Shards of Shattered Glass to scar the pages of The New Republic again? I wouldn’t doubt it.
Bryan has an excellent post about the potentially prevaricating Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp:
TNR sought out a war critic whose writings either smeared the troops or exposed serious discipline problems among the troops. And examining the details of his writings, it became clear to many veterans and non-veterans alike that Beauchamp simply wasnâ€™t writing the truth, and was therefore letting the men in his unit down by exposing them to unfair criticism. He was also reinforcing several stereotypes that many of those who claim to support the troops hold: That theyâ€™re dehumanized animals. Beauchampâ€™s work is todayâ€™s equivalent of calling the troops â€œbabykillers,â€ only from inside the military where presumably the person tossing the insult will be insulated by his having â€œabsolute moral authority.â€ TNR got to take part in the awful anti-military activities of the last lost war, but in a new and more pernicious way, by replacing smelly hippies with a man in uniform in the war zone.
The whole thing is worth a read.
Tangentially, I’ve been having doubts about The New Republic anyway after they published a now celebrated piece of pseudo-fiction (free version is here assuming 6MB readers weren’t whipping out their credit cards to sign up for TNR online) on last fall’s NRO cruise that elicited all sorts of snorts and chortles from liberal quarters over the last month.
In that piece, TNR’s Mao sympathizing mole bought his NRO cruise ticket and happened upon all sorts of unbelievable NRO Animal House-ish hijinx. The near lynching of Richard C. Lowry-Neidermeyer by his own troops in
Vietnam Iraq. Norman Podhoretz threatening to break the legs of a Dean Wormer-esque Bill Buckley if his Iraqi Victory parade got pissed on:
A fracture-line in the lumbering certainty of American conservatism is opening right before my eyes. Following the break, Norman Podhoretz and William Buckley â€“ two of the grand old men of the Grand Old Party â€“ begin to feud. Podhoretz will not stop speaking â€“ “I have lots of ex-friends on the left; it looks like I’m going to have some ex-friends on the right, too,” he rants â€“and Buckley says to the chair, ” Just take the mike, there’s no other way.” He says it with a smile, but with heavy eyes.
Something’s heavy all right but it ain’t the eyes. More like a backbreaking payload of bullshit.
Buckley himself personally winking and nodding to The New Republic’s even newer fabulist that his “neocon” ideological progeny are, in fact, would-be serial killers:
I decide to track down Buckley and Podhoretz separately and ask them for interviews. Buckley is sitting forlornly in his cabin, scribbling in a notebook. In 2005, at an event celebrating National Review’s 50th birthday, President Bush described today’s American conservatives as “Bill’s children”. I ask him if he feels like a parent whose kids grew up to be serial killers. He smiles slightly, and his blue eyes appear to twinkle.
Really. The only thing missing was Jonah Goldberg as a latter day Bluto loading his plate up at the ice swanned seafood buffet with “Don’t Know Much About History” blaring in the background of Hari’s smear-o-sphere.
I actually showed up at The Corner’s office to ask them to corroborate or refute some of the claims by Hari but my efforts were rebuffed due to my lack of a dinner jacket and ascot.
Regardless, The New Republic has some explaining to do. One more Stephen Glass episode and the only thing walking The Plank is going to be their editors. Raising their pirate flag on the deck of the NRO cruise is one thing, but swabbing their own deck with such bloody libel over Iraq is quite another.