What Foer did not tell McGee was that Beauchamp was married to Elspeth Reeve, one of the magazineâ€™s three fact-checkers (a point that the press missed too). So Beauchamp was effectively an insiderâ€”and would get treated as such.
That understandably human decision would have painful consequences for The New Republicâ€™s reputation.
Richard Miniter has researched what happened at TNR — why did they fall for a fabricator for the third time in the past decade? Because the story was what they so wanted to believe?
The Monday after the party, at the magazineâ€™s offices, Foer was locked in a long serious conversation with Leon Wieseltier, the bear-shaped intellectual who has run the magazineâ€™s literary section with distinction since 1983. They were talking about Beauchamp. Foer couldnâ€™t understand why anyone would just make things up.
Wieseltier did. â€œMaybe he [Beauchamp] is a sociopath.â€
As new details about Beauchampâ€™s strange private life emerged, Wieseltierâ€™s initial assessment would prove to be on target.