[OUR STORY SO FAR: This refers to the ongoing New Republic/Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp “controversy” that has raged in the Rightie blogosmear since the Rupert Murdoch-owned, William Kristol-edited Weekly Standard‘s BLOG, run by Michael Goldfarb, called for, on July 18, “Fact or Fiction? A mission for milbloggers:” and then used the blog as a central clearing house for the top Rightie blogs — Michelle Malkin, Little Green Footballs, Powerline, Captain’s Quarters, etc. — to pile on to a series of “Baghdad Diaries” written by an anonymous soldier. First, they disputed whether the ‘soldier’ even existed. Then, when the soldier revealed himself, dug up every old blog posting they could find on the internet. They found that he had been for Howard Dean at the University of Missouri in 2004. They “found” that his wife worked at the magazine. They catalyzed an Army investigation of the soldier, who is currently either being held incommunicado — if you believe the magazine that his wife works for — or else is incommunicado by choice, if you believe the chief PR officer in theater, Col. Boylan, whose confirming letter that, supposedly, Beauchamp had recanted all was received by Bob Owens, the Confederate Yankee, trumpeted by Michael Goldfarb, and was the basis for both the New York Times and the Washington Post stories on this sordid mess last week. Now, the story continues …]
Well, they tried. Really they did. Yesterday, amidst the complete slam that the Rove resignation put on the blogosphere, The Weekly Standard‘s blog (Michael Goldfarb) and The Confederate Yankee, Bob Owens, tried to buttress their increasingly shaky declaration of victory.
Five days shy of their first month of hyper-parsing and ultra-critical textual reading of The New Republic’s “Baghdad Diarist” Private Beauchamp, the Yanker thought he’d caught a BIG LIE in a prior article According to The Weekly Standard‘s blog:
(Updated) Another Beauchamp Story Debunked
Bob Owens, the Confederate Yankee, had debunked another claim made by Private Beauchamp in his columns for the New Republic. This is from Beauchamp’s second dispatch, titled “Dead of Night”:
As we slowly started moving back toward the Humvee, we could hear the dogs filling in the space behind us. I turned around and saw their green eyes flashing in the deep shadow where we’d left the body. Part of me thought we should have shot the dogs or done something to keep them from eating the body, but what good would it have done? We only would have been exposing ourselves to danger longer than we needed to.
Back in the Humvee, Hernandez started talking to me without looking in my direction. “Man, I’ve never seen anything like that before,” he said.
“What? A guy killed by a cop?” I asked.
“No, man, zombie dogs. That shit was wild,” he said, laughing.
Something inside of me fought for expression and then died. He was right. What else was there to do now but laugh?
“I took his driver’s license,” I said.
“You did?” questioned Hernandez.
“Yeah. It said he was an organ donor.”
We chuckled in the dark for a moment, and then looked out the window into the night. We didn’t talk again until we were back at our base.
Owens sent a couple of quick emails and was able to discover that the Iraqi DMV does not, in fact, provide driver’s with the option of donating their organs. Owens quotes from an exchange with Hassan Elsaadaoui, a CPATT liaison with the Iraqi Interior Ministry in Baghdad:
I think in the Iraqi or Muslim tradition they don’t accept this practice of donating organs. Maybe in the future, it will be possible. There is no indication now on the back side of Iraqi driver’s license. Also our medical system and doctors are not ready for this type procedure, because of the situation. They do not have the equipment and many of the very good doctors are now outside the country.
Owens has other experts saying the same thing…organ donation is not common in Iraq, and there is certainly no indication of organ donation status on the Iraqi driver’s license. Go read the whole thing. Was Beauchamp’s buddy just joking? Was the whole story a joke?
Update: Owens now wonders if the whole thing isn’t a joke…I read it that way, too. But I think his update pretty much captures my sense of the thing:
I think in the Iraqi or Muslim tradition they don’t accept this practice of donating organs. Maybe in the future, it will be possible. There is no indication now on the back side of Iraqi driver’s license.
[Gee, you suppose that Owens could debunk THIS? Here I’ll start it out: These three soldiers stop at an Iraqi farmhouse. The farmer says, you can spend the night, but you’ll have to sleep with my daughter. Now, the first soldier …. ]
All right, there is serious intent here. Bob Owens is now the “point man” for the debunking squad, the fellow who Petraeus’ top PR officer, Col. Boylan sent the “confirming” email that led to the declaration of victory last week that the blogosmearers seem to feel increasingly needs buttressing like, oh, debunking jokes. (It WAS a joke, for those of you, like Goldfarb and Owens, who are paranoid and utterly lacking any sense of humor, or the gallows humor that characterizes extremely stressful situations … like combat, for instance.)
And Owens himself must be held the the standard that he holds up so proudly. Let’s see how he scores.
In late 2005 Crooks and Liars named Bob Owens, The Confederate Yankee for the prestigious WORST POST OF THE YEAR* non-award for what can only be described as paranoid rightie fabulism. (* tip o’ the hat to Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money)
Bob Owens’ winning post? “Google Mocks Christ on Christmas Eve.” (12-24-05)
Again, there is serious intent here. Remember, Owens is now the “Woodward & Bernstein” of Goldfarb’s vendetta, and the vendetta is about “fabulism.” Let’s see how he stacks up as a fabulist. Putting two and two together, Owens comes up with five:
While trying to find a nativity image for my last post before Christmas, I did an (sic) search for “baby jesus” on Google.
This is the result. (Screen capture).
Notice that the top search result is for a sex toy that mocks Jesus. [NB: “Baby Jesus Butt Plug” — HW]
Other results on this search results page have more link traffic. A quick review of page’s code shows no HTML meta information that should give it a favorable ranking. The page itself has a raw relevance ranking (search word divided by total words) of less than five percent. The only conclusion I can draw is that this page position ranking was done manually by a Google staffer.
Google’s message to the Faithful seems obvious:
“Merry Christmas, assholes.”
Google? Right. Like the search engine consciously intends to alienate a huge segment of its audience, lose money and market share, just to serve their master, Satan. This is rather insanely paranoid, but now that Bob’s got the bad idea in his cranium, he can’t seem to get it out, and becomes increasingly defensive and paranoid:
Update: Some folks have made the argument that this is the result of Googlebombing or other SEO tricks. Others say that it is merely the result of Google’s search programs. They would absolve Google of all responsibility.
I do not.
Google’s algorithms are man-made, coded by human programmers, as are any exclusionary protocols. These people ultimately decide if search results are relevant. I think it is fair to say that a butt plug is not a relevant search result for 99-percent of Google users searching for information on Jesus Christ as a baby.
So either Google has manipulative coders, or a fouled algorithm in their baseline technologies that suggests their massive capitalization is based upon a a house of cards. (sic) I’ll leave individual readers and investors to make the call.
Yes, the ‘baby Jesus butt plug’ is the result of manipulative liberal algorithm coding. Er … really? (I admit that the techno-mumbo is hard to follow. But the braiding in of paranoia and preconceived conclusion is present as well.) OK. Crooks and Liars points out the inherent absurdity of this fabulism. Bob’s response?
Update 2: Crooks and Liars calls this post 2005’s Worst Post of the Year. Coming from such a den of delusion and paranoia (not to mention abject political failure), I consider it a compliment.
Also, I guess he didn’t see this, though technically it isn’t a blog post, just the worst idea of the year.
I’ll save you the click. Some group named Louis Farrakhan their 2005 “man of the year.” This, to racist and/or religious bigot Bob, is so incredibly, laughably absurd (since Farrakhan is both Black AND Muslim) that he offers it as an absolute DEFENSE of his insane post. Which is, in itself, a rather stunning self-indictment of Bob’s objectivity, his powers of analysis, his deep paranoia, and steadfast refusal to admit that — no matter how absurd his proposition — he CANNOT be wrong.
And he’s accusing Beauchamp of … what? Fabulism?
But it gets worse. Bob is also DOGGEDLY wrong. He can’t let this go, and finishes this masterpiece of paranoid misinterpretation with this, evidently from the following spring (and HE QUOTES HIMSELF):
Good Friday Update: As I said previously:
Google’s algorithms are man-made, coded by human programmers, as are any exclusionary protocols. These people ultimately decide if search results are relevant.
A current Google search reveals that Google has changed their search algorithm to exclude the sex toy site from at least their top 50 results in a unfiltered search. (sic) I was right, liberals were wrong.
Not that this comes as a shock to anyone…
“I was right, liberals were wrong.”
Which is exactly what Owens is trying to maintain today, vis-à-vis his attacks on Beauchamp. But there’s enough blame to go around. Goldfarb, the primary source and svengali of all the media hoohaw thus far, NOW uncritically quotes the Confederate Yanker’s latest absurdity, even adding Owens’ increasingly paranoid and weird formulations, ‘analysis,’ and justifications — even though they now ADMIT IT WAS A JOKE. It is an almost pathological need to be ‘right’ — even after the premise of the attack is proven false, somehow, the attack is still justified, and WE CONTACTED THE IRAQ DMV, you GOT THAT?!!??!
So who are the REAL fabulists here? And, can they stand the sort of rigorous critical scrutiny that they demand from The New Republic and Private Beauchamp?
Don’t make me laugh.
UPDATE: 10:10 AM PDT: Old Bob’s at it again. If it weren’t enough that he’s a “Newsbusters” media “critic” today’s posting screams about lies, and why The New Republic owes an apology or a firing, or execution at dawn by a firing squad. Increasingly, the shrill tone of these posts belie any belief in the so-called “repudiation” theory allegedly advanced by the Army. I thought they said they’d “won.” Hmmm. BTW, there’s a hilarious “analysis” of Owens’ latest screed HERE.