Here is an updated timeline reflecting Miniter's reporting of the wedding location.
- Scott Beauchamp and Elspeth Reeve associated at the Missouri School of Journalism (~2005)
- Beauchamp in Europe by June of 2006--probably already in the armed services
- Beauchamp develops relationship with girl in Germany
- Beauchamp deployed to Kuwait by September 2006, engaged to girl in Germany
- "War Bonds" published in TNR 1/29/07
- Beauchamp serves in Iraq from Sept. 2006 through April 2007, at which time he receives 2 weeks R&R.
- Marries Elspeth Reeve (in the United States) rather than the aforementioned fiancee, returns to duty somewhat after he was supposed to arrive.
- "Dead of Night" published 6/7/07
- "Shock Troops" published 7/13/07
- Criticism of "Shock Troops" begins and builds
- Beauchamp publicly identifies himself through TNR
- Army takes away his laptop and telephone
- Foer confirms for Howard Kurtz that Beauchamp is married to a TNR staffer (7/27/07)
Miniter offered the following reason for suspecting Reeve of malfeasance:
In the days after the party, Elspeth Reeve received the sympathetic attention of editors and fact-checkers at The New Republic’s offices. They did not blame her for escorting a fabricator into the magazine’s inner sanctum, who hoodwinked them and body-slammed the magazine’s reputation, according to McGee. Apparently, they did not ask what responsibility she might bear.TNR published Beauchamp before he and Reeve were married, and the only additional step Beauchamp took into the "inner sanctum" was via his marriage to Reeve--if that even counts. Many businesses, including media outlets, have policies against hiring more than one member of the same immediate family. If TNR has such a policy, then Beauchamp and Reeve set up an obstacle between Beauchamp and the "inner sanctum." He would likely be no more than a freelance contributer so long as she worked there.
Reeve certainly knew enough about Beauchamp’s strange history of lies to lead her to be careful of his journalism or to speak up when other editors fact-checked his work. Beauchamp’s odd personal history directly bears on his credibility and on Reeve’s fiduciary duty as an editor to flag potential problems.
I've already noted that Reeve was a fact-checker for TNR (Miniter's announcement that she was one of only three was news to me), but I've already noted that TNR would have been absolutely nuts to let Mrs. Beauchamp fact-check Mr. Beauchamp. There is no reason at present to see anything wrong with Reeve fact-checking Beauchamp's first story for TNR.
Having engaged in it myself, I understand Miniter's interest in the potential failures at TNR, particularly in whether or not Reeve was particularly involved. Reeve is not a sympathetic figure, in terms of abruptly replacing Priscilla as Beauchamp's bride-to-be, but it's too much to lend total credence to Priscilla's report that Reeve knew of Beauchamp's former engagement arrangement without additional reporting. In other words, I doubt that Priscilla heard directly from Elspeth Beauchamp. Most likely her information came from Scott Beauchamp, who doesn't currently have the greatest reputation in the world for telling the truth.
Miniter's tentative indictment of Reeve supposes that she was aware of Beauchamp's duplicity in leading on Priscilla. That is the cornerstone of his argument, in fact. I don't find that foundation strong enough to support the implication that stems from it. Not at this point, anyway.