Here is my proposed correction for Tim Rutten’s five factual errors from his recent column on the Scott Beauchamp matter.
In an October 27 column, Tim Rutten wrote that the editors of The New Republic had been “unable to communicate with” Scott Thomas Beauchamp since an Army spokesman had denied the existence of a signed statement by Beauchamp disavowing his piece. As Rutten’s column stated, editors from The New Republic claim to have spoken to Beauchamp at least three times since August 7, when the Army spokesman issued the denial.
In the same column, Rutten wrote that “the magazine determined that the incident involving the disfigured woman was concocted and corrected that . . .” In fact, the magazine did not determine that the incident was “concocted,” but admitted only that the incident took place in Kuwait, and not Iraq.
In the same column, Rutten wrote that Beauchamp had “described the ridicule of a disfigured Iraqi woman . . .” In fact, the woman has never been described as Iraqi.
Rutten also said that Beauchamp “described . . . attempts to run over stray dogs with Bradley fighting vehicles . . .” In fact, Beauchamp actually described three incidents in which military personnel had killed stray dogs.
In the same column, Rutten wrote that Matt Drudge had failed to provide a link to a purported “Memorandum for Record” signed by Beauchamp. Drudge did in fact provide such a link, but later took it down.
I have sent this proposal to Jamie Gold, the Readers’ Representative for the L.A. Times, with a copy to Tim Rutten.
Never let it be said that I don’t try to help.
We’ll see how close this comes to the final correction — that is, if one issues at all.
UPDATE: Thanks to Michelle Malkin for the link. Readers coming in to this post might be interested in another post that considers whether Rutten violated the L.A. Times Code of Ethics by publishing self-serving statements from The New Republic personnel. If you enjoy these posts, I hope you will consider bookmarking the main page and returning in the future.