Domenech Update

In an ideal world, last week’s Ben Domenech/”Red America” saga would have stopped, well, last week. But there’s reason to believe that more examples of plagiarism will surface.

Some more Domenech-related items…

  • After Ben’s shockingly unapologetic (and Judy Miller-like) note of apology on RedState.org, Domenech issued another note, seemingly apologizing for his first lackluster apology.

      There is no excuse for this – nor is there an excuse for any obfuscation in my earlier statement.

    The Wonkettes say that this “reads a bit unnervingly like a MySpace Suicide note.”

  • Not wanting to be the only one to do some backtracking, RedState.org–who originally said “He did not resign from RedState – and even if he tried to do so, we would have refused to accept it. The four Directors of this site, including Ben, had a call earlier today shortly after he spoke with the Post and we’re happy that Ben’s staying right here.”–have now placed Domenech on a leave of absence.

  • As the Wonkettes point out, “his buddies have turned on him like hipsters on indie bands who appear on The O.C.”

  • Jane Hamsher has some questions for Jim Brady.

  • Jay Rosen has some advice for Brady.

  • Ed Morissey has some nice words for Brady.

  • Markos Moulitsas tells Howard Kurtz that Jim Brady “has no clue how the Internet works and he runs ‘The Washington Post’ online operations. It’s startling.”

    Which brings us to one other point:

    Several people have told us and others to remember that (to quote one anonymous reader) “this entire Domenech debacle belongs to washingtonpost.com, an entity completely separate from The Washington Post newspaper.” True enough…but the Washington Post shouldn’t bank on this as a great defense. First, although the website may be different from the paper, it’s not exactly a stellar argument to stick up for yourself by pointing out the lower standards and flaws of your sister organization. Second, trying to separate the Post from its website in the public’s eye is like trying to separate Brad Pitt from Jennifer Aniston: Sure they’re not technically together, but the reality is that they’re forever linked. As Joel Achenbach points out, “And yes, there’s a difference betwixt the Post and post.com. They’re two separate companies, in DC and Arlington — though for all practical purposes there’s only one Washington Post brand, and we ought to get everyone into the same building at some point.”

  • Some recommendations we received for Domenech’s replacement (Brady confirmed that a replacement would be found):

    Jim Geraghty

    John Cole

    -Says Steve Gilliard, making a strong case for keeping an open mind: “I don’t know. I don’t read conservative blogs and could care less about their opinions.”

    Thomas Galvin

    Tim Worstall (nominating himself)

    LeRoy Witherspoon (nominating himself)

    Mat Toenniessen (nominating himself)

    Andrew White (nominating himself)

    Dan Riehl says:

      Create a predetermined number of slots – 3, 6, 8, or whatever – and audition and screen a small team of conservative bloggers to blog for washingtonpost.com, or a washingtonpost.comRight? The model would also work for the Left, should the site decide to do both.

      The posting, as well as the interactivity might be something to see. And a mix of individuals would offer more connections out into different spheres of blogging connections, making the offering rather robust.

      The one additional point I’d like to make is, I hope Jim Brady gets himself some bloggers, not MSM types in disguise, or only lawyers, or PhD’s. Hopefully he’d at least consider a mix, assuming the model would work. True, the strength of blogging is in numbers. But it’s also in a certain grass roots appeal. Why not look down in the weeds for a few gems, instead of picking the low hanging fruit from some MSM tree?

    Jay Rosen says:

      An open competition on the Web to be the next political blogger at post.com, but instead of hiring one “red state” person and leaving it at that (a strategic error in my opinion) Brady should say that three slots will be filled over the coming year. One from column right, one from column left, and a third voice that is definitely neither of those, which could mean libertarian— or not.