Washington Post Steps In It ~ Domenech Resigns

A few days ago I wrote, “This is probably the dumbest thing the Washington Post Online could have done from a long-term business perspective. First the whole Red State/Blue State meme is on the way out. Second, giving voice to one of the founders of racist Red State is a bad idea too. It’ll catch up to them.”

I had no idea how quickly Domenech’s hiring would turn into an out and out disaster for the Washington Post. Editor Jim Brady and Ombudsman Deborah Howell have got to be feeling like world class fools for appeasing the Right the way they did. They got played.

The bottom line is this: appeasement doesn’t pay.

Update: Mistakes and all, it’s important to remember there’s a flawed human at the center of this, one I imagine is in a world of hurt. So, let’s stick with the real issues and the facts, ok?

Update 2: Malkin calls it a debacle. Domenech resigns. Washington Post comments here.

Update 3: Digby addresses the real issue: appeasement and the media. Like I said, it doesn’t pay.

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Sean Paul Kelley

Traveler of the (real) Silk Road, scholar and historian, photographer and writer - founder of The Agonist.

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  • Why is the Washington Post making fun of the right wing with this Red State blog? I admit it is pretty funny and I do find myself chuckling. Are you just trying to get liberals to read your newspaper for a laugh? I mean writing like the whole right wing are idiots is an old joke. Aren’t you worried about pissing off your right wing readers? You don’t have any? Oh, I forgot the liberal press and all. Still, you should make the same kind of fun at liberals

    We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. – General Education Board Letter #1, 1906, Rockefeller Foundation.

  • But if there is one thing I’ve learned, people have to live with the consequences of their behavior. Now, I am not in for name calling and all that. Well, okay, if you hold public office, make decisions that result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of lives, or actively do nothing in the face of obvious catastrophe, then you get called names. Also, sometimes in the fit of anger after someone has mistreated me and when alone in my car some very foul, nasty names will elicit from my mouth. But other then that…..

    However, in this tough old world, you shoot off your mouth, expect to have people shoot off right back at you. It’s that whole unmanageable aspect of life a certain mutual friend of ours has talked about from time to time.

    But think about this, had there never been the likes of Rush, Sean, Ann C., Laura, Bill O’r, Mike Savage, well, let’s leave Mike out of this, etc., etc., etc., and suddenly one of them came along singing their song and dance, would they be accepted in the mainstream?

    So, is it really all that surprising to see Domenech, who is emulating the likes of those listed above, to be attacked with such raw anger? Domenech is simply a blatant example of the racist, discriminatory belief system et. el. propagate in much more subtle, implicit tones.

    At long last, the Mighty Wurlitzer is exposed of having no decency. No sense of decency left at all.*

    To me, this is another indication that there is a turn in the tide for the media in our country. The right wing talking points have been exposed as the lies they are. It is unfortunate that a young pup such as Domenech is receiving the brunt of anger from the progressives, and even moderates, of this country. But like the Post, he too stepped into it. Live and learn.

    Besides, how do we not know he will come out of this a better person? I think there is a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon somewhere about character building that might be appropriate. I am just too lazy to google.

    *I bow to the great moment of clarity supplied by Mr. Welch.

    And yes, I am being defensive. So shoot me………

    If I had wanted cream and sugar why order the coffee?

  • I also think he pretty much deserves it. Better men (and women) than he have been completely trashed by his “colleagues” on the right, and mercilessly. They have been trashed not for what they have done, but for how they think. On the Left, we pretty much go after people who have actually done bad stuff, like steal other people’s work. Ben Domenech actually deserves everything he is getting; the unfortunate thing is Bush deserves so much more opprobrium, and isn’t getting it. (Maybe because his crimes are so big we don’t know where to start?) Anyway, as a soldier in the Bush Army, he’s gotta expect that when he stand out in front of the great leader, he’s got to expect to take bullets. That’s why the armor of intellectual honesty is so important.

  • describes the turning point of the media in this country much more eloquently then I can.

    And this incident with Domenech is much more important then some bloggers are willing to admit. I know Kevin Drum over at Political Animal seems to think it is distracting. However, I am of the mind that we are seeing a fundamental shift in the manner by which news is disseminated in this country. Maybe even in the world.

    If I had wanted cream and sugar why order the coffee?

  • Wow. I think you’re the first Domenech critic I’ve come across to call for a little compassion. Sure, he seems to have really stepped in it, opening himself to career-crippling charges of plagiarism and hypocrisy. But you and acaben are absolutely right to remind us of his flawed humanity (and ours, by implication). You’ve got a fan for life.

  • …is ample example of why I don’t hang out there. I wanna work out my anger, I hit the heavy bag…

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • or play the drums or go for a bike ride.

    I have little enough time on this earth and do not intend to waste any of it on anger and hatred.

    – Rick
    “Free your mind, and your ass will follow” – George Clinton

  • While it’s probably true that bloggers on the left went looking for evidence to use against Domenech — it has been known to happen — it’s a little late in the game for anyone to complain about the lack of civility in the debate, at least where Domenech is concerned. It was Domenech, after all, who, in his first post for Red America, dismissed liberals as “shrieking denizens” of the Democrats’ “increasingly extreme base.”


    I bear Ben no personal malice, but all Ben needed to do to be entitled to the restraint and mercy you suggest would have been to present – in his first post – his own views, or the views of conservatives, on the issues instead of attempting to publicly demean my own values.

    Ben’s a foot soldier in an information war. I didn’t start the war. It came to my door unbidden and unasked. When he figuratively takes up arms against me, his ass is my toy.

    Generally I’m inclined to mercy and compassion, but make no mistake – when I am attacked or demeaned it is my prerogative to give or withold that mercy as I see fit.

    Before we decide on the appropriate level of compassion for Ben Domenech – here’s his latest contribution to the debate.

    Blogger Ben Domenech Strikes Back; Calls Post Editors ‘Fools’
    By: Robert B. Bluey
    Posted 03/24/06
    03:58 PM

    In his first public comments since resigning earlier today as a blogger for washingtonpost.com, Ben Domenech says his editors there were “fools” for not expecting an onslaught of attacks from the left.“While I appreciated the opportunity to go and join the Washington Post,” Domenech said, “if they didn’t expect the leftists were going to come after me with their sharpened knives, then they were fools.”…


    He doesn’t get Red Cross help until after he puts his gun down.

  • …Domenech’s ass that the kossacks were using for a toy. Many among them’re quite content to extend the asstoy principle to anyone who doesn’t go along with the party line. God forbid that anyone break out of the halleluiah chous of true believers.

    The major problem with online discourse is that folks have a remarkable tendancy to say things online that they wouldn’t dare say to someone’s face.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • And thanks to him and everyone else who writes it down so the rest of us can gain from it. Lots easier to leverage someone else’s experience into wisdom than generate it completely anew every time.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

  • If his career is over, that now lies with the extreme left that went for his throat. Some are probably celebrating their victory, others may regret they were a party.

    If there were more people that tended to their own backyards, it may have ended differently. Do the guilty deserve compassion in life? Those are questions we have to ask ourselves.

    So many cliches are appropriate, “If you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones.” “He who is without sin shall cast the first stone.”

  • …Domenech is secondary. Dropping the crap that the Kossacks did on someone that had the temerity to disagree? The point of online communities is the exchange of ideas on their own merit, not this crapola. Like I said, it’s exactly that propensity that is the reason that I don’t hang round there much.

    “We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.” – Jon Stewart.

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