Monday, May 16, 2005

Newsweek Makes Up the News...
In the aftermath of the "Koran Debacle" there should be some very sorry and introspective folks at Newsweek. In case you've been living in a cave, here's what has transpired:

Newsweek reported in it's May, 9th issue that military personnel at Guantanomo Bay had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet as an interrogation method. After the publication of this little gem, riots took off from Afghanistan to Pakistan, 17 people were killed in the violence and American troops in the Middle East are about to reap the whirlwind. Taking their queue from Newsweek, several American and international news agencies fanned the flames, and of course, continued to question the policies of the United States, although time with a more jaundiced eye that before.

It turns out that Newsweek isn't even sure the story is true. In fact, Newsweek didn't even bother to check it out. Newsweek merely ran a story based on heresay, with out corroboration, and the source for this whole thing isn't even sure where he read it.

So, let's get this straight: Newsweek runs a story based on one source, who's information is suspect and isn't even based upon a first-hand, personal knowledge. The resulting outrage against the United States causes millions of Muslims to flip their turbans (let's be frank, it doesn't take much to begin with) and 17 innocent people die. American troops and diplomats will bear the brunt of the falsehood, and the job we have to do in Afghanistan and Iraq just got exponentially tougher.

You know, everytime someone makes acase against censorship, someone else does something like this and makes us wish we did censor our press, when warrented.

Sixty years ago during WWII, soomething like this would never see the light of day, whether it was true or not --- the potential to damage U.S. operations and the potential harm that could be done to our troops, would have made the reporters of that day think not twice, but three times, before publishing. However, in this day and age of News as Entertainment and the rush to be the first to break a story, it's painfully obvious that what passes for reportage these days is shameful and disgusting.

I certainly hope Newsweek will start a fund not only for the people killed in the riots, but starts putting aside major cash for U.S. personnel who are now more likely to be killed because of the resulting firestorm.

I just cancelled my subscription.

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