I've just spent a day or so debating blogger reaction to Scott Beauchamp's articles at The New Republic over at Asymmetrical Information. I thought I had something fairly simple to say: The right-wing reaction was cynical and didn't merit a response. None of the charges have seemed particularly answerable to me; just vague baloney intended to create a lot of heat and no light. Most of the responses seemed to miss my point entirely. I have no idea whether Beauchamp is a liar. I don't think there's any way to validate much of what he said. I summarized my point of view thus:
The significant point is that leveling ambiguous, vague, open-ended, or otherwise irresolvable questions does not constitute a serious attack, and doesn’t demand an answer.
This doesn't seem particularly radical to me. Yet, the general response seemed to be that Beauchamp, liar that he is, owed us all a proof of his claims. The only responsibility his accusers have is to "Call bullshit." There's no requirement that the accusations have any basis, or actually be answerable.