Newsweek lied, people died - or - 16 and counting.

Makalakumu

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In 1987, the Fairness Doctrine was removed from law. This statute mandated equal time for both sides of an issue in the media. I think that the slide into partisenship was accellerated by this move...and it was directly responsible for the creation of the New Media.
 

ginshun

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rmcrobertson said:
Gosh, the smug editors of a mildly-conservative newsmagazine were sloppy about documenting their facts before they went forward with a story? Color me shocked into a frenzy.

Well, all I can say is the obvious: good thing my government hasn't been systematically lying in order to justify getting my country into an unnecessary war, or making up ridiculous stories about why it's OK to torture people, or twisting reality into all sorts of weird shapes in order to justify its ideological agenda with regard to minor issues like Social Security.

Good thing, too, that the Ollie Norths, Ann Coulters, Michael Savages, G. Gordon Liddys, and Jerry Falwells of the world haven't been running around lying through their teeth so they can make a ton of money for stirring up hatred of their fellow Americans. Why, that would be so very wrong.
Oh please. Stop being so dramatic.

There is just as many lies and just as much mud slung from left to right as there is from right to left. Anybody that can't see these things going both ways is blind.

And regardless of anything else, political or otherwise, it is poor journalism to report a story as fact if you can't prove it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not even going so far as to say it didn't happen. For all I know the interogators at GITMO might be burning Korans daily, and to tell you the truth I don't really care. What I do know is that Newsweek is supposed to be a well respected source of NEWS. Personally if I read soming in a magazine like that I expect it to be true, and I expect it to be able to be proven if questioned.

Maybe I expect too much.
 

psi_radar

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ginshun said:
Oh please. Stop being so dramatic.

There is just as many lies and just as much mud slung from left to right as there is from right to left. Anybody that can't see these things going both ways is blind.

And regardless of anything else, political or otherwise, it is poor journalism to report a story as fact if you can't prove it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not even going so far as to say it didn't happen. For all I know the interogators at GITMO might be burning Korans daily, and to tell you the truth I don't really care. What I do know is that Newsweek is supposed to be a well respected source of NEWS. Personally if I read soming in a magazine like that I expect it to be true, and I expect it to be able to be proven if questioned.

Maybe I expect too much.

The source at the Pentagon approved the story before it went to print, then when things got ugly, went back on his statement.
 

Phoenix44

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They never said "It didn't happen, or "It was false." Newsweek retracted the story because their anonymous source balked, saying he couldn't vouch 100% for the accuracy of the story. So the writers no longer felt 100% confident in the factual basis of the article--they retracted it. They never said "It didn't happen, or "It was false." It's certainly plausible, in light of what has gone on.
 

ginshun

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psi_radar said:
The source at the Pentagon approved the story before it went to print, then when things got ugly, went back on his statement.
Says Newsweek or says the Pentagon? "At the pentagon" could be a pretty wide range of people, isn't it like the worlds biggest office building?

Edit: over 23,000 people work "at the Pentagon"
 

oldnewbie

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Here's the link

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7857154/site/newsweek/

Here's the retraction
I've underlined the part that describes the "Pentagon approved the story" remark....Two "officals", one wqas a no comment, the other was concerned about another aspect of the story...

How does this make it approved by the Pentagon?



The Editor's Desk

Newsweek


May 23 issue - Did a report in NEWSWEEK set off a wave of deadly anti-American riots in Afghanistan? That's what numerous news accounts suggested last week as angry Afghans took to the streets to protest reports, linked to us, that U.S. interrogators had desecrated the Qur'an while interrogating Muslim terror suspects. We were as alarmed as anyone to hear of the violence, which left at least 15 Afghans dead and scores injured. But I think it's important for the public to know exactly what we reported, why, and how subsequent events unfolded.

placeAd(2,'newsweek.livetalk/livetalk')http://ad.doubleclick.net/click;h=v...rspreferred.com/Apps/DCS/mcp?q=STLm0FTGDisF3n<atarget="_blank"href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/newsweek.livetalk;kw=livetalk;sz=300x250;tile=2;ord=16833?"><imgsrc="http://ad.doubleclick.net/ad/newsweek.livetalk;kw=livetalk;sz=300x250;tile=2;ord=16833?"border="0" height="250" width="300" /></a>Two weeks ago, in our issue dated May 9, Michael Isikoff and John Barry reported in a brief item in our Periscope section that U.S. military investigators had found evidence that American guards at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had committed infractions in trying to get terror suspects to talk, including in one case flushing a Qur'an down a toilet. Their information came from a knowledgeable U.S. government source, and before deciding whether to publish it we approached two separate Defense Department officials for comment. One declined to give us a response; the other challenged another aspect of the story but did not dispute the Qur'an charge.

RELATED STORY
The Islamic World: How a Fire Broke Out






Although other major news organizations had aired charges of Qur'an desecration based only on the testimony of detainees, we believed our story was newsworthy because a U.S. official said government investigators turned up this evidence. So we published the item. After several days, newspapers in Pakistan and Afghanistan began running accounts of our story. At that point, as Evan Thomas, Ron Moreau and Sami Yousafzai report this week, the riots started and spread across the country, fanned by extremists and unhappiness over the economy.

Last Friday, a top Pentagon spokesman told us that a review of the probe cited in our story showed that it was never meant to look into charges of Qur'an desecration. The spokesman also said the Pentagon had investigated other desecration charges by detainees and found them "not credible." Our original source later said he couldn't be certain about reading of the alleged Qur'an incident in the report we cited, and said it might have been in other investigative documents or drafts. Top administration officials have promised to continue looking into the charges, and so will we. But we regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst.

Mark Whitaker

Editor's Note: On Monday afternoon, May 16, Whitaker issued the following statement: Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Qur'an abuse at Guantanamo Bay.

穢 2005 Newsweek, Inc.
 

Ray

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oldnewbie said:
Here's the link

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7857154/site/newsweek/

Here's the retraction
I've underlined the part that describes the "Pentagon approved the story" remark....Two "officals", one wqas a no comment, the other was concerned about another aspect of the story...

How does this make it approved by the Pentagon?
It sounds like Newsweek is trying to avoid admitting culpability. They, at the very least, are admitting that they didn't follow their own standards...if you don't follow your own standards then you don't have any.

I guess the magazine/newspaper biz is all about selling copies.
 

ginshun

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So basically, Newsweek talked to two anonymous sources "in the defense department" and since neither one of them denied that a Koran was flushed, that amounted to Pentagon approval of the story?

Did I get that about right?

Sounds pretty shady to me, but if that is proof enough for you guys, so be it.
 

Rich Parsons

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arnisador said:
But that's intentional. I don't believe Newsweek fabricated the story--I do believe they were lazy. Isn't it more comparable to my culpabilit if you tell me there's a fire, and I yell FIRE!, and something happens? I was relying on your information.

Addressing another poster, they've been apologizing constantly, haven't they? I've seen them on a few news shows already.

My understanding is that they placed too much reliance on a single unnamed source, plus the Pentagon's refusal to deny it. (Full agreement that they can't really read anything into the govt.'s declining to comment.) It was a sloppy process, not a case of malintent. But, if I am mistaken here I hope someone will correct me.


Arni,

While I agree with your line of thought, I think it was more an issue of "I think I smell smoke." And then you or someone yelling FIRE!

Did they follow up with better quetions?

Or did they just run to the presses to be the first to report on something?

Not sure, as I was not behinds the scenes, but it does not look good, from my point of view. Yet to avoid making a similiar mistake I will hold off on the gallows, until I know more information.

Peace
 
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R

rmcrobertson

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It is drop-dead funny to see all the right-wing complaining that somebody got a story wrong and people died partly because of it.
 

Rich Parsons

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rmcrobertson said:
It is drop-dead funny to see all the right-wing complaining that somebody got a story wrong and people died partly because of it.


Right wing in the media or on this site?
 

Ray

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rmcrobertson said:
It is drop-dead funny to see all the right-wing complaining that somebody got a story wrong and people died partly because of it.
I'm not sure if that's a serious statement or a sarcastic one. But, if Newsweek has standards and didn't follow them, then they don't have any standards.
 

Andrew Green

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They researched it and presented it to 2 gov't officials at the Pentagon before publishing. I'd say that is pretty good, and probably more then they "needed" to do.

This whole thing can't be blamed on ONE story, there are lots of stories saying the same things, not to mention a occupying foriegn army.

Newsweek attempted to verify their story before publishing. How many of those that are crying fire about them have tried to go to the source rather then just buying the spin from one side?
 

psi_radar

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Maybe some of you don't understand how journalists deal with government agencies, but basically you don't get the entire agency to approve an article, that would take quite a bit of time. You get your story, then as a courtesy you could talk to a press secretary, public information officer, or supervisor to confirm the story, though that's not absolutely required, depending on how the information is presented.

From what I've read, the reporter heard the story from one official, then sent the article based on this testimony to two others for confirmation. One didn't respond, another challenged another part of the story but not the Quran part. These two defense officials--why they're unnamed, I don't know, they weren't described as anonymous in the articles I've seen-- represent "the Pentagon." That's standard journalistic practice.

Here's a pretty good opinion piece on the matter from Slate:

http://www.slate.com/id/2118826/
 

psi_radar

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rmcrobertson said:
It is drop-dead funny to see all the right-wing complaining that somebody got a story wrong and people died partly because of it.

It'd be more funny if the irony didn't have so much blood dripping from it.
 

Tgace

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The "Quran as toilet paper" sounds more urban legend than fact.....
 

ginshun

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Newsweek attempted to verify their story before publishing. I'd say that is pretty good, and probably more then they "needed" to do.
Never mind that nobody ever verified it, print it anyway! LOL.

What was the point of trying to verify it if they were going to print it either way?
 

psi_radar

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ginshun said:
Never mind that nobody ever verified it, print it anyway! LOL.

Nobody verified Deep Throats' testimony either. If you have a source that you know is credible provide a story, then that's usually enough, you just have to be careful how the article is wordsmithed. NewsWeek could have run a story that said "a source within the Pentagon stated that reports from Guantanamo Bay indicate the Quran has been desecrated in front of inmates to elicit information," and been totally within their rights. They couldn't say: "The Pentagon confirms reports that guards at Guantanamo Bay desecrated the Quran," without specific approval from another Pentagon official or some sort of physical evidence. If they did, then retracting the story was the correct move.
 

michaeledward

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So the Newsweek story needed to be retracted ... keep your eye on the ball.


Is our government degrading religous beliefs of detainees?
If they are, do you approve of this behavior?

Is our government rendering detainees to countries to torture them?
If they are, do you approve of this behavior?

Is our government hiding 'ghost detainees' from international agencies in accordance with ratified treaties?
If they are, do you approve of this behavior?

Is our government now taking information from the Iranian Terrorist organization, the MEK, concerning Iran's nuclear program and ambitions in an effort to build support for further aggression in the middle east?
If they are, do you approve of this behavior?

The question should not be about the Newsweek story, but instead about what is our government doing in our name?
 

ginshun

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michaeledward said:
So the Newsweek story needed to be retracted ... keep your eye on the ball.


Is our government degrading religous beliefs of detainees?
If they are, do you approve of this behavior?

Is our government rendering detainees to countries to torture them?
If they are, do you approve of this behavior?

Is our government hiding 'ghost detainees' from international agencies in accordance with ratified treaties?
If they are, do you approve of this behavior?

Is our government now taking information from the Iranian Terrorist organization, the MEK, concerning Iran's nuclear program and ambitions in an effort to build support for further aggression in the middle east?
If they are, do you approve of this behavior?

The question should not be about the Newsweek story, but instead about what is our government doing in our name?
I suppose you are right, and this is really what it comes down to. I suppose I am just an insensative jerk, but my thoughts on the whole situation are pretty much that even if they did flush a Koran, so what? If it breaks down a prisoners will and gets them to tell the interogators what they want to know, then more power to them, flush a whole stack of them next time.

It is unfortunate that people have to die over such trivial things as dropping a book in a toilet. I guess though, trivial to me is obviously very impoertant to someone else. Whatever.
 

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