULD BE FIXED if you saved the wing-nut weregeld to Benny and hired another technical staffer! Or maybe paid your DC Metro staff to update DC Wire more than once a week?

Posted by: John | March 23, 2006 07:35 PM

Are we for real? This Ben guy has been shown to copy other people's work, and when he isn't doing that, he's busy writing about aborting black babies. Let's get away from this guy as quickly as possible, before we REALLY start dropping in the polls.

The Post should cancel this guy. He isn't part of MY Republican party.

Posted by: NervousRedState | March 23, 2006 07:36 PM

I just read at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/3/23/181857/404

some of the plagiarisms and obscene language that Domenech has engaged in. I'm outraged that the Washington Post would hire someone like him as a columnist. Are you intent in becoming a joke among national papers?

Posted by: Bernard Ortiz de Montellano | March 23, 2006 07:44 PM

Your new blogger, Ben Domenech, is a hack. He's the lowest of low forms among writers - a plagiarist - and there can be no quarter for plagiarism at ANY newspaper, let alone one of the country's most important/respected. It's completely appalling.

I suggest you go to Dailykos.com and check out examples of Mr. Domenech plagiarising, and I mean word for word, both Salon.com and P.J. O'Rourke. Stomach-turning grotesquery of the lowest order. I'm a writer myself, and I cannot tell you how much I despise a plagiarist. But I guess you probably are getting a darned good idea.

Listen, if you want a blogger from the left, I'm here for you. But I'd even do it from the right, if it meant stifling the "voice" of a voice-stealer.

Posted by: Nathan Hammersmith | March 23, 2006 07:45 PM

Ed, your stuff is great!

Posted by: Clayton | March 23, 2006 07:46 PM

Oy vey! Little Ben even ripped off the Post!

http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2006/3/23/152531/888/208#208

I don't think I even have to mention the word "irony."

What a world, what a world . . .

Posted by: Paul Curtis | March 23, 2006 07:47 PM

you couldn't be happy w/just a regular republican? you had to find yourself a fundie fanatic too! homeschooled, straight out of dobsenland, the whole 9 yds. now, who are you going to find to balance this out? an earth first anarchist? no middle of the roaders for the wapo!!!

i remember the good old days when republican just stood for independence, fiscal issues, etc. now it stands for coulterisms (moonbats, unhinged, completely unoriginal namecalling) constant references to biblical jargon, cheerleading slogans (pro life! as if that isn't partisan).

what a joke you all are. back here in the real world, aren't you wondering about your reputation?? are you believing the average american is going to think this flys?

do you have a boss? can they read?

Posted by: | March 23, 2006 07:50 PM

Schadenfreude! Wooohooo!

Posted by: メダカ | March 23, 2006 07:58 PM

Would you please explain the editorial mind set that leads you to hire a racist and a plagiarist.

Posted by: Buckhorn Okie | March 23, 2006 07:58 PM

And, with the mysterious hiring of one plagiarizing kook, the Washington Post destroys years and years of journalistic credibility.

Way to go, guys.

Posted by: Theo Potter | March 23, 2006 08:02 PM

"Are you aware of Ben Domenech's father's connections to Jack Abramoff?"

Aware? Why do you think Jim hired him?

Posted by: dave | March 23, 2006 08:17 PM

The Post really has to think about the fact that someday historians are going to study this time period with the same interest that they study the sixties or the Civil War. I imagine that someday they might look at what Ben D. writes in this newspaper and wonder what the hell the Washington Post was thinking.

Posted by: kg | March 23, 2006 08:20 PM

Your Red State writer has committed more plagiarism than Jayson Blair, as well as vicious racist remarks. Is he there to balance against sane writers on your increasingly odd staff?

Posted by: Jack Gladney, Illinois | March 23, 2006 08:27 PM

This is so hilarious. WaPo has really out-done it's self. That little flap over Deborah Howell was insignificant compared to this. We're eagerly waiting for the firing of Ben Domenech for starters.

He's got a rap sheet that's a mile long. We're going to compile it all into one file and man, WaPo does not want to be associated with the withering scorn this guy inspires.

Posted by: Balzac | March 23, 2006 08:31 PM

Surely someone here will come to Ben's defense.

*crickets*

Posted by: james | March 23, 2006 08:33 PM

I have just seen the Daily Kos story on Mr. Domenech. I am now laughing hysterically.

At you, collectively, publishers of the Washington Post.

You have become a laughingstock.

Posted by: eugene X | March 23, 2006 08:38 PM

Boy,right-wing Fred has been very quiet since Benny's plagiarism has exploded in the blogosphere.Maybe the Post hired benny because he came cheap.Maybe Fred is quiet because he's one of the few conservatives who still feels shame.

Posted by: Tom | March 23, 2006 08:41 PM

I have to say, in defense of the Post,
these are not the dumbest blogs on the web, and are in fact pretty typical of what you'd get from a random search. Not that anybody would want to read them, but then something better is never more than one click away.

Posted by: AA | March 23, 2006 08:47 PM

(Washington DC) Washington Post.com executive editor, James Brady, recently defended his decision to remain silent in response to criticism about Washington Post writer Ben Domenech.

"Let's just say that a lot of those commenter where shrill," stated Mr. Brady. "Liberals flooded the site and it was pretty ugly."

"Look," Mr. Brady continued, "I didn't put comments on my, I mean the Post's website so I'd have to talk with a bunch of shrill liberal losers. I didn't get into online publishing so I'd have to explain myself."

"It was pretty embarrassing," stated an Washington Post employee who wished to remain anonymous because he worked with Mr. Brady. "By not facing the comments, Mr. Brady made all of us look like cowards."

The Washington Post has recently come under fire for the hiring of 24-year old Domenech, who had no professional journalism experience. He did write for his university newspaper but is facing allegations that many of the articles he wrote for it were plagiarized from other sources.

Mr. Brady refused to answer when asked about the allegations of Mr. Domenech's plagiarism.

Washington Post publisher Caroline Little was unavailable for comment.

Posted by: ed | March 23, 2006 08:47 PM

Why do you give Ben Domenech a platform? Among other things, he appears to be a plagiarist.

Posted by: Dave Tuffs | March 23, 2006 08:49 PM

This issue goes well beyond the fact that the Post hired someone so obviously unqualified. This issue is that the Post thought all the qualifications that count are what they thought was a large audience, and a red-meat, red-state point of view. The Washington Post needs to apologize, and take a serious look at journalism. That's what your under-appreciated staff is trying to do.

But sheesh, it really is funny. He even plagiarized from the Washington Post itself! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2006/3/23/181857/404/167#c167

Posted by: Vaughan | March 23, 2006 08:50 PM

I admit that I dropped by this thread because of the link in Kos's story on what is indisputably a case of serious plagiarism on the part of your new columnist. But WOW, this is fun. I do not think it could get much worse for the Post.

But I digress...

I have two questions for the Post:

First, are you EVER going to address the complaints being raised in this thread?

Second, once you do, would you indicate your agreement/disagreement with this claim, one that gets at the heart of journalistic practice (something that the post has seriously lost sight of in this mess):

"That's three conservatives against the entire reporting staff of The Washington post along with the likes of Froomkin, Milbank, Malloy, Fisher."

I think the context isn't too difficult to piece together. The question is whether you agree that your reporters are "liberal" and in need of balance by "conservatives"?

(Hint: they are not "liberal" first and "journalists" after. They are "journalists," professionals. If they are accused of being liberal, it is because they in consultation with the editorial staff of the Post have pursued stories that redound to the discredit of the Bush administration. But that's specious, and you should know it (and have the courage to stand by it)).

I really really wish the Post would respond to your readers.

Posted by: | March 23, 2006 08:57 PM

I'd like to applaud the Post for hiring Ben Domenech.

What better way to discredit the incompetent theocratic ideologues we are now faced with than to represent their voice with a whiny, juvenile, extremist, racist, plagiarist fool. In once quick stroke, you've turned the term "Red State" into an embarrassing joke. Kudos!

You have also managed to clear up any illusions about the Post's capitulation to our corrupt Republican elite.

Congratulations (and good riddance) for a job well done.

Posted by: zota | March 23, 2006 09:02 PM

Ms. Little:

From Woodstein to Domenech. Nice work.

Posted by: | March 23, 2006 09:03 PM

When will comments be turned on at Ben's blog?

Or will you all continue to shield him until he decides to spend more time with his family?

Posted by: Phil McCracken | March 23, 2006 09:04 PM

Washington Post = P L A G I A R I S M

Nice branding...

Posted by: wtf | March 23, 2006 09:05 PM

I don't think I will ever be able to take Washington Post seriously from now on. This is sad, really. Who on earth in his right mind could decide that hiring this pitiful, brainwashed creature is a god idea? What was it that qualified Ben to write for Post? May be the fact that he is apparently a big Post fan…after all he plagiarized from Post in the past meaning he liked what he saw.

Posted by: Irene | March 23, 2006 09:05 PM

Zota,

What's really admirable about the Post's strategy to undermine the right's media bias meme is their willingness to sacrifice their credibility to do it.

Posted by: MFA | March 23, 2006 09:06 PM

If you are paying your new "Red State" blogger, Ben Domenech, by the word, will you be also paying for the words he steals from others?

"The most important costars in the Bond movies are the spy's toys. These films usually have the audience applauding for the stunts, and this episode of the superspy saga is no different."
Copyright 1999 Steve Rhode
http://us.imdb.com/Reviews/217/21786

"The most important co-stars in the Bond movies are the spy's toys. These films usually have the audience applauding for the stunts and this episode of the superspy saga is no different."
Ben Domenech, newly-hired Washington Post blogger
http://flathat.wm.edu/December031999/reviewsstory5.html

Posted by: Sue D'oh Nymh | March 23, 2006 09:12 PM

Fire him. Now. And don't try this again.

Posted by: Tim | March 23, 2006 09:29 PM

Holy cow, Domenech is an inflammatory racist and, it develops, a blatant plagiarist!

What genius thought it would be a good idea to hire this guy?

I can only assume he will be speedily un-hired, to limit the already-severe damage to the WaPo's stature.

I remember when this was a good newspaper. Pity.

Posted by: Rob Lewis | March 23, 2006 09:33 PM

Cowards. Gutless, gutless cowards.

BTW - Another bit of free advise on this "internets" thing, Jimbo and Little Caroline.

The web is 24/7. You don't have the luxury of only working bankers hours and waiting to hold the Friday staff meeting to make decisions or respond.

BTW - Looking forward to Lovey's upcoming Sunday "Ombudsman" column where she uses 95% of the word count to trash the readers for their comments, while meekly noting there might be an issue in the other 5%.

Posted by: John | March 23, 2006 09:38 PM

Dear Ms. Little:

You know that new "Red America" blog you guys have just started? How's that working out for you?

Posted by: RC | March 23, 2006 09:41 PM

Hey hi Phil McCracken!

I'm Rick O'shea

Spackle?

Posted by: rick | March 23, 2006 09:44 PM

Ben Domenech or whatever his name is, is a straight-up plagiarizer. Check out DailyKos or Eschaton for the links. If you want to hire somebody to counter Dan Froomkin, hire an intelligent, honest conservative who doesn't use lies, plagiarism, and name-calling to make his points.

I'm not sure if you could find such an honest mind in today's Republican party, but it would be a start. Of course, I don't think Froomkin is a liberal or a blogger, he simply collects headlines and checks facts about the people in power...who just happen to be Republicans.

The Washington Post should be ashamed of itself, hiring this no-talent nitwit. Think of all the talented reporters and bloggers out there who missed this opportunity because of this nitwit.

If I was the WP, I'd fire Ben Domenech and hire Glenn Greenwald instead. Now THAT is an honest conservative.

Posted by: Sage V.H. | March 23, 2006 09:48 PM

Ben may have connection to Abramoff via his dad, but there is no proof that Fromkin's third cousin is not involved in the same scandal.

Debbie Howell

Posted by: lib | March 23, 2006 09:49 PM

Hi, Ben! Glad to see that you're reading the comments here. You must be very frustrated that comments have been turned off on your own blog and you're unable to engage in an open dialogue with your readers.

Now that you have the microphone in an open forum, can you tell us all how you will defend your uncredited cut-and-paste of someone else's copyrighted material, and your presentation of it as your own?

Posted by: Sue D'oh Nymh | March 23, 2006 09:51 PM

what if i posted an entirely (apparently) accurate description of your new hire ben domenench as a plagiarist, a person who flirts with racist ideology, is a sexist creep, has recidivist religious views etc.

would that be OK? what if i further made the not-at-all-unreasonable judgment that his grammar was risible, something a bit unheard of for a major news publication?

what if, in doing so, i somehow worked the term "s.te.n.o su.e." into the mix? would that lessen the strength of my argument? make me a less worthy interlocutor for the post?

i'm wondering. it seems to me that language that is described as "abusive" is a bit of a slippery slope.

i join the commenter above in waiting for ms. howell to focus on profanity and inanity, not the vast majority of the thoughts posted above.

Posted by: robert green | March 23, 2006 09:52 PM

I'll second that call for hiring Glen Greenwald, unless the Post wants to get another parodyblogger and hire a real shill's shill: JimmyJeff GuckertGannon.

Posted by: teddy s. | March 23, 2006 09:53 PM

In todays post, Ben had a nice simile that I admired: "a man with a voice so deep that it makes Johnny Cash sound like a soprano. After seeing all the plagerism acusations here, I wondered if he could have actually coined that phrase himself.

Alas, no, twas "adapted" from this: "Ray sings in a flat, scary Country voice that makes Johnny Cash sound like a soprano…" From: 'Roctober'- Magazine #24, Oct. '01.

Too bad, it was the only thing I admired in the whole piece!

Posted by: Oyster | March 23, 2006 10:05 PM

Got any idea why newspapers are losing readers? We all had a pretty good idea about Congressional ethics, imagine what we think of your journalistic ethics now.

Posted by: Cullie | March 23, 2006 10:13 PM

I may be wrong, but how does pointing out opinions made by the blogmaster of RedState actually constitute an "attack" of any nature? Can you please explain to me how it is it an "attack" to remind someone of their prior public statements and urge either clarification or apology for their content? Mr. Domenech has some explaining to do, but in no way do I see raising these questions as inappropriate, much less an attack! Let's keep a little perspective here. If anyone had called a conservative icon of that era, someone like Mamie Eisenhower, a "communist", would questioning their logic also be construed as "an attack"? I think you owe us explanations on why this person was selected to represent a conservative viewpoint for one of the top newspapers in our nation.

Posted by: Jeffrey Callaway | March 23, 2006 10:20 PM

"Lissen to all the winey libs. Your all just afraid because Bens' going to bring the house every day! Your afraid to here the truth so just keep puting your fingers in your ears and yeling "I cant' here you!" as loud as you can! Your afraid of an onest debate because you just dont' have the brains to mach up with one of teh sharpest brians on the right! Id' feel sorry for you if I didnt' hate you so much."


Please don't feel sorry for me -- or hate me so much-- until you learn basic language mechanics and spelling.

Thanks,
Common College Prof

Posted by: Commoner | March 23, 2006 10:21 PM

Hey, is this 24 year old fount of wisdom related in any way to that other 20-something fount of wisdom who was trying to muzzle NASA PhDs?


Why aren't these fine upstanding patriotic Young Republicans doing a tour of duty or two in Iraq?

Posted by: Old Woman | March 23, 2006 10:26 PM

"Stick" says:

"Isn't that like punching the kid you can reach because you can't get near the guy who actually did you wrong?"

No, "Stick", it's not, but attacking Iraq for 9-11 is.

Posted by: Woody | March 23, 2006 10:34 PM

Dear Jim and Debbie,

Stick it where the sun don't shine!

http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2006/03/24/domenech_blog/

Love...

Posted by: dave | March 23, 2006 10:43 PM

Dear Ms. Little:

I'm trying to step back and put myself in washingtonpost.com's shoes.

You're in a radically new media environment that all of us are trying to understand. Your readers bring unprecedented skepticism to traditional media, which -- quite frankly -- it has largely earned by resting on its laurels and through more than a little arrogance. (Exhibit "A," all too often recently, has been the Post's own executives, and the recent behavior of folks like Bob Woodward. But that's another conversation...)

In any case, with the Internet, your readers have the tools to track down poor performance, hypocrisy, or plagiarism as never before. We expect interactivity. When we're told we're in a conversation, we assume that the same rules apply as elsewhere on the Internet: we can speak, and actually get a human response.

As major media outlets go, you've actually done a pretty good job of trying to adapt to the form. You've probably earned quite a few of those awards you're so proud of.

Now, we all know you've been under pressure by the right to "add balance," and it's clear from the Froomkin episode that important voices at the Post itself think you have a balance problem. (I completely question the premise, but that, too, is another post.)

So where do you go, to think out of the box? You go to one of the larger, apparently faster-growing right-wing Web sites. You find a voice that's built an audience, might attract younger readers, doesn't sound a bit like Will or Krauthammer. You find Ben Domenech.

But -- and this is where I just don't get it -- you don't vet the guy at all. You don't seem to know about his racist "Augustine" posts. You don't seem to know about his plagiarism. And for those of us who live on the Web, we can't help but shake our heads in wonder. Haven't these people ever heard of Google? If it could take the partisans at Daily Kos less than a half-hour to track down all those examples of Domenech's plagiarism -- including apparent theft from the Post itself -- how come nobody at the Post, with all its vaunted investigative resources, never thought to check him out?

This is where, really, nothing has changed from the print days. When you give someone a public forum this powerful, you need to do some vetting, some basic due diligence. If you don't, in 2006 someone else will do it for you, often with predictably bad consequences.

This is so obvious that I'm appalled to have to say it, but The Post -- dotcom or otherwise -- simply cannot keep a plagiarist on the payroll.

As far as bringing aboard a conservative blogger, or a new generation of voices, great. But don't do it to balance your news pages. As another poster has put it, if you truly believe your reporters are biased -- and I think that, by and large, that's nonsense -- fix the problem through better editing, staff selection, whatever.

Then, use washingtonpost.com's page to bring aboard a whole spectrum of voices, not just the hard right. Find a working-person blogger struggling to make ends meet in today's low-wage economy. Find a veteran from the Iraq war. Let David Brock or Eric Alterman face off with Bernard Goldberg once every few weeks. If you truly must seek out the new generation's Ann Coulter, as you've done with Domenech, then also go looking for the new generation's Bill Moyers.

Finally, while you're at it, question some of your assumptions about your active Web audience. Read the BlogAds survey (we're older, more accomplished than you think). Your predecessors in visiting with us just oozed contempt. Hopefully you'll learn from their catastrophic performance.

Posted by: Bill Camarda | March 23, 2006 10:46 PM

This guy, Domenech, who's now become one of the more infamous plagiarists on the Internet can't be offering a perspective that he can call his own, can he?

Surely, your newspaper can find more suitable rednecks and racists than this animal! So far, all he's done is to degrade your newspaper, and I really can't see George Will being in the same room with this fraud, but I could be mistaken!

If you tolerate plagiarists, what statement is the WaPo making? Are you advocating that young people going into journalism studies not worry about plagiarism inasmuch as papers like yours will hire them?

Posted by: Dushan | March 23, 2006 10:52 PM

Quote of the Day via Salon:

"The Post may be deaf to complaints about overheated rhetoric and insults to a civil rights hero, but the plagiarism and quote-fabrication charges can't be ignored. It's hard to imagine Domenech will survive this, but whatever happens next, the Post's failure to adequately vet its new hire in its fretful search for "balance" could damage its credibility substantially. For now it looks like the paper hired the love child of Janet Cooke and Donald Segretti."

Posted by: dave | March 23, 2006 10:54 PM

Domenech is a flagerent plagiarist and a political operative. What makes the opinion of political operatives news worthy? Asking for there opinion about politics is like asking mother what they think of their children.

Posted by: Former WP Reader | March 23, 2006 10:58 PM

Good on the Post for keeping this open

And if this blog is being linked to like Abramhoff is to Republicans, where is the articulate defense of Ben and his nnew job?

Posted by: daver | March 23, 2006 11:00 PM

Congratulations, Ben - the WaPo made a wise choice with Red America - and we at redstate.com are just proud to be part of the crowd that can say we knew you before you turned the Post upside down.

Posted by: krempasky | March 23, 2006 11:04 PM

ben "iamaplagerist" Domenech. Great pick there. If this was some lame attempt at non-partisan journalism you've really hit a homerun on this one.

Posted by: your latest hire is a hack...... | March 23, 2006 11:19 PM

Has anyone taken up Caroline on the "Please email us to report offensive comments." and sent her any of Domenech's work?

Good thing there isn't a "report plagerism" button on this site, otherwise the mail server might crash now that Domenech is posting here.

I actually came here to see if WaPo is addressing any of the alligations regarding Domenech, alas no new news yet. Maybe its time to shut the comments down again eh?

Posted by: Will | March 23, 2006 11:31 PM

(Washington DC) Washington Post.com publisher, Caroline Little, recently admitted that she did not fully understand the word "conversation" when she wrote that she wrote that she was starting "a series of periodic conversations with Washington Post readers."

"I thought a conversation meant that I would, like, talk and everybody else would listen," Ms. Little stated. "Readers apparently had a different definition."

"I'd like to apologize to my readers for not responding to any of their questions or complaints," she continued, "But really, what do you expect when you're so shrill? If I thought plagiarism was important, I would have said so."

"I hope readers don't take it personally," said a member of the Washington Post newsroom, who wished to remain anonymous because he didn't have permission to discuss internal Post matters. "She never listens to us, either. If she did, she wouldn't have hired Domenech"

"If someone had told me that I was expected to respond or listen to other people in a conversation," Ms. Little stated, "things would have been very different. Probably for my whole life."

Washington Post executive editor James Brady was unavailable for comment.

Posted by: ed | March 23, 2006 11:42 PM

Would it be illegal to set up a website that would allow you to bet on length of time until Ben is sacked?

Posted by: Vegas | March 23, 2006 11:50 PM

well, apparently, Little Debbie Howell has been getting so many complaints about Ben Cut'n'Paste that she has this on her autoresponder....

"The Post didn’t hire Domenech. The website, washingtonpost.com, and the paper are under different management. He will not write for the Post."

Now, Caroline, we know that WPNI has to fire Bennie as of yesterday. Might I suggest that WPNI would take Bennie's salary, and put it toward an ombudsman for WPNI itself --- Debbie Howell isn't gonna do it (despite her willingness to interfere with Dan Froomkin, who didn't write for the Post), and its obvious that the speed of the internet --- and the consistent bumbling of your operation --- demands a full time ombudsman who can keep this kind of thing from becoming...well...what it has already become, and is getting worse by the moment.

The internet doesn't sleep.

Posted by: p.lukasiak | March 23, 2006 11:57 PM

The Washington Post has sunk below the level of a supermarket tabloid by hiring Domenech. Do honesty, morals and competence no longer count for anything?

Posted by: Ellen bauder | March 24, 2006 12:00 AM

"There's one big intangible in all this: a paper's connection with its readers.

Readers who feel respected and who love their newspaper don't depart easily. If Post journalists write every story, take every photo, compose every headline and design every page with readers in mind, and the newspaper is printed well and delivered on time,
The Post will be fine."

Posted by: Do you not read your own paper | March 24, 2006 12:05 AM

Has he been fired yet?

Posted by: Dennis in AZ | March 24, 2006 12:06 AM

"Has he been fired yet?"

Dennis, you must mean Brady, right?

Posted by: Bruce in CA | March 24, 2006 12:25 AM

Aren't you ashamed of having hired a known pliagarist to write "Red America", instead of someone with more credibility?

Posted by: OCPatriot | March 24, 2006 12:31 AM

So... isn't plagiarism illegal, besides grossly unethical? Does the Washington Post condone rampant plagiarism from those on staff now?

Posted by: ChrisMD | March 24, 2006 12:38 AM

Ok, this now needs to be said: Jim Brady has to go.

Posted by: mike | March 24, 2006 12:39 AM

Just answer the questions, please:

"Who made to decision to start Red America? Why was it started? Will the post consider hiring a liberal progressive blogger? If not, why?"

They're quite reasonable.

Posted by: Sportin' Life | March 24, 2006 12:46 AM

Several more examples of Domenech's plagiarism here:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/3/24/01758/0999

I would guess you guys have already taken his keys away and shown him the door (I may mix metaphors, but they're MY mixed metaphors) -- but how are you going to explain this one?

Try to do what the White House does, and wait until late Fri afternoon...but it's really unavoidable. You guys are the laughingstock of journalism. Really sad. The name "Washington Post" really used to mean something -- in the 80s I thought you were the best paper in the country. Now, not so much.

Posted by: Post subscriber | March 24, 2006 12:51 AM

This Washington Post thing is rapidly becoming a blood bath. We've moved on from Domenech's funeral-day assertion that Coretta Scott King was a communist, or his comparison of the Supreme Court to the Klu Klux Klan. Those are small things. Now it's getting bad.

From Oregon Guy and fleshed out further by James at Your Logo Here -- who is himself on a spectacular Box Turtle Ben rampage -- we learn that some instances of Ben's much-vaunted homeschooled teen wonderism in college actually came from, well, flagrant plagiarism of published works.


...Ben's lyrical stylings on a real party are completely lifted from P.J. O'Rourke's "Modern Manners" - a chapter entitled "Real Parties." I should have known as this is one of the gifts my older brother gave me years ago that did not involve punching me in the nads.
O'Rourke, p.176: Office Christmas parties. Wine-tasting parties. Book-publishing parties. Parties with themes, such as "Las Vegas Nite" or "Waikiki Whoopee". Parties at which anyone is wearing a blue velvet tuxedo jacket.

BenDom: Christmas parties. Wine tasting parties. Book publishing parties. Parties with themes, such as "Las Vegas Nite" or "Waikiki Whoopee." Parties at which anyone is wearing a blue velvet tuxedo jacket.

O'Rourke: It's not a real party if it doesn't end in an orgy or a food fight. All your friends should still be there when you come to in the morning.

BenDom: It's not a real party if it doesn't end in an orgy or a food fight. All your friends should still be there when you come to in the morning.

(And more here here.)

Reader silence found another example, in which Domenech plagiarized an entirely different piece, this time from Salon:


From a Ben Domenech review of Bringing Out the Dead:

Instead of allowing for the incredible nuances that Cage always brings to his performances, the character of Frank sews it all up for him.
But there are those moments that allow Cage to do what he does best. When he's trying to revive Mary's father, the man's family fanned out around him in the living room in frozen semi-circle, he blurts out, "Do you have any music?"

From a review posted on salon.com, published about a week earlier:


Instead of allowing for the incredible nuance that Cage always brings to his performances, the character of Frank sews it all up for him. ... But there are those moments that allow Cage to do what he does best. When he's trying to revive Mary's father, the man's family fanned out around him in the living room in frozen semi-circle, he blurts out, "Do you have any music?"

Posted by: heyjimbrady | March 24, 2006 12:53 AM

Does the name Janet Cooke ring any bells?

I know that was a generation ago, but you'd think SOMEbody at your operation would remember her.

Posted by: Meteor Blades | March 24, 2006 01:30 AM

"Who made to decision to start Red America? Why was it started? Will the post consider hiring a liberal progressive blogger? If not, why?"

Posted by: Steph | March 24, 2006 02:17 AM

Gosh, the Washington Post is SO cutting edge, running an actual BLOG by a real conservative! I guess they had to book Ben when they couldn't get Mr. Powerline.

But please stop attacking the Post, people. If they want any kind of news to print, they have to go through channels to collect it, and Ben, through his father, is on the approved list. Yes, Ben's poorly educated, lazy, corner-cutting, rude, ill-mannered, a liar and a copycat too. Yes, that big P word. But that's no reason to attack his employers. After all, that's the sort of guy this adminstration thinks does a heckuva job.

Posted by: Realpolitik | March 24, 2006 02:37 AM

Kurtz writes:

Domenech has called cartoonist Ted Rall a "steaming bag of pus"; said Teresa Heinz Kerry looks like an "oddly shaped egotistical ketchup-colored muppet"; called Pat Robertson a "senile, crazy old fool"; and described Post.com's "White House Briefing" columnist Dan Froomkin as "an embarrassment."

The Kerry comment is almost clever. Who did he lift it from?

Posted by: | March 24, 2006 02:42 AM

Deborah Howell, declining to address Ben's vile rants under the pseudonym of Augustine and his repeated plagiarism, replies in her emails: "The Post didn’t hire Domenech. The website, washingtonpost.com, and the paper are under different management. He will not write for the Post."

That's a really funny one. This whole flap started because Howell went out of her way to write a column chastising career journalist Froomkin, because some people in the White House and associated right-wing Cargo Cult of Bush blogs had objected that Froomkin's no-b.s. fact-checking amounted to 'liberal bias'. Froomkin only writes for the post.com.

It was in reponse to Howell's complaints about Froomkin, and despite the fact that the post.com already has plenty of credentialled conservatives (both in print and on-line, like old Nixon/Ford hand Ron Nessen) that Jim Brady hired Ben Domenech -- home-schooled, racist, and ethically-challenged son-of-priviledge, whose daddy was the White House's contact man for his pal Jack Abramoff and money bag man for the indicted Tom DeLay. Ben is a true product of the inside-the-beltway right-wing Republican toxic and smug culture of nepotism and cronyism that now infuses the Post.

At this point there's no other way to put it: Deborah Howell is a hypocrite and a further disgrace to the Post. Yes this is personal, but it is not ad hominem -- it is not an attack to change the subject away from something else. The subject *is* Howell's track record of deceptions and dishonesty, and her complete unsuitability for the job of Ombudsman.

Posted by: mz | March 24, 2006 03:30 AM

"Who made to decision to start Red America? Why was it started? Will the post consider hiring a liberal progressive blogger? If not, why?"

And there are some other questions WaPo.com readers want to know:
Did the editors know they hired a foul-mouthed racist plagiarist? Was there any vetting process that should have prevented WaPO from hiring a foul-mouthed racist plagiarist? What will the consequences be, now that the responsible executives know that they hired a foul-mouthed racist plagiarist?

Posted by: Andy Ludwig a.k.a. Gray | March 24, 2006 03:46 AM

Salon has some good questions, too:
"Does the Washington Post intend to maintain journalistic standards in the brave new blogosphere? Or are those standards incompatible with the Post company's ambitions for WashingtonPost.com?"

Maybe this will get the attention of Ms. Little and other executives, since it leads to the economical consequence of this new blog. Do you really want to exchange the values the famous trademark Washington Post stands for (courageous, fact-based journalism) for the nonvalues represented by Ben Domenech (smearing, racism, plagiarism)? Imho that's like Prada starting to sell whoopee cushions...

Posted by: Gray | March 24, 2006 04:07 AM

And who will the WaPo, with its impeccable judgment, hire to balance out Lesile Morgan Steiner - Archie Bunker?


Come home, WaPo. You will be welcomed.

Posted by: WaPo twilight zone | March 24, 2006 04:18 AM

how does getting Ben Domenech, a former Republican operative and founder of a raging conservative frequently offensive blog, who personally has made several clearly over the line remarks and who tends to lower the level of discourse to the Malkin-Coulter name-calling level, "balance out" Dan Froomkin? Froomkin may be sort of liberal, or liberal-leaning, but what has truly riled up the conservatives is that he checks facts and links to them. Domenech can't do that, because facts don't tend to go the conservatives way much. The post's kowtowing to conservative complaining in offering a "fair and balanced" perspective is pathetic, and I wish they'd just try to get more actual journalists, who want to analyze facts, as opposed to satisfying constituencies.

how the mighty have fallen.

Posted by: Noah | March 24, 2006 04:58 AM

Out of curiosity, I compared the bios of Domenech and Ana Maria Cox. As Cox states, she "had a long, disastrous career in mainstream media before being forced into the shallow waters of the blogosphere." OK, Ben only has had a short, disastrous career in mainstream media so far, so it's questionable if he would be employed by Gawker Media.
It's that what WaPo.com wants, sink below the level of Gawker?
Sic transit gloria Post.

Posted by: Gray | March 24, 2006 05:48 AM

Don't misunderestimate me: Gawker is great, especially Wonkette, but it's a totally different business from the Post. And they surely won't allow a known plagiarist to blog for them.

Posted by: Gray | March 24, 2006 06:06 AM

I grew up with the Washington Post, and have always revered it as the gold standard for journalism. The Janet Cooke debacle was unfortunate, but no institution is perfect. But what were you thinking when you signed Ben Domenech?

I couldn't care less that he's "conservative." I read every Op Ed in the Post every single day, and have for over 30 years. I do care - and can't believe you don't - that he's a racist, bigot, and intellectual thief. Please don't tell me you couldn't find a legitimate conservative journalist if that was your intent. Somebody there was either lazy or simply malicious.

A great newpaper has lost its way. If the run up to the Iraqi war didn't prove that, this did. Now go and find whoever hired this serial plagarist, pat him or her on the back, and say proudly, "You're doing a great job, Brownie!"

Nice job, Postie.

Posted by: Al | March 24, 2006 07:24 AM

(big hat tip on this one to commenter TedSanFran over at Firedoglake.com for finding this tidbit)

Well, it seems like The Flat Hat, the student publication at the College of William and Mary that Ben D. wrote/plagiarized for, is more concerned than the Washington Post about plagiarism. They are now putting editors notes on articles by Ben D. that have evidence of being plagiarized.... to wit:

"Editor's note: It has been brought to the attention of The Flat Hat that Ben Domenech, a writer for The Flat Hat from 1999 to 2001, copied from and failed to cite sources in several articles. The Flat Hat is currently investigating these allegations.

If you have any information about other articles that contain copied material, please e-mail the editor at flthat@wm.edu."

(see http://flathat.wm.edu/September031999/beyondtheburg.html )

Compare and contrast the reaction of a small college paper to the mighty Washington Post. Lots of people spent much of yesterday bringing Ben D's plagiarism to the Post's attention -- but they've ignored it. Meanwhile, apparently The Flat Hat acted as soon as they were confronted with the rather compelling evidence about Ben D.

Kudos to The Flat Hat, for upholding the highest principles of journalism. William and Mary isn't that far from DC, so perhaps Brady, Harris, Little, and Howell could avail themselves of the opportunity to take a refresher course in Journalistic Ethics...

(cross posted over at the post.blog announcement of Red America thread)

Posted by: p.lukasiak | March 24, 2006 07:43 AM

WaPo has now become a rag. Next, they'll be hiring Coulter and/or Malkin for "balance".

Punish them for it! Unsubscribe! Tell your friends and acquaintances to unsubscribe and why! Discourage people to get a subscription!

Tell advertisers that they are associating their good name with a tabloid!

Hit WaPo where it hurts: at the bottom line.

In my entire career as a risk manager, I have never seen a company so determined to hurt its franchise.


Posted by: Devil's Advocate | March 24, 2006 07:59 AM

I can't prove this, but I'd be willing to bet that many of these comments are being put up here by the same person under different names.

Posted by: Fred | March 24, 2006 08:05 AM

What's sad about this is when WaPo acknowledges this disaster it will miss the point and will decry the savagery of liberal bloggers. YOU made your bed Post, now lie in it.

Posted by: erik28com | March 24, 2006 08:10 AM

Yer doin' a helluva job, Caroline!

Posted by: Squinty-eyed Chimp | March 24, 2006 08:20 AM

Fred:

One blogger posting a million times or a million bloggers posting once. Does this alter the truth? Seems your boy Ben likes to post under a variety of names - that doesn't stop the nature of what he is from showing through.

Looking forward to your efforts to spin this.

Suggestion: Try the "it wouldn't be so, if God hadn't ordained it" angle. Mysticism is big with you guys.

Posted by: smafdy | March 24, 2006 08:26 AM

You moonbats ought to leave Ben Domenech a lone. He's really just a kid and it is quite unbecoming to see him savaged this way. If you want to savage a conservative, by all menas try me at:

http://scrutator.net

Posted by: Leonidas | March 24, 2006 08:30 AM

Leonidas:

No one is "savaging" him because he's a "conservative". He's getting his just comeuppance because he' a plagarizing racist (is this the new definition of "conservative? Oh yeah, we'd have to add draft dodging, pandering, borrow-and-spend, cowardly, chicken hawk, bible thumping, turncoat, hypocrite - now THAT'S "conservative").

As for "savaging" you at your blog, you're simply not that attractive.

Posted by: Smafdy | March 24, 2006 08:41 AM

We don't care about you, sruwho. And we wouldn't care about Domenech or 299 other fanatic repub bloggers either, if not for the fact that Bennyboy was hired by WaPo.com and thus sends the reputation of the institution WaPo down the gutter. That's the point.

But, alas, "The Times can lead the way back to trust -- if its publisher will."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A42231-2003Jun10?language=printer
And WaPo.com's executives can do that, to. All that is needed is they stick to the basic principles of the Post and stop giving a plagiarist with racist ideas the opportunity to spread his spin under the umbrella of washingtonpost.com.

Posted by: Gray | March 24, 2006 08:51 AM

Please fire and publicly condemn the plagiarist.

Posted by: Jos. K | March 24, 2006 08:56 AM

Wow! I marvel at the liberal mob in full throated cry. This is like fox hunting -- packs of single minded dogs, and loud incoherent noise. Goodness.
While the plagiarism charges play out, (one hopes Senator Biden is offering the benefit of his experience) perhaps we should look at how all this came to pass. You may recall the gargantuan response to the Ombudsman over the semantics of whether Abramoff contributed to Democrats. Then there is the worry of the WaPo reporters that Froomkin is being mistaken for a journalist. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_12/007762.php
Between the attacks on the Ombudsman, and Froomkin parading as a source of news, a right-wing blogger is inevitable as a counterbalance. Considering how long it took to find one, I have to guess that Domenech is the only "name" blogger that is willing to take the verbal abuse sure to follow....as this avalanche of protest demonstrates. If he isn't professionally pure, I'd venture to say that because it's all you people deserve. I love the part where he's called a racist for labeling Ms King a "communist". If that's valid, then certainly every liberal to call folks in the administration "nazi" or "fascist" is racist as well. How bizzare.
Meanwhile, back to Froomkin. I challenge you people to find a kind word he's written about Bush. Satire and sarcasm don't count. The really funny part, is the claim that Froomkin is impeccably sourced. Well duh..... his column is merely a roundup of other people's writing. He's just a guy sitting in an office pulling quotes to fit his worldview, which is undeniably leftist. If the political reporters at the Post consider him listless and liberal, one would think that was definitive. Reporters mind you, not opinionists.
At this juncture, I won't be terribly disappointed if Domenech continues. The reaction he generates is worth it. This sort of reflex after all, is why Republicans win elections. Heh.

Posted by: Shooter242 | March 24, 2006 09:07 AM

Has anyone noticed that this play was lifted from the Cheney/Rove/Cabal handbook?

Think about it:

1. Commit the most inane, reckless, boneheaded maneuver imaginable.

2. Ostensibly invite public discourse...

3. ...but don't say anything of substance (or anything at all, for that matter).

3. As long as no one breaks ranks, everyone's job is safe.

Let's see: they have the congress, the supreme court, the presidency, and now the fourth estate – who'da thunk it? (lower case intended).

I'm sure there is no god, 'cause if there was, he'd be helping us.

Posted by: smafdy | March 24, 2006 09:08 AM

The meme Kurtz is pushing is that the editors of the William and Mary paper are at fault - writing that Ben Domenech has said they inserted additional material into his reviews. But that doesn't explain the plagiarism he submitted to the national review does it? Remember its not the crime its the cover up and excuses that get people (Newspapers) into real trouble. Cut your loses and fire the loser. Not only is he a plagiarist - he is also a liar.

Posted by: James | March 24, 2006 09:12 AM

"Editor's note: It has been brought to the attention of The Flat Hat that Ben Domenech, a writer for The Flat Hat from 1999 to 2001, copied from and failed to cite sources in several articles. The Flat Hat is currently investigating these allegations.

If you have any information about other articles that contain copied material, please e-mail the editor at flthat@wm.edu."

http://flathat.wm.edu/September031999/beyondtheburg.html

This college paper has better standards and more self-respect than The Washington Post.

Posted by: mz | March 24, 2006 09:20 AM

Shooter242:

"...back to Froomkin. I challenge you people to find a kind word he's written about Bush..."

Okay, so you give us some kind words about George W. Bush.

Back them up with facts (we need to know the source of the facts so that we can judge their veracity). Go ahead. I dare you. Try to be objective and intellectually honest. Try not to slant.

Better yet, do a balance sheet of every good and bad thing Bush has done (again - back it with facts, etc.), and then try to say something nice about him.

The point is, if you were a reporter, what would you be reporting? If you want to report about the "good" stuff, you will have to resort to Limbaugh/Hannity/O'Reiley/Fox News tactics. That's exactly what the WaPo has done.

Exactly what good do you see in this guy (Bush or Dominech)?

Posted by: | March 24, 2006 09:23 AM

Posted by: James | March 24, 2006 09:12 AM

James -- that's hilarious, surely not even Kurtz is that stupid? Got a link?

Posted by: mz | March 24, 2006 09:26 AM

"I challenge you people to find a kind word he's written about Bush."

It's not Froomkin's job to write "kind words" about Bush. He has to journalize what's written in the www about Bush, the prez (not W, the buddy). He's doing this well, and he's quoting rightwing publications, too, when they're writing something relevant. You would be able to find kind words about Bush in Froomkin's column if this presidency wouldn't be such an utter failure. WaPo can't make good news up (at least, it shouldn't). If you want some, look for another reality.

Posted by: | March 24, 2006 09:27 AM

Check out Kurtz
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/23/AR2006032301991.html

Posted by: James | March 24, 2006 09:30 AM

Uh...Shooter. In the immortal words of The Daily Show's Rob Cordry...

"We have to balance for the facts, because the facts have an obvious anti-Bush Admin agenda!"

Posted by: John | March 24, 2006 09:43 AM

If you want to savage a conservative, by all menas try me at:

http://scrutator.net

Posted by: Leonidas

--------

Leonidas, you're so cute and desperate for attention!

This plagiarism is indefensible. Those on the right should keep their dignity and condemn this stealing just like everyone else --- have you no honor?

WaPo, when will you be posting his resignation letter? From what source do you think he'll crib it?

Posted by: Slim | March 24, 2006 09:47 AM

Ha! The Post made Kurtz do a PR job on this kid! Bet he feels like he earned his journalism striped now, fluffing this kid's image.

Posted by: Taniwha | March 24, 2006 09:54 AM

For those who might not want to cut and paste the link here is the relevant comment from Kurtz:

"Late yesterday, the liberal Web sites Daily Kos and Atrios posted examples of what appeared to be instances of plagiarism from Domenech's writing at the William & Mary student paper. Three sentences of a 1999 Domenech review of a Martin Scorsese film were identical to a review in Salon magazine, and several sentences in Domenech's piece on a James Bond movie closely resembled one in the Internet Movie Database. Domenech said he needed to research the examples but that he never used material without attribution and had complained about a college editor improperly adding language to some of his articles."

To Ben Domenech: Notice that this is how it is done you attribute the material correctly and place it within quotation marks. That is so easy even a home schooler like you should be able to handle it.

Posted by: James | March 24, 2006 10:03 AM

We Must Defend.
By: Erick � Section: News

It's true. Ben Domenech is Augustine. And I stand behind him 100%. He has said nothing filled with racism or hate, or bigotry. In fact, Ben has been a leader in keeping those he dubs the "evilcons" off RedState. Unbeknownst to all of you, RedState continually self-polices and purges its own ranks of those who might be allies, but are too filled with hate to function in the internet society we choose to create. We would not without Ben's insistence at the creation of RedState be so self-policing.

Ben is accused of being a racist, gay, homophobe, an incestuous lover of his own mother, a partisan, evil, and now a plagarist. He is, according to the left, a right wing Stephen Glass who gets his jollies off with his mother. Only Stephen Glass could actually make that up -- or a jealous group of haters. The lies told, from charges of plagarism to ties to Jack Abramoff are hyperbolic lies. There are no facts or truths related to any of these charges. They are meant to destroy a good and decent human being because of hate and jealousy.

Those blogs attacking the Washington Post and Ben are so hate filled and envious, they refuse to accept Froomkin as one of their own. That's one reason they continue to lose the debate -- the reality based community denies reality. It's another reason they are disingenous in this argument. Horror of horrors they now have to share the Washington Post's blog with Ben. How terrible.

For a group of people who yell at my side saying we censor them, jail them, and otherwise silence them, who now is censoring, silencing, and viciously, irrationally attacking? It's not Ben. It's not me. it's not my side. His WaPo posts have been measured, reasonable, and pointed. In fact, no one on the other side has bothered to take on his posts -- they are too busy attacking Ben and his family.

In the process these people are shooting in the foot bloggers across the board -- shutting down opportunities to advance into the mainstream media that many of us on the left and right would otherwise have. Here is a guy who got started in the blogosphere and moved toward the mainstream media only to get savagely assailed from the other side. Should these people succeed, how many bloggers from either side will ever again get so far? I would suspect none -- not when there are people closer to the media who would fit the bill. The media, already skeptical of both the left and right side of the blogosphere, gets to watch us all tear each other apart over something that would otherwise be insignificant. What media company would want to take the risk of a blogswarm? And the media gets to reaffirm its own self-image as the rational arbiters of news and opinion -- clearly 1606 must be defeated. Look at this example as another reason why -- bloggers are too immature to handle such freedom -- they must be regulated.

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. But that's all the opponents want - just enough to sabotage a career, though in the process they will sabotage themselves. Facts have no meaning. Only impressions have any bearing on this. The charges of plagarism are false, meant to bring down a good and honest man. The presented facts to prove plagarism are specious -- products of shoddy work. One could easily think the producers of 60 Minutes II were behind them.

Facts have never been debate winners among the haters. This is another example. But we on the right? Why are we silent when one of our own is being savagely attacked as a racist, gay, Puerto Rican homophobic plagarizer who sleeps with his mother when not in bed with his dad and Jack Abramofff? Why are we silent? We should not be, even if it costs us to defend Ben. Ben has done more and contributed more to our community than many of us, whether at RedState or elsewhere. We must not stay silent. We must defend our own. We must defend Ben. He has done nothing wrong. Nothing.

Ben Domenech deserves our full advocacy and defense. He has done nothing wrong and does not deserve urban legends about his wrong doing solely because of the lies of those who are jealous of his success. Should the other side win, they will be emboldened. And should they win, one of our own who has done no wrong will be immeasurable hurt by the hate, lies, and jealousy of those who would just as easily do it to you or me.

We must defend Ben.
Print This Story
Mar 24th, 2006: 00:40:44

Full discussion: http://www.redstate.com/story/2006/3/23/22434/5436

Posted by: | March 24, 2006 10:07 AM

Thanks for the link!

Kurtz, the journalistic limbo GOP man -- how low can his principles go?

I have a strong feeling he's going to seriously regret having published that piece without calling the editors of the W&M student paper for comment...

And note that he left out:

1. Comparing the Supreme Court to the KKK.

2. About a dozen other identified instances of clear plagiarism.

3. The allegedly made-up AP/Boston Globe article on his website.

I'm curious to see what E&P writes today...

Posted by: mz | March 24, 2006 10:18 AM

So Ben Domenech represents good Republican evangelical values. Of course, stealing and lying are not Christian values. Thanks for exposing the lack of ethics on the radical right fringe. It is amazing that the WaPo has sacrificed all credibility and integrity for the sake of the current administration and the radical values of the far, far right

Posted by: Constitutionalist | March 24, 2006 10:26 AM

By hiring Ben Domenech the Washington Post is sending itself, a legitimate newspaper, back to the days of yellow journalism. True, this move garners publicity? But is this the kind of publicity you really want? Do you really want to become a newspaper reknown for its acceptance of plagiarism, low journalist standards and lack of quality? I hope not.

Posted by: Liz | March 24, 2006 10:28 AM

At least Kurtz answered to the complains, that's more than can be said about Mr. Brady or Ms. Little. Still, even Kurtz couldn't explain why WaPo.com had to hire a former Bush admin aide from the right side of the GOP to provide the conservative point of view. All recent news seem to indicate that real conservatives are less than happy with the policies of the Bush administration. Wouldn't someone like, say, John Cole, be more appropriate for the job?

Posted by: Gray | March 24, 2006 10:30 AM

Even Oprah had the good sense to dump James Frey. The WaPo should follow her example and dump Ben Domenech.

Posted by: WaPo reader, until recently | March 24, 2006 10:31 AM

What happened to the Washington Post? Seriously, what happened? You have no credibility left.

Posted by: Huh? | March 24, 2006 10:36 AM

why would you hire a racist? Geez louise...don't you people vet who you hire? This Ben guy is what make Republicans look bad to the rest of America. He makes us all look like racist homophobes....and in reality, most of us are just homophobes....

j.

Posted by: James Carroll | March 24, 2006 10:40 AM

p.lukasiak-

Well I'm glad someone is taking time to respond to my posts, since the Post is not.

Re: Abramoff and contributions, what evidence is there that Abramoff or anyone under his direct supervision directed any money to Dems? I will not say there is not, but merely say that I have not seen it. I have seen copies of Abramoff documents in the Post that include Democratic lawmakers in a list, but no where in the coverage have I yet seen or read a credible account that Abramoff or any of his proxies *actually decided* to push for money to Dems. All I have seen is a list. If anything, I interpret that list as a tool to be used to ensure there were fewer contributions to Dems in the future.

If there's a something you can link to, fire away and I'll revise my position.

Isn't it nice that the Post created this citizen-journalist outlet for its readers?

Posted by: Ben, but not that Ben or the other not-Ben | March 24, 2006 10:43 AM

To Huh: The answer is that Katherine Graham died and what started as a slow declin afer that under the leader ship of her son Donald has accelerated to light speed under the guidance of Current Publisher Boisfeuillet Jones, Jr. Where Graham was mindful of the public good that a genuine newspaper serves and took that responsibility seriously. Boisfeuillet Jones, Jr. is concerned only to make money and will toady up to those in power so as not to alienate them. One can aim one's venom at individual "journalists" but the rot starts at the top

Posted by: James | March 24, 2006 10:45 AM

Anyway, if this writing thing doesn't work out at the Post, Domenech can get other work. He can be promoted to Managing Editor. He can run FEMA. Chair the World Bank. Design an occupation of Iran.

Maybe he can get Bush to appoint him to take over Coretta's role in America's black liberation movement. He can edit NASA's climatology reports. Run the Office of Unusual Opportunity for Bush Cultists on K-Street.

Or, of course, you know, he could enlist and go catapult the propaganda in Iraq.

Posted by: deben | March 24, 2006 10:48 AM

"I consider myself a conservative blogger but not a Bush loyalist." Ben Domenech

Not a loyalist? For heaven's sake, he worked for the Bush administration! His father still works for the Bush administration. And we all know from countless examples how much this administration tolerates employees who aren't absolutely loyal. We have to simply believe this unproven statement and not think that this guy would say about ewerything to keep being nicely paid for blogging he used to do for free?
Sure, and Zell Miller is still a Dem loyalist, too.

Posted by: Gray | March 24, 2006 10:58 AM

Wow, what a joke. I've been looking for some good national media outlets to keep myself informed. Well, now I know to avoid the Washington Post altogether (unless I want a laugh) and I'll be sure to share this with all my friends and family.

Hiring someone who plagWow, what a joke. I've been looking for some good national media outlets to keep myself informed. Well, now I know to avoid the Washington Post altogether (unless I want a laugh) and I'll be sure to share this with all my friends and family.

Hiring someone with a history of plagiarism going back to his college news paper days? Oh, and he recommends that we should kill black babies so that they won't be a drag on society, too? And... oh never mind. This is a moronic decision of such epic proportions that I'm not even going to waste another minute (or dime) on this "news"paper or its blogs.

If this is what passes for journalism in this country, I'm moving to Canada.

Posted by: Ken | March 24, 2006 10:59 AM

I'm curious why the Post hasn't responded. One would think they would have learned after the Deborah Howell fiasco.

Posted by: David | March 24, 2006 11:03 AM

Wow, what a joke. I've been looking for some good national media outlets to keep myself informed. Well, now I know to avoid the Washington Post altogether (unless I want a laugh) and I'll be sure to share this with all my friends and family.

Hiring someone who plagWow, what a joke. I've been looking for some good national media outlets to keep myself informed. Well, now I know to avoid the Washington Post altogether (unless I want a laugh) and I'll be sure to share this with all my friends and family.

Hiring someone with a history of plagiarism going back to his college news paper days? Oh, and he recommends that we should kill black babies so that they won't be a drag on society, too? And... oh never mind. This is a moronic decision of such epic proportions that I'm not even going to waste another minute (or dime) on this "news"paper or its blogs.

If this is what passes for journalism in this country, I'm moving to Canada.

----------------------

Wait a minute, my words are an exact copy of a previous poster's! Maybe the Post will give me a job too, instead of deleting this post for being redundant.


Posted by: Cynicor | March 24, 2006 11:07 AM

Some people have taken issue with an old two-line comment of mine on RedState.com where I referred to Coretta Scott King as a Communist on the day after her funeral.

Was that comment made sixty years ago, or six years or, maybe, six weeks ago? Are you will to speak the truth and say she was not a communist?

Posted by: R. Orr | March 24, 2006 11:09 AM

It would appear that Ben Domenech is a plagiarist.

Thanks to Oregon Guy and anon, we find out that Ben's lyrical stylings on a real party are completely lifted from P.J. O'Rourke's "Modern Manners" - a chapter entitled "Real Parties." I should have known as this is one of the gifts my older brother gave me years ago that did not involve punching me in the nads.

O'Rourke, p.176: Office Christmas parties • Wine-tasting parties • Book-publishing parties • Parties with themes, such as "Las Vegas Nite" or "Waikiki Whoopee" • Parties at which anyone is wearing a blue velvet tuxedo jacket

BenDom: Christmas parties. Wine tasting parties. Book publishing parties. Parties with themes, such as "Las Vegas Nite" or "Waikiki Whoopee." Parties at which anyone is wearing a blue velvet tuxedo jacket.

O'Rourke: It's not a real party if it doesn't end in an orgy or a food fight. • All your friends should still be there when you come to in the morning.

BenDom: It's not a real party if it doesn't end in an orgy or a food fight. All your friends should still be there when you come to in the morning.
And on and on it goes. 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.

Posted by: arurry | March 24, 2006 11:11 AM

It would appear that Ben Domenech is a plagiarist.

Thanks to Oregon Guy and anon, we find out that Ben's lyrical stylings on a real party are completely lifted from P.J. O'Rourke's "Modern Manners" - a chapter entitled "Real Parties." I should have known as this is one of the gifts my older brother gave me years ago that did not involve punching me in the nads.

O'Rourke, p.176: Office Christmas parties • Wine-tasting parties • Book-publishing parties • Parties with themes, such as "Las Vegas Nite" or "Waikiki Whoopee" • Parties at which anyone is wearing a blue velvet tuxedo jacket

BenDom: Christmas parties. Wine tasting parties. Book publishing parties. Parties with themes, such as "Las Vegas Nite" or "Waikiki Whoopee." Parties at which anyone is wearing a blue velvet tuxedo jacket.

O'Rourke: It's not a real party if it doesn't end in an orgy or a food fight. • All your friends should still be there when you come to in the morning.

BenDom: It's not a real party if it doesn't end in an orgy or a food fight. All your friends should still be there when you come to in the morning.
And on and on it goes. 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.

Posted by: arurry | March 24, 2006 11:11 AM

It would appear that Ben Domenech is a plagiarist.

Thanks to Oregon Guy and anon, we find out that Ben's lyrical stylings on a real party are completely lifted from P.J. O'Rourke's "Modern Manners" - a chapter entitled "Real Parties." I should have known as this is one of the gifts my older brother gave me years ago that did not involve punching me in the nads.

O'Rourke, p.176: Office Christmas parties • Wine-tasting parties • Book-publishing parties • Parties with themes, such as "Las Vegas Nite" or "Waikiki Whoopee" • Parties at which anyone is wearing a blue velvet tuxedo jacket

BenDom: Christmas parties. Wine tasting parties. Book publishing parties. Parties with themes, such as "Las Vegas Nite" or "Waikiki Whoopee." Parties at which anyone is wearing a blue velvet tuxedo jacket.

O'Rourke: It's not a real party if it doesn't end in an orgy or a food fight. • All your friends should still be there when you come to in the morning.

BenDom: It's not a real party if it doesn't end in an orgy or a food fight. All your friends should still be there when you come to in the morning.
And on and on it goes. 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.

Posted by: arurry | March 24, 2006 11:11 AM

WaPo responded only in the form of Howard Kurtz' article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/23/AR2006032301991.html

Brady seems to be AWOL, we don't know from where he relayed his comments to Kurtz, maybe via telephone from Tahiti. Ms. Howell is MIA, her latest posting didn't include a single reference to any reader's complaint, not to speak of a quote. She seems to have reached her hidden goal by hijacking the ombudsman's position into just another opinion column. Dunno about Ms. Little, I guess she suffered a serious case of PSD after writing a story on her won two days ago. They are all doin a heckuva job.

Posted by: Gray | March 24, 2006 11:13 AM

"Domenech said he needed to research the examples but that he never used material without attribution and had complained about a college editor improperly adding language to some of his articles."

It's too bad Kurtz couldn't practice some journalism skills and call the college editor for comment. I guess he just wants to enable Domenech to blame someone else. Eventually, I suppose, Brady will call it a "silly comment" and things will move forward.

Kurtz should do an article that answers these questions:

Who made to decision to start Red America? Why was it started?

Will the post consider hiring a liberal progressive blogger? If not, why?

Posted by: | March 24, 2006 11:17 AM

Countdown to a scalping...

This dude's days are obviously numbered.

It'll probably happen sometime today.

And when it does, we on the left will chuckle and continue on about the work that we have to do.

There are bigger fish to fry, folks. Like the war criminals that occupy the White House.

This is only a small victory for truth and ethics, meaningless in the big picture. We can only hope the Post will use this opportunity to veer away from its dangerous slide into ignominy.

www.monkey.org/~ethan

Posted by: ethan | March 24, 2006 11:19 AM

ePlagiarism iTheft. A product of the rob-o-sphere. Copyright Kleptomania. Diss Honesty. Poop-on-the-Post Cut-and-Plage Journalism.

There's got to be a name for it.

Nice hiring decision, boys.

Posted by: What Should we call it? | March 24, 2006 11:28 AM

Why was Domenech's last post pulled from the Red America blog? Was it plagiarized?

Posted by: Steph | March 24, 2006 11:40 AM

From Kurtz today:

Jim Brady, executive editor of Washingtonpost.com, said . . . his goal "is to provide voices from as many perspectives as possible".

So, Mr. Brady, when can we expect a "Blue America" blog?

Eventually you have to answer the question.

Posted by: Paul Curtis | March 24, 2006 11:49 AM

The irony (and a delicious one at that) is that in Kurtz's other column he takes the NY Times to task for being scammed again. Shouldn't he be taking himself and his paper to task for that sin?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2006/03/24/BL2006032400623.html

Posted by: James | March 24, 2006 11:50 AM

As a professional copyeditor there are about a thousand things I want to say to The Washington Post right now, but I'll just pick three:

* Plagiarism is theft of intellectual property. It is a crime that undermines all public discourse completely.

* You have the chance to save face by suspending Mr. Domenech while you investigate the allegations of plagiarism. At the same time, you can start over with your "balancing" experiment and do it properly this time. We, the readers, will forgive you and give you a second chance if you act now.

* Your ombudsman, Deborah Howell, is not fulfilling her job responsibilities. She bragged about having a contract that will keep her in her cube -- contracts can be broken.

Thanks. Seth Sonderling, Ann Arbor, MI

Posted by: Seth Sonderling | March 24, 2006 12:50 PM

Howie Kurtz is practicing Washington Post-style journalism: minimizing the irrefutable and widespread plagiarism by a highly touted member of the Washington Post staff, attempting to blame the staffer's past editors (for adding verbatim paragraphs from the pages of a PJ O'ROURKE BOOK).

Kurtz evidently didn't bother to look at the abundance of irrefutable evidence of plagiarism that is widely available on Atrios, Kos and Salon.com, nor did he bother calling the William and Mary editor before casting doubt upon the integrity of that student newspaper.

Brady has circled the wagons, telling Romanesko that the people who brought attention to this member of Washington.com's staff were "mean" and providing Kurtz with a quote that is both arrogant and dismissive.

Even Michelle Malkin isn't defending this guy.

Posted by: The Other James | March 24, 2006 12:51 PM

This fine paper has lost its credidibility like Jay Gatsby lost his money: "slowly at first, and then all at once."

Posted by: Former Post subscriber | March 24, 2006 01:02 PM

I have a hard time believing that the Washington Post, after the recent episode with Robert Woodward, would hire a plagiarist, not to mention a racist warmonger. Oh well, I never read it anymore anywy. Too bad, I used to.

Posted by: Sid | March 24, 2006 01:08 PM

Thank you, Former Post Subscriber for the [great] Gatsby quote.

What I would like to know is, what does it take for a republican to get fired from the Post?

Being found in bed with a dead horse?

Of course, knowing the obsession with kinkery among the red staters, that remains a distinct possiblity. I'm waiting for the pix to show up online.

Posted by: Drindl | March 24, 2006 01:13 PM

So the new meme from the ombudsoffice is that washingtonpost.com and Washington Post are different legal entities with different staffs so this has nothing to do with the paper. However, in her own December 11 column she indicated that the prestige of the website adds to the prestige of the paper. Isn't the corrolary that the shame of the website can detract from the prestige of the paper? In a media market where journalistic integrity has been called into question frequently (Jayson Blair, Armstrong Williams, Judith miller, Bob Woodward to name a few shamed players), the traditional media outlets should be sensitive to maintaining their reputations. If the Post thinks that the .com in the website's title is enough to separate it from the paper in the minds of most news consumers, they are crazy. If you have a racist plagiarist under the washingtonpost.com banner, it influences the reputation of the paper.

Please save yourselves from the fate of Fox News!

Posted by: pughd | March 24, 2006 01:24 PM

I had different something to say, but this sums it up quite nicely:
This fine paper has lost its credidibility like Jay Gatsby lost his money: "slowly at first, and then all at once."

Best of luck with on fewer reader.

Posted by: Jeff | March 24, 2006 01:25 PM

I think the Post's lack of response is a good indication of how it considers the viewpoints of readers. . .which is not at all.

The logical thing, in this case, is to start marching with our keyboards. The editorial/publishing staff at the Post has neither interest or a willingness to interact with opinions that don't originate from political party operatives and aren't grounded in repetitive rants and cliches.

I think they've made that rather clear.

Posted by: Kevin | March 24, 2006 01:27 PM

response to Ben (but not that ben)

for starters, for a discussion of the evidence of money being "directed" to democrats go to

http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/bushrepublican_scandals/index.html

and read the following threads (including comments---that's where I posted my research LOL)

Abramoff Clients Increased Donations to Democrats

Abramoff Directed Tribal Donations to Democrats

Republican Felon Jack Abramoff: Time to Refocus

Abramoff Intermission: Bloomberg and Prospect

You may not agree with all the conclusions found therein, but my goal is to keep people from saying "there is no evidence". As I noted before, there is "evidence", not "proof", and the Post itself has never presented any actual "evidence".

(there's more -- like a discussion I had with Ron Bryaent on his blog -- if you really want to get into the details.....)

Posted by: p. lukasiak | March 24, 2006 01:43 PM

Dear Jim Brady --

When are you going to hire someone to do your 'balance' thing on the crazy far-out right-wing tripe that Ron Nessen writes every day in his blog?

Based on today's installment from the old Nixon/Ford hand (abolishing Social Security, Medicare, the works...) you'll need at least a radical revolutionary Marxist.

Posted by: mz | March 24, 2006 01:54 PM

Dear Howard Kurtz --

What you wrote in your article today regarding Ben's alleged plagiarism is clearly false.

Did Ben Domenech lie to you, or did you decide to cover for him out of your own accord?

If it's the first, aren't you enraged, and when are we going to hear from you?

If it's the second, when can we expect your resignation?

Or is it indeed the case that in you ethical system it's ok if you're a Republican?

Posted by: mz | March 24, 2006 01:59 PM

For those who get here via a direct link (like I did...): there's a new post, DOMENECH RESIGNED. Go to

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/washpostblog

Posted by: mz | March 24, 2006 02:16 PM

Is mediocrity what the Post is striving for?
Soon the neo-cons will be out of the white house and then what will be your excuse?

Posted by: beyond paranoid | March 24, 2006 02:29 PM

Has the WaPo had enough? Or does your arm have to be twisted to cry "uncle?"

Either your'e going to be a first-rate newspaper, or you'll become just another rag!

Seems the latter is what you're aiming for so go for it!

Posted by: Geezus! | March 24, 2006 02:45 PM

Jim Brady should resign.

Posted by: luke | March 24, 2006 03:02 PM

"People who are poor and black are a drag on society. We would all be better off if there were fewer of them. Since we have, with little success, spent trillions of dollars over the past several decades trying to make poor blacks non-poor, it is time we recognize that there are more efficient means of eliminating the drag."

I cannot BELIEVE that the Post hired the guy who said this! This year the Post is going to get a Murphy's Law award.

Posted by: Erica Verrillo | March 24, 2006 03:08 PM

Amazingly one of the first posters on this thread demands that folks who read the Bible do so in the manner approved by the Washington Post.

Not in a million years buddy ~ kick your ass around the Capitol building first, eh?!

Graham Jr. IS NOT THE POPE, not even a street preacher.

Capice?

Posted by: Muawiyah | March 24, 2006 03:41 PM

Re you firing ANYBODY over the Red State blog debacle? You've ruined a paper's reputation it took years to build! Heckuva job!

Posted by: Post=Plagerism | March 24, 2006 03:45 PM

Yea Mr. Brady - you finally had something of interest to say!! yipee!!

Posted by: Clarence Thomas III | March 24, 2006 04:32 PM

Maybe Mr. Brady, you really are reading all these posts. And we just thought we were, like, pissing in the wind or something.

Posted by: Lenny Bruce, Jr. | March 24, 2006 04:34 PM

Ben, oh, Ben, we hardly had a chance to know ya.

Posted by: Lindsay Quarles | March 24, 2006 04:35 PM

Domenech may be a jerk, but what about his First Amendment rights?

Isn't the Post supposed to be a staunch defender of Free Speech?

Seems to be an ethical dilemma here?

Free Speech vs. Income.

It looks like the Post abandons the Marketplace of Ideas when its income is threatened.

Maybe some editors should have stepped-in and provided some guidance to him. After all, he is only 23.

Posted by: Founding Father | March 24, 2006 04:36 PM

Founding Father - the problem here is the WaPo hired a third-rate copy boy, he only knew how to copy. I don't know where he learned such a skill, he was home-schooled by his dear Mother.

Posted by: Crips Rule | March 24, 2006 04:39 PM

Crips - "third-rate copy boy" is awfully harsh.

I'm sure that with his ability that a seat is being dusted-off right now for him back at the National Review or over at Fox.

Ooops! I guess that sort of makes your case for you, doesn't it.

Posted by: Founding Father | March 24, 2006 04:58 PM

After reading a few posts on this 'discussion' I found this little gem:

Everyone better 'lissen' to this guy. It just goes to show you that conservatives can indeed 'mach' wits with 'teh' sharpest brains we have. Look closely people, this poster accurately reflects the position of the right. It's just too bad he hates us so much. *Muffles snickering*

Posted by: HeeHaw | March 24, 2006 05:19 PM

Erica Verrillo said:
"This year the Post is going to get a Murphy's Law award."

More like a Darwin award.

Ben, by the way did you see how easy that is. Those are called quote marks.

Posted by: Constitutionalist | March 24, 2006 06:41 PM

It's ironic that in a medium where outright lies and baloney are tolerated with an eternal patience, plagiarism is not.

Remember kids, you have to make up your own lies and baloney if you're going to get anywhere in life!

If you cut and paste somebody else's lies and baloney, it will come back to haunt you!

:-)

Posted by: Sharky | March 24, 2006 07:38 PM

Hi Ms. Little,

Thank you for starting this "conversation". I was wondering if you had any thoughts or opinions about this whole Red America thing? Please, if you also think that Mrs MLK jr was best described as a communist, say nothing.

Thanks!

Posted by: Joan in ME | March 24, 2006 08:10 PM

Liberals are everything that is wrong with America. Ben is a very good writer who was run off because the WaPo was afraid of the radical leftists (democraps). Dummicrats have no solutions to problems just hate speech.
Lets clarify:
1. Ben is not racist
2. He is not afraid of queers (yes, I use the word queer because queers use the word queer)
3. He does not hate women
4. He is a true America
5. Liberals threatened to kill him and rape his wife
6. They threatened to cut off his head (sounds like muslims, but no, it's liberals)

Liberals are afraid. They have no control over anything, not even their own lives and they strike back whenever they can. They actually accused Ben of plagiarism of his own writings. They actually could not find any real copying going on so they went back to when the guy was 17 in his first semester of college and made stuff up about that time frame when they knew there would be nothing Ben could provide to prove his innocence. Good job you scumbag liberal pukes. Without liberals, America would be Utopia. Without liberals black people would actually have a chance instead of being kept down by their extremely racist policies which are designed solely to keep the black man down.

Anyway, WaPo, do the right thing and re-hire Ben or your circulation will go the way of every other liberal puke rag out there, DOWN THE DRAIN...LIBERAL SUCK!

Posted by: Jon | March 24, 2006 08:40 PM

By the way, he did not call King a commie. Another blatant lie by our liberal scumbag elitists. LIBERALS SUCK!!

Posted by: Jon | March 24, 2006 08:41 PM

Hi Ms. Little,

Thanks again for taking part in this "conversation". I just wanted to know if you agree that liberals suck? If you think they do, please continue to say nothing.

Thanks!

Posted by: Joan | March 24, 2006 08:44 PM

Liberals don't have conversations, they just make things up and state them as facts. If you want the truth in a fair and balanced way you NEED to watch Fox, especially O'Reilly. Listen to Limbaugh. Read Coulter. These are the purveyors of truth. Who does the left have? Al "Hatemonger" Franken or that fat ugly chick, Janine Garafolo, or even better, Jerry Springer, this century's bissgest sleaze ball.

Posted by: Jon | March 24, 2006 08:48 PM

Joan, everyone thinks liberals suck, because they do

Posted by: Jon | March 24, 2006 08:51 PM

I would like to know how Mr. Domenech and his 'crime-fighting facts' explain the racial ratios clearly visible on innocenceproject.org ?
It seems to me that wrongful convictions of blacks vs. whites are about 9:1.
Of course this is from the same crowd that apparently thinks a worldwide slave trade was centered around Africans because they are 'lazy'.
No logic is expected nor discovered.
The Post seems to have really paid a price in credibility by bending over backwards to pander to the noisy, implacable, deluded and sycophantic right. As it should.
Disgusting.

Posted by: Bill in OR | March 24, 2006 08:59 PM

Bill in OR, you are not too smart are you? What PROOF do you have of wrongful convictions of blacks? Do you think that there is some white conspiracy to put all blacks behind bars? If so you're a moron. Blacks have a higher percentage of their people in jail because they commit more crimes. It's very simple. And no that is not racist to state that. It's a fact which liberals hate to use since it proves that everything they believe are just lies. Wake up dude...you live in liberal land which is the same as Candy Land, doesn't exist in the real world, like ALL liberal ideas and thoughts

Posted by: Jon | March 24, 2006 09:02 PM

I'm really enjoying watching the rightwing nuts and their meltdown over wonderboy. Just another example of how they are intellectually bankrupt and morally vacant.

They are craven in trying to realize their crushing desire to be accepted by real academics and intellectuals; but honestly, no one confuses the speech of a man with mimicked jabber of a parrot.

Posted by: | March 24, 2006 10:50 PM

HI PEOPLE I AM BACK JUST WANTING TO KNOW UR PRESIENT SHOULD DIE FOR MAKING THIS WARIN IRAQ IS THE TERRORIST HE IS PAYING THOSE PEOPLE TO HIS DIRTY MURDERING JOBS AND HE WILL GET CAUGHT IN TIME JUST LIKE SADDAM HUSSEIN. AND BY THE WAY I AM AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN KNOW FEELING SICK TO MY STOMACH AND DISGUSTED I WAS BORN IN AUSTRALIA I WISH TO NO LONGER BE A PART OF THE WESTERN MURDER COUNTRIES AND INVADERS FOR OIL. BYE BYE TERRORIST WESTERN COUNTRIES. BYE MORONS KILLERS IVADERS BYE MAY PEACE UPON U ALL AND I AM NOT COMING BACK TO THIS SITE EVER AGAIN I AM PROUD THAT I HATE THAT IAM AUSTRALIAN.

Posted by: Zenah/Married Muslim | March 24, 2006 11:49 PM

I am the Editor! You are only the readers! I outrank you!!!

Posted by: charon | March 25, 2006 12:18 AM

So much for this being an interactive device for WashingtonPost.com. But then, it's rather difficult to explain special rights for rightwing fanatics in the name of 'diversity."

Posted by: Kevin | March 25, 2006 11:56 AM

Ms. Little:


Did Ben leave a note of appreciation for my editing of his Ji-ohn Thompson column yesterday?

Posted by: Tom | March 25, 2006 12:43 PM

Open Letter from Jane Hamsher @ FDL: to Jim Brady:

Dear Jim [Brady],

Was it good for you? Because it was good for me.

But I have to wonder, as we sit here smoking our metaphorical cigarettes — now that you’ve "allowed" Ben Domenech to resign, how exactly did he get hired in the first place? Since you affectionately call me "Columbo" when you’re trying to be cute (aren’t you the clever one), I figure it’s dirty trench coat time.

So let’s begin. I guessing this all started when the White House didn’t like the magnifying glass being applied to it by Dan Froomkin at the WPNI, and since they have no ability to differentiate between valid criticism and partisan hackery their two-pronged approach was to a) silence Froomkin and b) try to get their own partisan hack in there.

So in December of last year, Lil’ Debbie Howell who is supposed to be the reader’s representative writes a column about a complaint coming from the Administration that the readers neither know nor care about where she labels Froomkin "highly opinionated and liberal," suggests that he should therefore be banished to the opinion page and that you are "considering changing the column title and supplementing it with a conservative blogger."

(I like to think this is where we met, Jim.)

How do we know that pressure was coming from the White House? Because Len Downie says his goal is to make BushCo. more comfortable with the Froomkin situation, and John WATB Harris cites the criticism by GOP operative Patrick Ruffini of Froomkin as his own.

Jump to January, when Lil’ Debbie steps in it by saying that Jack Abramoff gave money to Democrats too. Rather than just admit she was wrong and post a correction, you decided to hang tough and stonewall. (And it’s quite possible we first caught each others’ eyes here as readers swarmed the post.blog in response). To your chivalrous credit, you shut down the blog in the misguided defense of Debbie (and how very sad she paid you back by planting one right in your back this week, Jim). Even when Debbie admitted the obvious error a week later, you still went on a campaign to discredit her critics — your readers — whom you characterized as "obscene" and full of "hate speech."

And for some weird reason nobody quite understands, you went running into the arms of Hugh Hewitt. It’s obvious that even though you were the "online guy" you didn’t know much about bloggers. Did you just slug the word "blog" in at Amazon and come up with Hewitt’s embarrassing tome? Is he your bloggy mentor? Is that why your info about blogs is so…remedial? Whatever the connection was, it seems to have been quite a congenial meeting of the minds. He called us the "fever swamp" and you two obviously bonded over the privileged white male thing.

And now I’m going to offer up a bit of a guesswork garnered from a conversation with Digby this morning for which Digby is owed the bulk of the credit. Your likely connection to Domenech seems to be Hewitt, who probably described his "editor" at Regnerey as a former member of the Bush administration who was the scion of another member of the Bush Administration, having written speeches for John Cornyn and co-founded the right wing answer to Daily Kos. If Hewitt tweaked you by saying Ben hated left-wing bloggers more than you did, well that was tantamount to a pool and an ocean view at that point for sealing the deal, eh Jim?

And I’m guessing that’s just about all the vetting you ever did. Maybe he submitted a few sample pieces, but nothing to indicate what a deeply [deleted obscenity]up little piece of [deleted obscenity] he was (in copious evidence to anyone who bothers to search the Red State archives). He was an entitled, upper-middle class GOP twit like you and Hugh, the Brownie-esque product of class and cronyism utterly unsullied by any exposure to the free market competition of hard work or ideas. A home schooled, talentless hothouse flower capable only of spewing pissy, priveleged, angry white rhetoric and devoid of any ability to put forth a cogent argument.

Did you even notice?
****************************************
During the Deborah Howell flap you said that "[T]he Post site’s standards…don’t allow profanity or personal attacks." Yet you allowed someone who called Coretta Scott King a "communist" and Dan Froomkin a "a lying weasel-faced Democrat shill" to start writing as a Washington Post online columnist.

**************************************** My raincoat is itching. Are you seeing any inconsistencies here Jim?

Today you told Salon that your editors had read "basically everything he’d written." But Ben wrote those things at Red State — a site that even casual netizens know wears its racism on its sleeve — under the pseudonym "Augustine." So either a) you didn’t know he was Augustine (though it seems like an obvious question — if you know he co-founded Red State, wouldn’t you want to know what he’d written as a blogger before hiring him as a blogger?) or b) those kinds of insults are okay if they’re being leveled by GOP political operatives on the pages of the post.blog and not by, you know, your readers.

I have to tell you, I was really tickled today by your arrivederci Ben announcement:

We appreciate the speed and thoroughness with which our readers and media outlets surfaced these allegations. Despite the turn this has taken, we believe this event, among other things, testifies to the positive and powerful role that the Internet can play in the the practice of journalism.

That’s so cute, Brady. These were the very same people — and I mean the EXACT same people, go and check the names (Paul Lukasiak , Brad DeLong and hundreds more) whom you characterized as "obscene," "vituperative" and consumed with "hate speech" when they showed up at the post.blog during the Deborah Howell fiasco. Oh how far we have come.

But I think you need to acknowledge that we have done you a big favor in all of this, Jim. As Steve Gilliard says:

Jim Brady will owe his employment to the skills of bloggers who ended Domenech’s employment at the Post before it got all over DC black radio. That would have turned this into a major problem for the paper. Calling Mrs. King a communist, something I keep harping on, because it is so vile and such a slander on her character and patriotism, and something so deeply racist, I wonder where a 24 year old learned this. But once it was clear that he did so, that ALONE should have been cause for terminating him.

I hope we’ve all learned a lesson here, Jim. One — don’t take advise from Hugh Hewitt. And Two — never ever bow to the right wing. Which I realize is pretty hard if you are naturally inclined to swing that way, but take Matt Stoller’s advice:

Do not appease the right-wing. When you do, and when you treat the conservative movement as if they are a legitimate source of information, you end up with WMDs in Iraq, 9/11 linked to Saddam, or on a small scale, an unethical racist trashing the brand of the Washington Post and the career of Jim Brady.

Stop appeasing the right-wing. It’s bad for you.

So Jim. The Columbo in me wants to know — how did I do? I’m sure there are fabulous gaps in the narratives you could fill in where Patrick Ruffini calls you on the phone and simply raves about Ben, or second-tier Bushistas toss you cocktail weenies as you sit on your haunches in the corner after his first creepy post.

So come on, you owe it to us. After all we’ve done for you. How exactly did Ben wind up on the pages of the WPNI?

Posted by: John | March 25, 2006 01:01 PM

Whoever is writing this "Jon" parody character, keep it up! This guy is a laugh riot!
Hey Post, maybe you should hire this ingenious satirist for your next circus act!!

Posted by: Bill in OR | March 25, 2006 09:16 PM

"So I've got a question for the Washington Post, and especially online editor Jim Brady. Why did you hire this guy? What, in particular, about his past, or his writings, or his sources, appealed to you as being Washington Post material?"

Washington Post: please reply


Posted by: Raquibird | March 26, 2006 01:22 AM

***Note - This is a NON-Domenech-Related-Question***

I appreciate washingtonpost.com's attempts to get up to date in this whole interweb business. I think it's really in earnest even if you have made a couple of small missteps. However, the website is still somewhat difficult to navigate. I know some of this is just due to the enormity of the whole thing and the vast quantity of content available here. However, some features simply don't seem to be available unless you know the direct link. Specifically, this blog is very difficult to find. I usually either have to find a direct link on a blog elsewhere or use my computer at work which has a bookmark for the old PostBlog.

This issue has been raised by myself and others in these discussions in the past and we're usually just told "it's there already." Well, it may be there already, but it's apparently hard to find. Maybe you could add it to the blogs drop-down menu? Or revise the organization of those drop-downs altogether. They are scattered all over the various front pages and contain a strangely organized set of links. Somewhere there should be a comprehensive set of links that is easy to find and easy to navigate through.

This is one of those places where understanding interactivity is important. All the links may be out there somewhere, but when you have people writing in to tell you that they find your webpage difficult to navigate, that means something.

I enjoy the WP.com content (usually), but sometimes I just give up and go elsewhere when I can't find what I'm looking for. That costs you ad revenue and also reduces the likelihood that I'll come back. Please work on this.

Thanks

Posted by: pughd | March 27, 2006 10:26 AM

Looks like Caroline is just about as fond of dialogue with readers as Jim Brady.

Donald Graham really needs to clean house at Washingtonpost.com before the staff there manages to trash entire WP brand.

Posted by: AJ | March 27, 2006 01:06 PM

"Looks like Caroline is just about as fond of dialogue with readers as Jim Brady." Let's not forget the other hack, Howell.

Cowards, all three of them.

Posted by: Devil's Advocate | March 27, 2006 01:43 PM

I can't put Howell in the same group -- I got at least three e-mails from her on the Abramoff story when I complained about the coverage ... I might not have liked the answers but she did answer and not in a flip can't be bothered way. Brady really is a coward and so apparently is the Little woman.

Posted by: AJ | March 27, 2006 08:32 PM

If I apply for Mr. Brady's job, should I pad my resume? Or should I just claim incompetence and lack of principles and go with that?

Posted by: K. Ron Silkwood | March 27, 2006 09:18 PM

K.Ron,

I think it will be enough if you just claim to have a right-wing agenda. That pretty much incorporates the incometence and lack of principles qualities you were planning to assert.

Me -- I am lobbying hard for the Little woman's job. I could not be less responsive than she has been. And she made such promising start. My only hope is that she has been so busy reaming Jim Brady out and seeking his replacement that she just hasn't had time to get back to us -- the readers. It's not much of a hope but still it flickers.

Posted by: AJ | March 28, 2006 07:40 AM

AJ -- If you're still reading... Re. Howell: count yourself lucky. I never heard back from her, and I sent at least three emails, all very politely worded if combative.

Posted by: mike | March 28, 2006 06:10 PM

The Washington Post should read this post and then start a serious internal conversation about the issues it raises.

from:
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/

A couple of months ago when Deborah Howell was "deluged" with "uncivilized" comments about her failure to correct a blatant misrepresentation, the Washington Post ombudsman and others had a shrieking fit of the vapors and spent days on the fainting couch mumbling incoherently about the rude insults they had to endure. I thought Howell would have to take a leave of absense and get herself to a nunnery for a few weeks just to regain her belief in the goodness of mankind after such an assault.

As was amply demonstrated, the vast majority of the comments were not, in fact, crude or filthy. They condemned the Post for uncritically recycling RNC talking points and failing to provide proof of their assertions. And they used aggressive language to do it.

But as Busy, Busy Busy's Elton Beard noticed, Howell only seems to be truly stunned, angry and upset by certain kinds of criticism. Others, not so much. Here's Howell this past Sunday:

One critic of the coverage is John Dowd, a Washington lawyer: "I can't subscribe to your newspaper anymore because you have lost all sense of balance and perspective in your coverage of the war in Iraq and against the terrorists. It is clear to those of us who have our sons and daughters who are in harm's way that you support the terrorists and you are opposed to the efforts of our Marines, all who are sacrificing so that you are free to publish without interference."

Dowd's son Dan is a Marine captain, just back from his second tour as a helicopter pilot in Iraq. Dowd sees his son and other U.S. and Iraqi soldiers "as the most selfless people I've known in my life." I found his letter haunting; it pains me that he would think Post journalists support terrorists.

Beard says:

Think about that.

A reader accuses Washington Post journalists of siding with Goldstein - er, terrorists - and Deborah Howell doesn't think, this man is either demented or trying to manipulate me. She doesn't crumple up and toss the letter and she doesn't add it to her loony folder, already overflowing with missives from crazed liberals. She does not take offense at the slur on her colleagues. Quite the opposite. She takes the complaint seriously

It pains her to think this fine man believes that the Washington Post supports terrorists. She's "haunted" by that criticism. But those of us who would like the Post to correct their errors are uncivilized beasts from the fever swamp who are dragging down the discourse. That's very revealing, I think. Deborah Howell, like so many of her brethren, has so internalized rightwing criticism that it doesn't even seem unreasonable anymore. She "understands" it. This man called her a traitor to her face and all it does is make her feel sad. She doesn't even know that she has completely absorbed the right's criticisms.

And when liberals point out that she has become subsumed by a radical Republican establishment, when they bring attention to the fact that she no longer even knows when she is being manipulated and abused --- she gets angry and tries to kill the messenger.

The truth is that we are not trying to destroy the media with our barbaric uncouth ways and unflattering criticisms. We are trying to save it. It's not surprising that they have become self-loathing, addicted to RNC spin and dependent on the approbation of the Republican establishment. We can all see why they would no longer be able to tell the difference between rational conservative discourse and RNC propaganda. They've been under sustained attack for years.

That's why we've decided we need to stage an intervention. The first step is to wake them up and make them realize that when a reader calls them a terrorist sympathizer the proper response is not to "feel pained" or be "haunted." It's to recognize that the person who is saying it is a deluded rightwing nutcase --- and then get righteously pissed. That is not a benign charge --- they are fighting words.

And conversely, when someone calls them on an error, the proper response is to admit it and correct it, not become freaked out by the passion of those who demand it. These two kinds of feedback from readers are not equivalent and the second is certainly not more deserving of anger and shock than the first. Being called a traitor to your country is a deeply offensive insult. Being told you are not doing your job correctly may be insulting, but it's hardly in the same league. The fact that Deborah Howell cannot see that --- and takes the first one more seriously than the second --- is the very essence of the problem with the mainstream press.

Posted by: Blobby | March 28, 2006 06:20 PM

Looks like Lil' Caroline is in hiding in Cheney's bunker with Jim Brady. Debbie crawled out for a brief appearance on Sunday, but did not emit a peep about Domenech...

Looks like those three have about as much courage as their masters in the White House!

Posted by: Devi's Advocate | March 29, 2006 02:26 PM

Well Caroline didn't actually promise to stop by every day -- only when she has something "interesting" to contribute. What kind of parallel universe do you have to live in to not find the redstate blogger debacle interesting enough to talk about?

Posted by: AJ | March 31, 2006 08:15 PM

"This is the first in a series of periodic conversations I'll be starting with our readers."

This sentance must be one of those sorts of "facts" that the post editorial writers use. You know, something they just sort of make up that has no connection to reality. She shouldn't use the word "conversation" if she doesn't understand what it means.

Congrats Ms. Little, thanks for the truthiness!

Posted by: John | April 19, 2006 05:29 PM

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