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August 06, 2007

"The Michelle Malkin Slash Ace of Spades Front"

So let's see. Atlantic's Ross Douthat says:

1) Scott Beauchamp seems to be exaggerating (at least).

2) Given that TNR never before tried a "soldier's POV" story before, there's a reasonable amount of suspicion over TNR's choice of Beauchamp -- ultraliberal, anti-war, Bush-hatin' Beauchamp -- to be the magazine's singular reporter from the grunt's eye view.

3) He questions TNR's spotty fact-checking in this case. (TNR editor Jonathan Chait seems shocked to learn that The Atlantic's fact-checkers actually call interviewees and run every single quote by them for comment/objection.)

4) He questions whether TNR should have run such a thinly-sourced story over such a "fraught" issue.

And yet, to prove he's one of those reasonable types and not a crazy conservative, he claims that the suggestions by the "Michelle Malkin slash Ace of Spades front" are "ludicrous."

Okay, Ross. You keep earning your reasonable stripes by basically kissing your liberal pals' asses while meanwhile saying nothing at all -- except to the extent you just agree with what your betters have figured out before you did.

On the other hand, it gets rather good here. Here Douthat notes what was pointed out to him by the "ludicrous" "Michelle Malkin slash Ace of Spades front" -- namely, that Beauchamp seems to have most likely lied, and not made an "error," in claiming the Burned Woman mockery occurred in Iraq rather than Kuwait -- and Jonathan Chait admits that it does seem reasonable to conclude Beauchamp did not make an "error" but rather deliberately lied.

Remember, though, Douthat, who did nothing on this story, is superior to any of us rightwing crazies simply by parroting what we have written.

News: Chait tells us when they found out Beauchamp had lied about this -- "shortly before he went incommunicado" due to the investigation.

That itself happened shortly after Beauchamp outed himself, and four or five days before TNR admitted the lie.

(I haven't gone back to the calender yet; forgive me if my day-counts are wrong.)

So we now have an approximate time-frame for how long Chait and TNR lied to the public about Beauchamp once it knew the truth.

Oh: Douthat compares this all to to humorist David Sedaris' obviously fictionalized, jokefied memoirs, and then Chait cracks a joke about spell-checking.

Yes, guys, that's exactly what this is like: Fucking comic essayist/absurdist David Sedaris' obviously wildly exaggerated tales.

Is TNR really saying that's the level of accuracy they strive for?

In case you don't know Sedaris, he writes fairly absurd "memoirs" about his childhood along the lines of the tall tales told in A Christmas Story. You know, the movie where the Bumpus' dogs eat the Christmas turkey and there's that huge sexy-leg-in-garters lamp.

What they are doing is trivializing this asshole's lies by suggesting that we should take his "memoirs" by the same standard we take a comic absurdist like Sedaris or Jean Sheppard.


Incidentally, it is the rule on BloggingHeads that they link just about everything referenced. Especially if they knock someone. When they knock Althouse, for example, they link the post they're knocking.

No links there to the "Michelle Malkin Slash Ace of Spades front" they assert was so "ludicrous" in getting so much of this right. They mention Michael Goldfarb's WS blog; but don't link it. They claim, for example, he claimed there was no soldier at all; too bad they don't link him or else people could see that's pure bullshit.

All that's linked is the original story and TNR's statement on it -- no criticism of the statement, no links to the "ludicrous" blogs so that people can see exactly how "ludicrous" we all were.

So "ludicrous" we were writing what Douthat now feels comfortable saying three weeks ago.

Chait Claims... That it's perfectly reasonable to say that the story would have read the same way had the "Burned Woman" incident been placed accurately in Kuwait, before Beauchamp enterred the war. He claims the "desensitization of war" theme still would have worked due to the "group bonding" that happens in basic training and the like -- training for war, he's claiming, works almost as well in desensitizing a soldier as the actual horror of war.

He finds this credible. Training and "bonding" with fellow soldiers may cause one to lose one's morality just as much as seeing one's buddies' heads being blown off.

Give me a fuckin' chance at Jonathan Fuckin' Chait, Kaus, rather than his little cocksucker pal Douthat. Then you'll have a fuckin' Blogging Heads.

I Like Douthat's Point... about bloggers not understanding how minimal is the fact-checking that occurs at small magazines.

Glad to see he's keeping up with my fucking blog.

He does nothing but spit out our criticisms as if they're his own, claiming we were making "ludicrous" criticisms, and then neither of these assholes see fit to link the blogs he's cribbing from.

"One Error:" The only point upon which there is no dispute is that Beauchamp lied in placing the melted woman in Iraq -- which the "ludicrous" critics believed was "ludicrous" due to the fact that badly disfigured woman would be an unlikely candidate to be serving at a Forward Operating Base.

Well, so far, on the one resolved claim, we're right. And yet Chait says we're merely "claiming some success" over this.

We're not claiming it. We have it. Beauchamp lied. On the one point which is at the moment utterly settled, Beauchamp lied. Flat-out lied. Oh, wait, right-- he forgot he was merely in Kuwait rather than Iraq, so traumatized was he by the "bonding" experiences of basic training.

On the other points, the military itself says Beauchamp is either "wildly exaggerating" or "completely fabricating" his claims.

We're claiming some amount of vindication?

Dude, there has been only one goal scored so far it and was a crushing blast that knocked TNR's goalie on his ass.

digg this
posted by Ace at 07:34 PM

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