A reader writes:
This is David Kenner. I'm an American journalist living in Beirut who writes for NOW Lebanon. Broadly speaking, I'm in Mr. Smith's "political camp" (supporting the pro-Western government, opposing Hezbollah). That said, Mr. Smith's writing on Lebanon is atrocious, and the "facts" that he reported never happened, as anyone living in Beirut could tell you. Really, it's not even a close call. If 4,000 - 5,000 Hezbollah gunmen deployed to Christian Beirut, the country would be descending to civil war. The idea that only Mr. Smith would have noticed this is absurd - somebody is feeding him fake news, and hoping he transmits it back to his readers in the States.
I actually criticized Smith from my blog, which covers Lebanese politics, in October. I suspect that is what he is responding to when he complains that people criticized him for calling Beirut's southern suburbs a Hezbollah "stronghold." Really, this sort of thing makes me very angry... Hezbollah does so much that is truly damaging to Lebanon, journalists shouldn't let them off the hook by making up things that never happened.
Kenner's response to the NRO spin can be read here. My summary of the charges here. The alleged factual inaccuracy - reporting 4,000 Hezbollah gunmen when they didn't exist - dwarfs any alleged incident Beauchamp reported for TNR.