Wednesday, May 22, 2024

#2773: Ben Domenech

Benjamin Domenech is a blogger, editor, publisher, and television commentator: he is co-founder and publisher of The Federalist and host of The Federalist Radio Hour, writes The Transom (a daily subscription newsletter), co-founded the RedState group blog and is a Fox News as a commentator in 2021. He was briefly (three days) a blogger for Washington Post as well in 2013, but lost the gig over numerous instances of plagiarism. (By contrast, he lost his relationship with The Washington Examiner and The Huffington Post due to corruption.)


The Federalist, after launching in 2013, was quickly recognized as “a leading disseminator of pro-Trump conspiracies and up-is-down, funhouse-mirror distortions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and potential Trump involvement.” During Covid, they were a major disseminator of fake news, denialism and conspiracy theories about the pandemic, with many articles in these categories being written by Domenech himself. federalist co-founder Sean Davis, for instance, accused the Democrats of intentionally trying to “destroy the economy” as a “last-ditch 2020 play”), and Domenech published an absolutely demented piece, “How Medical 'Chickenpox Parties' Could Turn The Tide Of The Wuhan Virus” (penned by someone identified as “a physician in Oregon” – presumably Douglas Perednia), recommending that people hold “chickenpox”-style parties for the coronavirus to build herd immunity, leading to The Federalist being temporarily suspended from Twitter. The publication is also notoriously cagey about where it’s funding comes from.


Otherwise, Domenech promotes most of the kind of wingnut dreck you’d expect. He’s of course anti-abortion, and because he’s an intellectual midget, he likes to make the case easy for himself by, instead of engaging with reality, arguing from premises such asProgressives hate babies because they’re crying, drooling, pooping refutations of everything woke leftists believe.”


Domenech is also a creationist. “I personally don’t have a problem with evolution being taught in public schools,” says Domenech, but “I occasionally have a problem with the way it is taught – as a final, solid, unquestioned truth, as opposed to a still-changing theoretical approach that many scientists think best explains the way things came to be […] An academic survey a couple of years ago [which?] found that nearly a third of hard scientists believed in theories other than the typical evolutionary construct – either something involving genetic mutation, or intelligent design, or something inspired by Stephen Jay Gould, or the like”. Given that Gould (and genetic mutation) is very much evolutionary biology mainstream, one can safely conclude that Domenech, as usual, doesn’t have the faintest clue what he is talking about. That doesn’t prevent him from engaging in dishonest and stupid reasoning, claiming falsely that “no less prominent an evolutionist than Stephen Jay Gould has lent weight to the theories of Michael Behe and his brethren” (he really, really hasn’t; Domenech just made that up.) and that “biological evolution in the macro remains a theory”. “I do take Genesis literally. And I believe the commonly taught theory of evolution is a total crock,” concludes Domenech.


Diagnosis: Apparently, Domenech is what passes for an intellectual in wingnut circles. Domenech is not an intellectual in any sense of the word, however, any more than any random QAnon conspiracy theorist on social media. But since the image somehow sticks, he’s managed to gain a not insignificant amount of influence in wingnut circles.

1 comment:

  1. Married to Meghan McCain. There's a real brain trust eh.