Long story short: Questions have been raised about some reporting in NRO’s “The Tank,” which W. Thomas Smith Jr. addresses here.
Bottom line: NRO strives to bring you reliable analysis and reporting – whether in presenting articles, essays, or blog posts. Smith did commendable work in Lebanon earlier this year, as he does from S.C. where he is based, as he has done from Iraq, where he has been twice. But rereading some of the posts (see ”The Tank” for more detail) and after doing a thorough investigation of some of the points made in some of those posts, I’ve come to the conclusion that NRO should have provided readers with more context and caveats in some posts from Lebanon this fall. And so I apologize to you, our readers.
I thank Smith for his good, brave work. He’s a smart, reliable reporter with a great patriotic spirit and sense of service. We owe him and our readers better – we should have gotten you more context and information before a post or two went live. It’s understandable how it happened – the nature of blogging being what it is — but given what an underreported tinderbox we’re talking about, especially, we owed you more. We weren’t blogging about Dancing with the Stars there.
So I’m grateful to the reporter who contacted Smith with questions. He brought them to my attention. We did due diligence. We’ve reported this back to him. And now we’re reporting back to you.