The New Republic has gone silent on its internal investigation into its Baghdad fabulist, but Jack Kelly has not forgotten the story. Indeed, he sees the spirit of the Baghdad fabulist at work in the AFP’s recent photographic report on the Baghdad crone holding the magic bullets. Kelly draws lessons from the exposure of the AFP’s work:
There are some lessons in this for news organizations.
First, if you had a veteran on staff, and ran this stuff by him before you publish it, you wouldn’t be taken in so often by frauds like the “magic bullets,” or the fairy stories Scott Thomas Beauchamp has been telling the New Republic.
Second, if you do get taken in, ‘fess up when the fraud is discovered. As Richard Nixon could have told you, it’s the cover up that gets you.
Third, if you’re in the habit of perpetrating journalistic frauds, realize it’s harder to get away with them now.
I wonder what “the editors” of the New Republic have to say about Kelly’s lessons. They haven’t quite made their way to lesson two yet.