The Atlantic’s Elspeth Reeve sounds angry. In a Wednesday post at the Atlantic Wire, Reeve tore into Fox News’ chief Roger Ailes for the sin of agreeing to an interview with the Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz. Thus far, this is the only interview Ailes has done, and for some reason that’s really got her steamed. Reeve is also furious at Ailes for committing the crime of authorizing a biography of himself. Obviously no one has informed her that is not an unusual practice.
Elspeth closes with what looks like a direct attack on Howard Kurtz’s credibility:
There are only two reporters Ailes has spoken to recently: Zev Chafets [the biographer] and Howard Kurtz. We know why he picked Chafets. What about Kurtz?
Though I’m no Howard Kurtz fan, I can still answer that question: Kurtz has been a top media writer for decades, has a high-profile perch at the Daily Beast, and worked his tail off to get to where he is. If you want bang for your buck, you go to Kurtz.
Reeve seems to imply that Ailes counted on favorable coverage from Kurtz. But instead of hitting Kurtz with a cheap drive-by insult, why didn’t she take the time to document whatever it is she’s unhappy about in the Kurtz piece?
I know journalism can be hard, but that is the job.
Maybe Reeve is simply upset that Ailes wouldn’t agree to an interview with her. If that’s the subtext here, speaking only for myself, I might be able to explain why…
Once upon a time a woman named Elspeth Reeve was a New Republic fact-checker who would soon be married to a man named Scott Thomas Beauchamp. According to the New York Observer, in 2007, Elspeth recommended her beau to her bosses. Writing under the pen name “Scott Thomas,” Beauchamp then went on to write a series of sensational New Republic articles about the cruel exploits of an “evil” American soldier in Iraq.
One problem: The stories were 100% false, and yet somehow they still got past Beauchamp’s fact-checker lady-friend.
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