Patterico's Pontifications


Tim Rutten Claims that TNR Has Been Unable to Communicate with Scott Beauchamp Since August 7

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 3:11 pm

Tim Rutten today:

A report in the Weekly Standard alleged that, as part of the Army investigation, the private also had signed a statement totally disavowing his piece. When the New Republic inquired about such a statement, an Army spokesman denied it existed.

Since then, Beauchamp has remained in Iraq with his unit and the magazine has been unable to communicate with him.

Utterly false.

An Army spokesman denied the existence of the statement on August 7.

“Since then,” the magazine has not been “unable to communicate with him,” as Rutten claims. The magazine has communicated with him at least three times since August 7. Rutten even mentions the first of those communication in his column — including the date.

So why does Rutten say that “since” August 7, the magazine has been unable to communicate with Beauchamp? Is Rutten lying? Or is his grasp of the relevant timeline really this tenuous?

Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, and go with the latter theory. Doesn’t that mean that Rutten has no business writing about this to begin with?

P.S. Rutten says: “The magazine determined that the incident involving the disfigured woman was concocted and corrected that . . .” But later in the piece, he calls Beauchamp “the alleged fabulist, Beauchamp.” Huh? If even the magazine says he “concocted” an incident, how is he an “alleged” fabulist? (Of course, the magazine has not conceded that he concocted that incident in any event — another detail Rutten fumbles.)

UPDATE: More from Bob Owens.

50 Responses to “Tim Rutten Claims that TNR Has Been Unable to Communicate with Scott Beauchamp Since August 7”

  1. Also giving Rutten the benefit of the doubt, I’d say that is sloppy reporting and sloppy editing.

    Paul (66339f)

  2. It’s clear from reading Rutten’s piece that he has not followed the Beauchamp debate and does not have a handle on the status of the issues on both sides. He has lazily taken TNR’s point of view in the article without considering the fact checking done apart from the Army investigation.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  3. I believe I said that, daleyrocks.

    Paul (66339f)

  4. It must be hard for Rutten’s editor to transcribe his articles from the crayon originals.

    M. Scott Eiland (3e61f6)

  5. Not in so many words Paul.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  6. Yes, as far as I know, neither Beauchamp nor TNR says the incident involving the disfigured woman was “concocted,” but that he had the location wrong.

    Itsme (f6f474)

  7. No, they siad it was a minor error.

    Which is wasn’t. It was a massive lie. You don’t “mistakenly” lable something as being months and hundreds of miles away. If it wasn’t deliberate, STB’s a loony.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  8. Itsme, given that the theme of Beauchamp’s pieces was how war debased the soldiers who experienced it, moving the incident from the war zone, to Kuwait was obviously not an “error” but indeed it was fabrication to fit the narrative.

    Assuming it happened at all, of which I’m not convinced.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  9. Scott and SPQR –

    I see your point(s).

    However, the woman existed and the event happened, according to witnesses. It may have been used to make a point Beauchamp could not legitimately make for himself (that war debased your sense of humor), though possibly it was true of the other soldier.

    Here is the only thing close to a full reprint I could find, by the way. You may know of something more complete:

    Q and O Blog

    I realize this is sort of nitpicking. But I just think Rutten should have been more precise in his description. He doesn’t serve his own story by being so inaccurate.

    Itsme (f6f474)

  10. This article reminds me of watching Mort Kondrake on FoxNews trying to explain some facet of a big story like Rathergate or Libby/Plame that had already been dissected and analyzed by hundreds of bloggers and commenters. Poor Mort would be so far behind the learning curve he could barely frame the issues, let alone offer anything substantive…but that didn’t keep him from trying.

    capitano (03e5ec)

  11. However, the woman existed and the event happened, according to witnesses.

    Says who?

    capitano (03e5ec)

  12. Itsme, I’m not familiar with any witness to the disfigured woman incident beside Beauchamp. Even after relocating it to Kuwait, I don’t think TNR supplied any corraboration. I think a contact to a PAO in the Kuwait base cited by Beauchamp could not recall any matching person.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  13. Capitano and SPQR:

    I saw the bit about the witnesses TNR claimed to have interviewed in the blog I linked to. Haven’t seen anything that disputes that, but if you know of anything, link away.

    Itsme (f6f474)

  14. Itsme – If you haven’t seen anything disputing the disfigured woman story, you haven’t been following closely enough. Confederate Yankee obtained an on the record statement from the PAO of the base where the incident supposedly took place terming it an urban legend. She could find no trace of a woman fitting that described by Beauchamp transitting the base or anyone recalling such a woman or any such incidenet. Confederate Yankee has been doing the best job of tracking developments on the story on the right from my perspective if you want to make sure you are up to date.

    From TNR, all we have is their word that they have witnesses, not even statements of the witnesses.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  15. Itsme, TNR claims that they have witnesses? Wow, how could any one dispute that? ** sarcasm **

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  16. I don’t think either TNR or Beauchamp disagree that the location of the base in the first story was wrong.

    Itsme (f6f474)

  17. SPQR, I feel like the discussion is devolving from my original point, that I think Rutten was not careful or accurate in his description of this particular piece. I guess we just disagree.

    Itsme (f6f474)

  18. I saw the bit about the witnesses TNR claimed to have interviewed in the blog I linked to. Haven’t seen anything that disputes that, but if you know of anything, link away.

    Comment by Itsme — 10/27/2007 @ 5:57 pm

    No problem, I thought you were serious. I didn’t realize you were just jerking us around.

    capitano (03e5ec)

  19. Thanks for your civility.

    Itsme (f6f474)

  20. Itsme – I’m talking about the base in Kuwait where, after the minor geographic and timing errors were revealed, Beauchamp and TNR claim the incident occurred before Scott was permanently scarred by war.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  21. Okay, thanks for that info DR.

    Maybe TNR will come forward with more on their interviews, maybe not.

    Itsme (f6f474)

  22. Itsme – TNR hasn’t been forthcoming on details of their factchecking to date. I’m not hoprful of any revelations given the fact checking which has been performed that has contradicted Beauchamp’s story, but you never know.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  23. Since we are talking TNR lets connect some dots.

    In the latest status report we have TNR still saying that Ms Beauchamp is involved in the issue to some extent.

    Connecting dots we get some interesting questions coming up.

    Bob Owens picked up a comment on the Facebook account for Beauchamp that she was no longer working for TNR and contacted one of the other commentors on that account who confirmed she was working for someone else.

    She was still on the masthead at the time of Bob’s post but now is gone off of the masthead.

    A search for her history at TNR shows she was and intern there and a cached page off Google shows here last story was published 6/20/07.

    The source who outed her as being married to Beauchamp said she was still at TNR when he got canned.

    So all in all this shows she was still there just before the transcribed call, but it is unclear exactly when in relation to that call she and TNR parted their ways.

    Amazing the TNR forgot to mention that a player in the story may no longer work for them.

    Durn those nasty little facts are such pesky things.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  24. As mentioned above, Confederate Yankee has a good review of the current state of this story.

    Confederate Yankee Link

    capitano (03e5ec)

  25. Link to Bob Owens post on this information.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  26. hmmm link bombed out so here it is in text

    daytrader (ea6549)

  27. blah

    I picked up on that much earlier when I read the WaPo story.

    The door high sewage on the Humvee was a dead give a way.

    It also seems little Venice has a new nickname.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  28. I am not saying the WaPo story is bogus at all just noting it’s the same unit.

    If they had a bad location their viewpoint would reasonably reflect that.

    At least they weren’t doing dogs with their BFV’s

    daytrader (ea6549)

  29. It figures that blah is impressed by the circle jerkers over at ballon-juice. Intelligent discourse over there is defines as; heh heh, stupid wingnutteria, heh heh, snark, heh heh, can I lick your balls, heh heh, right wing noise machine, heh heh, bite me, heh heh. The boys spent all day on that post and on their comments and it shows.

    I wonder if he comments under a different name over there.

    What a dork.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  30. “… how war debased the soldiers who experienced it…”

    I read every article I can find on the actions of men who have been awarded the Medal of Honor. The accounts of their exploits are humbling. If these men were “debased”, humanity requires more of it, not less.
    STB at some point will be required to answer for his actions, and words. I hope that he is a Christian, so that he will answer to a Merciful God.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  31. Looks like a “story so far” kinda piece.

    There things remained until Wednesday, when the Drudge Report suddenly posed one of its rare reportorial “exclusives.”

    I don’t see any errors in Rutten’s tale.

    alphie (99bc18)

  32. I don’t see any errors in Rutten’s tale.

    I’m not surprised you wouldn’t, O Braying One.

    Paul (66339f)

  33. actually I kind of get his point. It’s still technically incorrect. Also bad writing in that someone may not read the whole thing and get an incorrect assertion.

    TCO (79dafb)

  34. It is in the “entertainment” section, TCO.

    alphie (99bc18)

  35. It is in the “entertainment” section, TCO.

    See everyone?

    Now that was funny.

    Paul (66339f)

  36. so?

    TCO (1c4d1b)

  37. conf yank’s analysis of the story is excellent. Agree with all except for the bandwidth stuff which is speculation and doesn’t explain the lack of comments on the document removal (which puizzled even people like Malkin).

    TCO (79dafb)

  38. So?

    What is to be gained by pretending not to understand what Rutten, an entertainment writer, wrote?

    alphie (99bc18)

  39. Ya know iffin I ran any sort of rag, especially iffin I desired others to take it seriously, I’d put a hold on the article, ask the author, check and verify his information, then call the wipe the lying wipe that he is.

    Da boy is either lying, of writing fiction, which was not disclosed in his words at all. So he is nuttin but a gotdaum liar!

    Applaude him for being such and let him live with it! But as well make fer daaum sure your readers knows that he but such as well!

    That will clip his future performances long before they ever appear.

    TC (1cf350)

  40. I loved Tim Rutten’s 5 questions for Drudge near the end of his piece. He doesn’t seem to have a grasp of how “journalism” and “journalist” work. The questions are and my comments on them:

    1. Who leaked the documents to Drudge and why, among all the documents the Army must have collected in this case, was one of them a transcript that could be used to put Foer and Scoblic in a bad light?

    I guess he’s not familiar with the idea of confidential sources. I guess his paper regularly discusses and names their confidential sources any time anyone else wants to know. Rutten must know what the heck he’s talking about since he is the LA Times media reporter/columnist.

    2. Why did Drudge take the documents down and why hasn’t he explained his reasons for doing so?

    That’s actually a good question but it’s not one the MSM usually answers about stories that they do that disappear or are suddenly re-written or deserve corrections which are never done. Drudge is obviously following the example of the MSM.

    3. Why no original link to the Memorandum, the only document that would have contained evidence?

    Perhaps the unnamed source didn’t give it to Drudge. Based upon Drudge’s past history that would be one guess. The second is he’s waiting for the MSM to jump all over him and then drop the second shoe. My guess is that he wasn’t given a copy.

    4. Why has the Army kept Beauchamp in Iraq where it can control access to him and he’s beyond the reach of any other jurisdiction?

    The LA Times can send a reporter to interview him if they want. Yon was at his base. Why is he still there. Well his rotation isn’t up and he’s not being court martialed or processed for an administrative discharge. Why shouldn’t he be there Mr. Rutten?

    5. Why hasn’t the Army complied with the New Republic’s FOI request?

    Gee, I thought Mr Rutten would understand that NJP is a personnel matter and the info is part of Beauchamps personnel file and it’s not a legal proceeding. I’m sure that Mr. Rutten would have no problem with the LA Times releasing parts of his personnel file without his permission. Beauchamp can give it away but the Army can’t. I know it’s a tough concept for journalist to understand and it does make it look like he’s asking the “tough” questions.

    airedale (925226)

  41. This is an industry that cannot self-regulate. Its orders of magnitude worse than Enron, Worldcom, Global Crossing, etc and in many cases, is using publicly traded firms to intentionally report misinformation and falsehoods, often with the intent of deceiving shareholders and debt-holders (such as in the case of the CanWest which owns The New Republic).

    The industry needs its equivalent to Sarbanes-Oxley imposed on it:

    1. Hard jail time for knowingly publishing material falsehoods, or for refusing to acknowledge them with the same coverage and placement in the very the next publication date after uncovering the error. Set the penalties at the same levels of Sarbox and let those like Foer spend 10-15 years in a Federal pen with no opportunity for a reduction in sentence.

    2. Clear specification of the treatment of verification of allegations. Anonymous sources can no longer serve as a source for publication – only as a mechanism for focusing further investigation and verification.

    3. Requirement of the professional certification of all journalists in the position of making editorial decisions, with a strong program and requirement on ethics. Strong suspension and revocation rules for ethical violations in a manner similar to the CPA and CFA programs, giving editors a career consequence for violations of ethics.

    4. Clear language specifying a publication may not discriminate against race, gender, sexual preference AND political orientation. Objective news can be measured on its own and unobjective reporters terminated without regard to how they vote.

    redherkey (9f5961)

  42. David – Try to keep up. That worthless Balloon-Juice post has already been linked above.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  43. Maybe TNR thinks that if they keep digging, the infall of c**p will fill it for them?

    htom (412a17)

  44. Sadly, Rutten isn’t just clueless about the Beauchamp affair. In his review of the Plame book, he swallows all the left talking points;
    that she was covert; not since at least 1995 when the combined weight of Ames betrayals and the disclosure to the Cuban DGI made her unusable for covert purposes; that there were no attempts for
    Iraqi’s to seek yellowcake from Niger, except for”Baghdad Bob” Al Sahaf and Zawahie in Ouago Oaugo & Algiers respectively, That she had no role in the sending of her husband to Niger; her own memoes and that of a INR official now theConsul General in Karachi refute that fact; and
    of course, the denial of the role of Richard Armitage; Powell’s right hand man. Let’s forget
    other criteria like her husbands business dealings
    with the Alamoudis through his association with Rock Creek Partners or other ties to COGEMA; the
    French firm in charge of the yellowcake in Niger.

    narciso (d671ab)

  45. Or is his grasp of the relevant timeline really this tenuous?

    I’ve noticed that a lot of people simply don’t even realize the importance of timelines; they’ll believe sequences of events that are utterly impossible, yet if they bothered to look at the relevant dates they’d realize how far out of kilter their view is.

    Which raises a question: we have a word for people who can’t read — illiterate — and one for those who can’t do basic arithmetic — innumerate.

    If people can’t grasp timelines, are they “intemporate” (notice the spelling)?

    McGehee (25adee)

  46. However, the woman existed and the event happened, according to witnesses.


    Why hasn’t she come forward? Why did the Army investigation conclude said women does not exist and said event did not occur?

    The Ace (12e3ad)


    Comment by David Ehrenstein —

    What I find funny is that you actually believe a terribly unfunny post like that somehow relates to what TNR is doing. But since the stupids really can’t speak to the facts on the matter they attempt to change the subject.

    And you go merilly along…

    The Ace (12e3ad)

  48. 39 (alphie): I’m not sure “what is to be gained by pretending”, but whether or not something can be gained by pretending, one should not do so. Because pretending to misunderstand someone is sophistry.

    BTW, I think the CY peice is a nice job of analysis showing the lack of thoughtfullness on several details in the peice.

    TCO (79dafb)

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