Chait’s article is another example of TNR’s defense by offense, and it’s the work of a smear artist and a scoundrel. The usual liberal canards are there — right-wingers are thugs, they’re relying on Nazi (or “Weimer-era German right,” to be specific) imagery to sell a war, etc. And all because Bill Kristol pronounced the diaries of Scott Beauchamp what they are, fiction.
Chait does a liberal-rousing job of going through Kristol’s career and making the worst of what he finds. What you won’t find in Chait’s article is a thorough fact-checking of TNR’s own work. Where’s the stratified mass grave, Jonathan? Did your magazine really pose vague, misleading questions to the communications director from the company that manufactures Bradleys? Is there really a street in parched Baghdad with sewage flowing up to a man’s waist? And would troops really stop to change a tire there? Why haven’t we heard from Beauchamp, or more to the point, why haven’t you heard from him over at TNR? A fortnight after the magazine returned from vacation, and still no concrete answers to basic, factual questions.
It may be time to turn the lights out at the New Republic. There seem to be no grownups left over there.