How the New Republic got suckered

What Foer did not tell McGee was that Beauchamp was married to Elspeth Reeve, one of the magazine’s three fact-checkers (a point that the press missed too). So Beauchamp was effectively an insider—and would get treated as such.

That understandably human decision would have painful consequences for The New Republic’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 magazine’s offices, Foer was locked in a long serious conversation with Leon Wieseltier, the bear-shaped intellectual who has run the magazine’s literary section with distinction since 1983. They were talking about Beauchamp. Foer couldn’t understand why anyone would just make things up.

Wieseltier did. “Maybe he [Beauchamp] is a sociopath.”

As new details about Beauchamp’s strange private life emerged, Wieseltier’s initial assessment would prove to be on target.