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July 26, 2007

Source: TNR Is A Lot More Worried Than They're Letting On; Scott Thomas Got His Job For Plame-ish Reasons: "Frankln Foer Doesn't Want To Tell TNR Staffer Elspeth Reeve Her Husband Is A Liar"

Reorganized, Re-edited, Corrected Post.

The actual quote was "Frank doesn't want to tell ___ her husband is a liar," offered up not by my source but by someone else. The blank has now been confirmed as TNR staffer Elspeth Reeve, and even though the quote was "husband," there's some question about that: weddingchannel.com says their wedding is coming in October. Though perhaps they had a quickie civil ceremony before his last deployment or something, with the formal ceremony to occur later.

Look, husband/fiancee, not sure it matters. It certainly seems that everyone in the TNR offices were under the impression they'd already been married.

I was going to let this slide and not report it but then TNR played the hard guys and fired the guy actually sharing information about this with people. Meanwhile Foer and Beuchamp are still drawing paychecks.

Needless to say, Elspeth Reeve has nothing in particular to do with this, other than, I guess, some guy who walked by in the hallway suggesting her husband for the Niger Iraq mission. Gracie's pretty firm on her innocence, and, even if he weren't, this was Foer's call, not hers.

Scott Thomas Beauchamp was not chosen for this job because he had some terrific amount of experience or credentials or integrity. He was picked for Plame-type reasons: He's married or engaged to someone at TNR.

As Gracie reported to me, this is openly discussed in the TNR offices. One representative quote: "Frank[lin Foer] doesn't want to call [woman's] husband a liar." That wasn't Gracie saying that, that was someone else in the office, explaining the inter-office politics of this.

Gracie: Okay: Although I'm 100% certain that the husband of a staff member is central to this, I'm only about 90% certain that the husband IS Scott Thomas -- the alternative possibility is that the husband is one of the soldiers vouching for Scott Thomas

me: okay.

well I was going to stay off of that anyway.
I was more asking about:
1) The fact it's an open secret in the office
2:30 AM 2) your opinion that "Scott Thomas" was chosen for poor reasons, having to do with personal familiarity, rather than obvious journalistic credentials
3) that it's your opinion foer is the real screw-up here.

Note: I'm including that to prove I wasn't super-eager to mention that Beauchamp only got the job through his engagement to a staffer. I was going to say merely that he got the job due more to personal familiarity and connections than any obvious qualifications.

I was going to hold off on that. Until they pissed me off.

It's all so Plame-ish. As Gracie wrote to me, of all the embeds and milbloggers and real journalists they could have picked for the job, they instead chose to go with a very partisan, very inexperienced blogger just out of "laziness." Just because they knew him. Just because it was easy.

I actually think part of the reason was that they knew Beauchamp's politics -- he having put them on display on his goofy blog -- and so, just like with Valerie Plame, they knew the report was going to come back the way they wanted it when they sent him. But Gracie says it's just Occam's razor: Laziness.

Still, he's just speculating on the reason (as am I).

BTW, I have long kinda-sorta wanted to embed in Iraq... if TNR wants to sponsor me, I am more than willing to do some light petting with Michelle Cottle, if need be.

Thanks to Liberrocky for nailing down confirmation of the marriage/engagement angle. I was up half the night googling that.

I really want to stress that I wasn't particularly psyched about reporting this part of the story. But honestly, the name's already out there anyway; I'm just the first to run with it. There would have been someone right behind me.

Plus, like I said, I think TNR is playing very dirty pool here.

Allah's Always Gotta Be A Dick Update: Allah is questioning whether my suggested timeline is right -- that Elspeth got Beauchamp the gig because they were engaged/married. Instead, he wonders: Did Beauchamp already get the gig, and then had a whirlwind courtship with Elspeth?

All I can say is that this would have had to have been a very quick courtship. The guy starts posting for TNR a couple of months ago and then he's married or engaged to a woman he couldn't possibly have met more than once or twice, owing to his overseas deployment?

Further, my information tells me they went to the same college together.

Dianna, for example, writes:

Ace, would you please tell Allah to go check TNR's staffer page? Elspeth Reeve attended the University of Missouri (Journalism School). So did Beauchamp, some sort of writing course.

I already told him this; he's still saying it's possible Beauchamp was hired independently of Elsepth, and then they had a lightning-fast courtship/engagement/marriage (the duration of which he was mostly overseas in Germany, Kuwait, and Iraq).

And he's right: It's possible. In the sense it violates no known physical laws of the universe.

Is it likely? No, it is not likely. But I will note the possibility of this rather unlikely scenario.

Allah also notes that Beauchamp may have already left Iraq, and have come back home in, say, January. And romanced Elspeth since then.

But if that's the case, TNR is doing some heavy-duty misleading, because they are deliberately creating the impression his dispatches are recent if not real-time.

...


Fired: I knew this, but wasn't sure if I was supposed to say anything about it.

TNR fired Gracie at 7:25 this morning with the non-explanation, "Your services are no longer required." This information is offered up by one of Gracie's psuedonyms ("near certainty" on that) at discarded lies.

I was holding that back because, other than Gracie sending me an email early AM telling me of this nasty wake-up call, I haven't been able to make contact and determine if I could run this information, or if a protest was planned, etc. In other words, my stating "my source was fired" sort of tells them they were right, eh? But it's been announced on the site they're busily checking (when they should be checking stuff in Iraq, no?).

That's why I had "near certainty" the person searching for Gracie's posts was from TNR, btw.

I guess I'm not letting anything out when I say the other blogger who vouched for Gracie was Sean Gleeson, over there at discarded lies. He's the one who told me about TNR searching discarded lies for hints about Gracie's identity -- which they seem to have found.

And that's sort of why I decided to reveal the marriage angle-- which I was going to hold back, but they pissed me off with this.


Thanks to Lewis from discarded lies for letting me know the information was already out there.


Re-Edit: After having put in doubt about Beuachamp being married to the staffer, I took it back out again.

Chickenhawk Offers His Services! Jeff Emmanuel, a special ops vet, offers to be the new Baghdad Diarist.

He won't get the job. For one thing, he's qualified. For another thing, he can't be guaranteed to deliver the anti-military fictions Beauchamp did.

For a third thing, he's not going steady with anyone at TNR.

Allah's got lots of updates, hard to keep up with it all.

Update on TNR's Mole-Hunt: I actually warned Gracie to delete all his browser history and the like last night. Alas, he wasn't at work, and besides, TNR probably had a record of all his web-activity anyway.

At any rate, I think they were busy in their offices last night checking web activity, and also maybe accessing everyone's computer for history. And then searching on discarded lies for Gracie's posts, to confirm the times.

Hi, Ace! I'm the one who told Sean that the IP address in your post was doing searches on discarded lies for Beth Greem, when we were discussing what we could do to better cloak Beth/Gracie's identity. At the time, I was only speculating that the searcher using that IP address might be from TNR. I've since investigated our logs further, and have determined that that particular IP address likely does not belong to TNR, and I regret that it's appearing here. I have since determined the actual IP address* that TNR's offices were using to access our site. A whois returns TNR as the owner of the IP block in question, while the 72.75.X.X IP is just some Verizon DSL account in the DC area and could be anyone.

I can authoritatively state that TNR did their investigation into Beth/Gracie's identity from their corporate network and their own netblock, not some Verizon DSL account. One of the mistakes Beth/Gracie made was using his computer at TNR in whistleblowing, which made their investigation much easier. Based on that, I would greatly appreciate it if you removed the 72.75.X.X address from your post, so as to avoid accusing someone who is likely uninvolved. Thank you.

That's from Evariste at discarded lies.

I'm deleting that IP now.


digg this
posted by Ace at 01:52 PM

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