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'Newsweek' retracts Koran desecration story

  1. May 17, 2005 #1

    russ_watters

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    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2005-05-16-newsweek-usat_x.htm

    Honestly - do reporters even consider the ramifications of their actions? Or is everything including, obviously, integrity, and now the value of life itself, secondary to selling magazines/ad space?

    I don't want to minimize the deaths caused by this journalistic fraud, but the media's faud, especially lately, appears to be focused on trashing the US. Why is that?

    Regardless, this sets a new low - I mean, at least Dan Rather didn't get anyone killed - he just tried to subvert an election. Unbelievable.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2005
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  3. May 17, 2005 #2

    plover

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    Post Newsweek ergo propter Newsweek?

    Newsweek is mostly just being gutless now that the administration is having a hissy fit. Whether or not their particular source knows what he's talking about, the allegation itself isn't news:
    Other earlier reports:On other reasons for the riots:
    An Afghan writer told Radio Free Europe that the riots there may have been manipulated:
    or as Swopadamus put it:
    Most of the information above I picked up via Arthur Silber's discussion of warblogger response to the Newsweek fracas (Silber also has a follow-up).
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2005
  4. May 17, 2005 #3

    Astronuc

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    Apparently not!

    attributed to Michael Isikoff, whose article has been blamed for rioting in Pakistan and Afghanistan in which at least 17 people were killed. Is he kidding!? Where has this moron been the last 10 years?

    It is blatantly obvious that such an article would do exactly that!

    I think it is just arrogance on part of some in the media, and the drive to sell a story and generate revenue/profit.

    Yes, I would agree.
     
  5. May 17, 2005 #4

    Pengwuino

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    That final paragraph make sme wonder about the credibility of all of that post. The media pounds the Bush administration on even the simplest mistakes and even has to make up stuff to get articles to sell that are anti-bush. I have yet to see a mistake by the administration not get plastered on every front page newspaper this side of the LA times. Even scholarly studies showed there was 2x as many negative articles printed during the months up to the election against Bush then there were against Kerry. Plus democrat voter fraud went absolutely un-noticed such as this case.... http://www.ac4vr.com/news/acvrnews032105.html . How exactly is there a blatant media bias in favor of Bush anyhow? Ive never actually been at a place where i could ask and actually expect an intelligent answer.
     
  6. May 17, 2005 #5

    SOS2008

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    It's a difficult balance to maintain a "free press" and at the same time having a media that will not jeopordize national security, or in this case, a media showing lack of judgement with regard to a volatile political environment.

    However, an anti-Arab/Islam sentiment does exit, and insensitivity of such kind seems quite plausible, especially in view of other reports in this vein that have been substantiated. With regard to the role of a free press in a democracy, it is disconcerting that the story was retracted due to pressure by the Bush administration.

    Was the story true? Probably. Should the story have been printed? No. But maybe there is a problem of racism, and maybe there should be concern about checks and balances in our country (i.e., the watch dog role of the press).
     
  7. May 17, 2005 #6

    plover

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    Then why did none of the earlier articles cited in my post above do it? The Newsweek story was actually the third report of the incident in a major English language source this month. References to a May 1 New York Times story and a May 2 BBC story can be found here. The same source also notes a report in a French language Moroccan paper from April, and has other references going back to 2003. And people want to blame this on Newsweek rather than the people responsible for Camp X-Ray? Just because Americans may be unaware of what's been reported by released Gitmo detainees, that doesn't mean Muslims around the world are similarly unaware. And just because an agitator in Jalalabad chose this particular detail from Newsweek to use as a rallying cry – one which he could just as easily have found in other publications – doesn't make Newsweek responsible for his actions. I would certainly agree that there is very little in the way of thoughtlessness and venality that the press had hasn't sunk to at some point, I just think that ascribing this particular situation to that kind of cause almost certainly obscures what the real dynamics being played out may be.
     
  8. May 17, 2005 #7

    russ_watters

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    plover - perhaps no one believed the prisoners. They don't exactly make the most credibile witnesses, and even terrorists know that. The Newsweek story supposedly came from a government source.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2005
  9. May 17, 2005 #8
    :uhh:

    Michael Isikoff-When reporter Michael Isikoff brought the Paula Jones sexual-harassment case to his editors at the Washington Post, they refused to run the story. So he quit and joined Newsweek. There he broke the Monica Lewinsky story in January 1998. After the maelstrom settled, Isikoff wrote a book about his pursuit of the Lewinsky story, called Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter's Story. According to one review: "Isikoff gives more attention to the supposedly distinguishing characteristics of the presidential penis than to a serious examination of Starr's many probes."

    http://www.nndb.com/people/859/000043730/



    :uhh:
     
  10. May 17, 2005 #9
    This rag did the same thing as yelling fire in a crowded theatre. When are they going to hold some of these media airheads accountable for the consequences others pay for their actions.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2005
  11. May 17, 2005 #10

    Pengwuino

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    Soldiers from the front lines in afghanistan are even psised off because it was relatively peaceful there until all of a sudden, this newsweek story came out (which makes me wonder how true all the other things being said in thsi thread are; supposedly this isnt the first news of this happening yet this is the first time some action was taken in the form of a riot...) and effectively, in their own words, ruined years of struggling for the US military to establish a peace. And no it wasnt retracted because of the bush administration unless you can actually bring some evidence of it. And no, the story for all intensive purposes, was false because no one can be sourced for it. This is a science forum, its like saying "oh aliens have to exist! who cares if the sources are fake/not credible". We rely on facts, we dont just go with what we want to believe right?
     
  12. May 17, 2005 #11
    Not according to General Myers!

    Yeah, like 'Newsweek' has such a large circulation in the M.E.!?! :rolleyes:
     
  13. May 17, 2005 #12
    It's simplistic to think a single story like this set the ball rolling. There are deeper issues here, and I find it funny(scary funny not haha funny) that the issues surrounding the events are taking a back seat to a sensational story. I find it more percular that well educated people immediatly blame the story rather than ask "why would one story like this cause mass rioting?"

    This is a fundamental flaw with todays American culture in that people don't want to look past the yellow journalism spread by the likes of Fox and MSNBC and CNN or any of the other 'news' sources. Well, maybe not 'yellow' but defenitly egg shell. I mean just watch your local news and see how many stories of substance you get versus the scare and shake "is your child in danger? The truth about dihydrogen monoxide tonight at 11!!!" stories. It's disgusting to say the least.

    Well, I'm getting off of my soap box here in a bit. One story does not a crumbeling Middle East make. To think that requires that you share a box with Marcel Marceau, isolated from reality. The reality being political and social issues coupled with a US backed dictator(good or bad) does not bode well for anyone.

    My thoughts not yours.

    [edit]I'd like to add that the current trend of thinking in dichotomies--good and evil, black and white, sausage or bacon---is as distressful to me as the yellow journalism rampant today. The world is filled with shades of gray and this issue is a perfect example of latching onto the black while the problem lives in the gray.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2005
  14. May 17, 2005 #13

    plover

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    One bit of context to keep in mind perhaps: Silber is a hardcore libertarian of some stripe or other. I haven't read a lot by him, but I've read enough to know that he has no love of liberals, and that he takes a very strong stance on free speech and free press. From what I've read of your posts, my guess has been (and of course I could be wrong) that your politics are fairly close to libertarianism. If I'm right, then it seems to me your curiosity might be well served by a look around Silber's site – I would guess that he provides an articulate case for why some people are upset at the media's treatment of Bush from a standpoint that you might be sympathetic to (whether or not you agree with him in the end).

    One thing I might add is that, in the paragraph you refer to, Silber is claiming that the media gives Bush a pass, but he says nothing about who else they may or may not be doing that for. Also, I would say that for mainstream sources his criticism focuses (as would my own) on their cowardice and incompetence rather than bias per se.

    When you refer to 'the credibility of all of that post', I'm not sure whether you're referring to my post or the one I'm quoting, but in any case, I think the important point for the current topic is that the idea that the deaths in Afghanistan have much to do with Newsweek, or American media in general, requires ignoring a lot of the available evidence and discounting the complexity of public sentiment and activism in other countries. Discussions extending from that (such as the quote I ended with) are secondary.
     
  15. May 17, 2005 #14

    SOS2008

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    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0505/17/ldt.01.html

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7864705/

    Who is "we" that "don't just go with what we want to believe," and who provides sources to back up our comments? If you would take time to read various news stories/sources, and then provide quotes/links, it would be helpful.
     
  16. May 17, 2005 #15
    Just wondering, whom exactly was killed in these riots? Were Americans in Afghanistan killed in a deliberate act intended to be a retaliation for America's alleged disrespect for the Koran, or was it more like people who were participating in the riot were killed by general riot actions?
     
  17. May 17, 2005 #16

    Pengwuino

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    Im sorry but people from the front line said it was entirely that articles fault that caused the riot. You believe some news story if you want.

    Theres one reaction from someone who might know a little more about the situation

    Plus that article does actually prove your point but theres still something you really miss. They would have re-tracted it anyways since they had obviously killed people by publishing it. You think they wouldn't have taken it back if the administration said nothing? as if people would stand for false reporting? Which it is of course. This still all of course amounts to nothing because teh fact of the matter is that they used a single source (big no-no in journalism) and didnt check it and now your trying to defend the magazine telling everyone about it.
     
  18. May 17, 2005 #17

    Pengwuino

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    I meant the one being quoted... definitely should have made that more clearer, sorry.
     
  19. May 18, 2005 #18

    SOS2008

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    Here is another topic that seems to be repeated. In an earlier and/or other threads I've shown: 1) That the story about Bush not completing his obligation in the National Guard was substantiated by other news sources (and though the "memo" could not be proven valid, it could not be proven invalid either); 2) That the statistics showing a larger number of stories about Bush and the Guard were mostly about Dan Rather and apologies thereof; 3) That the unsubstantiated stories by the "Swifties" about Kerry's military service had more effect in subverting the election in Bush's direction (who won?).
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2005
  20. May 18, 2005 #19

    Pengwuino

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    Well since Kerry never actually released his military records as promised, theres no proof that the swift boat whatevers were lieing. I mean... its a simple form for someone in that kind of situation (running for prez)... if you dont havea nything to hide... get my drift ;) lol i dunno, elections are dumb, democracy blows, too much work to do :D. Theres also many other sources that came out saying Bush had done his service and didnt do anything bad enough to warrant any real investigation by superiors.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2005
  21. May 18, 2005 #20

    russ_watters

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    And what part of that changes the fact that Rather's story was fabricated and intended to swing the election?

    btw, SOS - pot/kettle: I agree with people who think it was wrong for Bush to manipulate the evidence regarding Iraq - so why is it ok for Dan Rather (and now Newsweek) to manipulate evidence regarding Bush?
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2005
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