The wheels on the bus go round and round
Wait, there's a Washington Post editor under your
The (brief) life and (quick) death of a blog
Red America came and went in less than a week.
Washingtonpost.com hired GOP operative Ben Domenech, a 24-year-old wonder boy with virtually no journalism background, to add an explicitly conservative voice to its stable of blogs. Domenech made his first post Monday and immediately came under fire from liberal bloggers, outraged that the Post would create a Red America blog but not one for Blue America.
But that’s not what ended Domenech’s short-lived stint in the mainstream media. (By the way, I loved how he used his gig in the MSM to attack the MSM for ignoring conservatives.) It turns out there were strong indications that he was a serial plagiarizer. He resigned today, and Post officials said he would have been fired had he not resigned.
It just happens that former Pioneer Press editor Deborah Howell, now the Post’s ombudsman, was in our newsroom today for a Q&A session on journalism topics. I asked her about the Domenech affair.
Her reply: “I can’t defend it. It’s a fuckin’ disaster.”
I bet today has been one of those days where the burnt, acidy taste of Starbucks coffee is working hard on the organs. Bathroom twice, and it's not a number one. Your cell phone is now your enemy, and the e-mail not much better. Because you fucked up. Bad. You hitched your wagon to a bunch of racists and chickenhawks.
The e-mails started up yet? Seems they should be coming. People are pissed at you. You do know that once upon a time the Post was seen as the savior of American democracy. Now, you're just a tool for people who shouldn't be hired to get coffee for the help desk, much less have a voice attached to the Post. You're supposed to be a steward of that name and tradition, even if everyone else fails in it.
When I was at NYU, I was taught by Timesmen, which is what they called themselves. They were mostly old school reporters, like Frank Prial, but they respected themselves and their profession and taught us to as well. Young Ben would have flunked out of Reporting I and booted from the program.
But at least you can drink coffee from your desk today. At least you can smile at the secretaries and have your ID card. Because, even while Deb Howell tosses you under that bus, you still have your job.
What did you think? We didn't read Red State? That their reputation wouldn't have contaminated the Post? Did you ask any questions?
Imagine your job security when it was discovered that another of Red State's founders was behind the new Georgia Poll tax? Is it me, or is DC and surrounding areas filled with black people? Think they like poll taxes and voter suppression?
Sometimes, bad things are good for people, missing that flight and then it crashes, not going to that party and everyone is arrested, blowing off that girl and then finding out her boyfriend is a violent psycho. Ben's quick rise and fall is one of those things.
Why? Oh let's play pretend for a minute.
DC black radio:
Host "In other news, the Washington Post has hired a "blogger" for a new column called Red America"
Co-Host: Red America? You mean red neck America
Host: Something like that. The guy's name is Ben Domenech. Seems he writes for something called Red State.
Co-Host: Red State, huh?
Host: Yeah. They didn't like the King funeral. Seems this guy called Mrs. King a communist.
Host: Yeah, he said "the president was honoring a communist"
Co-Host: What? And he writes for the Washington Post?
Co-Host: So we need to find out who his boss is and asked why he hired him.
Jim, you see where this is going. Flooded switchboards, threats to pull car ads, questions from politicians. A festival of ugly, all with your name on it. And for what? People who hate you, will continue to hate you and think you are anti-American. You risked your job for ungrateful snots who sneered at you.
I think I'd switch to tea and seltzer if I were you. The coffee isn't going to help you now. Just more acid. Think happy thoughts. You'll need to.
posted by Steve @ 12:12:00 PM