Ben Domenech Might Want To Let This Go
Propers go to the conservative-leaning New Ledger blogger for speaking directly into the hornet's nest and trying to apologize. But it seems the more he explains himself, the more Ben Domenech keeps sinking into the quicksand.
When he recently analyzed a list of the ten most likely Supreme Court nominations to replace John Paul Stevens, Domenech noted how frontrunner Elena Kagan could be the "first openly gay justice," and he made sure to list this as a positive. The post was then syndicated to CBS News' blog, where the White House saw it and took umbrage to Kagan's implied sexuality.
He defended himself by saying he was going on a rumor he had known for some time and had assumed everybody else already knew this. (He pointed out a few liberal bloggers' tweets, from Matthew Yglesias to Julian Sanchez, who confirmed they assumed the same thing.)
But in the end, Domenech's apology simply brings up more questions: "I offer my sincere apologies to Ms. Kagan if she is offended at all by my repetition of a Harvard rumor in a speculative blog post." This is a hell of a lot of damage control for a blogging mistake (which was partially defended by some of his ideological opposites). He's making it worse.
If only he had said, "Sorry, I thought she was openly homosexual" and then run a retraction. The critics might still be howling, but it creates fewer shades of gray for them to magnify.
Bloggers — especially political ones — can't help but love a good battle of wits, but this one's just not worth it, man.