Comments Posted By Jeff B.
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Rick -

I know you posted at the exact same time as I did (#37, 39), so maybe you didn't see what I wrote. But I'd be interested in your thoughts. Because to me that's the most relevant part of this story - basically it's a minor (emphasis on minor, keep in mind) variation on the same larger themes as Rathergate: a story too good to check; a story where even a modicum of typical skepticism would have rang alarm bells, but which passes by due to prejudices of the editors; a bitter retrenchment in the face of substantive blogospheric critique (especially from milbloggers); an investigation which clearly seems to have a desperate search for vindication rather than an attempt to get at the truth; sullen refusal to acknowledge error, and in fact perhaps outright lying or fudging of the results of the re-reporting effort; battening down the hatches.

In other words, all the stereotypical hallmarks of arrogant "old media" behavior. No wonder the right-blogosphere got worked up about it. It's not about justifying the Iraq war - again, who on earth except maybe some nutjob commenter here or there said that? - it's about ripping the hide off of TNR, an organization that seriously should know better by now.

Comment Posted By Jeff B. On 7.08.2007 @ 13:47

Arrghh...didn't finish my post in #35 before I accidentally hit "post." Anyway:

We know about TNR's famous past (made into a Hollywood movie, fer chrissakes!) about fabrication in their magazine. Therefore the surly refusal to acknowledge that they, once again, have gotten snookered here - and this time in a much more politically explosive context - is what triggered outrage on the part of many bloggers.

To say that l'affair Beauchamp is ultimately minor in the context of the War is to miss point. Of course it is. But it is NOT minor in the context of The New Republic's history, or in the context of the politicized preference of mainstream media for stories which are "too good to check" because they flatter a preferred worldview. That alone is significant enough to merit blogger attention.

Comment Posted By Jeff B. On 7.08.2007 @ 12:25

Rick, you write a good blog and have generally laudable sensibilities, but I think your take on this is a bit off. Nobody - and I mean nobody - is claiming or thinking that "winning" the Beauchamp story is the equivalent of "winning" the war effort, or even contributing to it indirectly. That's not what it was about for people like me, or Ace Of Spades, or Allahpundit. What it was about, as others have said, was a liberal dinosaur media publication allowing deeply suspect writer (married to a staff writer) post transparently questionable reports from Iraq...because it fit a preferred narrative. And then when they were called upon to finally research and check the stories, they actually engaged in a COVER-UP: deceived, inveigled, and obfuscated. This isn't an "Iraq" story, per se, though that's obviously the context. It's a media story, and as bloggers this is something that should interest us all. As to how the blogs went about their debunking here, how is it any different from the way they attacked Rathergate?

Furthermore - and I'm surprised that this point drew no comment from you at all in the post - this story has added relevance because the publication in question is TNR. We all saw Shattered Glass, and read stories about how the Stephen Glass affair supposedly rocked TNR on its heels and initiated a sea-change in how they source and report their stories. (This was Ace's most frequently-returned to trope, after all: the repeated parodies of the great line from that film where Glass says "Are you mad at me, Charles? Why won't you talk to me?")

Comment Posted By Jeff B. On 7.08.2007 @ 12:21


Speaking of Chucky Manson. What's the holdup. Hasn't he had enough appeals. Let's get it over with already. I believe there ought to be a time limit on appeals. Pick a time, whatever you feel is long enough. If the perp can't get a decent explanation out within that time frame, execute them. This whole business of there being justice after a 25 year ordeal, for a crime with such obvious evidence, is a farce. Justice is supposed to be swift.

Comment Posted By Jeff B. On 13.12.2005 @ 17:11

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