CONSERVATIVE BLOGGER QUITS 'WASHINGTON POST'

Accusations of Plagiarism Chased Ben Domenech Offline

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In the latest strange episode of Close Encounters with New Media, conservative blogger Ben Domenech quit The Washington Post’s Web site today, just three days after beginning the Red America blog there.
Mr. Domenech resigned amid a storm of criticism from liberal blogs, many of which objected to the decision to add a conservative blogger to Washingtonpost.com without adding an explicitly lefty counterpart.

Storm of liberal criticism
Mr. Domenech resigned amid a storm of criticism from liberal blogs, many of which objected to The Post’s decision to add a conservative blogger to its site without adding an explicitly lefty counterpart. But it was numerous accusations of plagiarism, aired and spread online, that forced his departure.

“An investigation into these allegations was ongoing, and in the interim, Domenech has resigned, effective immediately,” Jim Brady, executive editor, Washingtonpost.com, said in a note to readers. “We appreciate the speed and thoroughness with which our readers and media outlets surfaced these allegations. Despite the turn this has taken, we believe this event, among other things, testifies to the positive and powerful role that the Internet can play in the practice of journalism.”

Previous blog issues
The incident was not the first time The Post wrestled with the Web. It briefly shut down the comments section on one of its other blogs in January, citing a wave of abusive language from readers, but has since reopened that forum.

Mr. Domenech will continue as a director and contributor at RedState, a political blog which he previously helped establish. A RedState post by another director, Clayton Wagar, expressed disappointment at the turn of events at The Post. “We are also disappointed in some of our allies in their rush to judgement,” Mr. Wagar wrote. “But, alas, we live and die by the speed of the Internet.”

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