Fog of foer

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Last updated on July 13th, 2017 at 01:36 pm

Some 6,750 words late, The New Republic’s Franklin Foer pens a promising introduction:

When I last spoke with [Scott Thomas] 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.

Further on this from PJM; also check blogger reaction. The Beauchamp debacle follows TNR’s Glassing of a decade ago, and is added to Randall Hoven’s list.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/02/2007 at 07:27 AM
    1. I’ll say the same thing here I said at Jules Crittenden’s site…

      If I was running the country the media wouldn’t be allowed to print one word that didn’t serve the war effort, and everything that came out of Iraq and Afghanistan would be censored…same as they did in WWII.

      The rule would be simple:

      If it doesn’t contribute to victory then it doesn’t get printed.

      Posted by Dave Surls on 2007 12 02 at 08:01 AM • permalink


    1. In retrospect, we never should have put Beauchamp in this situation. He was a young soldier in a war zone, an untried writer without journalistic training. We published his accounts of sensitive events while granting him the shield of anonymity–which, in the wrong hands, can become license to exaggerate, if not fabricate.

      “We should never have put him in this situation … “

      “… granting him the shield of anonymity … “

      “… license to exaggerate, if not fabricate.”

      Oh man.  Why do I think this is an admission of journalistic malpractice of a high degree?

      Beauchamp and TNR weren’t merely writing an expose on sewer construction projects.  They were writing on a war, a war currently being waged with deaths, casualties, and set backs being experienced every day.  Their articles have the power to influence the debate in the US and the world at large as to whether we should be in Iraq, fighting terrorism, and whether we should remain to fight the good fight.  Their standard has to be much higher than for the normal article.  Indeed, much like the CBS debacle involving Dan Rather and Mary Mapes, the issues were so important that they must be able to prove the accuracy of every statement, every one, or not publish it at all.

      For a magazine not to understand this responsibility is unprofessionism of the higher order.  Indeed, one could argue it is something more.  Treason?

      Posted by wronwright on 2007 12 02 at 08:05 AM • permalink


    1. Of course some local turds relied on TNR.

      Posted by captain on 2007 12 02 at 08:07 AM • permalink


    1. The problem is, the soldier-journalist Beauchamp told TNR what they wanted to hear.
      American soldiers being bad people, showing disrespect to locals, and being sadistic to animals.
      So, he gets
      (a) anonymity, and
      (b) all fact-checking and verification of his stories was either done by him or his wife!!!
      Too bad none of it was true.
      Jeez, what kind of operation is that mag running?

      Posted by daddy dave on 2007 12 02 at 08:20 AM • permalink


    1. I used to read online both TNR and Andrew Sullivan on a regualr basis before and during the 2000 US election and found them reasonable.  Within a few years they were unreadable – Bush Derangement Syndrome in each case.  When the Scott Thomas Beauchamp affair blew up it didn’t surprise me.

      Posted by Crossie on 2007 12 02 at 10:08 AM • permalink


    1. The more things change, the more they remain the same….

      I am not here as John Kerry Scott Thomas Beauchamp/Franklin Foer*.

      They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

      But the point is they are not a free people now under us. They are not a free people, and we cannot fight communism Islamism* all over the world, and I think we should have learned that lesson by now.

      * Names changed, to protect the innocent (as they say).

      April 22nd 1971 testimony of Scott Thomas Beauchamp/Franklin Foer* John F Kerry

      Posted by El Cid on 2007 12 02 at 10:11 AM • permalink


    1. I had the privilege of meeting General Harold Moore, the commander at the Landing Zone X-Ray battle in the earliest days of the Vietnam war, this weekend.

      Foer and Beuchamp must realize that they will never make the least fraction of the contribution to the world this man.  How that must gall them.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 12 02 at 01:03 PM • permalink


    1. Like Crossie, I, too, found TNR a reliable read in the aftermath of the Glass debacle. The editors were scrupulous then about accuracy and held their contributors to high standards. But, whether attributed to BDS or the myriad other disorders afflicting the left, Franklin Foer has put them right back in the dumpster. What a weasel. How is it he keeps his job??

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2007 12 02 at 02:31 PM • permalink


    1. #6, #7

      Hal Moore is a great American hero, while John Kerry is a backstabbbing, traitorous lowlife.

      Hardly anyone has ever heard of Hal Moore, while Kerry is world (in)famous.

      You can thank the liberal controlled media and the scumbags in the Democrat Party for that.

      Posted by Dave Surls on 2007 12 02 at 02:56 PM • permalink


    1. In reality, the last time they spoke, Scott did NOT stand by his stories.  He instead mentioned that the disfigured woman even didn’t occur in Iraq as he had previously stated.

      Posted by blogagog on 2007 12 02 at 03:49 PM • permalink


    1. That’s a great list by Hoven; it just went into my “Ammo” folder. Notable by its absence: “Faux” News.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2007 12 02 at 03:59 PM • permalink


    1. ’intensive re-reporting’?
      Is this Left MSM Speak for never saying you’re sorry or quickly correcting your grossest errors?

      Posted by Barrie on 2007 12 02 at 05:12 PM • permalink


    1. Haditha is proving to be another one.

      “A U.S. Army colonel and an Army general conducted two separate investigations and came to the same conclusion: There was no ‘massacre’ and no ‘cover-up,’” said the law center’s president, Richard Thompson, in a statement.

      “Yet the government still pursued a multi-million dollar investigation in order to appease an anti-war politician and the blame-America-first media. Now we have the absurd situation of Lt. Col. Chessani being charged with failing to report and investigate a crime that never occurred,” Thompson added.

      Thanks, Time:

      /// It was the Time story that prompted the investigation in mid-2006. By that point, the forensic and ballistic evidence was scant and autopsies weren’t obtainable, according to the military report in Newsweek. Prosecutors relied on the word of two other Marines who got an immunity deal, but Ware writes in the report that these men have “low credibility.” ///

      Posted by arrowhead ripper on 2007 12 02 at 06:18 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve only read the excerpts at Hot Air, but my favorite part is the IM log between Foer and Beauchamp. First Beauchamp insists that it is SO called a chow hall, and then, um, oh yeah, it was in Kuwait, not Iraq. Followed by a string of expletives from Foer. Pure comedy gold!

      Posted by Jim Treacher on 2007 12 02 at 06:22 PM • permalink


    1. Unfortunately, the standards of this magazine require more than that.

      No, they don’t. If they did, TNR wouldn’t have run the stories in the first place.

      The problem TNR faces is, there’s no more “mainstream” liberalism as there was in the 1970s, when detente, collectivism, and management-of-everything by Washington seemed inevitable. It’s all gone to moonbats or to conservatism, with a great gulf of indifference in the middle.

      The choice they face is, go out to the crowded Mother Jones/The Nation end of the spectrum and watch their circulation dwindle further toward the nonprofit range, or reform as a pretend-apolitical publication like The New Yorker or Atlantic Monthly—an unappetizing prospect for a magazine that wants to focus on politics.

      Frankly, I don’t know how any of them make it.  Seems like half the ads in Atlantic are from nonprofits (read: PSAs), and The New Yorker‘s been running at a loss for years now.

      Posted by Rittenhouse on 2007 12 03 at 11:33 AM • permalink


    1. Ah, The New Yorker… Perfect example of the coastal elite’s echo chamber.  I used to enjoy reading it, but only after first fixing the three underlying principles in my mind: one, the universe exists soley to justify New York City; two, there is nothing of note that ever happened west of the Hudson River; and three, anything bad that ever happened in the world back to the last ice age is America’s fault, especially the Republicans, and can only be repaired with lots and lots of federal money.

      Oh, and don’t miss the Mapplethorpe retrospective at the MOMA next weekend.

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2007 12 03 at 01:38 PM • permalink


  1. I’m trying to imagine how this happened.

    “Boss, boss!! We’ve got this great new writer with actual combat stories from Iraq.  He’s a 23-year-old journalism school dropout in the Army and he’s been in Iraq for two whole weeks.”

    “Not interested.  All those guys are gung-ho Bush supporters.  He’ll try to make the troops look good. We support the troops, but we don’t support this war.  Writing nice stories about the troops supports the war.”

    “Boss, you don’t understand.  He has impeccable credentials.  He’s dating/a friend of one of our fact-checking interns, and she says he hates the war and is going to blow up the whole rotten story.”

    “Oh.  In that case, run it.  But make sure his girl friend fact-checks it rigorously.  [wink-wink.]”

    Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2007 12 04 at 12:59 AM • permalink