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Archive for "Aug 20 2007"

You Gotta Be Kidding Me

Deciding whether to make “GI Joe” at all, let alone how to market it, is nettlesome thanks in large measure to an unpopular American president defending an unpopular war: In a July USA Today/Gallup poll, a record high of 62% respondents had called the invasion of Iraq “a mistake.”A month later, that view is 57%, more or less where it’s been for over a year.

Die, you shitbags, just reach back into your lungs and strangle yourselves.

Advertising Age – Will Movie Turn GI Joe Into Soldier of Fortune?

A spokeswoman for Mr. di Bonaventura would not comment on the picture’s development. Rob Moore, Paramount’s president-worldwide marketing and distribution, said, “Until there’s a [locked] script, I don’t think you can really comment on what the international reaction will be. In ‘Bourne Ultimatum,’ you have the story of what is essentially an American spy. But the characterization of the military and the CIA is: They’re the bad guys. In any event, there are parts of the world where it’s an issue, like Western Europe, and parts where it isn’t, like the U.K., Australia and Asia.”

But Mr. Goldner said Hasbro is sensitive to the current world climate. “We’ll weigh our options. Clearly we do a lot of work on consumer insight.”

HE’S AN AMERICAN WRECKING MACHINE. Write it like that. YES, politics can be asinine, but GI JOE?

HE RULES.

Hmmm…. “Registered Users”

Well now, there are two obvious choices, and a couple of others, blithering idiots (and I KNOW from “blithering idiot” … just you take a look around here, especially at me myself), involved in deciding this. While jacking around with new hosting protocols (thanks to new, huge website bottom lines, I’m left thinking, “holy shit! I can host vids!”) the question must be asked: “Do you wanna, punk?”

Answers in the comments… and You Who Know Who I Mean have NO SAY.

If I say “Go” you’re in. So buy a camera (or a Camri).

It’s not an Accident, it’s on Purpose

The New Republic (link) is now enmeshed in its third major scandal in ten years involving one of their writers cooking shit up, and no one at the magazine realizing it was happening before the articles reached the public.

The saying goes “Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Three times? “We’re ideologically blinded morons who don’t give a shit about how a story is created if the story fits our world view.”

First was Ruth Shalit, serial plagiarist. Next was Phillip Glass, whose brazen bullshitting was so audacious it was turned into a major motion picture.

Now they are facing “La Affair Beauchamp,” and, as TNR has painfully learned, Ken Layne’s famed warning to Big Media: “we can fact check your ass” is in full, terribly swift effect.

Richard Miniter lays out a case that shows that at TNR, it’s because of the mag’s interior culture that they’ve been embarrassed once again.

It was a going-away party for a longtime New Republic senior editor Ryan Lizza, but the staff seemed more interested in discussing the magazine’s immediate future. It was July 20 and the avalanche of questions about a first-person “diarist” piece under the pseudonym “Scott Thomas” –a direct threat to the magazine’s credibility—was starting to tumble down.

The staff gathered at New Republic Editor Franklin Foer’s Northwest Washington home. Foer asked them not to worry; the editors would investigate the charges.

(Bloggers at Confederate Yankee, Little Green Footballs and Ace of Spades, among others, as well as the online edition of the Weekly Standard, called into question the authenticity of a pseudonymous article, headlined “Shock Troops,” in The New Republic. In the coming weeks, Scott Thomas Beauchamp, the man behind the pseudonym would come forward, ultimately signing a written statement recanting his work for The New Republic. The U.S. Army has not released this signed statement, citing Beauchamp’s federal privacy protections.)

Later that night, Robert McGee, a then-assistant to The New Republic’s publisher, went looking for the host. He is curious what Foer thinks about the building scandal. He wants the inside dope.

He finds Foer on the front porch and asks as casually as he can: “So, what’s up with this?”

As McGee recalls the conversation, Foer immediately volunteered the standard answer: conservatives have an ideological grudge to settle because they perceive the magazine to be anti-war, anti-military and so on.

“He sounded almost rehearsed,” McGee said.

What bothered McGee about the conversation was that Foer saw the questions from the bloggers as a completely ideological attack. “Foer wasn’t acknowledging that at least some of the attacks on the [Beauchamp’s] ‘Shock Troops’ piece came from active-duty military members whose skepticism was factually grounded, and not just from stateside political pundits.”

Perhaps because McGee worked on the business side of the magazine on the first floor and not with the editors and writers on the second, Foer didn’t consider him a genuine insider—and therefore gave him the company line. But McGee believes that Foer was speaking his mind.

Then the conversation turned to Beauchamp himself. Foer told McGee that soldier-writer was “an articulate guy on the front lines.”

McGee disagreed, thinking Beauchamp “wasn’t that rare of an asset.”

The web is fat with currently serving soldiers in Iraq posting their views as well as the reporting of embedded journalists and retired officers. He told Foer that “the military bloggers were just as qualified, if not more.”

“At that time, my main reason [for talking to Foer] was that I was sympathetic to the military service members who had already weighed in,” McGee explained. “Sympathetic (a) because I felt their skepticism was reasonable on factual grounds, and (b) because I fully understood their grievance that Scott Thomas Beauchamp’s anecdotes — though written in the breast-beating tone of a first-person confessional — effectively attacked the professionalism of everyone around him, and not just the personal character of Beauchamp himself.”

Foer did not see it that way.

What Foer did not tell McGee was that Beauchamp was married to Elspeth Reeve, one of the magazine’s three fact-checkers (a point that the press missed too). So Beauchamp was effectively an insider—and would get treated as such.

After being burned twice before, is quite remarkable that fact-checking amounts to an entry level gig at The New Republic, and so woefully understaffed. That one of those “fact-checkers” was the author’s wife? You gotta be kidding me! Heads should be rolling all over their office’s floors.

As of now, only one person at TNR has lost their job: McGee, who blew the whistle on Beauchamp.

read it all.

UPDATE: “It is painfully obvious that even a passing attempt to verify the claims was never made. No handgun on the planet fires a “square-backed” pistol bullet, and if the editors had so much as bothered to click on the Glock web site, they would have readily discovered that Glocks use the same ammunition as ever other 9x19mm caliber pistol, and that this claim was absurd.”

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