Limbaugh claimed Wash. Post's former Red America blogger was not a plagiarist -- but blogger admitted it
Research ››› ››› KURT DONALDSON
Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that after "the left-wing fringe threw a hissy fit" about The Washington Post's hiring of Ben Domenech to write for a conservative weblog on the newspaper's website, the Post "concocted some phony excuse that the guy that they had hired was a plagiarist" and "he was gone inside of two weeks." In fact, on the day of his resignation -- four days after his blog for the Post began -- Domenech admitted to using other writers' work "inappropriately and without attribution."
On the April 12 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that after "the left-wing fringe threw a hissy fit" about The Washington Post's hiring of Ben Domenech to write Red America, a conservative weblog on washingtonpost.com, the Post "concocted some phony excuse that the guy that they had hired was a plagiarist" and "he was gone inside of two weeks." Limbaugh added that the allegations of plagiarism against Domenech were "a bunch of garbage [meant] to impugn his character and reputation at the same time." In fact, on the day of his March 24 resignation, only four days after his blog for the Post began, Domenech admitted to using other writers' work "inappropriately and without attribution."
Almost immediately after Domenech's Red America began on March 21, charges of plagiarism surfaced. On March 24, Domenech resigned, and posted two statements on the blog RedState (here and here). Contrary to Limbaugh's claim that the plagiarism charges were a "phony excuse" and "a bunch of garbage," Domenech admitted in the later statement to having used other writers' work "inappropriately and without attribution":
I want to apologize to National Review Online, my friends and colleagues here at RedState, and to any others that have been affected over the past few days. I also want to apologize to my previous editors and writers whose work I used inappropriately and without attribution. There is no excuse for this -- nor is there an excuse for any obfuscation in my earlier statement.
As Media Matters for America has noted, one major plagiarism charge against Domenech involved signing his name to a column in his college newspaper that appears to have been lifted entirely from conservative humorist P.J. O'Rourke's book Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990). Other examples of apparent plagiarism by Domenech, including the lifting portions of film reviews, can be found here, here, and here.
From the April 12 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Now, OK, The Washington Post is not liberal. This is -- give it up. Give -- give it up. You're beating your heads against a wall, and you're going to get bruised here pretty badly. Cranial swelling is not long down the road for you people. I mean, this -- this is ridiculous. Didn't The Washington Post just start -- yes, they did -- within the past month, they started a conservative blog on the website. And their readers and the left-wing fringe threw a hissy fit, and the liberal Washington Post buckled just as fast as a bunch of congressmen in front of an immigration protest. And they concocted some phony excuse that the guy that they had hired was a plagiarist, and that they didn't know it. And so, he was gone inside of two weeks. Probably created more attention and hits to that blog at The Washington Post than any of their liberal bloggers -- but they couldn't handle the heat from the left, and so they couldn't offend their audience, and so they had to get rid of the conservative blogger. At the same time, they had to put out a bunch of garbage to impugn his character and reputation at the same time.
Don't tell us you're not liberal! That's where you're going wrong -- be -- what is so wrong with being liberal? I thought being a progressive, being a liberal was something to be proud of! I am proud to say I'm a conservative!