Dear Daily Caller: It’s Time To Talk About The Ethics of Benny Johnson
Dear Daily Caller,
It saddens us to write you this note, but for the integrity of conservative media, it must be done.
One of your reporters, Benny Johnson, is a serial plagiarist. Whether his condition is an inherent biological compulsion, or a simple lack of integrity is difficult to tell. We reached out to him and asked, but he did not respond.
A brief refresher, in case you’ve forgotten. Benny was busted back in his days as a BuzzFeed reporter for more than 40 instances of plagiarism, and subsequently fired by BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief, Ben Smith.
Why you hired Benny is your business. But the problem is this: He’s been encroaching on our business for some time now. Let’s get into the examples, shall we?
Back in October, we obtained an exclusive video showing pro-Trump Cubans in Miami rejecting Nancy Pelosi’s communist agenda. Benny proceeded to rip our watermark off of the video, share it on his Twitter account, and then write a story on your website without attributing the video to Big League Politics. That, we could not abide. Benny only fixed the story once we asked him about it in his direct messages on Twitter.
Hey, once could be an honest mistake, right? Despite his past, which shows evidence to the contrary, we let Benny off the hook.
After several months of ripping our exclusive scoops and posting them to his Twitter account without attribution, which we surely noticed but ignored given the nature of reporting the news via Twitter, Benny crossed the line again on Friday.
In his story, co-authored by Amber Athey, regarding Ralph Northam’s blackface/KKK photograph which was reported exclusively by Big League Politics well before the rest of the media caught up, Benny cited The Virginian-Pilot as the source of the photo:
Benny’s story was published on your site well after he direct messaged us on Twitter, asking that we give up our source to confirm the authenticity of the photograph. Of course, we did not oblige. Serious journalists can independently verify such information on their own, just like The Virginian-Pilot did. After all, we wouldn’t be in business very long if we simply handed all of our sources over to Benny, would we? Perhaps he has difficulty obtaining them otherwise, but it is not our place to speculate.
Currently, Benny, and consequently your news outlet, is one of the last holdouts – other than kooky Mike Cernovich – denying rightful credit to Big League Politics for the Northam scoop.
This fact is not lost among the D.C. politics crowd, including Benny’s own colleague at your site, Betsy Rothstein.
Story is all over TV networks like @CNN and @howleyreports is not getting the credit that he deserves. They just act like story came from nowhere when we all know if it was @nytimes or @washingtonpost they’d get the credit. https://t.co/v1Kfq5VVsq
— Betsy Rothstein (@betsyscribeindc) February 2, 2019
We reached out to many of your staff and received no response as to why you continue to employ a serial plagiarist who demeans our profession regularly. Perhaps he’d be a better fit for a supermarket tabloid, rather than a serious conservative news outlet. We hear the journalist standards at such publications are far less rigorous.
We will be awaiting your sincerest apologies, and a correction to your story.
Big League Politics
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