There was a lot of secrecy surrounding the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui today, but from this Washington Post news account, here's what happened: The prosecution rested, after which the defense made a motion for judgment of acquittal in a sealed hearing, and the trial resumed in open court with the defense calling its first witness. Shorter version: The defense lost it's motion for judgment of acquittal.
I can't find any record of a ruling on this defense motion which was filed Tuesday. I discuss it at length here. Apparently, the Judge has decided to let the Government switch horses in midstream. The defense had claimed the Judge's order reconsidering the admission of the aviation testimony and witnesses has allowed the Government to expand its theory for the death penalty from one that alleges Moussaoui's lies directly resulted in at least one death on 9/11 to one that claims his failure to tell the truth on 9/11 caused a death. As the defense pointed out:
As of this morning, the fine folks over at Red State Racists were trying to put up a smoke screen around Box Turltle Ben and laughing at the idea that he was Augustine. Someone at the post.com obviously clued him in that this shit would not float[...]
Read The Full Article:
Washington Post blogger Ben Domenech regrets the error.
As Hunter laid out below, the Washington Post's special quota hire Ben Domenech is quite a plagiarist. He's not just some one-off plagiarizer, he's a recidivist plagiarist. But don't look at him as the main problem in this fiasco at the Washington Post. Ben Domenech is just the example of an ethically and intellectually bankrupt conservative movement, especially its bloggers. And the fact that he was even hired shows that the Washington Post is craven for trying to strike a balance between political fact and fantasy, and is itself so ethically bankrupt that it has forgotten the lessons of the most infamous period of the newspaper's history.
A major element of this scandal at the Washington Post is that it perceives a need to balance out the factually-informed work of a serious journalist with the fantasy rants of a rightwing shill. As Gilliard points out:
The Post does not have a left blogger. Dan Froomkin is a journalist. Racist Redstate Ben is a political operative. See the difference.
Apparently the folks at the Post were too concerned about toadying up to the wingers to notice that distinction. They were intent on balancing out Froomkin's reality-based analysis with screeds from a winger. We should assume the Post hired the best person they could find. The problem for the Post, therefore, is that the intellects and professional ethics of conservative bloggers are so risible that the best person they could hire ended up being a plagarizer.
By doing a laughably bad job of due diligence on Domenech, the Post has earned all the mockery and derision coming their way. But people who care about the Post probably aren't laughing, because this scandal has too many resemblances to the darkest moment in the history of that newspaper: the Janet Cooke scandal.
Let's take a look at this column about the Cooke scandal and other pertinent issues, titled The Perils of Press Arrogance:
The series of fabrications that resulted last week in the resignations of the top two editors of the New York Times is a calamity for all of American journalism...
Anyone who can gloat at their discomfiture is worse than a fool. This is far more than a personal embarrassment or a black eye for the Times. It is a serious blow to the credibility of the press, and it comes at a time when public trust is fragile.
Those of us who work at The Post know what our friends at the Times are going through. In 1980 a talented colleague of ours, Janet Cooke, concocted a story about an 8-year-old heroin addict, which The Post played prominently on the front page. It was not until the story was awarded a Pulitzer Prize that it and its author were exposed as phony.
We live with that legacy every day. No matter how much distinguished work is done by this staff -- and there is a wealth of it -- it does not erase the enormity of the failure to prevent the Janet Cooke fiasco...
If the Times' leadership is wise, it will recognize this institutional disaster for what it is and reflect on the culture that produced it. It will not simply change editors but change attitudes.
The besetting sin of big-time journalism is arrogance -- the belief in our own omniscience, that we know so much we don't have to listen to criticism. And the Times as an institution leads the league in arrogance.
More than 35 years ago, as a newcomer to The Post, I recognized that we were dangerously cut off from the forces that were reshaping this country. In the 1968 presidential campaign, we were (and I definitely include myself) slow to pick up on the anti-establishment movements that propelled such different candidates as Eugene McCarthy, Robert Kennedy, George Wallace and Richard Nixon.
The next year, I was on sabbatical at the Institute of Politics at Harvard when elite students trashed Harvard Square in an antiwar demonstration and forced the university to shut down weeks early.
Returning to the paper, I showed no special wisdom in suggesting to Executive Editor Ben Bradlee and Publisher Katharine Graham that any institution as large and visible as The Post could expect to be targeted by anti-establishment forces. It was one of many factors that led them to hire the first ombudsman at The Post -- a professional journalist whose sole responsibility is to respond to reader complaints and provide an independent critique of the paper's performance.
When the Janet Cooke story exploded, the ombudsman on duty, Bill Green, conducted his own investigation, and his detailed report to readers was the first crucial step toward restoring the paper's reputation.
By contrast, the Times management has consistently rejected having an ombudsman or readers' representative, asserting that it would enforce its own standards, thank you very much...
The Times has had its comeuppance. Its sins are symptomatic of the press's inflated self-importance. The Times can lead the way back to trust -- if its publisher will.
Ultimately everyone will take that wretch Ben Domenech's advice regarding plagiarists, and forget him. But has the Washington Post gotten so arrogant that it has forgotten Janet Cooke? Is the Post so cut off from the forces changing the media that it believes it's OK to have a plagiarist on staff, because if people don't like what he has to say, they can just ignore him? Do they think all bloggers and all viewpoints are equally valid? That there's no difference between bloggers like us here at Daily Kos, where we often beat up on the media for disregard of facts and for shoddy reporting and laughably bad arguments, and bloggers like Ben Domenech, who respond to inconvenient facts with laughably bad arguments, shoddy thinking, lying, intimidation, hypocrisy and serial plagiarism?
We'll learn over the next few days if the Washington Post has forgotten the infamy of indulging Janet Cooke's lies. they shouldn't indulge Ben Domenech's lies. As plagiarism expert Ben Domenech argued in a similar case, "no quarter" should be given to such lies. Maybe Domenech will do the Post a favor and resign so he can spend more time with Claude Allen's family. If not, the Washington Post has only one option: admit they were wrong to try to balance sound journalism with ideology and plagiarism, and fire Ben Domenech.
[UPDATE by DHinMI] As Kosmopolitans and others dig through Domenech's publish output to discover that this guy has hardly written an orginal sentence in his entire life, we're finding he had plagarized all kinds of sources. But pb may have just found the sweetest example of all: in this piece Domenech plagarized a page 1 article from--God, if we just made this stuff up nobody would believe it--the Washington Post.
Maher Arar, the Canadian who was kidnapped by U.S. authorities at JFK and flown to Rome, Italy and then Syria and Jordan via extraordinary rendition where he alleges he was tortured during his nine months of captivity, testified today at a hearing of the European Parliament, held by the Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners.
Mr. Arar told the EU committee that FBI agents took his passport, put him in chains on both his wrists and ankles and asked him to voluntarily to go to Syria. He refused. After several days of interrogation in New York, he said he was driven to New Jersey and put on a private jet that stopped over in Rome before landing in Amman. "I overheard them saying they belonged to a special removal unit," he said.
Mr. Arar said he could see on the airport's in-flight screen showing the trajectory of the flight that it landed in Rome. He said he overheard officials discussing the plane's next stop in Athens. He said the plane refuelled in Rome and tall person in a civilian suit guarded it on the tarmac. Once in Syria, Mr. Arar said, he was detained in a small cell with no light and was beaten and tortured. He said he also heard other people being tortured.
A U.S. court dismissed his civil lawsuit last month, but Arar says he will appeal and not be silenced. A summary of his testimony appears on the E.U.'s website here.
The jury in the corruption trial of Former Illinois Governor George Ryan, who commuted the death sentences of all of the state's death row inmates because so many had been wrongfully convicted, sent a note to the Judge today saying they were having difficulty reaching a verdict. The judge didn't give them a dynamite instruction, but instead told them to "treat each other with dignity and respect." She also warned them not to deliberate in smaller groups.
The Judge said the jurors are having personal problems. If you haven't been following the case,
The charges allege that as secretary of state and later as governor from 1999 to Ryan steered big-money state leases and contracts to Warner and other insiders and was rewarded with free vacations and gifts. Ryan and Warner maintain they did nothing illegal.
La negra tiene tumbao. You’re going to be hearing a lot about immigration politics in the next week, and throughout this election year.You may think you are hearing about immigration policy, but[...]
Read The Full Article:
This Washington Post thing is rapidly becoming a blood bath. We've moved on from Domenech's funeral-day assertion that Coretta Scott King was a communist, or his comparison of the Supreme Court to the Klu Klux Klan. Those are small things. Now it's getting bad.
From Oregon Guy and fleshed out further by James at Your Logo Here -- who is himself on a spectacular Box Turtle Ben rampage -- we learn that some instances of Ben's much-vaunted homeschooled teen wonderism in college actually came from, well, flagrant plagiarism of published works.
...Ben's lyrical stylings on a real party are completely lifted from P.J. O'Rourke's "Modern Manners" - a chapter entitled "Real Parties." I should have known as this is one of the gifts my older brother gave me years ago that did not involve punching me in the nads.
O'Rourke, p.176: Office Christmas parties. Wine-tasting parties. Book-publishing parties. Parties with themes, such as "Las Vegas Nite" or "Waikiki Whoopee". Parties at which anyone is wearing a blue velvet tuxedo jacket.
BenDom: Christmas parties. Wine tasting parties. Book publishing parties. Parties with themes, such as "Las Vegas Nite" or "Waikiki Whoopee." Parties at which anyone is wearing a blue velvet tuxedo jacket.
O'Rourke: It's not a real party if it doesn't end in an orgy or a food fight. All your friends should still be there when you come to in the morning.
BenDom: It's not a real party if it doesn't end in an orgy or a food fight. All your friends should still be there when you come to in the morning.
(And more here here.)
Reader silence found another example, in which Domenech plagiarized an entirely different piece, this time from Salon:
From a Ben Domenech review of Bringing Out the Dead:
Instead of allowing for the incredible nuances that Cage always brings to his performances, the character of Frank sews it all up for him.
But there are those moments that allow Cage to do what he does best. When he's trying to revive Mary's father, the man's family fanned out around him in the living room in frozen semi-circle, he blurts out, "Do you have any music?"
From a review posted on salon.com, published about a week earlier:
Instead of allowing for the incredible nuance that Cage always brings to his performances, the character of Frank sews it all up for him. ... But there are those moments that allow Cage to do what he does best. When he's trying to revive Mary's father, the man's family fanned out around him in the living room in frozen semi-circle, he blurts out, "Do you have any music?"
[UPDATE 2 -- silence continues to find more and more. Here's a movie review Ben "wrote" for the National Review that contained snippets taken from Steve Murray.]
[UPDATE 3 -- Oh, the irony... he even bylined material to himself that he took from, you guessed it, the Washington Post.]
[UPDATE 4 -- Via Atrios and his commenters again, the examples keep coming.]
That's one way to polish your credentials as an up-and-coming writer -- copy and paste from someone who actually has talent. Excelsior!
More Washington Post news below, because this is just the story that keeps on giving. Someone's getting fired over this one, if the media as a whole has even a shred of ethics actually left.
says faculty are forbidden to use the “e-word” (evolution). More: “I am instructed NOT to use hard numbers when telling kids how old rocks are. I am supposed to say that these rocks are VERY VERY OLD…but I am NOT to say that these rocks are thought to be about 300 million years old.”
You know, I had a whole other post planned for this afternoon. And then reader Mommybrain posted a note about the latest Wolcott article in the comments, and my plans went to hell.Wolcott just scared the bejeebers out of[...]
Read The Full Article: