What John Quiggin said. Obviously, it may turn out to be the case that some details of Scott Beauchamp’s story don’t check out, and equally obviously no political issue of consequence turns on whether or not his tale of fraternity-style pranks is 100 percent accurate. What does have significance is this genre of right-wing press criticism. Basically, a story comes out that conservative bloggers don’t like, someone — without evidence — proclaims it bogus. Then all kinds of people who may or may not know what they’re talking about put forward theories about why X or Y must be false. Then those theories are all uncritically endorsed by key conservative bloggers.
Then if it turns out that any of the dozens of claims made by the blog swarm end up vindicated, the horde proclaims “advantage: blogosphere” and decides that all war-related news reporting it doesn’t approve of must be made up. It’s as if you had a guy batting .134 who hit a home run once, years ago, and fancies himself a slugger.