May 16, 2005

Newsweek’s Got Some ‘plaining to Do

I didn’t hear until last night about this controversy involving Newsweek, their report that US personnel at Guanatamo had flushed a Koran down a toilet, and the subsequent riots in Afghanistan and several other Muslim countries that resulted in several deaths. Then, Newsweek issued a retraction.

Yes, they screwed up, big time. Newsweek trusted the wrong source and subsequently got burned. But please- let’s not turn this into something it’s not. It’s NOT the “MSM” doing something to “help the terrorists” or purposely undermine the war effort- in fact the offending journalist, Michael Isikoff, is known as something of a conservative. It’s NOT lying or making up facts. And- as Karol of all people pointed out- the riots are more the fault of the rioters than they are of Newsweek. And who knows how the report was bastardized and embellished by Mideast propagandists?

Most of all, spare us the hubris and triumphalism. It’s certainly not something to be happy about that people are dead, and much of the blogosphere’s conservative commentariot is nothing but joyful about the fall of yet another erstwhile “MSM” powerhouse.

I can practically hear Malkin and PowerLine chortling from here, and I was quite disappointed to see the usually-sensible Glenn Reynolds pass along the notion that "if Americans conclude that the press is, basically, on the side of the enemy, the consequences are likely to be dire." Scandals notwithstanding, what evidence on Earth is that there that mainstream press is "on the side of the enemy"?

Posted by Stephen Silver at May 16, 2005 06:29 PM

They had to know that printing these allegations would inflame radical Muslims; and when radical Muslims are inflamed, people die.

So they probably should have been a little more careful and actually confirm the story before they run it.

A lot in the media patted themselves on the back when it came to pulling "inflammatory" footage of people jumping from the World Trade Center, but apparently ran this with hardly a second thought.

Posted by: Bill McCabe at May 16, 2005 08:22 PM

I also think that they've got some 'splainin' to do.

Posted by: Dan at May 17, 2005 12:25 AM

trusted the wrong source and subsequently got burned.

Wow. Undersell much. Steve, because you are so invested in disproving that the MSM monoliths are biased against the war, Bush, Republicans and all religions not called Islam to name a few, you really overlook blatant examples as nothing more than poor journalism. Why is it that the poor journalism just happens to malign American efforts in the Arab/Muslim world, our President or other "right-wing" issues?

Did Dan Rather try to get to the bottom of Kerry's refusal to sign form 180 and his activities in Viet Nam? NO. He attacked the SBVT. Instead he had to use falsified documents to malign the Republican candidate. It is more than an accident. It is pure bias.

Posted by: J. Lichty at May 17, 2005 07:01 PM

Heyyyyyyyyyy, why do I get an 'of all people'?

Posted by: Karol at May 18, 2005 12:02 PM
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