Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Not Quite The Last Word On ScottScam

Bob Owens puts forth what I would consider to be not quite the last word on the matter. I pose that sentence as I did because TNR has not issued a statement since Pvt2 Scott Thomas Beauchamp is alleged to have recanted his statements published in TNR's Shock Troops series, and the ball is in their court now to address what Michael Goldfarb reported in the Weekly Standard last night (and reported here as well). Owens put the final word on the matter for now, and what TNR does from here is going to determine whether the outlet remains viable or whether they'll continue to ignore serious problems in their editorial process.
Franklin Foer and other editors at The New Republic apparently tried to fool their readers with a combination of what they said and what they decided not to say, and abusing your readership in such a manner is one way to assure that an already shrinking readership will continue to collapse.
Read the whole thing.

Rick Moran thinks that we shouldn't lose sight of what's important here. He's right, but not in the way that he wrote. There is a good reason why this matters.

TNR's editorial process is badly flawed, and in running this series, they not only got more than they bargained for, but besmirched the US Army based on the fabrications of a soldier who was provided an unfettered outlet for his fictionalized accounts of life in Iraq - even if some of the events occurred in Kuwait or Germany before entering the war.

It would appear that the revisionists are out. TNR has scrubbed its site of the Shock Troops postings. Most curious. Now why would they do such a thing? It simply begs more questions about how TNR has handled the whole thing.

Do they think that eliminating the postings makes any of this go away? The Internet is like a time machine in many respects. Many of the comments and screen shots prove that TNR published the pieces and TNR said that they stood by the pieces.

Clearly, they've since had a change of heart. Why did that happen? It would be a most illuminating get.

Ace also notes' LGF's posting on the scrubbed TNR site, and wonders whether the silence from TNR is over how to precisely walk back from the brink and admit mistakes were made. It may also be due to trying to sort out who has to commit seppuku.

Beauchamp's bio page does return the names of the three articles he published, including links for War Bonds, but have been getting a time out - possibly due to an overload of people trying to confirm whether the site has been scrubbed.

TNR provided the following on their blog:
We've talked to military personnel directly involved in the events that Scott Thomas Beauchamp described, and they corroborated his account as detailed in our statement. When we called Army spokesman Major Steven F. Lamb and asked about an anonymously sourced allegation that Beauchamp had recanted his articles in a sworn statement, he told us, "I have no knowledge of that." He added, "If someone is speaking anonymously [to The Weekly Standard], they are on their own." When we pressed Lamb for details on the Army investigation, he told us, "We don't go into the details of how we conduct our investigations."

--The Editors
Again, who are those individuals who are corroborating the accounts? We do get Major Lamb stating that he has no knowledge relating to the Weekly Standard's reporting that Beauchamp recanted. Curiouser and curiouser. I'd say that TNR is doubling down here and they figure what do they have left to lose?

Allah has updates and video, but we're still left wondering about the recantation.

Ace breaks out his own version of the poker reference - doubling down. He uses more flowery prose than I.

Rusty at the Jawa Report points out that TNR still doesn't acknowledge that the US Army conducted and completed an investigation into Beauchamp's allegations aired in his diaries:
An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false.
Guess who said that? Major Lamb. That's the same one who TNR now uses to blow smoke.

So, we also have TNR ignoring the inconvenient facts on top of trying to bluster their way through this mess. Nice.

Others weighing in this battle of anonymous sources between TNR and Weekly Standard and TNR's journalistic malfeasance: Ameripundit, Blackfive, Baldilocks, QandO, Michelle Malkin, Dan Riehl, The Moderate Voice,

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