Thursday, October 25, 2007

Teeing Off On Franklin Foer

It didn't have to be this way.

Franklin Foer, the editor at The New Republic, should have known better. He should have issued a release on September 7 stating that his magazine no longer had any confidence in the Scott Thomas Beauchamp works and could no longer stand behind them.

He chose to hide the fact that a conversation took place between TNR editorial staff and Beauchamp in which Beauchamp did not stand behind his own works, could care less what happened from that point forward, and Foer even went so far as to tell Beauchamp not to talk to any other media outlets.

The lies have been stacking up for so long that it was only a matter of time before someone came along to pull the lies out from that house of cards.

Matt Drudge did just that yesterday.

Foer and TNR are in the mess they are not because of Matt Drudge's release of various conversations and a memorandum of concern that relates to Beauchamp's conduct in writing about his unit's whereabouts in violation of operational security.

No, Foer is in this mess because he did not do his due diligence from the outset. He accepted stories submitted by Beauchamp without bothering to do even the slightest bit of fact checking. They compounded their error by claiming that they would do additional fact checking once doubts were raised by outside individuals, including Ace of Spaces, Bob Owens, Michael Goldfarb, Blackfive, Matt Sanchez, and many other milbloggers, and yet that additional factchecking itself was wrought with errors, omissions, and lies.

Far from engaging in a rigorous factchecking process that would protect TNR from possible longlasting harm from journalistic misconduct, Foer and fellow editor Jason Zengerle has done everything imaginable to destroy the reputation and product that is TNR.

Foer, Zengerle, and all others involved in the editorial process of bringing the Beauchamp story to press, and the subsequent coverup, owe it to their bosses to resign. It's the least they can do at this point to make amends for a mess of their own making.

Howard Kurtz notes Foer made a big deal out of the fact that Beauchamp was conversing with TNR while the Army was in the room with Beauchamp. Sorry, but the existence of that conversation was omitted from any reporting done by TNR, either to confirm or deny the Beauchamp works. TNR chose to omit information that might make TNR look bad for running the piece - and it wasn't the first time either. They refused to acknowledge that the Army had told TNR that they could not confirm the authenticity of Beauchamp's claims, and yet made no mention of that anywhere in their reporting.

The omissions are part of a pattern of deception by TNR and Foer to stonewall on the Beauchamp stories. And Kurtz isn't off the hook either by pitching a softball interview with Foer, knowing that the Army found all of Beauchamp's accusations baseless. Michelle unloads on Kurtz.

Others blogging: Hot Air, Mark Steyn, and Dan Riehl.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Sen. John McCain goes Casablanca on TNR.

This is an excellent post by Bob Owens on the leaking of the documents, the implications for TNR, and for Beauchamp.

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