Monday, May 16, 2005

Get ready for another CBS-"Rathergate" firestorm from the right wingnut blogosphere, this time directed at Newsweek.

First, if the information was based on a dubious or tenuous source(s), Newsweek should absolutely apologize, issue a retraction, and above all, investigate until they get to the bottom of what went wrong.

That said, let's take a breath and think. Given what happened to CBS, are we to believe Newsweek is stupid enough to repeat? (All together now wingnuts: "Yes!"). If anything, many were concerned that the CBS debacle would make an already toothless news media that much less vigilant.

The initial reports on this today appear to be that government officials serving as sources for the story are frantically back-pedaling. Newsweek intends to thoroughly investigate and I lobby they do so with voracious determination, as Wendy's did concerning the found severed finger. If they find they were at fault, then they deserve the harsh criticism (again, esp. on the heels of the CBS incident). HOWEVER, they may just find out that good sources conveyed good info and yet these sources have been pressured to recant. Note that there's evidence what Newsweek reported is not new news, but rather recycled from prior reports.

Also, was Newsweek expected to know ahead of time that their story would cause such an international uproar? I thought everything was on the improve in the Arab world, particularly as it relates to the U.S.? (Every two weeks, the Wall Street Journal has a column that conveys all the cheery, lesser-known items). What do these intense demonstrations say about the state of affairs when it comes to how the U.S. is perceived by the Muslim community?

Finally, I find it curious that the White House is bashing Newsweek before receiving more facts on the matter. And didn't Rumsfeld once say that such ugly and tragic things happen when building a democracy (i.e. shit happens)? But apparently that all changes when the shoe is on someone else's foot.

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