25 Pieces Worth Reading, Mostly Economics, for April 15, 2010
EXTRA: MUST CREDIT DELONG: Court Nomination News: Senators McConnell and Hatch Denounce Nomination of Solomon ben David

Attention Howard Kurtz: The Dominant View Is That Elena Kagan Is Not a Lesbian

Howard Kurtz:

White House complains about CBS News blog post saying that possible Supreme Court nominee is gay: The White House ripped CBS News on Thursday for publishing an online column by a blogger who made assertions about the sexual orientation of Solicitor General Elena Kagan, widely viewed as a leading candidate for the Supreme Court. Ben Domenech, a former Bush administration aide and Republican Senate staffer, wrote that President Obama would "please" much of his base by picking the "first openly gay justice." An administration official, who asked not to be identified discussing personal matters, said Kagan is not a lesbian.

CBS initially refused to pull the posting, prompting Anita Dunn, a former White House communications director who is working with the administration on the high court vacancy, to say: "The fact that they've chosen to become enablers of people posting lies on their site tells us where the journalistic standards of CBS are in 2010." She said the network was giving a platform to a blogger "with a history of plagiarism" who was "applying old stereotypes to single women with successful careers." The network deleted the posting Thursday night after Domenech said he was merely repeating a rumor. The flare-up underscores how quickly the battle over a Supreme Court nominee -- or even a potential nominee -- can turn searingly personal. Most major news organizations have policies against "outing" gays or reporting on the sex lives of public officials unless they are related to their public duties...

Howard: nobody besides Ben Domenech has ever said that Elena Kagan would be the first "openly" gay justice.

Indeed, my six-degrees-of-separation-links leading toward Ms. Kagan say that they do not believe that she is a lesbian at all.

It's not about how the battle over a Supreme Court nominee can turn searingly personal.

It's about how news organizations hire, print, and display dumbness and incompetence.

You should be ashamed of yourself foor misleading your readers.

And you should be ashamed of yourself for your misleading summary of Box-Turtle Ben's three-day career at the Washington Post as well:

The Post's Web site briefly hired Domenech as a conservative blogger in 2006. He resigned three days after his debut after a flurry of plagiarism allegations that were trumpeted by liberal Web sites. The sites found signs of plagiarism in a movie review he wrote for National Review Online and, earlier, in his writing for the College of William & Mary's student newspaper. Domenech maintained that he did not knowingly use other people's writing without attribution but said the "firestorm" had "reached the point where there's nothing I can really do to defend myself."

So, Howard, was box-turtle Ben telling the truth when he said that he did not knowingly use other people's writing, or not?

Here's what National Review had to say:

No Excuses [John Podhoretz]: I don't know Ben Domenech, but I've always found him impressive. The evidence of his plagiarism, however, is overwhelming, and there can be no excuses for these intellectual felonies. He needs to come clean and take his punishment like a man.


A Message to Our Readers [The Editors]: As the previous links on the matter mention, at least one of the pieces Ben Domenech is accused of having plagiarized was a movie review for National Review Online. A side-by-side comparison to another review of the same film speaks for itself. There is no excuse for plagiarism and we apologize to our readers and to Steve Murray of the Cox News Service from whose piece the language was lifted. With some evidence of possible problems with other pieces, we're also looking into other articles he wrote for NRO.


Domenech, Continued [The Editors]: As we mentioned in our earlier editor's note, staff here at National Review Online are going through all of the pieces Ben Domenech has written for us (the most recent of which appears to have been published in 2002) in light of questions raised in the wake of the debut of his "Red America" blog this week on the Washington Post's website (from which he has since resigned). Our review unfortunately raises questions about several other pieces besides the one we apologized for this morning.... You get the idea. Put alongside other pieces that we're looking at and that have been linked to elsewhere in the blogosphere, it's hard not to conclude there was something amiss. We're still looking. And again apologize to our readers that this ever happened on our site.

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?