Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Fall of Red America

I was an online denizen, reasonably frequent commenter, and occasional diarist at Red State for about 6 months after the 2004 elections (my diary). Ben Domenech (aka Augustine) was a fair-handed editor of the site, and agree or not with his posts, he always did his homework.

Last year, the atmosphere at Red State became decidedly less friendly to good-faith dissent, and along with many other commenters, I left the site--and started my own blog.

Meanwhile, this year Augustine was rewarded for his excellent online writing with a job as the Wa Po conservative blogger. His supporters at Red State stalwartly defended him when he was attacked from all sides. Yesterday, Domenech was conclusively shown to have plagiarized throughout his writing career. Michael Dougherty summarizes the story nicely. He concludes:


No one can fault the reflexive defense mounted by RedState for their co-founder, especially when Domenech's original critics gave no indication of being fair or decent. They succumbed to a pressure unique to the blogosphere -- to publish faster than the speed of thought. They acted on instinct for everyone to see. But as the facts came out, RedState's editors were surprisingly unfazed. Mike Krempasky had the last word, announcing Domenech's leave of absence and prophesying his walk down the road of redemption. The harshest words were not for the colleague that had only a few hours ago refused to own up to his intellectual theft, and used RedState to lash out at his critics and spin the story in his favor, but for that man's critics. "Loathesome (sic), vile, and disgusting -- their contempt for civil behavior surpassed only by the emptiness of their own souls."



Meanwhile, now that the truth is clear, those defenders are as quick to forgive him as Domenech was to lie in his own defense this week. They are as quick to excuse him as they are to condemn Jayson Blair or Jill Carroll.

Here's the question for centrists like myself: are the reflexive defenders left at Red State the conservatives that can be productive in dialogue with liberals and moderates, or are those conservatives somewhere else? If not, where are they?

2 Comments:

At 3:19 AM, Blogger Repack Rider said...

Anyone who is truly conservative is not a supporter of George W. Bush, who contradicts everything conservatism stands for with everything he says or does.

Mr. Bush is fiscally irresponsible, he refuses accountability, and he is extremely stingy with truth. These are not conservative values.

 
At 3:14 PM, Anonymous online creative writing jobs said...

You know whats funny?..
Its funny that even after the jews prove to the world how much they have contributed to the advancement of mankind, people still believe to eagerly type something negative about the jews on the media.. Why? No no REALLY why?? Im not saying that they are perfect and error-less. everybody has their own defects but seriously, if you really look at the big picture, the world and everything in it, you would most definitely see that it is quite foolish to speak in such ways about the jews.. If anybody needs some more info about if the jews werent here, then I can tell them exactly what kind of world this would have been without them.. Oh by the way, did you know that the little camera on your cell phone was invented in Israel by the jews.. Funny isnt it :)

 

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