Patterico's Pontifications


Classic Siskel & Ebert

Filed under: Movies — Justin Levine @ 9:32 pm

 [posted by Justin Levine]

In case you haven’t heard the news, you can now search through thousands of past segments of Siskel & Ebert movie reviews.

One criticism of the site – it doesn’t have the full episodes of “Sneak Previews” (later renamed “At The Movies”), only the discussions of single films as individual clips. As a result, some classic debates are lost.

For instance, I remember the time when Ebert & Siskel seemed to be the most angry at each other (actually yelling, with Ebert shouting to Siskel “You should be ashamed of yourself!” and Siskel deadpanning back “Well, I’m not.”). It was the end segment round-up of the show that aired in late June 1987. The two had first disagreed over the merits of “Benji The Hunted“, and then later in the same show REALLY butted heads over “Full Metal Jacket” (which Ebert astonishingly gave a thumbs down to).

During the final segment of that show where the recap their “thumbs up/down” views about the films they just discussed (which is unfortunately not archived on the website), Siskel gets in a final dig at Ebert and says, (more…)

Beauchump Recants?

Filed under: General,Scum,War — Patterico @ 6:32 pm

The Weekly Standard claims that Scott Thomas Beauchamp Beauchump, that intrepid mocker of disfigured women, has largely recanted the stories told in his articles:

THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned from a military source close to the investigation that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp–author of the much-disputed “Shock Troops” article in the New Republic’s July 23 issue as well as two previous “Baghdad Diarist” columns–signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in the New Republic were exaggerations and falsehoods–fabrications containing only “a smidgen of truth,” in the words of our source.

Separately, we received this statement from Major Steven F. Lamb, the deputy Public Affairs Officer for Multi National Division-Baghdad:

An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims.

According to the military source, Beauchamp’s recantation was volunteered on the first day of the military’s investigation. So as Beauchamp was in Iraq signing an affidavit denying the truth of his stories, the New Republic was publishing a statement from him on its website on July 26, in which Beauchamp said, “I’m willing to stand by the entirety of my articles for the New Republic using my real name.”

It’s an anonymous source; I’ll believe it for sure when I see proof.

I’ve already seen proof that the guy is a dishonest jerk, though. I don’t need more proof to be certain of that.

(Thanks to a flurry of commenters.)

Is Beauchamp Lying About Everything? I Don’t Know . . . But I Know He’s Dishonest, and I Know He’s a Huge Jerk

Filed under: General,Scum,War — Patterico @ 6:30 am

Bob Owens has the latest military response on Scott Thomas Beauchamp.

Do I trust the military on this? Not necessarily. But I don’t need to.

Here is everything you need to know about Scott Thomas Beauchamp — that he chose to begin an article for The New Republic in this way:

I saw her nearly every time I went to dinner in the chow hall at my base in Iraq. She wore an unrecognizable tan uniform, so I couldn’t really tell whether she was a soldier or a civilian contractor. The thing that stood out about her, though, wasn’t her strange uniform but the fact that nearly half her face was severely scarred. Or, rather, it had more or less melted, along with all the hair on that side of her head. She was always alone, and I never saw her talk to anyone. Members of my platoon had seen her before but had never really acknowledged her. Then, on one especially crowded day in the chow hall, she sat down next to us.

We were already halfway through our meals when she arrived. After a minute or two of eating in silence, one of my friends stabbed his spoon violently into his pile of mashed potatoes and left it there.

“Man, I can’t eat like this,” he said.

“Like what?” I said. “Chow hall food getting to you?”

“No–with that fucking freak behind us!” he exclaimed, loud enough for not only her to hear us, but everyone at the surrounding tables. I looked over at the woman, and she was intently staring into each forkful of food before it entered her half-melted mouth.

“Are you kidding? I think she’s fucking hot!” I blurted out.

“What?” said my friend, half-smiling.

“Yeah man,” I continued. “I love chicks that have been intimate–with IEDs. It really turns me on–melted skin, missing limbs, plastic noses … .”

“You’re crazy, man!” my friend said, doubling over with laughter. I took it as my cue to continue.

“In fact, I was thinking of getting some girls together and doing a photo shoot. Maybe for a calendar? IED Babes.’ We could have them pose in thongs and bikinis on top of the hoods of their blown-up vehicles.”

My friend was practically falling out of his chair laughing. The disfigured woman slammed her cup down and ran out of the chow hall, her half-finished tray of food nearly falling to the ground.

Beauchamp presented this appalling tale as an example of the way that war can change human beings. But it’s really an example of how he is, at his core, a jerk. The publication has admitted that it actually happened in Kuwait — before he even reached Iraq.

Not only is the guy a huge prick — someone who would mock a disfigured woman — but he’s the type of guy who falsely blames his disgusting behavior on the war.

Why wouldn’t you trust him on everything else??

P.S. There are plenty of honorable soldiers who would never behave this way even after experiencing the horrors of war. Some of them are even good writers!

Why isn’t The New Republic interested in their stories?

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