A strange coda for story of perfect Yale quarterback Patrick Witt, who dropped out of the finalist round for the Rhodes Scholarship so he could play in the Harvard-Yale football game: While Patrick was agonizing over his decision, his coach Tom Williams told everyone that he faced the same dilemma as a linebacker at Stanford in 1992, and chose football.
Tinker, tailor, soldier, fabulist alert! The credibility of A Long Way Gone, the bestselling Farrar, Strauss and Giroux memoir from child soldier Ishmael Beah has been called into question by an Australian couple. It seems Beah may have spent a mere three months-not two years-kidnapped, drugged, running for his life, and watching his friends and entire family be raped and hacked to death. The outrage! Listen here, Ishmael, there will be no getting mixed up, we don't care how much brown-brown they made you take or how heavy your AK-47 was. Our rules about memoirs are very serious.
Semi-fabulist Scott Beauchamp's wife, Elspeth Reeve, who was so fired a couple of months back by The New Republic , is quite the talker! She doesn't hold much back in an interview today with the Observer in which she discusses fact-checking her husband's dispatches from Iraq, both before and after they were married. Is it really possibly that, despite having gone to journalism schook, Reeve still doesn't quite understand how this whole 'reporting' thing works? FYI, it's something along the lines of 'when the pencil/digital recorder moves, your words are being captured for posterity!'
The New Republic has finally concluded its investigation into its "Baghdad Diarist" scandal. (The magazine ran a series of articles by a TNR staffer's friend and then husband, Scott Beauchamp, who happened to be stationed in Iraq, and who may have invented or fudged some of his stories.) Franklin Foer, the magazine's editor, pens the magazine's apology, which doesn't really sound like much of an apology in the first place. Instead, the nostra culpa comes across as petulant and bitter, which pretty effectively defeats the point of the 7,000-word piece.