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NEW REPUBLIC FINALLY ADMITSSCOTT BEAUCHAMP STORIES ARE FALSE

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.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

 

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34 Comments

  1. Frist Post! 🙂

    Well, TNR admits they had it confirmed there are bones and dogs in Iraq, along with soldiers, Bradleys and IEDs…

    Comment by The_Livewire — December 2, 2007 @ 1:45 pm - December 2, 2007

  2. Now will gillie admit it?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 2, 2007 @ 3:24 pm - December 2, 2007

  3. TNR owes its readers an apology. This was not an apology. I’ve been a TNR subscriber for most of the last 27 years.

    Bill

    Comment by The Florida Masochist — December 2, 2007 @ 7:47 pm - December 2, 2007

  4. Actually, all they’ve determined is that they can’t verify the anecdotes. As for dogs not exactly being a soldiers best friend see here WARNING: explicit video. Here’s another.

    Now would you care to comment on NRO’s fabulist? Or does he get a pass for being a “tribe” member?

    [As soon as this became public, instead of blaming the critic, NRO launched an investigation and admitted its error. If NRO’s Kathryn Lopez had known about the errors for some time and did not act to correct them, as some have reported, that raises another host of issues. For now, I’ll go on what I know to be true. Given that this guy posted information he knew to be false, I believe NRO should drop the blogger immediately. –Dan]

    Comment by Ian S — December 2, 2007 @ 8:41 pm - December 2, 2007

  5. IT WAS ALL MADE UP BY SCOTT THOMAS BEAUCHAMP.

    Countdown to gil going, in the face of all evidence, “Now wait – Foer has said Beauchamp stands by his stories, and that TNR found soldiers to corroborate them” in 4… 3… 2…

    I say “In the face of all evidence” because Beauchamp most certainly abjured his stories… when he talked to the investigators that count, the Army’s.

    And if Beauchamp really had stood by his stories when he talked to TNR, AND if TNR really had found soldiers to corroborate them – both as Foer still claims – then Foer would have written a far bolder piece.

    What Foer did write is a tortured weasel-piece that in the end and however reluctantly, admits TNR could not confirm, and cannot now stand by, Beauchamp’s stories.

    after our re-reporting, some of our questions are still unanswered… We’ve never been able to reach the driver [of the dog-killing story]. And Beauchamp told us that he’d procure a page from the [driver’s] notebook, but that has not materialized… only one [other soldier corroborated that story and] 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.

    Translation: TNR totally let itself get taken.

    That TNR appointed Beauchamp’s wife to fact-check at least one of Beauchamp’s stories is, of course, a massive violation of basic journalistic ethics, as well as massively incompetent.

    Confederate Yankee’s response (that Bruce linked) is worth reading in full.

    Foer continues to ignore the words of Major Renee D. Russo, the Kuwait-based officer who told TNR senior editor Jason Zengerle that the burned woman story was an urban myth or legend in early August.”

    And more.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 3, 2007 @ 12:31 am - December 3, 2007

  6. And I highly recommend Michelle Malkin’s roundup, also linked by Bruce. In one of her many Updates, she re-prints comments people made on TNR’s own blog. One small sample:

    [TNR commenter quoting Foer] “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… we cannot stand by these stories.”

    [TNR commenter] So you took 15 PAGES to say that you were WRONG, and even then lacked the courage to actually confess to error. You long ago added intellectual cowardice, to the usual helpings of intellectual dishonesty, but did you really have to take 15 pages to so clearly prove the points made by your opponents. Could you not simply have said — “We screwed up. We apologize.” Guess not… ROTFLOL.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 3, 2007 @ 12:43 am - December 3, 2007

  7. There is a huge difference between “fact checking” and “CYA.” The whole Beauchamp episode is an eerie parallel to the screwy Plame/Wilson fiasco.

    In both cases, it has boiled down to whether you are going to believe the facts or go with the “that’s my story and I am sticking to it” defense.

    Foer can now go to work on his own version of “If I Did It.” He will advise the publishing world on how to avoid being slandered in the way he was abused by those who will not give up relying on facts.

    How I wish the Marx Brothers were still around to bring clarity to this idiocy.

    Comment by heliotrope — December 3, 2007 @ 9:28 am - December 3, 2007

  8. Indeed TNR did not follow simple guidelines.
    Conflict of interest, fact checking and simply good journalism. Its good they have retracted and admitted their errors after a meticulous investigation.

    Yet its revealing how righties still link to, and quote from the biggest right wing fabulist “Confederate Yankee” and treat that fictional blog as gospel.

    Further many of the inflammatory charges leveled by the right against TNR and Beauchamp such as “anti-American” “troop hating” “want America to lose” “treason” and the rest of that junk are now thoroughly debunked as I suspected they would be.
    I wonder if GP an’ crew will have the decency to apologize for their zany charges?

    Oh wait, instead they say “ridiculousness” and “weasel words” then level new ones.
    Classy.

    Comment by gil — December 3, 2007 @ 10:45 am - December 3, 2007

  9. Notice how gil must provide a counterexample?

    And as usual the counterexample is not of the same kind.

    The TNR publishing the stories was indeed anti-American and troop hating. Consider the effect of the story on our enemies… reading about how soldiers are dishonoring Arab women.. and being barbaric by putting skulls on thier heads. The Islamists call us Satan you know.. wha tdo you thikn hearing that Americans are wearing skulls is reinforcing?

    You leftists are living in a bubble.. why don’t any of you consider the impact of your words on our enemies? Are you that self-centered you never even consider it?

    Comment by Vince P — December 3, 2007 @ 11:35 am - December 3, 2007

  10. Yup, gil didn’t disappoint.

    Bob (Confederate Yankee) is one of the most careful bloggers out there – far more careful, say, than anyone on Daily Kos, or nearly any left-wing blogger – but in order for gil to maintain gil’s World of Delusion, Bob *must* be flatly declared a bad blogger in the face of all evidence… and gil does it.

    Then gil carefully changes the subject, to *****unexampled***** charges he alleges have been made. Since no examples are provided, of course gil’s claims can’t be specifically answered, and the end result again is that gil maintains gil’s World of Delusion.

    Watching gil at work is, in its own way, an awesome spectacle.

    To answer gil’s claim at gil’s level of generality: No, nothing Bob (Confederate Yankee), Bruce, or for that matter myself have claimed, has been debunked here.

    Foer got taken. Foer, being (like gil) despicably eager to believe and repeat the worst about the troops, got taken with Foer’s own active cooperation. Foer then whined, weaselled and blamed others (blamed the messenger, “right-wingers” or whatever) for all that.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 3, 2007 @ 11:53 am - December 3, 2007

  11. Oh, and Foer never lost a chance to further blame a dark Army conspiracy for things not turning out the way Foer wanted… when transcripts prove that TNR / Foer were the ones stonewalling and try to whitewash – that is, to *fix* – the outcome of an investigation.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 3, 2007 @ 11:55 am - December 3, 2007

  12. Here’s all about those transcripts. In one exchange between TNR and Beauchamp,
    1) Beauchamp makes clear the Army is NOT censoring him.
    2) TNR censors Beauchamp, that is, pressures him to not talk to any other media.

    And how did TNR play all that with us, the public? By further smearing the Army. That is, by never quite saying, but trying very very *very* hard to imply, that the Army was censoring Beauchamp and virtually had him in shackles.

    [Foer] …Basically, we need some sort of sign of good faith on your part … to prevent us from fully retracting.
    [Scoblic] …Scott – do you really care if we fully retract…?

    [Beauchamp] …All I care about is the job I’m doing here. I really don’t care about the media at all at this point…

    [Scoblic] …Then why are you setting up [other] media interviews? … with the Times and the Post?

    [Beauchamp] …It’s basically to let the media know I’m not being censored. I can talk to the media, but I don’t want to. [emph added]

    [Scoblic] Scott, all that does is trigger another round of stories…
    [Foer] You owe it to us to… let us control the way this story proceeds… I’d rather you not talk to the Washington Post, Newsweek or whoever else… [emph added]

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 3, 2007 @ 12:40 pm - December 3, 2007

  13. As for this:

    Actually, all they’ve determined is that they can’t verify the anecdotes.

    Indeed they can’t. Because they never happened.

    If TNR is going to print the anecdotes, the burden of proof is on TNR to show they happened. Period. Until and unless TNR does so, the anecdotes didn’t happen, at least in terms of what facts are to be accepted as a basis for honest discussion among reasonable people.

    Remember, two of the basic rules of argument are,
    – “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.”
    – “You can’t prove a negative… and therefore, you shouldn’t ever have to.”
    In other words, it is up to the person telling the anecdote to offer positive proof of their anecdote. Until they do: their anecdote is rightly to be viewed as fiction.

    Even so, critics of TNR have come amazingly close to proving the negative, by having proven that:

    1) Key features of the anecdotes are utterly implausible. (Note that Foer simply omitted to talk about most of that counter-evidence…. pretending it didn’t exist.) And,

    2) Foer engaged in a white-wash of an investigation. Meaning, no honest person should give Foer the benefit of the doubt on anything.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 3, 2007 @ 12:59 pm - December 3, 2007

  14. #8
    Summarized: It’s everybody else’s fault!

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 3, 2007 @ 1:37 pm - December 3, 2007

  15. “Watching gil at work is…an awesome spectacle”
    Thats what my fella says too 🙂

    “Foer got taken. Foer, being (like gil) despicably eager to believe and repeat the worst about the troops”
    Nope. He was guilty of taking the troop’s words at face value, not the brass but the actual troops on the ground.

    The right on the other hand, speculated about his psyche, physical existence, valor, patriotism, emailed his superiors with trumped up crimes, data-mined his life and forced the military to spend likely thousands of tax dollars on a pointless witch hunt!

    Nice work! It’s the Right’s finest hour!
    Celebrate!

    Comment by gil — December 3, 2007 @ 1:45 pm - December 3, 2007

  16. Unfortunately for you, gil, that person on the ground flat-out lied.

    You can’t admit that you supported and endorsed the words of a liar, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that he lied.

    Furthermore, you criticize the people who discovered he was a liar for doing so.

    What this all indicates is that you were going to slander and smear our troops, even if you had to make up lies and support liars to do it.

    You and Foer didn’t support Beauchamp because he was on the ground. You supported him because he said what you wanted to hear. And rather than admit you allowed your own bigotry and prejudices to drive your decision-making, you sit around and blame the people who exposed it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 3, 2007 @ 1:58 pm - December 3, 2007

  17. So, Beauchamp lied.

    The New Republic published his lies.

    Then the military investigated his lies, and the fact that the military had to investigate them… is the fault of the right wing.

    Welcome to the silly, silly world of gil.

    Comment by V the K — December 3, 2007 @ 2:01 pm - December 3, 2007

  18. #16 –
    I think GPW would call your post “projecting”
    (I call it typical NDT gobbledygook)

    #17
    To suggest that the thousands of dollars spent on this by the US military would have happened without the creaking from the righty noise machine is utter nonsense.
    Now who is being silly?

    Comment by gil — December 3, 2007 @ 4:47 pm - December 3, 2007

  19. Again, gil blames, not the liar and the people who supported the liar, but the armed forces and the people who exposed the liar.

    Therefore, the wrong committed here is not lying and slandering US troops, but exposing the fact that liberals lie about and slander US troops.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 3, 2007 @ 5:03 pm - December 3, 2007

  20. Anyone else find it odd that after months of not being here…. when someone else mentioned “gil”… he or she suddenly showed up to comment?

    I think I’ll investigate further….

    Comment by GayPatriot — December 3, 2007 @ 9:32 pm - December 3, 2007

  21. Never hurts to check on things… but it could be that gil sometimes reads or skims silently, and emerged here only because Beauchamp, “narratives” that depict our troops and our country as psycho-killers, etc. are part of gil’s special agenda. I.e., no foul play or sock-puppetry.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 3, 2007 @ 10:22 pm - December 3, 2007

  22. P.S. We do know that gil = keogh… but no foul play there either, because gil has never used more than one alias at a time. There was a clean transition. We’ve established that people (like me or whoever) are allowed to change aliases if they want. Just no games with multiple aliases like Kewpie / Reader used to do.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 3, 2007 @ 10:29 pm - December 3, 2007

  23. Sorry – Given that I don’t know anything for sure, I should have phrased it, “…because we have never seen more than one of gil / keogh appear at a time…”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 3, 2007 @ 10:42 pm - December 3, 2007

  24. Wow.. I aint never seen anything like this before.

    I guess some black activists were going to protest at a guy’s house… the guy had shot and killed two black burglers in Texas a week or two ago.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_TjftnwhRk&

    Comment by Vince P — December 4, 2007 @ 1:41 am - December 4, 2007

  25. Say gillie!
    When are you going to sack up and take responsibility for circling the wagons around a lying POS instead of, in typical liberal fashion, blaming the right?

    It’s not our fault that he’s a lying sonofabitch and the liberal douchebag oxygen thieves were taken for a ride. I know you aren’t capable of being embarrassed, so I know that’s not the reason.

    Fess up.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 4, 2007 @ 3:18 am - December 4, 2007

  26. When are you going to sack up and take responsibility for circling the wagons around a lying POS instead of, in typical liberal fashion, blaming the right?

    My guess is never. The left is not exactly known for its ability to take responsibility.

    Comment by V the K — December 4, 2007 @ 4:59 am - December 4, 2007

  27. So, what gil is saying is that it’s okay for lefties to make up lies about our troops and accuse them of atrocities. But it’s wrong for the right-wing to challenge those lies because challenging them results in investigations that prove the lies to be … um… lies.

    While I certainly don’t agree with that, I appreciate the brilliant illustration of left wing ethics.

    Comment by V the K — December 4, 2007 @ 7:31 am - December 4, 2007

  28. But it’s wrong for the right-wing to challenge those lies because challenging them results in investigations that prove the lies to be … um… lies.

    You’re not supposed to question liberals, puny mortal! You’re supposed to shut up and pay your taxes like a good little fag.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 4, 2007 @ 12:24 pm - December 4, 2007

  29. I finally read through TNR’s release. I have to say that I’d fire Foer for this alone. Instead of damage control, this makes TNR look bad. A whiney, long-winded bit of CYA that takes pages to get to the point. No matter how much Foer may believe it, TNR is not the victim here and assertions to the contrary only make things worse. A better approach would have been to put the retraction at the front, followed by areas he believes TNR made mistakes, then finally their explanation of what happened (without the whining). An apology for giving the impression that the article was slamming all soldiers within the retraction would have been bonus in their favor. That’s how a competent manager handles matters, what Foer did was make TNR look worse than before.

    Comment by John — December 4, 2007 @ 2:27 pm - December 4, 2007

  30. To suggest that the thousands of dollars spent on this by the US military would have happened without the creaking from the righty noise machine is utter nonsense.

    Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt! Wrong answer.

    gil, I know you find the following impossible to believe… Because I know your whole agenda / ax to grind is how America’s military is a bunch of psycho killers, blah blah blah… but…

    our military has standards. And it protects civilians. And it has laws (Uniform Code of Military Justice, Geneva Conventions, etc.). And it takes its obligation to enforce those laws seriously. And it routinely investigates itself, or its own members, when disrespect to civilians is suspected or seriously alleged.

    When Beauchamp published his fictions as alleged fact, thereby he created an obligation for the military to investigate. That investigation should have and (I expect) would have happened, regardless of anything said by the blogs.

    Blog-pressure may have assisted the investigation by forcing earlier disclosure of Beauchamp’s name, earlier disclosure of the facts and reasons why his fictions were so implausible, etc. But that’s it. Blog-pressure is not what caused the investigation. And your belief that it did, is just another (minor or indirect) example of your agenda-driven desire to slander our troops.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 4, 2007 @ 2:28 pm - December 4, 2007

  31. No matter how much Foer may believe it, TNR is not the victim here and assertions to the contrary only make things worse. A better approach would have been to put the retraction at the front, followed by areas he believes TNR made mistakes, then finally their explanation of what happened (without the whining).

    Amen.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 4, 2007 @ 2:30 pm - December 4, 2007

  32. #30
    You’re absolutely correct. Afterall, it was the military itself that “exposed” abu ghraib. They had already been investigating the situation long before we all heard about it.

    Comment by MARGO — December 5, 2007 @ 10:20 am - December 5, 2007

  33. Speaking of Iraq… there’s a great article out by officials who have been translating Saddam Hussien regime’s paperwork vis a vis WMD…. There’s some very interesting finds they discovered as well as lots of criticism about how the US Govt has managed the war as well as issues regarding the truth about WMD

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=09F9FC90-1752-4965-8D02-D2EFD4FB112B

    Comment by Vince P — December 5, 2007 @ 1:16 pm - December 5, 2007

  34. Hat tip Confederate Yankee: Iowahawk has another classic parody of Foer’s “blamestorm”. 🙂

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 6, 2007 @ 1:47 pm - December 6, 2007

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