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The "Scott Thomas" saga continued

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 24, 2007 09:13 AM

Update: More shenanigans.

Update: Ace catches the NYTimes changing its story. It is definitely flaming skull time.

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The newspaper that was hoaxed by Jayson Blair covers the magazine that was hoaxed by Stephen Glass, and which is now under tough scrutiny over the work of pseudonymous soldier “Scott Thomas.”

From the NYTimes:

Just who is the “Baghdad Diarist”?

It is a question that many people are asking The New Republic, the Washington political magazine that has been running articles attributed to an American soldier in Baghdad.

The author, who used the pen name Scott Thomas, has written three articles for the magazine since February, describing gruesome incidents in Iraq. Last week, The Weekly Standard questioned the veracity of the New Republic articles and invited readers with knowledge about the military or Baghdad to comment.

Since then, several readers and a spokesman for the base where the soldier is supposedly based have written in, raising more questions.

“Absolutely every piece of information that’s come out since we put that call up has cast further doubt on that story,” said Michael Goldfarb, the online editor of The Weekly Standard. “There’s not a single person that has come forward and said, ‘It sounds plausible.’ ”

Franklin Foer, the editor of The New Republic, will not reveal the author’s identity but says the magazine is investigating the accuracy of his articles. In the late 1990s, under different editors, the magazine fired an associate editor, Stephen Glass, for fabrications.

“Now that these questions have been raised, we’ve launched an inquiry. We’re putting the full resources of the magazine to look into the story,” Mr. Foer said. “It’s taking me a little bit longer than I wish it did. The author, not to mention some of the participants in the anecdotes he described, are active duty soldiers and they’re on 20-hour active combat missions sometimes, and it’s very difficult for me to get them all on the phone to ask them the questions that I’d like to ask.”

Should have thought of all that before printing “Thomas’s” articles, no?

Scott Johnson at Power Line writes:

We don’t know yet whether Thomas’s article is fact or fiction. Foer may yet produce facts that substantiate it. As I observed last week, however, TNR ran the article without much in the way of independent verification of the incidents recounted in it. Foer’s comments in the Times article today amplify the point. Given the poor light in which they displayed our armed forces serving in Iraq, the incidents retailed by “Thomas” were self-authenticating in the eyes of TNR. “The editors” never seriously thought to question them.

Michael Goldfarb, who got things rolling at the Weekly Standard online, has more reaction from FOB Falcon.

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Just a reminder of TNR editor Peter Beinart’s sneering two years ago when conservative talk show hosts headed to Iraq to see the situation on the ground themselves:

“This is the most pathetic thing I’ve heard in a long time. They should be ashamed of themselves,” Peter Beinart, editor of left-leaning The New Republic magazine, said.“They have no idea what journalism is, and to pretend they are journalists is laughable,” Beinart said. “You do not achieve victory by not facing reality. I think these are the kinds of people that will lead us to lose there.”

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