Skip to main content

OK, I admit it. I posted a comment in Ben's "apology" thread.

In that story he wrote, among other things, that the plaigarisms that occurred while he was writing for the William & Mary paper were the results of the editors of that paper inserting the plaigarized material. One of the editors at the time wrote an email to Atrios rebutting this.

Wanting to get Ben's response, I posted this email (properly cited, of course), and was rewarded by a response from another RedStater. His theory as to what happened is enough to make a tinfoil theorist blush. So, who is to blame for what happened? Look below for the frankly unbelievable answer

First, my comment:
You write:

Before that, insertions had been routinely made in my copy, which I did not question. I did not even at that time read the publications from which I am now alleged to have lifted material. When these insertions were made, I assumed, like most disgruntled writers would, that they were unnecessary but legitimate editorial additions.

One of your editors wrote in to Atrios to say this:

   Hi --

    This all seems to have happened really fast. I hadn't really checked the news til midday today when I saw all of this happened. It might be kind of moot now, but I was Domenech's editor at The Flat Hat when he was writing the reviews. Four people, including me, would have handled his copy, the others being my assistant section editor, the managing editor and the editor.

    This should seem obvious, but no one on the editorial staff was going into Salon (or wherever) and pasting whole sections into his reviews. We were more concerned about getting the paper done so we could get home at 2 in the morning instead of 5. We may have put additional words in the story, but it would never have been completely foreign content. It was just editing.

Now, this is he said/she said (or perhaps he/he; I don't know the gender of the former editor), but I think this requires a response.


Now, the "theory":

Probably a set-up     By: BlueHoo
For all we know, these "editors" were a bunch of liberal kooks intent on setting Ben up to tear him down later (I'm sure Ben's politics were no mystery to the rest of the Flat Hat staff, and these "editors" seem to be conveniently lurking on Atrios).  They could have easily snuck passages into Ben's original work, and stored this nugget away as ammunition against his promising future.  It's really sad what antics people will stoop to...

That's right. A setup by the editorial staff of a college newspaper 6 or 7 years ago. These wily "editors" foresaw Ben's future greatness, and cleverly engineered a trap which would doom him in his moment of triumph. Or something like that.

And, just when you think that's as good as it gets, Our Hero manages to top himself. A saner commentator calls this a bunch of malarkey, and he comes right back with:

Then you'd rather believe     By: BlueHoo
An Atrios reader who somehow manages to remember specific details about some crummy movie reviews from 7 years ago?  Also, the "editor" acknowledges putting some "additional words in the story," and some "foreign content" -- just not "completely foreign content."  Reading this side-by-side with Ben's response, I don't think it's ridiculous at all to explore the possibility of a set-up (college papers being as controlled by the MSM as any publication).

So, there we have it. The Liberal Media Conspiracy controls the MSM, and has reached its tentacles into the nation's colleges and universities. Somebody call Horowitz; this is clearly more evidence of liberal extremism in higher education.

But wait, there's (even) more:

Perhaps a simpler explanation would be that the editors are now forensicly manufacturing certain "editorial techniques" in order to save face.  They are likely facing the same questions from their employers as Ben faced from the Washington Post -- as an editor, one of your responsibilities is to ensure that your writers use proper citations for their sources, and these editors either failed in this duty or were trying to destroy a young, politically charged young writer (CBS attempted to destroy Bush in an analogous manner, after all).  Only additional investigation will uncover the truth.

So, now we've tied Dan Rather in to this web of deceit. Though, now that I think of it, there is a good analogy between Ben and Bush; they're both unqualified for the position they hold, and only got that position through a combination of nepotism and deceit.

And, finally, it wouldn't be a RedState thread without a gratuitous slam at us, this time from HaroldHutchinson, a RS regular:

Why are the DailyKos thugs getting a pass?

How many false charges must be hurled against someone before I can doubt their veracity on their face?

At this point, I see no reason to trust any allegation from MyDD, Atrios, or Kos.  None.  Zip.  Ben's far more credible at this point than the left-wing character assassins at those sites.

Anyone up for some good old-fashioned character assassination?


Originally posted to dmsilev on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:28 PM PST.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  I was wondering about that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bustacap, snakelass, Dvalkure, blueoasis

      I also noticed that Ben's daddy posted a note telling Ben that he was proud of him.  I guess that the dad has not equated plagiarism with theft and theft with breaking one of the ten commandments that conservatives are so hot about.

      Maynard G Muskievote

      by calipygian on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:26:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  huh (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tlh lib, snakelass

        I figured that was Ben trying to pass himself off as his father. Sounds like something someone with his morals would do.

        First they came for MY privacy...

        by sassy texan on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:45:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  My father would have been (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DHinMI, pb, mimi9, bustacap, dmsilev, slippytoad

        embarrassed. He once told me that the only thing I have that can't be taken away by someone else was my integrity. That is something that I will never forget as long as I live.

        I don't know how he would have reacted to this if it were me. He may have stood by my side and told me he loved me but he would not have been "proud" of me.

        But daddy's support of Ben doesn't surprise me. He is a Bush appointee after all and his work was with Abramhoff. Maybe he's proud that Benji wasn't indicted.

        "I was Rambo in the disco. I was shootin' to the beat. When they burned me in effigy. My vacation was complete." Neil Young. Mideast Vacation.

        by Mike S on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:45:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You nailed it (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mike S, pb, Vico, bustacap, snakelass

          I'm not sure how I'd want my parents to react if I got caught doing something this vile (I'm a scientist; for us, the equivalent would be fabricating data). I think "I love him, but he's made a big mistake" is the best I could hope for (or deserve).

          Guess the apple didn't fall too far from the tree.


        •  My Daddy would have defended me to (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mike S, Margot, moira977, bustacap, Fabian, dougymi

          where things went beyond reason and the topic at hand (home school pontificators would have been eaten alive because he would have considered it off topic) and then he would never let me forget it for the rest of my life or his whatever the case may be.

          However, he wouldn't have let me get away without apologizing profusely to the people I had hurt.  There was no "small" theft in my house growing up.  Theft was theft and it was totally unacceptable.

          I've got a way better Daddy than Ben does.

        •  Yup (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mike S, Margot, bustacap, slippytoad

          If you're not honest, you can't be trusted in anything else.  

          And as a one of the supposed "left-wing character assassins" at Daily Kos, my challenge to that RS fuckhead/regular HaroldHutchinson is put up or shut the fuck up: give an example where me, Hunter, Georgia or Markos (or any of us other supposed "left-wing character assassins" at Daily Kos) have ever plagiarized or invented shit like that piece of shit Ben Domenech did.  

          I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for an example, because I know there aren't any.  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 07:12:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  kind of like the same thing (0+ / 0-)

        Al Capone might have said to Al, Jr.

      •  No Dad iis a rethu (0+ / 0-)

        Immoral behaviour is what he was raised to do.

        it tastes like burning...

        by eastvan on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 07:29:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Tinfoilhats vs. Nat'l Review? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Will the dissonance short circuit their teeny brains?

      The Corner just posted evidence of Box Turtle plagiarizing his review of Pay It Forward off of The Flick Philosopher (an amateur movie review website which I occasionally read).  How to weasel out of this one?  I'm sure some RedState flackies will find a way, possibly by blaming the evil leftists that have taken over the National Review.  

      Will the RedStater who can't wait to celebrate the deaths of millions of Americans now wish ill on the sons and daughters of William F. Buckley?  

      I can't wait to find out.  The best value for your entertainment dollar this weekend will be RedState.  It's off to a blazing start.

      •  You don't understand (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bustacap, emmasnacker

        That other site wrote its review knowing in advance that Ben would use the exact same words if and when he ever reviewed Pay it Forward. Probably some computer program (the Chinese have lots of programmers) that carefully analyzed Ben's inimitable style, and then seeded reviews across the blogosphere waiting for Ben's triumphal moment so he could be destroyed.

        Either that, or it's like Terminator where Arnold comes back from the future to kill Sarah Connor so - well, I'm not sure because it got a little too complicated for me after that.

        When you you liberal dKos thugs ever learn?

        We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

        by badger on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 06:49:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Uh, no. (0+ / 0-)

        Right now they're throwing Michelle Malkin onto The Pile ™ ...

    •  That's because, unlike me, (0+ / 0-)

      you haven't told them you are an Eisenhower Republican who works at a Conservative Baptist school, and who doesn't believe that Democrats are cowards. Took me three posts to get all of that out, and then it was blammo.

  •  Just for sanity's sake (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hazey, bustacap

    Anyone who interested in this should look at "Ben's" review and the review of Bringing out the Dead.  There is so little in "Ben's" review that isn't in the, that we would have to suppose that Ben submitted a story and his editor added about 75% of the text.  Sorry Ben, but that theory doesn't pass the smell test.  If that had been the case he should have given a writing credit to his editor because he barely wrote anything for his reviews.

    •  And Where Are the Other Aggrieved Parties (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hazey, bustacap

      You know, all the other writers the editors were sabotaging.

      Or is it just Ben Domenech that people don't like and really are following...

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 07:14:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  See, that fits into the conspiracy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hazey, bustacap

        Clearly, Ben was the Chosen One, Touched by Greatness and, equally clearly, the proles (i.e. everyone else working on the paper) felt threatened by his brilliance and knew that if they didn't do something, they would forever be in his shadow.

        Unable to face him directly, they acted in the shadows.

        It's like something out of an Ayn Rand book, which may not be a coincidence. Rand seems to be an early influence on a lot of these folks.


        •  Rand Seems an EXCLUSIVE... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...influence on many of these folks.  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 07:26:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  this is the part that doesn't make any sense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          On the one hand, Ben is touted as the whiz kid of the Republican party, their next big thing--so much so that he's been a speech writer for a US senator, an editor at Regenery Press, and a blogger for one of the most influential newspapers in the whole country, all by the tender age of 24. That's how freakin' great and amazing and talented this kid is to them.

          And in the next breath, they are all like, "Well, he's so young. He doesn't know any better. We can't hold him responsible for his youthful indiscretions."

          Look, wingnuts, you can't have it both ways. If he was talented enough to warrant all of those high-profile jobs (without much in the way of qualifications, I might add), then he's smart enough to know right from wrong.

          Plus, these are the same people who want minors to be eligible for the death penalty, aren't they??

          "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" --Ralph Waldo Emerson (Hear that, George??)

          by still small voice on Sat Mar 25, 2006 at 12:46:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I cannot wait (0+ / 0-)

      untill those same editors sue his little goldenboy ass. Bankrupt the little turd.Oh and he claims he resigned from the paper. I'll bet tomorrows beer (thats high stakes for me!!!) that he was fired.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 07:35:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  'By Whom' (9+ / 0-)

    That said, I think he was set up:  somebody obviously made him plagiarize and made him write a bunch of bigotted, radicalized screeds.  It wasn't his fault.  You see, Personal Responsibility doesn't apply to the Radical Right (meaning 99.9% of the GOP and its cheerleaders and apologists).

    Do we understand each other now?  Good.


    P.S. - Good Diary

    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:32:28 PM PST

  •  Hmmm... paranoid bullshit, or truth? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hazey, badger, hind

    I think we all know which most RedState devotees would choose.  It's far more important for them to have everything line up with their worldview than to acknowledge inconvenient reality.

    That's why they're Republicans.

    -4.50, -5.85 Lies are the new Truth.

    by Dallasdoc on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:32:39 PM PST

  •  Occam's Razor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in this cast, the simplest explanation is that Headmaster Domencher's star pupil is a plagiarist.

  •  Okay I admit it (9+ / 0-)

    the Redstaters were on the right track, but, they didn't realize how deep the conspiracy goes.

    I have a time machine.

    I am from the year 2100, and the world has been mostly destroyed.  I came back to discredit future President Demonech before he could start WWIII against chimpmunks.

    I know, hard to believe.  But I inserted aparently fraudulent passages so that the war on Furrier would never happen.

    They win.

    "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

    by LithiumCola on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:41:41 PM PST

  •  Demonic possesion? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, bustacap, snakelass, Dvalkure

    I hear that's a common hazard among the conservative cultists, and would explain so many of the memory lapses among Republicans when they're caught red-handed.

  •  o how I wish this were true... (7+ / 0-)

    to suggest that Ben was the victim of a liberal conspiracy to discredit him would suggest that there exist on the left a covert dirty tricks political arm that is capable and adept and I would be able to sleep easier at night, dreaming of a 300 seat Dem majority in Congress in 06. (Yes, I really do hate Republicans that much. There is not a decent elected Republican in this country.)

    Sadly, I think the election results since 2000 indicate that the right owns the market on political dirty tricks; this tinfoil conspiracy that the right ascribes to the left is yet another example of the right's love affair with projection.

    Freedom does not march. I saw an invasion. I see an occupation. I don't see a war. "Constant war is not a family value." Cindy Sheehan 8/22/05

    by ex republican on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:56:58 PM PST

  •  And while they're freaking out (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hazey, hind, bustacap, dmsilev, drag0n

    ... still more plagiarisms found by National Review here, in the old stuff Ben did for them.

    Jackasses. They really will defend anything.

    •  Several instances (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hind, bustacap, drag0n

      extending into 2001.

      Christ. I wonder what his excuse will be this time. Somehow, I'm doubting that "liberal media conspiracy" will seem all that plausible when it's the National Review.

      And, of course, these later examples strongly indicate that the original charges were correct. Thus, not only is he a plaigarist, his attempt to shift blame onto his college editors probably puts him down as a slanderer as well.


  •  I just had a brainstorm (4+ / 0-)

      I was looking at Domenech's plagiarized products and the originals, and I noticed that they were almost the same in all cases, except for small, almost inconsequential changes in wording.  And I was wondering: why would he think that those changes would make the article "his"?  Did he think they would obscure the identity of the two articles?

      Then it hit me: Domenech didn't make those changes -- he must have submitted those articles word for word identical to the sources, not even trying to cover up the fact that he was stealing, and his editors made the changes because they thought the wording was awkward or stylistically improper!

    •  Two theories (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      One is as you suggest; that he carbon-copied the original paragraphs, which were then altered during the editing process.

      The other theory is that he made the changes himself. Either he thought that small changes would be enough to obscure the original authorship, or he somehow managed to delude himself into thinking that once he made the small changes, it really was his own work.

      To be honest, I'm not sure I care what the underlying motive was.


    •  this guy was begging to be caught (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bustacap, fairfax

      the very slight differences are probably just typos.

  •  the 'five point palm exploding heart technique?' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Described as “the deadliest blow in all of martial arts!"

    Who knew there was a journalistic version of it?

    Those bastards! They killed Benny!

    (with apologises to both Turantino and South Park)

  •  As more and more (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hind, bustacap, Fabian

    revelations of plagiarism come to light, it strikes me that it must have taken more time and effort to concoct these fakes that it would have to just write the damn things.

    Something I learned long, long ago: It was much easier to learn how to be a good writer, fast on deadlines than it was to cheat.

    And those who don't learn that are always the ones asking you to do for them. Or lied that they did it. Or claimed, it "should" be there.

    I got my revenge: I got to be their supervisor, and their false claims just didn't cut it.

    Ben's excuses on Red State don't cut it, either.

    Against silence. Which is slavery. - Czeslaw Milosz

    by Caneel on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 07:00:42 PM PST

    •  Uh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I actually think that Ben Domenech probably doesn't know much more about writing than control-c and control-v.  I mean, you can't go anywhere on the blogosphere right now without finding numerous and repeated examples of Ben clearly lifting entire pieces.  In the digital world, such lifting can take just seconds.

      What I think is hilarious is how Redstate sycophants are circling around him and praising him and telling him he'll "rise above this" or some such nonsense.

      As a writer, he's through.  I seriously doubt he'll ever be given a writing job again unless he changes his name.  And considering that he likely can't write his way out of an overturned bucket, he's going to resort to faking it again and get caught, again.  His painful cluelessness regarding the severity of his problem indicates he's got no idea why people are so nasty to him.

      I looove the quote where he complains that people are insinuating he's "had sexual relations with his mother."

      What, Ben?  Never been called a Motherfucker before?  As in "Lame-ass Motherfucker?"

      Also very amusing was watching the goose-stepping führerprinzip of redstate's party Commanders as they crushed poster after poster with their studded jackboots.  I wonder how many redstate readers signed off for the last time today?

      Iraq has seen more corners than a two-hundred year old hooker made out of Rubik's Cubes. -- David Rees, GYWO

      by slippytoad on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 07:47:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good call diarying this (0+ / 0-)

    I read that thread a couple hours back.. it was linked off of rawstory.  I read the comment I now know was yours and there was definitely an audible "wtf" in the room when I read the response you got.

    Remember the #1 rule of being conservative: Despite three branches of government and the media being controlled by corporatist right-wing apologists, the world is against you and must fall into line!

    I actually have a file cabinet at home.. whenever I meet a new conservative, I make a new folder in there and I take all sorts of spy pictures of these people drunk and I frame them for ethical lapses and crimes just in case they ever make it big.

  •  Ah, entertainment at its finest (0+ / 0-)

    An Atrios reader who somehow manages to remember specific details about some crummy movie reviews from 7 years ago?

    I suspect it's more likely that an Atrios reader somehow managed to use Google! Who knew such things were possible?


    Also, the "editor" acknowledges putting some "additional words in the story," and some "foreign content" -- just not "completely foreign content."

    First, the "editor" did not acknowledge putting in "foreign content." They acknowledged adding some words. That's what editors do. They also delete words. They change what you've written--a little, not a lot--so that it's better. They don't change the content.

    If Domenech had actually let his editors insert big chunks of "foreign content" for an extended period of time without saying anything, the guy's a bigger idiot than you'd guess from this writing.

  •  Why ARE the DailyKos thugs getting a pass? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rita in DC, Margot, bustacap, slouise217

    and who are they? why don't I get a pass? is it to go to the movies? on the subway? I want a pass....I want to go to the movies.

    Bush gives pubic hair a bad name.

    by seesdifferent on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 08:27:38 PM PST

  •  The funniest thing I read there (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hazey, bustacap

    Was some comment about how terribly hard and time-consuming it would be to find all those examples of plagiarism, and it had to have been done by paid Soros employees.
    Google, dearies. 2 days. Ordinary people.

    War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

    by Margot on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 09:22:24 PM PST

    •  < rolls eyes > (0+ / 0-)

      Jeez louise! Every fucking thing is a conspiracy to them. It's really incredible the lengths these people will go to to avoid holding one of their own responsible for stealing and lying.

      And yet, when Clinton was impeached, their favorite line of defense for their actions was, "It's not the sex, it's the lying." Christ--if I had to live with that kind of cognitive dissonance, my head would explode. How do these people function without a tiny voice in their head whispering, "You know, you're totally full of bullshit..."?

      "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" --Ralph Waldo Emerson (Hear that, George??)

      by still small voice on Sat Mar 25, 2006 at 12:56:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They learn to stifle (0+ / 0-)

        Such eeevil voices.  Only GOP-approved little voices allowed!

        War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

        by Margot on Sat Mar 25, 2006 at 11:19:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site