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Monday, August 13, 2007
CNS Article on Beauchamp Controversy Incomplete

An Aug. 10 article by Nathan Burchfiel on the Scott Thomas Beauchamp controversy gets some things right but takes unverified criticism of Beauchamp on faith and ignores related issues.

Burchfiel accurately notes that it is "conservative media" that is promoting the Beauchamp controversy -- in which Beauchamp, writing anonymously for The New Republic, issued several columns making claims whose veracity has been questioned. But he lists The New Repubic among "news outlets" that have been "embroiled in a fabrication controversy"; The New Republic is an opinion journal.

Burchfiel repeated the claim that "a military investigation found no evidence to support many of [Beauchamp's] claims," but didn't mention that, as we've noted, the alleged military investigation -- anonymously reported by the Weekly Standard -- has not been released to the public.

The headline on Burchfiel's article -- "New Republic Scandal Further Damages 'Mainstream' Media Credibility" -- weirdly puts the word "mainstream" in scare quotes. Unsaid anywhere in the article, of course, is the fact that conservative media have similar credibility problems:

  • WorldNetDaily treated an April fool's joke as a real story and was forced to retract an article falsely linking an Islamic relief group to terrorism and accused it of making a fraudulent appeal for money for orphans that don't exist.
  • NewsMax falsely claimed that the rock band U2 was doing a fundraiser for Sen. Rick Santorum, then altered the article without telling its readers.
  • CNS itself put words into Democratic strategist Paul Begala's mouth, falsely claiming that he said that Republicans want to kill him and his family -- a falsehood CNS amazingly stood behind.
  • Michelle Malkin's false and misleading assertions during the Jamil Hussein non-controversy and her false claim that troops were snubbing John Kerry during a visit to Iraq.

Burchfiel concludes the article by quoting an attack on the "liberal media" by conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group commentator Mark Hyman -- a guy with his own long history of dubious and false claims.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:35 PM EDT

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