The Republican Integrity Deficit Is Spreading Throughout The Ranks
The Washington Post has decided to put a right-wing blogger on the payroll, and while I’m glad to see at least some of us bloggers are being treated with a little respect by the mainstream media, it’s a little irritating that the The Post finds it necessary to “balance out” their conservative slant with yet another conservative voice. Do they not read their own paper?
Once I got over the initial irritation (alright fine, it was jealousy), I was able to see that it was good for the blogging profession (I know, calling it a profession is a stretch for sure, but we’re on our way) even if it is a conservative getting the job. But just as I was on the verge of acceptance, Raw Story breaks this little bit of news. Ben Domenech, the new conservative blogger at The Washington Post, is a serial plagiarist. Of course it took good lefty bloggers to dig up the truth, can’t expect The Washington Post to do a better job sniffing out the crimes of its employees than it does sniffing out crimes committed by this administration. Atrios, Kos and Athenae have been diligently digging, and so far have found dozens of examples of blatant lifting by Mr. Domenech from various sources. But really, are any of us surprised? Republicans, by nature, are followers so of course creative endeavors are difficult for them, but this guy was stupid to think he could get away with plagiarism, or perhaps he doesn’t understand blogging beyond transcribing Republican talking points.
As a blogger, I am proud of the work I do, and I take seriously the blogger code of ethics however loosely they are cobbled together at this point. You cite your sources, you give credit to other bloggers when they break a story you blog about, and when you make a mistake, you take responsibility and correct it immediately. At least that’s how it’s done on the left side of the field. So many of us work hard, write well and spend a lot of time crafting our posts. It’s a shame that the lack of ethics within the Republican Party leadership has trickled down to their mouthpieces as well. We knew it had reached The Washington Post, we just didn’t know it had filtered all the way down to the lowly blogger level. We knew they stretched the truth and that they were mean as hell, but we didn’t know they were lifting other people’s words to further the master’s cause.