Continuing my readings of the backlash surrounding Ben Domenech's resignation at the Washington Post, I came across another very interesting view from Captain's Quarters:
The entire tempest surrounding the hiring and termination of Ben Domenech as the Washington Post's designated conservative blogger shows that the blogosphere has a lot of growing up to do. Between the hysteria, the personal attacks, the revelation of wrongdoing and the triumphalism that followed, bloggers did tremendous damage to themselves.
We had anticipated a lively debate in the Washington Post once Ben started blogging -- but instead we got a slew of ad hominem attacks from bloggers determined to sabotage the Post's experiment. All one has to do is spend a couple of hours surfing through the various Red America links at Memeorandum to understand just how unhinged the attacks were, especially in the beginning. Charges of racism and bigotry flew mighty quickly and with no substantiation, but the accusations themselves took on their own life as a meme. It interfered with the real revelations of plagiarism discovered by some of the same bloggers who had been throwing dishes at Domenech and the Post from the moment Jim Brady announced the effort.
OK Captain Ed - full engine stop right there sailor. It must be nice to sit in the comfort of your little computer den and look at the world through the red eye's. Some of us prefer to see more purple though.
Here is the problem, and if you bothered to actually read up on the situation you may have realized it. The Washington Post hired Ben because they wanted to "balance out" their views. Yeah the Washington Post is such a left leaning newspaper. The same Washington Post that labels any blog that disagrees with Bush and his failed policies as "liberals". Of course the Washington Post could not even answer if they had any "liberal bloggers" on their site.
Here is something else the old Captain might want to consider - looking back at what he has said.
Exhibit A (dated June 1, 2004)
Jayson Blair did so well at the Times. He wrote what Raines wanted to read, regardless of whether what he wrote was true
Exhibit B (dated September 14, 2004)
Jayson Blair scandal, in which a favored reporter took advantage of a lack of leadership in the newsroom to file a string of fictional reports despite numerous indications of his fraudulent behavior.
Wait a minute. I only got about 995 gigs of server space left so I am not going to list them all. Instead click this link for Google (simple search - jayson blair site:captainsquartersblog.com ). What it brings up is 370 hits (at the time of this writing) where the Captain or his readers have mentioned Jayson Blair. Those two excerpts I posted were from a year after Blair was exposed and fired. Hey Captain Ed - before you go around saying people have some "growing up to do", I suggest you take a long hard look in the mirror.
This is a perfect case study of the right's attacks. If something doesn't go their way then they whine, whine, whine. Honestly, I believe Ben's comments regarding Coretta Scott King would have been enough grounds to terminate him. We already have enough racial tensions in this country and some little snot nosed punk who couldn't even cut it in public schools calling Mrs. King a communist on the day of her funeral certainly does not help that problem.
So old salty dog Ed, if we are acting childish to you then that is fine. At least we are not sitting at home with a perpetual woody for war, people starving in our country, children without healthcare and the numerous other issues that are facing our nation. So did "bloggers did tremendous damage to themselves"? Absolutely not. The only damage to bloggers comes from Ben who may have some equating bloggers with plagiarists now. The fact is the blogosphere triumphed this week. We showed the big, bad media conglomerates that we are watching them. We showed them that we have no problem questioning their actions.