January 16, 2008

Harper's Defaults on Horton's Credibility

It appears that Roger Hodge, Editor of Harper's, Ellen Rosenbush, Managing Editor of Harper's, and Vice President of Public Relations Giulia Melluci, will not support claims made by Harper's contributor Scott Horton, who made the claim on August 24, 2007 that an unnamed "thuggish neocon" journalist fabricated a story while Horton was in Iraq.

Horton has refused to provide evidence of the story in question, as have his editors and Harper's Public Relations. We can only conclude at this time that such a story never existed, and that Horton's claim was fraudulent.

Mr. Hodge, Ms. Rosenbush, and Ms. Melucci were contacted to provide support for Horton's article on August 29 and December 29, 2007, in addition to previous docuemented attempts to Mr. Hodge and Ms. Rosenbush on August 27 and Ms. Melucci in a separate August 27 email, with a follow-up email to Ms. Rosenbush and Ms. Melucci on August 28. All of these followed an unsuccessful attempt to get Scott Horton to provide support for his claim on August 24.

This apparently fraudulent claim is not Horton's only ethical lapse; in a Pajama's Media article posted on January 4, I revealed that Horton's clear conflict of interest in writing about Associated Press photographer and terrorism suspect Bilal Hussein. Horton had been a member of Hussein's defense team, and his former legal partner is Hussein's present counsel.

Ironically, Horton's most recent post quotes Nietzsche:

He who does battle with monsters needs to watch out lest he in the process become a monster himself. And if you stare too long into the abyss, the abyss will stare right back at you.

If Harper's had any remaining pride, ethics, or editorial judgment, that quote would be his epitaph.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at January 16, 2008 09:14 AM

I wonder what it is about certain kinds of "lawyers," such as Mr. Horton. He shares numerous characteristics with that other blogging and reputed lawyer, Gleen Greenwald. Both are exceedingly verbose, often to no obvious purpose, leading one to conclude that their compensation as "lawyers" was based on word counts. Both excell at use of the anonymous, but well placed, sources in all levels of the government, a result that increasingly appears to be highly doubtful given the absolute rarity in which such "disclosures" are subsequently confirmed.

The words, "pompous ass," quickly come to mind after scanning any of their various brain farts.

Posted by: Terry at January 16, 2008 11:00 AM

Another left wing publication caught publishing a fabricated story. Ho hum. Tell us something new.

Posted by: Banjo at January 16, 2008 11:17 AM

I read the most recent post and maybe he is saying that he "became a monster" because he was battling monsters.

Of course this may become his excuse why he made up the story.

Posted by: BGP at January 16, 2008 11:40 AM

Bob and all,

Cut Horton some slack. As the entire staff of TNR shows, along with such MSM luminaries as Mike Barnicle, Dan Rather, Peter Arnett and Charlie LeDuff you're nobody in lefty journammentary until you've made up a story or three.

Extra points if you just typed somebody else's story in, like that TNR hack did with the Ron Paul newsletters.

Posted by: Kevin R.C. 'Hognose' O'Brien at January 16, 2008 03:07 PM

Frankly, the guy probably really believes this is what happened. A reality check on Lefty nostrums regarding the war, BushCo, global warming or any other issue perpetually reveals absolutely NO substantive foundation. None. So wedded are these shlubs to their fantasies that no Iraqi election or surge related events or revealed fabrications of science or indeed, ANYthing can penetrate. I seem to recall Sullivan backed this guy with his own repute. Looks like a wash all around.

Posted by: megapotamus at January 16, 2008 03:55 PM

Remember when Randi Rhodes and her entourage of 14 bloody marys got attacked by a neocon sidewalk?

Things happen, people.

Posted by: Pablo at January 16, 2008 07:19 PM

IIRC, in 2004, Lewis Lapham (sp?) the then editor of Harpers wrote an article that was supposedly a report on his visit to the Republican convention. Unfortunately, it was published before the convention began.

Details, details, details.

Posted by: Fat Man at January 16, 2008 08:03 PM