Newsweek Death Toll Continues To Rise

CNN has a new partner in the ranks of journalistic infamy. Both news organizations have blood on their hands.

When i heard about this story, the first thing i thought was "even if it's true, why on earth would they publish that story?"

i admit that's an untenable position to take. Freedom of the press and all that rot. But true or not, the story was going to cost lives. Newsweek had to know that. Did that fact act as even a minor speed bump in their rush to embarrass the hated United States?

Apparently not, since Newsweek has now apologized for publishing a lie.
Newsweek magazine on Sunday said it may have erred in a May 9 report that said U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, and apologized to victims of deadly violence sparked by the article.

The weekly news magazine said in its May 23 edition that the original source of the allegation was not sure where he saw the assertion that at least one copy of the Koran was flushed down a toilet in an attempt to get detainees to talk.

'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,' Editor Mark Whitaker wrote in the magazine's latest issue, due to appear on U.S. newsstands on Monday.

The report has sparked angry and violent protests across the Muslim world from Afghanistan, where 16 were killed and more than 100 injured, to Pakistan to Indonesia to Gaza.

On Sunday, Afghan Muslim clerics threatened to call for a holy war against the United States in three days unless it handed over the interrogators in question.
Biased journalism is not just annoying, not just wrong, not just unethical, sometimes it gets people killed.

Even Fox News is sloppy when reporting this "story about the story." This afternoon Fox news anchor Chris Wallace reported that Newsweek's source had said he saw the alleged flushing incident, before backing away from his story. Not true. The source actually told Newsweek's Michael Isakoff that the incident would be mentioned in an upcoming written report by military investigators. The source never saw any incident. He only saw a reference to an allegation of an incident in a report investigating a bunch of alleged incidents. As it turned out, the incident didn't make it into the report. No matter, Newsweek went ahead with the story. Somewhere, Mary Mapes is probably smiling.

[cross-posted at annika's journal]

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