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« Eyeing NPR | Main | Hitchens' hypocrisy »

Tuesday, May 17 2005

Thoughts on Newsweek's debacle

NewsweekWith 16 people killed in anti-US riots around the world, this incident highlights the power of the media to directly affect life-and-death matters. With that power comes great responsibility to cover news accurately, fairly and honestly. Media scandals, such as Jenin coverage, Jayson Blair, and CBS’ Memogate, to name a few, further highlight the need for the sort of media monitoring that we at HonestReporting have been undertaking for years.

Despite Newsweek’s mea culpa and subsequent retraction, one AFP report quoted a Pakistani cleric saying the magazine’s report was a "conspiracy to widen the gap between Islam and Christianity after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States."

Meanwhile, LGF wonders if Arab outrage over the alleged desecration of the Koran might be hypocritical. Following the 2002 siege of the Church of the Nativity, the Jerusalem Post reported on the aftermath of the Palestinian gunmen who occupied the Christian holy site:

Even in the Roman Catholic areas of the complex there was evidence of disregard for religious norms. Catholic priests said that some Bibles were torn up for toilet paper, and many valuable sacramental objects were removed. "Palestinians took candelabra, icons and anything that looked like gold," said a Franciscan, the Rev. Nicholas Marquez from Mexico.

After the siege, church fugitives received a hero’s welcome in Gaza.



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Re: The hipocrasy angle -
Are you really so surprised? After all, Islam is the "true" religion and Christianity is just so much heresy. Why shouldn't they tear up bibles for TP, steal icons for the gold and generally desecrate the place. Oh, and by the way, since your source for this reporting is the far-right nationalist Jerusalem Post, you are obviously being swayed by their anti-Arab bias. I mean, clearly they couldn't be telling the truth and we must completely discount their story.

A man develops a sudden dislike for his neighbor. He slanders his name, libels him in the local rag, and embellishes on that dislike to constantly degrade and humiliate him.

One day, he is stricken with remorse for his actions. He realizes how unfounded his actions were and seeks out the man he has ruined.

He cries out for the man to forgive him. The man does so. Over and over again he pleads for the chance to make amends.

The man he tormented finally says that a pillow should be brought to him. When one is brought, he instructs the man who ruined his name to rip open the pillow and scatter the feathers to the wind. The man does so quickly. When the pillow is empty, the man then tell his tormentor to return every feather back to its place. The man exclaims that it is just not possible to return the pillow to its original condition, since so many of the feathers had gone.

Loose lips sink ships

Faulty Facts cause lethal attacks

Media bias kills

Yes, faulty facts do sometimes cause lethal attacks--e.g., the Iraq war.

Although--correct me if I'm wrong--in Newsweek's case, from what I can tell the faulty fact was not that Americans have, in actuality, not been desecrating the Qu'ran and flushing copies down the toilet, but that the person who told them about it may have read about it in a different report than he initially recalled:

Newsweek said in its May 23 edition that the information had come from a "knowledgeable government source" who had said a military report on abuse at Guantanamo Bay had found interrogators had flushed at least one copy of the Koran down a toilet in a bid to make detainees talk.

But the source later told the magazine he could not be certain he had seen an account of the Koran incident in the military report and that it might have been in other investigative documents or drafts, Newsweek said.

Skemono, nice try at the "when did you stop beating your wife" framing of your accusation, just like Newsweek did. Newsweek had no evidence that Americans have been desecrating the Koran, hence the retraction. Or do you have some hard first hand facts that Newsweek couldn't find? Assumptions and they way I would like it to be aren't facts, my friend.

It's generally accepted in journalism that an annonymous "government source" is often someone with a grudge - not highly reliable. Newsweek's source(one person, hardly adequate for journalism standards)wasn't sure what he saw/didn't see in a report. Pathetic.

Were you as concerned about the Islamic fascist's desecration of Bhuddist antiquities, the Church of the Nativity, Christian churches in the Sudan, etc?

It has to be true, 'cause Skemono wishes it to be.

As usual, missing the forest for the do not disappoint 'ko.

The underlying issue is completely lost to many in order to protect their political agendas: this was not VERIFIED. There was no attempt to do so in a credible sense. Yet they print

There have been no lessons learned from Rathergate, and those who continue to ignore the core issue here are appalling in their refusal to see that the rush to smear political rivals, no matter what the cost, is reprehensible.

"Bias as news" is being exposed for what it is, libel. It has cost countless lives in Israel. It must be stopped.


I have to go rant and rave and foam at the mouth elsewhere now. . .

You're all so cute.

"You're all so cute"....

....the glib response of a loser without an intelligent rebuttal.

Victimize you lefty peers, Skemono, you are out of your element here.

Now, now, everyone is allowed here. All are entitled to their opinions. Where do you think this is, a college campus?

Jane you should be more specific. Are we talking here Columbia, or Birmingham UK (Sue Blackwell) or SOAS London?

And keep ranting. It's what keeps us all sane.

I have been West and Middle West (Midwest?) Pretty tight lid on opinions both places. . .

That should mean Western Coast and Midwestern colleges. . .and I am leaving my appointment 2 years early because of antisemitism cloaked as Anti Israel bias

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