Winger circlejerk alert
Fog of War
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.
Sluttish, pouty-lipped, autocoprophagic concentration camp advocate and stalker-of-twelve-year-olds Michelle Malkin is going to turn the knobs all the way up to 11, isn't she? We're going be hearing the words "liberal New Republic"* until our ears bleed. (And--just in case there's been a sudden outbreak of intellectual honesty on the right--what are we hearing about NRO's own fabulist as Conservative Andrew Sullivan calls him? *** Crickets *** As expected.)
And now we know exactly how the dolchstosslegende (stab in the back theory) is going to be propagated, don't we?
Because what's remarkable about the story is that TNR has no inkling of the war they're actually in: Military PR strategists working through winger bloggers against anyone who won't chant the Partei line. (Oh? You think Beauchamp was about the truth? You think Beauchamp will be the last?) TNR's extremely lengthy retraction is full of detail showing this, but do they see what's under their noses? No. For that, TNR does, in fact, deserve the Darwin Award.
NOTE * TNR, "liberal"? As if.
NOTE 1 Seems like they're practicing their stalking techniques on TNR too, showing up at the offices with video, and such. How exciting for them.
NOTE 2 The story also shows really bad institutional judgment on TNR's part, as well as the thin-ness of its personnel. For a time, Beauchamp's wife doing factchecking for TNR on Beauchamp. Maybe in the incestuous world of the Village, that doesn't seem strange, but outside the Beltway? It looks like a clear conflict of interest. And Beauchamp seems to have been brought to TNR's attention by an intern. Seems an odd way to recruit sources, especially in a war zone. If Beauchamp has been able to work through Kos, for example, any issues with his story would have been rapidly ferreted out by that massive community, one which is not at all befogged by the winger war against journalism, as poor, weak, and ill-adapted TNR was.