Posted by Curt on 5 August, 2007 at 11:45 am. 3 comments already!

Just as its standard journalistic practice to print the fact that a source your using is using a pseudonym, it is also standard practice to print a denial from one source while fact checking a story.  While the AP was guilty of the first one TNR appears to be quite guilty of the latter.  Bob Owens:

The editors of The New Republic declared:

… After questions were raised about the veracity of his essay, TNR extensively re-reported Beauchamp’s account.

In this process, TNR contacted dozens of people. Editors and staffers spoke numerous times with Beauchamp. We also spoke with current and former soldiers, forensic experts, and other journalists who have covered the war extensively. And we sought assistance from Army Public Affairs officers…

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As noted above, among the experts that TNR relied on were Army Public Affairs Officers, or PAOs.

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On August 3rd, I contacted Major Renee D. Russo, Third Army/USARCENT PAO at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, in an attempt to fact-check the new claim that the verbally assault on a female burn victim occurred at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, and not at Forward Operating Base Falcon in Iraq as he had claimed after his series of articles published by The New Republic was first disputed.

In a response posted on August 3rd, Major Russo stated:

Mr. Owens,

We have received other media queries on the alleged incident, but have not been able to find anyone to back it up. There is not a police
report or complaint filed on this incident during that timeframe. Right now it is considered to be a Urban Legend or Myth.

I am still researching the incident and will have to get back with you
later with any new developments.

~~~

It so happens that Jason Zengerle, Senior Editor of The New Republic did contact Major Russo. What did Major Russo tell Editor Zengerle?

According to Major Russo:

I released the same information that I gave you. The process and answers are the same when dealing with media queries.

In other words, the Army PAO contacted by The New Republic was told by the PAO that the claim could not be verified, and that the burn victim story was regarded as an "urban legend or myth"… and The New Republic ran their story without disclosing this apparent contradiction.

They leave out the fact that the Army investigating this losers stories told them that the burned women part appears to be urban legend.  The fact that no one could be found to corroborate the story.  Why is that? 

Because it doesn’t fit the narrative they want to tell about the story.  Like the AP and the Burning Six story, they produce a few anonymous sources who say its all true, except it was in Kuwait of course, and they can’t be named for fear of retaliation.  When it comes to a sensational story in a leftist rag there is no need to produce evidence apparently.  Print a big story at Fox News and they go bananas demanding names and serial numbers.

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