On My Friend

I’ve wanted things to cool down a bit before saying anything else about this tragic affair.

Having gotten home before the sun went down on Friday, I was on the phone until the sun came up Saturday dealing with the issue and the fallout at RedState.

I have no regrets in jumping out immediately to defend Ben. The attackers were able to find some instances of plagiarism in Ben’s past. A young college student going out into the real world, it looks like Ben did, in fact, take a sentence in one case and slightly alter it and a paragraph in another case and did the same.

What angers me is not that Ben did it, or that he hid that truth as long as he could. What angers me is that these same attackers have those on their side who have done much more of that and worse. Yet, they have stood behind these people and refuse to allow any criticism of them.

What angers me more is that the plagiarism triumph of the attackers masks the ugliness that preceded it. They charged that Ben, being a homeschooler, must have had sex with his mother. They called him a bigot and a racism. And his superiors at the Washington Post refused to defend him from any of that — attacks that went on for days before there was even a hint of plagiarism.

Had I to do it all over again, I’d have reacted and done the same. A friend deserves a zealous defense until admitted or found guilty and deserves our sympathy, love, and support, once so admitted or found.

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Erick Erickson

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