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The White House fired at CBS News on Thursday for its publication of an online column by a former Bush administration aide asserting that Solicitor General Elena Kagan, presumed to be a leading candidate for the Supreme Court, is a lesbian.
According to The Washington Post, "Ben Domenech, a former Bush administration aide and Republican Senate staffer, wrote that President Obama would 'please' much of his base by picking the 'first openly gay justice.' An administration official, who asked not to be identified discussing personal matters, said Kagan is not a lesbian."
When CBS initially refused to yank the post, reasoning that it appeared in an opinion section, the White House and its associates used words such as "lies" and "plagiarism" to describe the journalistic standards of the network.
Domenech later updated his post by saying, "I have to correct my text here to say that Kagan is apparently still closeted -- odd, because her female partner is rather well known in Harvard circles."
CBS deleted the posting Thursday night after Domenech said that he was repeating a rumor.
According to the Post, "Dan Farber, editor in chief of CBSNews.com, said that Domenech's column 'just got through our filters' and that if his staff had seen 'a controversial statement like that, we'd want to get more evidence of its accuracy' before publishing it. 'But once it is out there,' Farber said, 'the better approach is just to address it head-on rather than trying to sweep it under the rug.'"
Domenech edits a website called The New Ledger, which was the source of the CBS reprint. He also edits The City, a religious publication of Houston Baptist University.