Anorak News | Scott Thomas Beauchamp Sets The Weekly Standard In Truth Or Fiction

Scott Thomas Beauchamp Sets The Weekly Standard In Truth Or Fiction

by | 27th, July 2007

army.jpgAN anonymous Army soldier’s column for the New Republic describes his colleagues in Iraq playing with skulls taken from mass graves, running over dogs with their armored cars and mocking a disfigured Iraqi woman.

Writing under the name Scott Thomas, the Baghdad Diarist’s columns were so bleak that right-wing bloggers and the conservative Weekly Standard decided they were too good–or bad–to be true.

The Weekly Standard called on readers with knowledge of the military or Baghdad to help tear the veracity of the column apart. After all, the New Republic has been fooled before when associate editor Stephen Glass fabricated a series of stories during the 1990s.

Last week, Michael Goldfarb, online editor of The Weekly Standard, told the New York Times: “Absolutely every piece of information that’s come out since we put that call up has cast further doubt on that story…There’s not a single person that has come forward and said, ‘It sounds plausible.’ ”

In the end, the innuendo and the constant digging by bloggers proved too much and the Baghdad Diarist outed himself yesterday as Scott Thomas Beauchamp, the husband of  a reporter-researcher at The New Republic.

“It’s been maddening, to say the least,” Beauchamp told the Washington Post, “to see the plausibility of events that I witnessed questioned by people who have never in Iraq. I was initially reluctant to take the time out of my already insane schedule fighting an actual war in order to play some role in an ideological battle that I never wanted to join. That being said, my character, my experiences, and those of my comrades in arms have been called into question, and I believe that it is important to stand by my writing under my real name.”

The New Republic’s editor, Franklin Foer, told the Post: “It is really unfortunate that someone like Scott, who was really only trying to tell his particular story, has become a pawn in the debate over the war and the Weekly Standard’s efforts to press an ideological agenda.”

Meanwhile, the outing of Beauchamp has only served to fuel Goldfarb’s suspicions and those of bloggers who have dug into every corner of Beauchamp’s life, from his relationship with The New Republic staffer to a previous blog that he wrote.

“While Beauchamp is entitled to his opinions, he isn’t entitled to his own facts,” Goldfarb wrote on the Weekly Standard blog yesterday. “This cliche is a favorite on the left, and they ought to hold one of their own to the same standard. There remains a shortage of corroborating witnesses or evidence, and his putting his name to the story does nothing to fill that void–if anything, his penchant for creative writing as revealed on his blog only casts further doubt.”

This one has a way to run yet.

Posted: 27th, July 2007 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink