Those of us that have excellent mental health knew from the beginning that The New Republic’s “Baghdad Diarist” stories stunk to high heaven.
Franklin Foer, editor of TNR and chief anti-US military propagandist for the Wacko Left blogosphere FINALLY admits it: IT WAS ALL MADE UP BY SCOTT THOMAS BEAUCHAMP. (…with the usual leftist double-speak and critic assassination thrown in for good measure, of course.)
[GP Ed. Note: After 13 pages of ridiculousness, we get the following…]
For the past four-and-a-half months, we’ve been reluctant to retract Beauchamp’s stories. Substantial evidence supports his account. It is difficult to imagine that he could enlist a conspiracy of soldiers to lie on his behalf. And they didn’t just vouch for him–they added new details and admitted gaps in their own knowledge. If they were simply lying to protect him, they likely wouldn’t have alerted us to Beauchamp’s Kuwait mistake. Furthermore, our conversation with Cross confirmed important underlying premises–the existence of bones, Bradleys running over dogs.
But, after our re-reporting, some of our questions are still unanswered. Did the driver intentionally run over dogs? Did he record his kills in a little green notebook? We’ve never been able to reach the driver. And Beauchamp told us that he’d procure a page from the notebook, but that has not materialized. This is a plausible anecdote, and several soldiers in Beauchamp’s unit had heard stories about dog-hunting, but only one had actually seen the driver Beauchamp wrote about intentionally hit dogs. He is one of Beauchamp’s friends, and, over the course of a number of e-mail exchanges with him, our faith in him has diminished.
Several weeks after the monitored call in September, we finally had the opportunity to ask Beauchamp, without any of his supervisors on the line, about how he could mistake a dining hall in Kuwait for one in Iraq. He told us he considered the detail to be “mundane” given the far more horrific events he had witnessed. That’s not a convincing explanation. If the event was so mundane, why did he write about it–and with such vivid detail? In accounting for the inaccuracy of a central fact, he sounded defensive and evasive.
When I last spoke with Beauchamp in early November, he continued to stand by his stories. Unfortunately, the standards of this magazine require more than that. And, in light of the evidence available to us, after months of intensive re-reporting, we cannot be confident that the events in his pieces occurred in exactly the manner that he described them. Without that essential confidence, we cannot stand by these stories.
Fellow PJM blogger and GayPatriot blog-ally, Bob Owens at Conferederate Yankee was mostly reponsible for keeping TNR’s feet to the fire, including recent pressure on TNR’s advertisers. Bob summarizes the TNR sham explanation at Pajamas Media.
As editor of The New Republic, Franklin Foer allowed Scott Thomas Beauchamp to publish three stories that were not competently fact-checked. At least one of those that was assigned to his wife to fact-check even though that was a clear conflict of interest. All three of those stories—not just”ShockTroops”— had significant “red flags” in them. These red flags range from the changing of a tire of a vehicle equipped with run-flat tires in “War Bonds,” to several obvious and easily verifiable untrue statements, including the claim of a discovery of a kind of ammunition that do not exist, and absurd evidence for allegations of murder “Dead of Night” that could have been (and were) debunked in less than 30 seconds with a simple Google search.
The bottom line is that the Scott Beauchamp debacle was a test of editorial character for The New Republic under Franklin Foer’s leadership. For over four months, the magazine has answered that challenge by hiding behind anonymous sources, making personal attacks against critics, asserting a a massive conspiracy against them, while covering up conflicting testimony and refusing to answer the hard questions.
Even to the end, Foer continues to blame everyone else for his continuing editorial failures., penning a fourteen-page excuse without a single, “I’m sorry.”
Andrew Sullivan is still a good old apologist for his old employer. No shock there, Sully.
Michelle Malkin has a great roundup on blogosphere reaction to the latest made-up story from the MSM and its unwillingless to support America at war.
Doesn’t TNR owe an apology to our men and women in uniform? To my mind, that would have been the very first sentence. But that doesn’t fit with the liberal media elites who think the American military is bad and Islamic insurgents/terrorists = freedom fighters.
Much more on this in the coming days, I’m sure.