Scott Beauchamp doesn't matter.
He's a twice-AWOL serial liar with a pending mental health evaluation who can't write believable military fiction EVEN WHILE IN THE MILITARY. He's powerless, has been tried, found guilty and punished, and at this point, a distraction. We've been focusing on the wrong things.
What matters is the New Republic's advertisers. No, not their editors, their advertisers. [see below the fold for a list of same]
We know that TNR allowed all three of Scott Beauchamp's stories to be published without being competently fact-checked, if fact-checked at all.
We know that the editors of TNR, led by Franklin Foer, lied when they said that the stories had been competently fact-checked, we know they deceived their readers and misled at least one civilian expert in an attempt to create a whitewash of an investigation.
We know The New Republic attempted to stonewall their way through obvious, blatant, and grievous breaches of journalistic ethics. In so doing, they have attacked the service, integrity, and honor of an entire company of American soldiers serving in a combat zone to avoid taking responsibility for their own editorial and ethical failures.
Foer will win the current game we're playing because he can stonewall his way though it. It is obvious his bosses don't care as long as it doesn't cost them money.
So we change the game.
Below are a list of recent advertisers that have placed ads with either the print edition of The New Republic or the web site tnr.com.:
Alfred A. Knopf Allstate Amazon.com American Gas Station American Petroleum Institute Astro Zeneca (current issue) Auto Alliance Bearing Point Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (current issue) BP (current issue) Chevron (current issue) CNN FLAME (current issue) Federal Express The Financial Times Focus Features Ford Motor Company Freddie Mac GM Grove Atlantic HBO Harvard University Press History Channel Hoover Institution (current issue) MetLife Microsoft Mortage Bankers Nuclear Energy Institute The New School New York Times Novartis Palgrave Macmillan (current issue) Simon & Shuster John Templeton Foundation (current issue) University of Chicago Press University Press of Kansas (current issue) U.S. Telecom Visa (current issue) The Wall Street Journal Warner Brothers Warner Brothers Home Video W.W. Norton Wyeth Laboratories Yale University Press (current issue)
I'd ask U.S. military veterans, military families, active duty personnel, and the vast majority of Americans who support our servicemen and women to call these companies, institutions and agencies to pull their advertising from TNR, effective immediately.
Advertising with The New Republic represents a tacit support of their on-going support of an obvious lie, a continuing, unapologetic assault on the reputation of an American Army unit presently deployed in combat.
Advertising in The New Republic sends a message that advertisers do not care about journalistic ethics, or what most would consider editorial fraud.
I would ask advertisers to pull all of their advertising from the print edition of The New Republic and tnr.com until the senior editors responsible for this debacle are disciplined, with those at the top resigning.
The New Republic doesn't have an obligation to support the troops, or support the war in Iraq. It does have an obligation to retract stories for which they can provide no support.
Canwest MediaWorks, the Canadian company that owns The New Republic, does not have an obligation to decide the editorial policies of The New Republic, but it does have an obligation to discipline all editors who have refused to act ethically, who have misled readers, and who have attacked the military for defending itself from proven falsehoods and gross exaggerations.
We cannot force The New Republic to behave honorably, but we can make their dishonesty come at a price.Cross-posted at Confederate Yankee.