TNR, back from vacation, still silent on STB

posted at 11:25 am on August 16, 2007 by Bryan

I’ve tried to keep all emotion out of the TNR’s Scott Thomas Beauchamp scandal, but frankly, Peter Beinart’s defense of TNR in today’s What’s Your Problem (on NRO) made my blood boil a bit.

He professes shock, shock that anyone on the right would seek ideological causes for the scandal in an ideological magazine such as The New Republic.

He calls Beauchamp a “good writer,” which is obviously untrue. The man writes with more purple than Prince.

He calls conservative criticism of TNR “cartoonish.” What has been cartoonish is the Apocalypse, Now! approach in which a soldier outs himself as so greatly stressed by war that he mocks disfigured women, when he had never even been to war when that incident is now supposed to have occurred. That’s cartoonish.

And then he says that TNR has done a good job trying to re-report the facts underlying Beauchamp’s writing?

Oh really, Peter?

Then where’s the stratified mass grave? It ought to be somewhere near FOB Falcon. Has TNR even tried to locate it, or are you all content with Beauchamp characterizing a children’s cemetery as a “mass grave,” and writing that it was never reported up the chain of command, when PAO at Falcon is fully aware of the cemetery’s existence? Are you content with that? Is that good fact-finding?

And are Glocks only used by Iraqi police in Iraq, or is the war zone country awash in Glocks and all kinds of other weapons, being used by nearly all sides?

Beinart drops another little bombshell a couple minutes in, that his own sister-in-law was also hired to write diaries from Iraq. Can you say “cronyism,” Peter? And doesn’t this practice of hiring family members speak both to ideology and to the difficulty of dealing with problems once they arise? I’m referring to “Gracie” (whom your magazine allegedly fired for telling the truth) and the assertion that “Frank doesn’t want to tell Ellie that her husband is a liar.” Did that happen? Did your magazine fire someone for hinting to your critics that there was more to the Beauchamp story than just a weird soldier in Iraq, but pointed out a dangerous hiring practice at TNR? Has your re-reporting even touched on that? Do you know who “Gracie” is and what his or her current employment status is?

Beinart even runs off into “it could have happened” territory a few minutes in, which is a variation on “fake but accurate.” Geez. Jonah Goldberg does a pretty good job of maintaining a civil corral around Beinart’s attempts to wander off the central focus of the story, but this story really required a more thorough and even hostile cross-examination. Beinart does nothing so much as continue the obfuscation and cover-up concerning Beauchamp, and is never really challenged on the hard facts of the case, such as:

1. Where’s the stratified mass grave?
2. Does the melted woman exist, and why couldn’t Pvt Beauchamp recognize her uniform as either civilian or military, and why did he intially report that his mocking her occurred in Iraq and then move the incident to Kuwait? What does that do to the overall narrative of Beauchamp’s being turned into a monster by Bush’s war? TNR “confirming the woman” doesn’t cut it, guys.
3. Are the Iraqi police the only ones using Glocks in all of Iraq?
4. Did TNR really put softball, vague questions to the Bradley expert in an attempt to lead him to offer vague support for Beauchamp’s dog story?
5. Why did TNR report that the Army was stonewalling its investigation, when Beauchamp has been free to speak all along?
6. Does TNR plan to continue to hire relatives of staffers to write reports from Iraq, and only fact-check those reports when criticized after publication?

And while Beinart delivers the magazine’s tapdancing defense on NRO, TNR itself remains silent four days after returning from vacation.

Update: I knew all this fact-checking would eventually come back to bite me. Now, Scott Thomas is suing me for $100 trillion dollars. I’ll see you in court, buddy!

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Cricket’s chirping.

You have been all over these guys, Bryan. :)

As a Veteran, I am particularly disgusted by lowlifes like this Bowchump.

JayHaw Phrenzie on August 16, 2007 at 11:29 AM

agenda? nooooooo they have no agenda at all, its more a seething hate for bush.
and this guys whiny voice is really really hard to take.

trailortrash on August 16, 2007 at 11:38 AM

A friend of a friend used to remark when being confronted with obvious gaps in plausibility and credibility in MSM products, “Why would they lie?”

Niko on August 16, 2007 at 11:43 AM

When any publication stoops to this level, you can be fairly certain that it will soon be in its “circulation death-throes” (if it isn’t there already). I wouldn’t worry about TNR too much. I have a hunch that it won’t be around much longer — at least not in any recognizable form. That’s what happens when publishers set a course that feeds and pursues moonbat fringe readership — the rational readership goes elsewhere.

CyberCipher on August 16, 2007 at 11:47 AM

A brief synopsis of that “What’s Your Problem” WebTV show:

“Um…. uhhh… Ummm… Uhhh… Um uh hummm… Um… uhhhh… Ummmm…”

Hoodlumman on August 16, 2007 at 11:48 AM

As Sir William S. Gilbert put it in The Mikado: “Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.”

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on August 16, 2007 at 11:48 AM

And as Ace says, I’d like to know who gave them the independent confirmation of Beauchamp’s claims. They claim its several, Ace thinks its one, and the rest a friend of a friend situation.

Bad Candy on August 16, 2007 at 11:49 AM

“Why would they lie?”

Niko on August 16, 2007 at 11:43 AM

Yeah, its a good question though. I like to pose the same one to Michael Moore fans. If he/they really believe the crap that they are spewing then why is it that they NEED to lie so often in order to make their points? Does it not occur to them that if their cause was righteous they would have no NEED to lie in order to make their points?

When I’m reading Bryan’s post above, its obvious to me that, because he is on the right side of this, he does not NEED to lie to us in order to make his point. He does not NEED to leave a piece of the puzzle out here or there. He does not NEED to exagerrate. He does not NEED to take people’s words out of context.

What I really find fascinating is how in the heck can anybody find themselves on the wrong side of these issues considering the great/honest work that people like Bryan are doing here.

Zetterson on August 16, 2007 at 12:00 PM

Only in a world plagued by a decadent and ideologically monolithic press corps could you get crap like this.

If non-left press weren’t pretty much restricted to th blogosphere (evenly split at best) and radio (the medium of ideas sans pictures favors coherent ideas), TNR would have been eaten alive by this point.

If AP and Al Reuters and NYT and CNN were half as objective as they claim, they would have been all over this.

They aren’t, they weren’t.

All investigations are based on assumptions. Assumptions to be checked, of course, but nonetheless. Given STB’s rather blatant prior statements that his career is essentially a false-flag operation, assuming that he’s telling the truth now is a little crazy.

Merovign on August 16, 2007 at 12:00 PM

Great to see Marty Peretz showing some real “Spine” in addressing this (NOT)with his crummy little magazine. But, of course, there is la bonne vie et Paris to consider. Please go on about that.

MikeHu on August 16, 2007 at 12:03 PM

Notice how he’s morphed the complaints to “They shouldn’t have been run because they cast soldiers in a bad light” from “They shouldn’t have been run because they’re bullsh*t and they weren’t fact checked in the least.”

See, it’s an ideological thing, not an accuracy in reporting issue.

Pablo on August 16, 2007 at 12:03 PM

zetterson – desire is a very powerful motivator, and lies a very easy habit to form.

People want the world to be a certain way. When it’s not, particularly in a scary way, lying is the least of the offenses people have committed to try to bring the world in line with their ideas.

After all, the Larger War is precisely about a group of people who “want the world to be a certain way” and are willing to blow up cafes and school buses full of innocent people to try to make it that way.

Merovign on August 16, 2007 at 12:03 PM

If you’ve only read TNR on this story, you still don’t know that the Army has concluded their investigation and that they’ve found the stories to be false. The truth of it aside for the moment, TNR still hasn’t so much as mentioned the Army’s position or the fact that they’ve taken one or that they’ve issued any statement on the matter.

Pablo on August 16, 2007 at 12:16 PM

I’m just watching it now.

“I don’t want to get into the specifics and stuff”.

As Homer would say….DOH!!!!

HarryStar on August 16, 2007 at 12:31 PM

Pablo on August 16, 2007 at 12:16 PM

True. TNR has been so dishonest and shameful that they have passed the point of no return. To admit guilt is to admit that they are no more newsworthy and no more relevant then the National Inquirer. In fact, the only thing that seperates the two “news” organizations is that one of them has a severe left wing/anti-military bias. For this reason TNR is going to fight this until the very end and their strategy is going to be ignore, ignore, ignore, deny, deny, deny.

Zetterson on August 16, 2007 at 12:36 PM

Beinart even runs off into “it could have happened” territory a few minutes in …

Only if you click your heels three times.

fogw on August 16, 2007 at 12:48 PM

the rational readership goes elsewhere.

Wait! You think TNR has rational readers? WOW!! Now THAT’S news!

oldleprechaun on August 16, 2007 at 12:53 PM

They had time to put together a spam email to send to my inbox.

Frickin COWARDS.

benrand on August 16, 2007 at 1:26 PM

Can someone explain how you can run over a sleeping dog with a Bradley? Not only are they loud, they are heavy and have to make the street rumble as they are approaching. This would be enough to wake up and scare any dog I’ve ever known. None of these stories hold any water. TNR needs to provide some real evidence (names, dates, location, sworn statements) or admit that these stories are not fact-based.

Snidely Whiplash on August 16, 2007 at 2:37 PM

This guy is well on his way to becoming the next Deb Frisch.

jdawg on August 16, 2007 at 4:33 PM

Strike One – TNR never told it’s readers that Scott Beauchamp’s wife works for them.

Strike Two – The Army’s own investigation concluded that Scott Beauchamp’s claims were false and Scott Beauchamp himself signed a written confession saying his claims were false.

Strike Three – TNR to this day still stands by Scott Beauchamp’s claims.

SoulGlo on August 16, 2007 at 5:23 PM

Pablo on August 16, 2007 at 12:03 PM

What you said.

Jaibones on August 16, 2007 at 5:34 PM

benrand on August 16, 2007 at 1:26 PM

Did you post at thier website?

jdawg on August 16, 2007 at 5:58 PM

I’ve only listened to this and one other episode of the “What’s Your Problem”, and I had the same reaction as Bryan to both.

The only difference between Beinart and the nutroots like Kos and Firedoglake is that Beinart smiles, talks quietly, refrains from profanity, and presents his biased logic more elegantly. He is a despicable person.

JimC on August 16, 2007 at 6:34 PM

Niko asks the rhetorical question: “Why would they lie?”

The answer (to quote Ann Coulter), liberals are “savagely cruel bigots who hate ordinary Americans and lie for sport.”

georgej on August 17, 2007 at 3:32 AM

Pablo notes:

If you’ve only read TNR on this story, you still don’t know that the Army has concluded their investigation and that they’ve found the stories to be false. The truth of it aside for the moment, TNR still hasn’t so much as mentioned the Army’s position or the fact that they’ve taken one or that they’ve issued any statement on the matter.

You might not know about “Broken Glass,” how one of their writers spent years deliberately falsifying stories until he was caught and canned. So they have a history and a reputation of TELLING LIES in their magazine.

And you also might not know how TNR openly derided the reports of Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia. TNR was an apologist for Pot and his genocide.

All of which means that TNR LIES to advance leftwing ideas, such as trashing our military.

georgej on August 17, 2007 at 3:38 AM