By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

A media scandal that wasn’t?

Remember the Scott Beauchamp scandal? Beauchamp was the soldier who wrote a series of essays for The New Republic documenting some pretty atrocious behavior involving him and his comrades who were serving in Iraq, including running over dogs and playing with a human skull.

As you may recall, Beauchamp was discredited after he admitted to “exaggerations and falsehoods.” Except that Spencer Ackerman, in an explosive story for Radar, now says Beauchamp never made any such admission, and that TNR editor Franklin Foer threw Beauchamp overboard in an attempt to get the magazine’s right-wing critics off his back.

Ackerman admits that there’s bad blood between him and Foer, and that Foer would not be interviewed for the Radar piece. But Ackerman has a lot of on-the-record material backing up his claims. Fascinating stuff.

As I wrote for the Guardian a year ago this week, the Beauchamp scandal gave war supporters an excuse to ignore a dauntingly well-documented report on ugly behavior by American troops that had been published by The Nation.

Now it looks as though the real Beauchamp scandal may have been that The New Republic allowed his reputation to be sacrificed for no good reason.

Nothing on the TNR Web site so far.

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  1. Don, American

    As heard on FoxNews Sunday, “War isn’t a basketful of puppies.”

  2. Spartanette

    It’s disturbing how readily major media organizations will capitulate to an anonymous partisan mob on the internet.

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