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Washington Post Republican blogger facing accusations of plagiarism

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Atrios and DKos have the goods.

Either PJ O'Rourke plagiarized the Post blogger, or the other way around, it's hard to come to any other conclusion. And there are numerous examples, including shared text with a Salon writer, so writing this off as a one-time mistake is going to be difficult.

The story isn't supposed to be about the kid being a plagiarist, it's bigger than that. It's about the Washington Post's overt bias. I refused to comment on this story when it first came out because I figured I "knew" that the Post was launching a liberal blog at the same time - it was obvious on its face, there was no way any non-partisan newspaper would launch a partisan column for only one team. I was wrong. But the point is, I'd have let well enough alone had the Post hired a liberal blogger to write a new liberal blog at the same time. I doubt there would have been any serious vetting of either blogger by the Netroots had the Post done things impartially (though I can only really speak for myself).

But what's really unfortunate about this entire mess is that the Washington Post handled their foray into blogging like such amateurs that there's now the risk of other newspapers thinking that this is what blogging is about - young, uneducated, unprofessional plagiarists. We risk others thinking that blogs are the 3rd rail of journalism, touch them at your own peril. When in fact, had the Post simply started two blogs, a Red and a Blue one, this could have been a journalism success story - but for the fact that the Post didn't bother to vet their choice to see if he was insane and/or a word thief.

All bloggers are not created equal. The Post wanted to get in bed with Republicans and Republican bloggers, fine. They got Republican ethics as part of the package.

I'll conclude with a great quote from DHinMI over at DKos:

We should assume the Post hired the best person they could find. The problem for the Post, therefore, is that the intellects and professional ethics of conservative bloggers are so risible that the best person they could hire ended up being a plagiarist.... Ben Domenech is just the example of an ethically and intellectually bankrupt conservative movement, especially its bloggers.
PS Okay, I just finished reading the entire DKos piece that I quote above, and am totally embarrassed. It's exactly what I'm trying to say, but ten times better. Do read it, it's quite an amazing piece of writing.

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