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October 24, 2007

TNR Spins

NRO pitches in, as is sadly usual, to spin for TNR.

I know you guys are all tight but, um, let's get some distance here. Your personal relationships cannot trump a factual investigation.

We're hearing from The New Republic that the Drudge story isn't the damning evidence it suggests to be ... stay tuned.

The phone conversation can be spun as not as damning as it seems, but what is undeniably damning is that TNR refused to even report on the phone call. They could have offered their spin as they reported the basic content of the conversation; instead, they withheld the call entirely from their readership.

Can K-Lo imagine a way in which that decision is not damning?

Could she ask her TNR source about this, rather than just letting him make self-serving assertions?

UPDATE: An editor there e-mails: "Go to the story and click on the link that he claims is to Beauchamp’s confession. It’s not there. The only Beauchamp document is one were he acknowledged receiving some other memo. Nothing even close to a confession there."

Nothing close to an affirmation in the phone call with TNR, either, "Editor." And yet you withheld that relevant information from the public.

The Army investigation concluded these stories were fiction. Scott Beauchamp refused to re-affirm them on a phone call. The man who is almost certainly TNR's only "corroborating witness" himself denied the stories in the course of the Army investigation.

All of this withheld. Spiked. Hidden.

Not reported with spin -- simply censored from the public record.

Since the TNR editors are spinning NRO, can K-Lo ask them why they chose to do this, and what their justification is?

Bad Speculation: The documents are apparently down at Drudge. Allah wonders:

The Drudge link still exists but the links to the documents don’t, and he’s removed the item from the front page. The Army documents look too real to have been forged but did he get snookered on the transcript?

Answer: No.

Dude, chill. Your paranoia is off the hook since Police Captain Jamil Hussein.

Drudge may have pulled the documents due a request from the Army, as they are, technically, classified personnel information.

Or the server they're on may be on the fritz.

TNR's spin is that the documents "aren't as damning" as they appear, not that they're fake.

Seriously, chill. From what I know, and I do know all this, the documents are quite real and come from trustworthy sources. I know the direct source to be trustworthy and I know (or at least "know" to a very high likelihood) his source in turn to be trustworthy.

Compare and Contrast: TNR just wanted to talk to Beauchamp, and just wanted to see the relevant documents, they claimed, before they rendered a verdict.

They got both. And, contrary to their claims, it was not the Army keeping Beauchamp from speaking to them -- indeed, in their conversation with Beauchamp, they accuse Beauchamp of "dodging" them. Not censored by the Army-- dodging them.

So let's look at what TNR said they wanted before they could render judgment:

TNR 8/10/07:

We once again invite the Army to make public Beauchamp’s statements and the details of its investigation–and we ask the Army to let us (or any other media outlet, for that matter) speak to Beauchamp. Unless and until these things happen, we cannot fairly assess any of these reports about Beauchamp–and therefore have no reason to change our own assessment of Beauchamp’s work. If the truth ends up reflecting poorly on our judgment, we will accept responsibility for that. But we also refuse to rush to judgment on our writer or ourselves.”

TNR Post September 7 Beauchump phone call and release of Beauchamp's documents to TNR:


Note also the false assertion that it was the Army's job to release Beauchamp's documents to TNR. TNR knew that wasn't the case -- the lawyer they arranged states plainly that Beauchamp needs to sign a release form himself to put the documents in TNR's hands.

And they berate Beauchanp for not doing so earlier when he said he'd get that done for them.

So they were lying at the tine -- they knew Beauchamp was "dodging" them, not silenced by the Army as they claimed; and they knew the Army was not keeping the documents from them, but rather the documents were kept from them by Beauchamp himself, whether due to laziness, forgetfulness, or aversion to being humiliated.

They made their early stand on this -- The Army won't let us talk to him and won't give us the relevant documents!

They knew, even as they were claiming this, both of those statements were lies.

Oh -- one more lie. They claimed in that August statement they'd like the army to "allow" Beauchamp to speak to "any other" media outlet.

In fact, in the September 7th call, Franklin Foer and this Scoblic character specifically told Beauchamp to not speak to any other media outlets until he had given them enough information to make a judgment on the story.

They've lied all the way through this, haven't they?

They may be all swell people, but you're not allowed to just lie your fucking ass off when caught with a fabulist.

As "Chuck" said in Shattered Glass: It's indefensible. Don't you know that?

Thanks to Jay for reminding me of that.

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posted by Ace at 04:26 PM

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