The Mirror spoke to journalists around town from all political stripes with varying degrees of journalism experience to ask what former BuzzFeed associate editor Benny Johnson should do with his life. A few weeks ago he was fired from BuzzFeed after they found 41 instances of plagiarism in his copy. So we figured 41 pieces of advice was only fitting. Some journalists we approached didn’t reply, saying they wished him well and didn’t want to kick him when he’s down. But not all of this is “kicking.” There are complimentary words of wisdom in here, too. And we can only believe in our hearts that Benny would appreciate a good listicle. What, too soon?
41. Used car salesman.
39. “I’d probably say that he should go work as a transcriber for a Republican member of Congress since copying down every word that they say seems to be a skill he’s already mastered.”
38. “Join the Pentagon’s press office, he seems to already have friends there, and he wouldn’t have to change his style very much. [rimshot] Too much?”
37. “Real estate agent.”
36. “First of all, he should delete his twitter account. Once that’s done, he should pound pavement in search of someone dumb enough to pay him to throw gifs and dad jokes at national tragedies the way he did with that Fort Hood piece.”
35. “Don’t all the washed-up journos go to Al-Jazeera now? That’s my plan, at least.”
34. “Normally I would say Benny should start a new online venture that stretches content-pilfering to new levels, but Buzzfeed still has that covered without him. So he should probably return to the mother ship and start a ‘Buzzfeed Gripes’ subreddit.”
33. “Go to Breitbart. He’ll fit right in.”
32. “I think seriously what he has to do is go back to Iowa where employers don’t Google people before hiring them.”
31. “Take a Selfie Detox.”
30. Start a business called “Stupid Selfies, Inc.”
29. “Join the Free Beacon’s new for-profit enterprise.”
28. “He’ll end up at Rare.”
27. “He’ll end up at the Daily Signal.”
26. “I envision Benny as one of those homeless people in Farragut Square.”
25. “Break into one of those ugly D.C. buildings he wrote about.”
24. “Be a researcher for The Daily Show.”
23. “Go to work in the hidden Dunkin Donuts he discovered.”
22. “Go back to the University of Iowa and work at the Tobacco Bowl in the Ped Mall.”
21. “Work as a consultant on ‘Shattered Glass 2’ with Hayden Christensen in even more obnoxious hipster glasses.”
20. “Become the John Dean of Buzzfeed and reveal who else was plagiarizing there under Ben Smith and Katherine Miller’s watch.”
19. Open a Chicken n’ Waffles joint — on Martin Luther King Day.
18. “He should go work for Rand Paul.” See WaPo‘s story on the senator’s plagiarism here.
17. “Write a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., the most revered plagairist in American history.” See the NYT story on Dr. King’s plagiarism here.
16. “Defense contracting. Didn’t he say he did that before?”
15. “He’s talented and funny enough, I think he could make his way with another outlet if he can convince them he’s learned his lesson. I can’t believe how much he plagiarized, so he’s got trust to regain. I don’t know him at all, but I’ve always enjoyed his work.”
14. “He should definitely not start a conservative BuzzFeed or listen to advice from anonymous people.”
13. “If he’s smart, he’d lay low, maybe move back to Iowa for a couple years. Let everything blow over, come back and reinvent himself. Something involving communications. Likely can’t do news media ever again.”
12. “Kindergarten teacher, where cutting and pasting are skills kids need to learn.”
10. “Last-second science fair project parent”
9. “Geez, I have no idea.”
8. “He could probably pass for a plausibly gay hair stylist.”
7. “Teaching a late-night class on plagiarism.”
6. “He could work as a spokesman for the distiller’s association. He’s gotta pick up a few bad habits to help cope with his depression.”
5. “He could become a Wikipedia moderator.”
4. “I think that Ben Smith did the right thing by letting him go if he didn’t meet the journalistic standards of BuzzFeed. I think they gave him the benefit of the doubt and did a lot of digging before making that decision. Not the end of the world for Benny…a bump in the road. If you are a good writer you will succeed in spite of yourself.”
3. Go to work for Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) as his ghost writer. (Walsh dropped out of his race Thursday after news surfaced that he had plagiarized portions of his dissertation.)
2. “This town is known for political comebacks. His journalism career is over, but can he still work in D.C. in some other capacity? Absolutely.”
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