The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, March 23, 2006

That new WaPo blogger? Plagiarist.

When the Washington Post announced that they were proudly bringing a new site blogger on board, the progressive blogs erupted. Initially, it was because the new blogger was-- quite demonstrably-- a total hack with the journalistic integrity and intellectual heft of Ann Coulter. Who also happened to be the son of a rather connected GOP activist. Oh, and the Post doesn't have any progressive bloggers.

But a day after a Post spokesman defended the choice by citing the young lad's gravitas, talent, and wordcraft, the blogs have struck again. And made the Post's editors look like total suckers in the process. Several instances of the new guy's writing are lifted directly from a professional writer at Salon (see link above for two examples), and Daily Kos has another example of him cribbing P.J. O'Rourke while in college. Yes, the WaPo's new enfant terrible is worse than a hack. He's also a fraud. And I don't think the 'young and careless' rule applies-- even colleges will throw your teenaged ass out for plagiarism.

I'm not gloating at the incompetence of the WaPo in doing this. because it's simply an embarrassment to the news industry at a time when they're under fire from all sides. But I'd love to know how in the world something this colossally stupid (and antithetical to the entire profession) transpires at such a famous paper.

Deborah Howell, the ombudsman for the Washington Post has apparently settled the dust-up to her satisfaction by pointing out that the paper and the website are under different management. So he might be writing under the Washington Post rubric-- but it's not Washington Post, it's just 'Washington Post.' So what's the big deal? Sad, sad.

UPDATE: Just a few hours later, and the (stolen) hits keep coming. There are now no fewer than five examples floating around out there. You'd have to be quite the dumbass to try and get away with this as a professional writer in the Age of Internets.

UPDATE: Another instance of young master Domenech's immense writing skill is from the now-defunct site spinsanity, which found him manufacturing a quote to make his point on his former blog. To paraphrase Dead Kennedys, "Don't worry about it, son. We were that way when we were young. You've got all the skills to make a damn good... right-wing pundit."