Ben Domenech: Fireproofing His Master's House
Here's where we stood as of yesterday:
* Regnery dismissed blogosphere pariah Ben Domenech before the Post was embarrassed into it because of, so they claimed, simple conflict of interest issues.
* Domenech -- along with a couple others in positions to know -- told us quite clearly that there wasn't anything more to the story.
* But we also heard better, more interesting stuff.
What we've heard today, along with a little bit o' reporting, is after the jump:
Regnery -- generally not adverse to publicity -- would have been perfectly happy to have an editor with a high-profile gig at a major paper's website, if it weren't for the fact that the work said editor was doing for them was so shoddy. We hear that he often passed off his actual editing duties to others, seemed more interested in networking and "taking meetings" than working, and seemed even more interested in making a name for himself as a political operative than, you know, editing. With the Post gig (along with his personal site and other blogging) taking up even more of his time, Regnery decided that paying Domenech to keep an empty office wasn't worth it (which is the kernel of truth in both the "official" story of Domenech's dismissal and his own account sent to us yesterday).
And in the "oh, that explains it" file: His most egregious error at Regnery was allegedly screwing up Michelle Malkin's last book (Unhinged) by leaving out 27 words from a chapter. If you recall, Ms. Malkin was one of the first right-wingers to turn against Domenech and take the attacks from liberal (read: "unhinged") blogs very seriously, until it became much harder for her ideological countrymen to ignore them.
Malkin didn't return our request for comment. Domenech did -- he chalks the Malkin mistake to a printing error out of his control, and says our source is "dead wrong:"
In the time since Malkin, I've worked on six more Regnery books. Not only is this claim wrong, it'll get laughed at by anyone who knows anything about the bookmaking process.
Once again, a quandry -- we still can't wrap our minds around the idea of someone being fired from Regnery for incompetence, and we really don't know a lot about the bookmaking process, except that it's probably more reliable than Movable Type. Still, though -- Malkin turned on him pretty damn quick considering he was her former editor. Per usual, if you're an insider, we'd love to hear from you. If you're an outsider, go ahead and send us your crazy theories too.