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Drudge Posts Excerpts From Devastating New Republic Transcripts

This is the stuff Bob Owens has been alluding to for a while now -- somebody leaked the transcripts to Drudge and he is linking pdf versions.

THE NEW REPUBLIC has been standing behind the stories from their Baghdad Diarist, Scott Thomas Beauchamp, since questions were first raised about their accuracy over the summer. On August 10, the editors at TNR accused the Army of "stonewalling" their investigation into the stories by preventing them from speaking with Beauchamp. The DRUDGE REPORT has since obtained the transcript of a September 7 call between TNR editor Frank Foer, TNR executive editor Peter Scoblic, and Private Beauchamp. During the call, Beauchamp declines to stand by his stories, telling his editors that "I just want it to end. I'm not going to talk to anyone about anything really." The editors respond that "we just can't, in good conscience, continue to defend the piece" without an explanation, but Beauchamp responds only that he "doesn't care what the public thinks." The editors then ask Beauchamp to cancel scheduled interviews with the WASHINGTON POST and NEWSWEEK.

For those who have not followed the Scott Thomas Beauchamp "Shock Troops" story, Bob Owens has had the best coverage and just wrote the following on Monday:

Details will continue to trickle out revealing just how deceptive the editorial staff at The New Republic has been to its readership and critics alike, and once those details are made public, I very much doubt that Franklin Foer, Peter Scoblic, and Jason Zengerle will be able to survive the coming purge.
I hope Bob is right.

Update: I just finished reading the entire transcript of the phone call Beauchamp had with the NR editors. Read it all. It is incredible that they could do anything less than a full retraction after that conversation with Beauchamp. Here is one rather odd quote from the call where Foer relays a message from Beauchamp's wife.

Foer: "Ellie sent me an email to tell you that it's the most important thing in the world for her that you say that you didn't recant."

Update II: Bob Owens has known about the phone call and documents for quite a while now, but was not able to report them. Read his most recent post HERE.

Update III: Michael Goldfarb, who was the first to seriously question the Shock Troops story, weighs in at Weekly Standard.

The documents posted by Drudge reveal that the New Republic's editors have known for several weeks that the central anecdote of the story was untrue, that the other anecdotes were deeply suspect, and that the author was no longer standing by his work. And yet they remained publicly silent even though they had long ago promised to be open and forthcoming on the matter. Worse still, they asked Beauchamp to cancel pending interviews with the Washington Post and Newsweek, lest their complicity in Beauchamp's slanders come to light.

Foer attacked his magazine's critics as "reckless" and "ideologically motivated," at one point even demanding an apology from the bloggers who did so much to advance this story and find out the truth of the matter. He now has more than a little 'splaining to do.

Update IV: Drudge has taken down his links to the documents (I have heard due to server problems or something similar), but The Jawa Report has them posted, and also has a great post on the story.

Update V: Michelle Malkin has an excellent post with extensive quotes from the documents and reminds us that Shattered Glass will be playing twice on the Indendent Film Channel Friday. The movie is excellent. It seems to me these documents might just be enough material for a sequel.

Crossposted at the Media Mythbusters blog.

Jay Tea adds: Fortunately, I grabbed copies of the files, and have uploaded them to Wizbang's server. Here are the links:




We make no claim as to their authenticity, but this is the age of "fake, but accurate," after all...

Update VI (Kim): Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner confirms that the documents are accurate:

I've talked to Jonathan Chait at TNR and he doesn't dispute the accuracy of the documents but he does dispute the analysis that was on Drudge.

What she means is that Chait doesn't think they are a confession.

Ace also writes that he believes the documents are real:

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.

Update VII (Kim again): Michelle Malkin reiterates the significance of the leaked transcripts:

I repeat Ace's distillation for those who have only superficial knowledge of this scandal: Remember: TNR Hid The Existence Of This Phone Call From The World.

To paraphrase the Clintons: It's the cover-up, stupid.

And TNR's sliming of The Weekly Standard.

And TNR's false allegations that the military was censoring Beauchamp.

And TNR's pathetic attempts to wrest control of the story from Beauchamp as he attempted to tell other media outlets that he was not being gagged, use Beauchamp's wife as a wedge, and refusal to acknowledge the truth of their journalistic malpractice.

Get it?


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Comments (33)

"The editors then ask Beauc... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"The editors then ask Beauchamp to cancel scheduled interviews with the WASHINGTON POST and NEWSWEEK."

Why would these 'journalists' want to supress the news? Now they want to censor what the subject of a news story says and where he says it? Aren't they always telling us that 'we have a right to know'?

I'm on the second page of t... (Below threshold)

I'm on the second page of the first document, and I already feel if the leaker should ever disclose his or her ID, I'd like to buy them a beer. Or a brewery.

Bob Owens has done yeoman's... (Below threshold)

Bob Owens has done yeoman's work on this story from the beginning, and has been one of the few keeping the pressure on (or, at least keeping the story alive despite TNR's best efforts to ignore it in the hope it would fade away). I would have been disinclined to agree with his assessment on the future of Foer, Scoblic, and Zengerle, though - had it not been for the leak of the transcript.

You see, Confederate Yankee and a few other conservative commentators aside, there has been no great and swelling demand by TNR readers to get to the bottom of the story. Their liberal readers understand it was only another "fake-but-accurate" arrow in the sling of the anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-American media archers, and were perfectly willing to accept that. For the left, a lie exposed is always quickly forgotten as they MoveOn to the next lie. No big deal.

The transcript, however, must have come from the inside - and one suspects that, even on the inside of TNR, only the highest honchos were privy to its contents (their internal security has been tightened ever since they fired a staffer for "leaking" the pertinent fact that Beauchamp was MARRIED to a "TNR fact-checker").

Someone is feeling pressure from somewhere - perhaps a major donor threatened to bolt, or maybe the other Big Media types on the DC Cocktail Circuit were incensed that the CBS crew had to fall on their swords in 2004 while TNR seemingly just walked away from their own train wreck without so much as a bruised ego.

When the insiders with enough juice to HAVE a copy of the transcript begin to leak it, someone will have to go. And not a moment too soon, either.

They'll finger the leaker a... (Below threshold)

They'll finger the leaker as someone without much power and can them as proxy.

I doubt it came from TNR. ... (Below threshold)

I doubt it came from TNR. Most likely it came from someone in the army. Of course, if that's the case they can always try and shift the target to the bad leakers.

where is barney et. al. to ... (Below threshold)

where is barney et. al. to insist that the stories are still true?

I gotta say, I feel a smidg... (Below threshold)

I gotta say, I feel a smidgen sorry for TNR in that beauchamp and his fiancee screwed them big time. I think they really are trying to get the truth out of beauchamp now so they can dismiss the stories or not. Obviously, they should have been more open from the start, and just said that they are trying to verify the stories, instead of saying that they already did. Actually, on second thought, screw them.

Totally agree--read the who... (Below threshold)

Totally agree--read the whole first installment with TNR editors--they have no ethics or morals.

They're trying to play Beauchamps wife against him, and they are trying to "manage" the story. They are asking him not to recant, even though they must realize it's a story full of bull.

These people are creepy.

And, they bought him a "lawyer" obviously to try to get him to shut up.


Pretty quite in trolldom.</... (Below threshold)

Pretty quite in trolldom.

I suspect a "fake, but accu... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

I suspect a "fake, but accurate" defense soon...

Barney? Nogo? Brian? Hello?... (Below threshold)

Barney? Nogo? Brian? Hello?


Is it to much to expect obj... (Below threshold)

Is it to much to expect objectivity and accuracy in the media??

Yes. Yes it is. ... (Below threshold)

Yes. Yes it is.

It must be a painful descen... (Below threshold)

It must be a painful descent from "Hemingway" to "Jayson Blair."

There is a line in there fr... (Below threshold)

There is a line in there from Foer to beauchamp's lawyer that says:

"...if he's not able to tell us that he stands by his stories then we'd have to publish some sort of statement saying that we are no longer able to stand by them."

Who wants to bet that that is EXACTLY what TNR will do..and ONLY that. They will put out a statment that states something to the effect of..."Due to recent developments, TNR can no longer stand by the stories of Scott Thomas Beauchamp". And that will be it. Mark my words!

It must be a painf... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:
It must be a painful descent from "Hemingway" to "Jayson Blair."

OUCH! lol

Somethings very strange tha... (Below threshold)

Somethings very strange that the documents are no longer available on Drudge, and there is not even a mention of the whole story. What gives?

I totally forgot about Medi... (Below threshold)

I totally forgot about Media Mythbusters! How's that site doing, anyway?

By the way kudos on getting the lascivious Chris Muir to design the logo for that site, but someone should have told him that a magnifying glass is supposed to, you know, magnify. And would have been so hard to squeeze some cartoon chick in her underwear in somewhere?

Btw Jim, TNR is not anti-war. They have supported every military intervention since Marty Peretz took over in 1974, including both wars in Iraq. Hell, they endorsed Joe Lieberman in 2004. Anti-war liberals are not big readers of TNR.

Comment crossposted at some site no one reads.

Looking forward to full cov... (Below threshold)
Increase Mather:

Looking forward to full coverage of this lie coming apart in the MSM.


18. Posted by mantis | Octo... (Below threshold)

18. Posted by mantis | October 24, 2007 5:12 PM | Score: -2 (2 votes cast)

Posted on October 24, 2007 17:12

Wow, 3 attempts at deflection in 1 post.


Deflection? I don't work f... (Below threshold)

Deflection? I don't work for TNR.

Deflection topped with a no... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Deflection topped with a non sequitur... Excellent, your training is complete.

Deflection? I don't work... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Deflection? I don't work for TNR.

Hey, at least your defense of them is worth what they paid for it.

Really, mantis, give this one up. The anti-war left embraced the STB stories wholeheartedly, and TNR, which has been a prime example of Bush Derangement Syndrome among the media, sold those stories without an ounce of fact-checking, stonewalled when they fell apart, and is continuing to deflect and deny as their credibility crumbles completely.

You've been a distinguished member of the respectable "opposition," don't throw that away where it's not worth it.

Sorry, but I expected someo... (Below threshold)

Sorry, but I expected someone to point out already the poignancy of the statement about how "important" it was to Beauchamp's wife that he "not recant." The wife thatg works for TNR.

Sound a bit like, well, um... "Scott, if you recant..."

This poor sap is so far over his head he needs a periscope to view the Mariana Trench.

Ok, you guys caught me. I ... (Below threshold)

Ok, you guys caught me. I commented to deflect attention from TNR, despite the fact that I don't even like the publication, that the entire rightosphere has jumped on it like a pack of wolves (yeah, I'm going to stop this behemoth all by myself), and by all accounts it seems clear that Beauchamp fabricated at least some of what he wrote, and now he and the editors at TNR would love nothing more than for it all to go away. You have discovered my grand strategy; back to the drawing board.

The right is having fun with their fresh kill (well, maybe not so fresh), and that's just fine with me. But that's not going to stop me from a) continuing to make fun of www.TheEvilLiberalMSMisEvilandLiberal.com, er, Media Mythbusters, or b) pointing out that TNR is not exactly the liberal rag that everyone on the right has been claiming since the Beauchamp affair began. I'm glad the fact that TNR learned nothing from the Stephen Glass disaster has been revealed. No really, I am. Any publication that thought nation building in an ethnically split Arab country was a good idea is not one I value very highly, anyway.

As far as "anti-war left embraced the STB stories wholeheartedly," certainly some on the left defended them, but no one really even noticed them until the right discovered "Scott Thomas" and decided he was the second coming (or going) of Dan Rather. He's not, but it's still a nice head over the mantle. Enjoy.

Another funny "deflection," Peretz, who's still editor-in-chief, sold his share of the magazine in February to CanWest. Good timing.

wavemaker,The wife... (Below threshold)


The wife has apparently left TNR. Her internship was up. Gee, interns married to writers fact-checking? Good thinking! Wonder why they didn't offer her a fulltime position...

mantis, You may no... (Below threshold)


You may not be current with the thinking at TNR. While they were not kum-ba-ya singers some time ago, since the rise of Foer they decided to go a new direction, a vehemently anti-war direction. Also, Elsbeth's departure was given little or no fanfare. Claims that her internship expired seem odd, seeing as she was on the masthead, not normally a bastion of interns.

What I found surprising was the TNR lads telling STB not to speak to Newsweek or the WaPo. Oh, and that they never told their readers about the phone interview, while insisting that the Army was holding STB incommunicado.

Maybe "not surprising" would fit better there.

The right is having fun ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

The right is having fun with their fresh kill (well, maybe not so fresh),

Heh. 'not so fresh'.
Yep, stonewall, deny and delay as long as possible. Then, when the truth comes out later say 'Oh, why are you still talking about that. It's been covered extensively already. It's old news'. That way, they never have to say 'I was wrong' and are never held accountable by the public or their peers.

Someone has to see the humo... (Below threshold)

Someone has to see the humor (and utter humiliation) in these transcripts, such as :

Foer telling a soldier and his audience (including a squad leader) that "various very serious questions have been raised"! I wonder if drill instructors will seize that line?

Note Scobic's crab walking from the beginning:

"I was not around (when the stories ran)"

BTW, mantis

Good call on the Peretz transfer of ownership. Who knows where this rag's editorial content will end up...if they survive this. The coverup always sinks the ship.

Foer gets absurdly Stalinis... (Below threshold)

Foer gets absurdly Stalinist with his claim that TNR should have sole access to Beauchamp.

Where are the owners, and w... (Below threshold)

Where are the owners, and why shouldn't they listen to mantis?

What we know is that TNR co... (Below threshold)

What we know is that TNR continues to lie to its readers. This should finally end the very existance of the publication given that they have no credibility left.

Aspersions be upon the owne... (Below threshold)

Aspersions be upon the owners.






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