Scott Beauchamp Redux, Et Cetera, and Et Alia

Libby Spencer has a superb post on the right's pillorying of Scott Beauchamp and The New Republic:
[I had decided to pass on Beauchamp today but CY showed up in comments to this post so I think I'll just answer him here.]

What a co-incidence. I was going to post about your latest Beauchamp post but you seem to have installed one of those widgets that won't allow copying a quote and I'm too lazy and too slow a typist to retype it so I was going skip it. But since you found my post...

We've had this conversation before. You won't take the word of a publication that has largely been on your side about the occupation and has no known history of outright fabrications but you're willing to take as gospel, the spokespeople of the military brass? As if the military has never lied to us? Are you forgetting something as recent as Tillman?

Sorry, but you guys were wrong when you said Beauchamp wasn't a soldier and you made a huge deal out of something that doesn't even matter -- one can only think to avoid talking about the things that really do matter. Like how badly this surge is failing. Nobody would have read the stupid piece if you folks hadn't made a federal case out of it.

I'm even willing to believe the guy made the whole thing up, out of thin air. So effing what? What have you accomplished here except making trouble for one soldier who is fighting in the sandpit, no matter what his political views are? It's not going to change the outcome of the occupation and it doesn't make your crowds' ridiculous vendettas against a single indivdual any less petty and nonsenical. No offense intended, but it's become completely pathetic.

I expect that kind of conduct from a crass opportunist like Malkin, but unlike many who blog for the left, I've spent significant time haunting right wing blogs, trying to bridge the gap between us. I don't hate you for what you believe, even though I think you're wrong. I remember you from Gut Rumbles -- with fondness even. I think you're probably a decent guy who for some reason just can't view politics unemotionally and that's too bad because I think you could become a force for consensus instead of just another gear in the hate machine.

Miscreants like Malkin just di[s]gust me, but guys like you disappoint me. What you folks do to people like Beauchamp is not noble. It doesn't solve anything. In fact, it's just plain mean. I don't understand why you're all so willing to trade in your humanity to raise your hit counts. I'd like to think some of you are better people than that, but it's not easy when you all insist on ganging up, time and time again, on a fellow American, and ruining their lives, simply because they say something you don't want to hear.

One of the many ironies in this manufactured scandal is the news that the wild accusations about Scott Beauchamp's "lies" and The New Republic's lack of fact-checking came largely from a single, highly dubious, source. Josh Marshall takes the well-deserved poke:
In case you missed it, take a look at the unfolding media story of The New Republic's Scott Thomas Beauchamp diaries.

These were reports from a soldier in the field in Iraq reporting on some of the uglier sides of the US military's footprint on the ground in Iraq. Imagining that every story that doesn't kowtow to the Bush personality cult is another Rathergate in the making, the rightwing blogosphere exploded with a wave of accusations and fabrications, all alleging in one fashion or another that the stories were made up. The charges even got recycled and trumpeted in the Washington Post.

Unfortunately for them, TNR did a[n] in-depth re-fact-check of the pieces (which given the Glass backstory, was, I am sure, extremely thorough) and with the exception of one relatively minor error they all check out.

And it turns out that the Weekly Standard, which did one of the slimiest hatchet-jobs under the byline of Michael Goldfarb, relied in large part on the word of a former porn star-cum-prostitute (who is currently being investigated by the Marine Corps for soliciting private donations to fund a deployment to Iraq he apparently never made) to level its charges that the TNR pieces were fabrications.

No word on whether the Standard does investigations of pieces that have run in their pages. Maybe the Standard's Executive Editor Fred Barnes can enlighten us.

Yeah. If only.

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