Friday, March 24, 2006

Fire the Bastard

So.... in some lighthearted news, the Washington Post hired a right-wing blogger to try and mollify the "batshit insane" segment of the population. It turns out that he's a racist, plagiarizing twit.

For a number of personal reasons, it was the plagiarism that got me the most. Maybe it's because I read about this group of numbnuts from Skippy. (In case you don't click through, a bunch of students successfully kept their professors from using software to detect plagiarism.) Plagiarism - academically, or in the real world - really gets to me.

Let me be obnoxious for a moment: I get As. I get a lot of As. I'm usually really, really disappointed in myself when I get Bs. I am, in short, a pretty good student. I have on several occasions had professors ask me to use my papers as examples of what every student should produce.

My point is not to simply brag (though it is that, a bit.) My point is that I've also, from even before I got in to university, had to be extremely careful about my work. If I print out my work, I have to make sure I account for every copy. Because (I swear this is true) I've literally seen my work fished out of the recycling bin and handed in by people who aren't me. (My professors and teachers have told me about this.)

So I've been a victim of plagiarism, at least in the academic context. And I have no patience or respect for plagiarism. I've never needed it, and I don't see any reason for it ever being something that can be excused.

And I have exactly zero respect for Ben Domenech. I don't care what his reasons are - forgot to cite, was careless, whatever. There's a pretty clear history of his work, and it goes without saying that he should be fired. What is one of the premier news organizations in the world doing hiring this guy without any kind of checking? Jesus. Are there literally no standards anymore?

1 comment:

Flash said...

Nice piece.
I am a Grad student at the University in question. I get a lot of As too, as it is my second Master's degree - I'm getting the hang of it, you might say. However, there is a part of me that is concerned that after a lot of sweating blood to thoroughly research a paper, my degree, in the end, will have a potential question mark hanging over it thanks to these twits.