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The New Republic Is Running The CBS/Dan Rather Playbook

Tuesday, August 7, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Posted by Generalissimo

Just a short time ago, in response to the Michael Goldfarb story in the Weekly Standard citing a high level military official saying that anti-war reporter Scott Thomas Beauchamp has signed a sworn statement denying the stories that the New Republic supposedly fact-checked and ran, the editors of the New Republic posted the following:

A STATEMENT ON SCOTT THOMAS BEAUCHAMP:

We’ve talked to military personnel directly involved in the events that Scott Thomas Beauchamp described, and they corroborated his account as detailed in our statement. When we called Army spokesman Major Steven F. Lamb and asked about an anonymously sourced allegation that Beauchamp had recanted his articles in a sworn statement, he told us, “I have no knowledge of that.” He added, “If someone is speaking anonymously [to The Weekly Standard], they are on their own.” When we pressed Lamb for details on the Army investigation, he told us, “We don’t go into the details of how we conduct our investigations.”

–The Editors

So instead of saying Houston, we might have a problem here, the editors at the New Republic are walking further out onto the plank. They have no problem wanting you to believe that they have their unnamed sources to back up Beauchamp’s claims, and that they still are sticking by their story, much as Dan Rather did in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and yet they are reacting to the Weekly Standard’s unnamed source with a knee-jerk reaction that it can’t be trusted. You can’t have it both ways. You’d think at this point, Franklin Foer, the beleaguered editor of the New Republic, would start to realize how far out over the water he is walking, and that he might want to think twice about doubling down and blindly backing his stories. The further out on the plank you walk, when you do eventually get wet, the harder it is for anyone to reach you with a life preserver.

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