Monday, May 16, 2005

Responsible media update

Newsweek called treasonous over 'Quran-in-toilet' report
Fifteen dead, scores injured, relief buildings burned down.

Years of coalition-building with the Muslim world against terrorist fanatics set back.

That's the toll to date for a brief story about a U.S. prison guard throwing a Quran down the toilet – a story Newsweek now admits it got wrong, and one being blasted as "criminal" and "treasonous."

"It's treasonous at worst," Hunt added. "How about not hurting the war? How about causing no harm? I think Newsweek should lose every reader it ever had."
How many false stories that hurt America do we have to put up with?


The Manly Ferry said...

Daniel, you're over-simplifying this response. One news story did not sour U.S. relations with the Muslim world. Years of propping up corrupt goverments across the region while tearing down others (Iran in the 1950s) - basically, playing power politics - put us in a position in which the Islamic world is all too ready to believe something like the Newsweek story.

And, despite what conservatives may think, Abu Ghraib did a tremendous amount of damage. If you think that played unfairly in the U.S. media, that's nothing to how it played in the Arab/world media.

Newsweek should get pounded for the failure; that can't be excused. But don't subscribe to the fantasy that this is a PR problem. It's far bigger than that.

Gullyborg said...


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Have a good day!

Anonymous said...

What about the 100,000 Iraqis and what is it, something like 1500 Americans? dead because our President lied? But then, he's an R so you'll find a way to excuse it.

Paul said...

Always trying to elevate the level of discussion aeverywhere I go...

I agree with the BF, who said, "One news story did not sour U.S. relations with the Muslim world." Yes, there's much more background to the unrest in recent days than just this Newsweek story. Focusing on that one point simply turns a complex issue meaningless jabber.

And anonymous atempts to make a point, but does it in a pointlessly argumentative way. If I read him right, what he is saying is, yes, Newsweek (and their ilk) are responsible for adding fuel to the fire, but let's not lose sight of why the fire is burning.


Daniel said...

I was trying to think of a response to the flawless logic exhibited in these comments when I caught one of my kids writing on the wall with a pencil.

When I went to scold him he said "This is no big deal, look at what my brother did! And he used a marker!"

Obviously I let him off the hook because pointing out other people's bad behavior is a valid excuse for what you have done wrong.

But my focus with this item is not so much the Islamic response (I'm assuming that their first response to hearing that a Koran had been flushed down the toilet was: "toilets can flush?") but the fact that the media looks for stories that make America and Bush look bad. They want these stories so bad that they will print rumors, half-truths, and outright lies.

Islamists hate us because we support Israel and their backwards governments blame their societies problems on Zionist conspiracies perpetrated by Israel and America.

Paul said...

Daniel, I'm not sure I can take you seriously when you use such a blatently bigoted comment as, "(I'm assuming that their first response to hearing that a Koran had been flushed down the toilet was: "toilets can flush?")"

No one questions that most Moslem nations are not as technologically advanced in their general population as we have the fortune to be in America. But for you to speak so denigratingly of them does no service to anyone, at all. Perhpas I'm being naive in thinking that someone with a blog is interested in discussing intelligently the issues raised in that blog.

And by the way, I have NO argument with you about the poor quality of news reporting in this country! It's abyssmal! You hear that from both sides of the political divide, left and right. The only difference is that each side thinks the mainstream media is mostly representative of the other side. Isn't that funny? I still haven't quite figured out the implications of that. Maybe it means the MSM is actually doing a good job, since they manage to piss off everyone!

And as for the analogy you presented with your two sons drawing on the walls: They both should be given the appropriate consequences of their actions, I would think.

So, what consequences should Newsweek suffer for publishing lies? (that's the younger son, I assume.) And then (for the older son), what consequences should the administration suffer for creating a war on false pretenses? (And, yes, reader -- they were false. Let's not quibble about that point anymore.)

War brings death; peace brings hope.

Daniel said...

"War brings death; peace brings hope."

Tired cliches Paul. How can I take YOU seriously?

What do I think should happen to Newsweek? I think that the free market should decide that the publication is no longer worth reading which causes it's advertising dollars to go away and then it ceases to exist.

Paul said...

Okay, I'll grant you the tired cliche. Now, how about answering the question: what should be the consequences for the administration? This is a difficult discussion, Daniel. I'm doing my best to keep up at my end. I'm hoping to have serious responses, here! :-)