Buzzfeed Fires Former Breitbart/Glenn Beck Writer for Serial Plagiarism

Why was this a surprise to anyone?
Media • Views: 22,152

After being exposed as a serial plagiarist, Buzzfeed writer Benny Johnson has been fired; here’s the post by Ben Smith: Editor’s Note: An Apology to Our Readers.

Starting this Wednesday, Twitter users began pointing out instances in which a BuzzFeed writer, Benny Johnson, had lifted phrases and sentences from other websites.

After carefully reviewing more than 500 of Benny’s posts, we have found 41 instances of sentences or phrases copied word for word from other sites. Benny is a friend, colleague, and, at his best, a creative force, but we had no choice other than letting him go.

We owe you, our readers, an apology. This plagiarism is a breach of our fundamental responsibility to be honest with you — in this case, about who wrote the words on our site. Plagiarism, much less copying unchecked facts from Wikipedia or other sources, is an act of disrespect to the reader. We are deeply embarrassed and sorry to have misled you. Benny’s editors — I, Katherine Miller, John Stanton, Shani Hilton, and McKay Coppins — bear real responsibility.

While it’s nice that Ben Smith eventually did the right thing (after defending Johnson for several days, at one point calling him “one of the web’s deeply original writers”), it should be noted that Benny Johnson got his start writing for extreme right wing sites like Glenn Beck’s The Blaze and Breitbart “News,” so I’m not sure why it comes as such a surprise that he’s also an unethical plagiarist.

For example, have a look at this disgustingly bigoted rant about the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” written for Breitbart by Benny Johnson, which starts out by painting all Muslims as terrorists or terror supporters, and then morphs into a crazed attack on President Obama, accusing him of raising “a glass of non-alcoholic beverage in a toast to Islam:” Dear American Taxpayer, You Are Paying for the Ground Zero Mosque.

It’s a really awful post — hateful, shockingly bigoted against Muslims, completely deranged, and badly written to boot. It fits right in at Breitbart “News.” And the real question is, why was someone who writes this kind of evil garbage ever hired by Buzzfeed in the first place?

P.S. Oddly, in the apology for Johnson’s plagiarism, Smith posted links to the 41 posts that contained plagiarized material — but the links aren’t clickable, they’re plain text. So as a service to our readers, here are those links in clickable form:

buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com
buzzfeed.com

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
God’s Will Not Done?: Disgraced Former Navy Chaplain Loses Bid for Public Office It’s time for an update on Gordon Klingenschmitt. The former Navy chaplain tumbled from the lofty heights of the Colorado legislature this week when he lost a Republican primary race for state Senate. According to the Denver Post, veteran ...
Thanos
2 hours, 20 minutes ago
Views: 92 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Can You Hear Us Now? t is why, Russell Berman wrote in May, "The white, working-class voters that embraced [Hillary Clinton's] message of resilience in 2008 have deserted her for Bernie Sanders in many primaries in 2016." But I offer this not as a ...
Thanos
4 hours, 57 minutes ago
Views: 126 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires - Full Performance (Live on KEXP) kexp.org presents Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires performing live at KEXP. Recorded May 23, 2016. Songs:Nobody But YouThings We Do For LoveAin't It A SinChanges Host: Cheryl WatersAudio Engineer: Jackson LongCameras: Jim Beckmann, Alaia D'Alessandro & Scott HolpainenEditor: Scott ...
Thanos
6 hours, 7 minutes ago
Views: 86 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Obama and Biden Join Clinton on Campaign Trail Next Week US President Barack Obama will join Democratic White House hopeful Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for the first time next week, days before Vice President Joe Biden also stumps with her, Clinton aides announced Thursday. Obama is set ...
Thanos
8 hours, 54 minutes ago
Views: 200 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 7 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1
This GOP Senator Is Open to Supporting Hillary Clinton Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is open to the possibility of supporting presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a woman she respects despite her “very different philosophies” when it comes to politics. In an interview on former Obama advisor David Axelrod’s ...
Thanos
8 hours, 56 minutes ago
Views: 323 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 26 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1
Obama to Replace Coin That Robber Took From Park Ranger, 94 - SFGate The nation’s oldest park ranger was beaten in her Richmond home by a man who broke in and robbed her of a special commemorative coin given to her by President Obama, who sent word to her boss Thursday that ...
Thanos
9 hours, 56 minutes ago
Views: 175 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Tory Leadership: Ministers Urging Gove to Pull Out Michael Gove is coming under growing pressure to abandon his bid to become Tory leader, the BBC has been told. Sources have told the BBC government ministers are trying to persuade the justice secretary to make way so the ...
Thanos
10 hours, 2 minutes ago
Views: 134 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Austria Presidential Poll Result Overturned Austria's highest court has annulled the result of the presidential election narrowly lost by the far-right candidate of the Freedom Party. The party had challenged the result, saying that postal votes had been improperly handled. The Freedom Party candidate, ...
Thanos
10 hours, 3 minutes ago
Views: 167 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Protoje - Who Knows (Feat. Chronixx) [SHY FX Remix]Released via Atlantic Records Follow Protoje Follow Big Beatsmarturl.itfacebook.comtwitter.comyoutube.cominstagram.com
Thanos
1 day, 2 hours ago
Views: 266 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Large Botnet of CCTV Devices Knock the Snot Out of Jewelry Website Researchers have encountered a denial-of-service botnet that's made up of more than 25,000 Internet-connected closed circuit TV devices. The researchers with Security firm Sucuri came across the malicious network while defending a small brick-and-mortar jewelry shop against a distributed ...
Thanos
2 days, 4 hours ago
Views: 461 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 4 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0