Friday, August 24, 2007

L'Affaire Beauchamp

I'm late to the party on this, too, but here goes.

Let me get this straight
  • The New Republic: Maybe when Michael Kinsley edited it, you could call it liberal, but that was a while ago. After Michael Kelly and Andrew Sullivan (who pushed The Bell Curve in its pages), not so much. Add in the publisher and new owners absolute backing of the Iraq war even less so. It's certainly independent, it's no administration apologist like so magazines I could name (see below).
  • The Beachamp articles: He wrote two articles that no one seemed to notice. Then he writes one about young men acting like assholes and the whole right side of the blogosphere goes nuts.
  • Whether or not some young men act like assholes has nothing to do with whether the Iraq war was a good idea. Or whether we are actually succeeded (whatever that means) in the war. Or whether Americans are committing war crimes (nothing in the article could be considered a war crime.)
  • The New Republic's sad history of getting snookered: You'd think if you got snowed as badly as they did over the Stephen Glass affair, they'd be careful. TNR's first response was that they did fact check the article. Then they went back and fact checked again and found one discrepancy. I read some where a contrast between Glass and Beauchamp was that Glass wrote what people wanted to believe. He fed into there own prejudices. Not so with Beauchamp.
  • The Army's response: The Army pretty much silences Beauchamp by taking away his intenet and telephone access. He's in the Army, so they do have a right to control his communication however they see fit.
  • The Army's Alleged response: A report comes out saying that the Army's investigation proved everything to be false and Beauchamp recanted. And where to we read about this report? Why, in The Weekly Standard. When asked, an Army spokesman says he has no knowledge of a report. As Josh Marhall said: if "you've got the goods, you take it to a real press outlet. When you're blowing smoke, you take it to the Standard."
So, where's the beef in all this?

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