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Time for a Peter Beinart Smackdown
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So, have you heard: Real Journalist Peter Beinart is sneering at conservative talk show hosts headed to Iraq this Friday to report on the war. Fox’s Kelly Beaucar Vlahos (whom I’m sure Peter Beinart doesn’t consider a Real Journalist either) quotes Beinart:

“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.”

The trip is being organized by my friend, the brilliant and often news-breaking Melanie Morgan of KSFO radio in San Francisco. [Added note: As I mentioned last week, the tour was spearheaded by another good friend, Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson.] If Real Journalist Peter Beinart had bothered to do some elementary research before opening his mouth, he would have learned that Melanie was a real journalist while he was still sucking his thumb (not that he hasn’t stopped):

Ms. Morgan started her broadcasting career at the age of 16, working at her college radio station, KCLC FM, in St. Charles, Missouri. Shortly thereafter, she began an internship at KUDL AM/FM in her hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. After working at several radio stations in Kansas City, Melanie began her television career as a researcher, for ABC TV’s Howard K. Smith, during the 1976 Republican Convention. In 1980, Melanie went to work for KMBC, Channel 9 in Kansas City as a television reporter and anchor.

She moved to the Bay Area in 1981 and began working for KGO television as a free-lance reporter. It wasn’t long before KGO Radio recognized Melanie’s outstanding news and reporting ability. Her talents were fully realized when she stepped forward to spend three weeks in Beirut, Lebanon covering the conflict of that war-ravaged country. She received several awards for excellence in news reporting for her on-air reports from Lebanon.

Peter Beinart (his Real Journalism bio is here) should be ashamed of himself. He owes Melanie and the rest of the talk show hosts going on the Iraq tour an abject apology.

Not that Real Journalists ever say they are sorry for getting their facts wrong.


Oh, and by the way, here are some background reminders of the Real Journalism practiced by Peter Beinart’s esteemed publication, The New Republic:

New Republic Associate Editor Stephen Glass Fired for Fabricating Stories

Lies, damned lies and fiction

The incomplete contrition of serial liar Stephen Glass

Shattered Glass

Ruth Shalit: Plagiarize, Plagiarize, Plagiarize; Too Much Too Soon



Bob Johnson at, one of this site’s valued advertisers, is a major sponsor of the tour. He informs me that there will be a blog for participants with daily comments and photos, as well as live webcam feeds, at Voices of Soldiers. Check it out.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology