Domenech's defense distorted apparently plagiarized column


Ben Domenech, defending himself from charges of plagiarism, falsely claimed that one of the articles that apparently included plagiarized material "ran as inspired by [author P.J.] O'Rourke's original." There is, in fact, no mention of O'Rourke at all.

In a March 24 post on, made following his resignation from, Republican activist blogger Ben Domenech defended himself against evidence that he repeatedly plagiarized the work of other writers. But Media Matters for America has evidence that at least one of the claims he made in his defense is false. Domenech resigned from, where he had been hired to write a conservative weblog called Red America, earlier in the day after evidence surfaced regarding the plagiarism allegations.

Domenech wrote on RedState:

In one instance, I have been accused me of passing off P.J. O'Rourke's writing as my own in a column for the paper. But the truth is that I had met P.J. at a Republican event and asked his permission to do a college-specific version of his classic piece on partying. He granted permission, the piece was cleared with my editors at the paper, and it ran as inspired by O'Rourke's original. [Emphasis added]

Media Matters has obtained a pdf copy of the column in question as it appeared in the print version of the College of William & Mary student newspaper The Flat Hat. The column contains no indication that it "ran as inspired by O'Rourke's original." There is, in fact, no mention of O'Rourke at all.

Ben Domenech
Media Ethics
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