Sunday, December 2, 2007

Scott Beauchamp: TNR Finally Confesses
Left Blogosphere Silence Deafening

Franklin Foer's article finally admitting the problems over the Baghdad Diaries' Scott Beuchamp was a painful read.

TNR's behavior is perfectly understandable: after all, after their past journalistic mishaps, who'd want to yet admit to another?

I mean, come on: if TNR was a drunk and had this many relapses, they'd have signed up for Antabuse a long time ago.

THE really hilarious part of this whole sorry story is knee-jerk reaction of the usual suspects: the Fiercely-Independent, Principle-Driven Left Wing Blogosphere.

Ferocious fact-checkers to a man, they could be counted on to guard their reputation as those who check the facts and deliver the truth to their readers.

What "truth" did they deliver?

We now let you dip your toe into the left-wing pool of truth concerning TNR and Private Scott Beuchamp's Baghdad Diaries.

From Crooked Timbers: (with kudos for "Longest Introductory Sentence" on the Left.).
The rightwing blogosphere, with assistance from the usual MSM types like Howard Kurtz has spent the last week or two trying to discredit a soldier, Scott Beauchamp, who wrote a “Baghdad Diary” for The New Republic, which included various examples of casually callous behavior on the part of US soldiers (nothing on the scale of Abu Ghraib or other proven cases).

The Beauchamp case fits the general pattern pretty well. First, the wingers claimed that the Diary was a fabrication and that “Scott Thomas” was the creation of a writer who’d never been near Iraq. Then, when it became evident he was a real person, they rolled out the slime machine to discredit him. Then they engaged in amateur forensics to discredit particular items in his account (acres of screen space have been devoted to the question of whether the driver of a Bradley fighting vehicle can run over a dog).
--One Endless Rathergate

Digby thought the behavior of anyone wanting to know if a story is true or false is--well, we'll let him explain.
After a tremendous amount of wingnut pressure on TNR to prove they hadn't been duped by an imposter, now that they know he does in fact exist, they are working their way into a complete frenzy going after this soldier as if he were al Qaeda and acting as though the hawkish New Republic has just endorsed Cindy Sheehan for president. It's like watching a bunch of piranhas attack some kids who accidentally fell into the water.

It certainly should not have have garnered this vicious right wing attack from everyone from Bill Kristol to the lowliest denizens of the right blogosphere. They want to destroy this soldier for describing things that have been described in war reporting since Homer so they can worship "the troops" without having to admit that the whole endeavor is a bloody, horrible mess that only briefly, and rarely, offers opportunity for heroic battlefield courage (which, of course, it sometimes does as well.)
--Digby: Wingnuts vs. Our Soldiers (Scott Thomas Beuchamp Edition)
The ever-hopeful John Cole, at Balloon Juice, starts with no facts, but proves it's not going prevent his leaping into the fray against the lunatics attacking SCB.
Let’s discuss Scott Beauchamp, who was widely regarded as not existing, but who now exists- much to the chagrin of the lunatic fringe of the right wing blogosphere.

I guess we know why he didn’t put his real name on it- it is FRENCH sounding! Of course he wants us to lose! The VICHY have infilitrated the ARMY!
--Open Thread July 26, 2007

Nicolle Belle at Crooks and Liars on the Weekly Standards' "besmirching":
Max Blumenthal looks at the “reliable” sources that the Weekly Standard used to try to besmirch Scott Beauchamp: Matt Sanchez and Throbert McGee.

And yet they still get a national platform.
--Reliable Sources
DailyKOS didn't fail to disappoint: their usual M.O. is up next. What fun! No facts, no problems. When short of hard info, trot out some invective--the usual substitute for facts.
The RW bloggers went crazy, accusing TNR of making things up, and in their typical fashion "proving" that Scott Thomas was a fake. Scott Thomas turned out to be real, which led to the normal character assassination from the RW.
--The "Scott Thomas" Affair: The Right Wing Wins Again
Firedoglake couldn't really add anything about verifying Beauchamp, but they get to say "hate speech" and "Republicans" in the same paragraph, so it wasn't a total loss.

The Left Trifecta is the previous two, plus "Hitler" in the same paragraph. It took them another couple paragraphs to work the Feurher into the mix. They do get partial credit for "frothing", though.
The nameless fellow(s?) and good friend of Michelle Malkin's behind the right-wing blog aggregator Volunteer Opinion Journal thinks he's caught us all being naughty. Pretty mild stuff, compared to what his comrades were and are saying about Scott Thomas Beauchamp (for more, go here and here), but hey, you work with the "hate speech" you have, not the hate speech you wish you had -- such as what regularly issues from the posts and comments over at Michelle Malkin's shop. These people are the Republican base, and as TRex points out, this is precisely why the Republicans don't dare do a YouTube debate in which their base has any sort of say: It would hand the presidential election to the Democrats the same way that Pat Buchanan's Republican-pleasing froth-at-the-mouth speech at the 1992 Republican National Convention guaranteed that Bill Clinton would be our next president.
--Hypocrite Much, Guys?
Okay, we could go on like this for a long time, but we've got to move on, much as I'm sure the above stalwart Left Wing Warriors will do on this particular issue.

They were noticeably absent from comment on the affair yesterday.

Probably too busy with their next piece about Hitler-like Michelle Malkin frothing hate speech about Left Wingers.

by Mondoreb

Other sources:
The New Republic -Fog of War
Confederate Yankee - TNR Folds
The New Republic Tries to Come Clean
Hot Air - TNR: We Can No Longer Stand by Beuchamp's Stories
Patterico's Pontifications - The New Republic Retracts Beauchamp Stories


Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.

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