Notes on a Scandal
This article is from the September issue of Radar Magazine. For a risk-free issue, click here.
A PRIVATE AFFAIR When Scott Beauchamp's shocking essay spurred a media frenzy, his journalist wife, Elspeth Reeve, had his back
"Shock Troops" is a grim first-person account of the dehumanizing aspects of war. In a tone vacillating between shame and detachment, Beauchamp, under the byline "Scott Thomas," recounts with squirm-inducing detail how he and his buddies were becoming so callous they openly mocked a gruesomely disfigured woman—the apparent victim of a roadside bomb—when she sat down for a meal in a military mess hall.
Among neoconservative war apologists and self-anointed superpatriots, discrediting the story became a crusade: Beauchamp must be proven a liar, and TNR must be humiliated"I love chicks that have been intimate—with IEDs. It really turns me on—melted skin, missing limbs, plastic noses...," Beauchamp quotes himself as saying, loud enough so the woman could hear. He continues: "My friend was practically falling out of his chair laughing. The disfigured woman slammed her cup down and ran out of the chow hall." Playfully referring to her as the Crypt Keeper, they made her a running gag.