Domenech resigned amid plagiarism charges

WASHINGTON — A right-wing blogger hired by the Washington Post resigned after less than a week on the job amid charges of plagiarism and quote fabrication.

In a brief note posted Friday on washingtonpost.com, online editor Jim Brady wrote:

“In the past 24 hours, we learned of allegations that (blogger) Ben Domenech plagiarized material that appeared under his byline in various publications prior to washingtonpost.com contracting with him to write a blog that launched Tuesday. An investigation into these allegations was ongoing and, in the interim, Domenech has resigned, effective immediately.”

Online critics alleged Domenech had repeatedly lifted material and in one case fabricated a quote in defense of President Bush — all prior to his starting at the Post.

A founder of the GOP blog RedState.com and a former Republican speech writer, Domenech inflamed liberals by calling Coretta Scott King, widow of slain civil rights activist Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., “a communist.” Liberals protested the hiring of Domenech, who had no newsroom experience, as a symptom of the newspaper’s eagerness to appease its conservative critics.

On its Web site, the liberal watchdog group Media Matters said:

“We are pleased that Ben Domenech will no longer be employed by the Post, but serious questions remain about why he was originally hired. The Post still needs to explain why a partisan operative who admits he is not a journalist and who has a history of racially charged rhetoric, homophobic bigotry and serial plagiarism was given a platform on washingtonpost.com in the first place.”

A request for comment from conservative group Accuracy in Media was not returned.

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