National Review Hires Serial Plagiarist Benny Johnson
Former Buzzfeed Viral Politics editor Benny Johnson, who was fired in July for multiple instances of plagiarism, has certainly rebounded quickly: Playbook reports he'll start on Monday as National Review's social media director.
Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, spoke to Playbook's Mike Allen about the decision to hire Johnson:
"Benny made a terrible mistake. But he has owned up to it and learned from it. He's a talented journalist, with obviously a lot to contribute. He knows he's joining a storied institution at NR, and we look forward to his helping us carry on our mission across all platforms."
Playbook adds that Johnson's "youthful digital fluency" and "red-state instincts" likely added to National Review's ability to look past his 41 counts of plagiarism.
A few of Johnson's former coworkers have taken to Twitter to congratulate him on the good news:
@bennyjohnson @NRO Congrats Benny, I know you'll do good stuff.
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) September 6, 2014
Benny knows what he did was wrong and deserves a shot at redemption. He’s a good person. @libbycwatson
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) September 6, 2014
Johnson's eagerness to join National Review should, of course, come as no surprise: the conservative publication is one of the dozens of online sources from which he plagiarized.