The New Republic's response to Scott Beauchamp

Thomas Lifson
Richard Miniter writes an astonishing account of the aftermath of the Scott Beauchamp scandal at The New Republic. The behavior of editor Franklin Foer and the magazine gets curioser and curioser as time goes on. For a magazine with a long history, and a recent history of having been snookered more than once by fabulists, the signs are not good that corrective measures have been adopted.

Miniter identifies an internal whistle-blower at TNR, who first raised questions internally and later resorted to anonymous posts revealing that then-anonymous "Scott Thomas" was related to a TNR staffer. The whistle-blower, Robert McGee, is so far the only person to lose his job over the affair, despite growing evidence that both the scandal and aftermath are the product of attitudes and practices at the top.

McGee's account of Foer's response to critics reminds me of James Hansen's response to critics. Meeting Foer at a party when the blog criticism was first appearing, McGee reported to Miniter that he said,
"So, what's up with this?"

As McGee recalls the conversation, Foer immediately volunteered the standard answer: conservatives have an ideological grudge to settle because they perceive the magazine to be anti-war, anti-military and so on.

"He sounded almost rehearsed," McGee said.

What bothered McGee about the conversation was that Foer saw the questions from the bloggers as a completely ideological attack. "Foer wasn't acknowledging that at least some of the attacks on the [Beauchamp's] ‘Shock Troops' piece came from active-duty military members whose skepticism was factually grounded, and not just from stateside political pundits."
It has always seemed to me that when a response to factual criticism focuses on motives not facts and logic, something is wrong.

There is a lot of interesting detail in the account, so if the mechanisms by which media entities become corrupted are of interest, I recommend reading the entire post.

One other disturbing pattern is mentioned by Miniter at the end of the piece. The left wing response to McGee includes a vicious outing of him as a homosexual courtesy of the Huffington Post.  What on earth does McGee's sexuality have to do with it? The left, which poses as champions of the oppressed homosexuals, seems to have a pattern of raising the sexuality of people whom they wish to refute. See Jeff Gannon and others. It reminds me of the way in which Justice Thomas has been disparaged as the product of affirmative action. Groups which would express outrage over any conservative suggesting that any liberal black got where he or she is via affirmative action do not hesitate to use that as their basis for criticism.

Richard Miniter writes an astonishing account of the aftermath of the Scott Beauchamp scandal at The New Republic. The behavior of editor Franklin Foer and the magazine gets curioser and curioser as time goes on. For a magazine with a long history, and a recent history of having been snookered more than once by fabulists, the signs are not good that corrective measures have been adopted.

Miniter identifies an internal whistle-blower at TNR, who first raised questions internally and later resorted to anonymous posts revealing that then-anonymous "Scott Thomas" was related to a TNR staffer. The whistle-blower, Robert McGee, is so far the only person to lose his job over the affair, despite growing evidence that both the scandal and aftermath are the product of attitudes and practices at the top.

McGee's account of Foer's response to critics reminds me of James Hansen's response to critics. Meeting Foer at a party when the blog criticism was first appearing, McGee reported to Miniter that he said,
"So, what's up with this?"

As McGee recalls the conversation, Foer immediately volunteered the standard answer: conservatives have an ideological grudge to settle because they perceive the magazine to be anti-war, anti-military and so on.

"He sounded almost rehearsed," McGee said.

What bothered McGee about the conversation was that Foer saw the questions from the bloggers as a completely ideological attack. "Foer wasn't acknowledging that at least some of the attacks on the [Beauchamp's] ‘Shock Troops' piece came from active-duty military members whose skepticism was factually grounded, and not just from stateside political pundits."
It has always seemed to me that when a response to factual criticism focuses on motives not facts and logic, something is wrong.

There is a lot of interesting detail in the account, so if the mechanisms by which media entities become corrupted are of interest, I recommend reading the entire post.

One other disturbing pattern is mentioned by Miniter at the end of the piece. The left wing response to McGee includes a vicious outing of him as a homosexual courtesy of the Huffington Post.  What on earth does McGee's sexuality have to do with it? The left, which poses as champions of the oppressed homosexuals, seems to have a pattern of raising the sexuality of people whom they wish to refute. See Jeff Gannon and others. It reminds me of the way in which Justice Thomas has been disparaged as the product of affirmative action. Groups which would express outrage over any conservative suggesting that any liberal black got where he or she is via affirmative action do not hesitate to use that as their basis for criticism.