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DrOp
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#1 Posted on 17.5.05 0738.15
Reposted on: 17.5.12 0744.00
http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/05/16/newsweek.quran/index.html

I didn't see any mention of this and I think it merits soem discussion. After watching some of the Today show this morning and hearing Rumsfeld's comments, I am left to wonder should we be angrier because (a) Newsweek ran the story and it caused riots or (b) that these types of treatment happen?

If the story is true, should Newsweek hide it in the best interests of the American Political machine?

    Originally posted by Cnn.com
    Newsweek magazine issued a retraction Monday of a May 9 report on the alleged desecration of the Quran at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    The report -- which said American interrogators put copies of the Quran on toilets or in one case, flushed one down a toilet -- was blamed for anti-American riots in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world last week.

    "Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Quran abuse at Guantanamo Bay," Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker said in a statement issued Monday afternoon.
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Grimis
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#2 Posted on 17.5.05 0817.00
Reposted on: 17.5.12 0820.47
    Originally posted by DrOp
    I am left to wonder should we be angrier because (a) Newsweek ran the story and it caused riots or (b) that these types of treatment happen?
Given the fact that Newsweek retracted the story, why is (b) even worthy of discussion?

(edited by Grimis on 17.5.05 0917)
DrOp
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#3 Posted on 17.5.05 0912.39
Reposted on: 17.5.12 0912.58
Newsweek has never, to the best of my knowledge, said that they entire story was false. Just because a story is retracted doesn't mean it didn't happen.

    Originally posted by Cnn.com

    In an interview on the PBS "Newshour" Monday night, Whitaker said the problem stemmed from "one detail."

    ...

    "There were other elements in this story that people are not concerned about," he told PBS. "This is the one detail everyone is concerned about, and we are prepared to retract that."

    ...

    Whitaker disputed the notion the Newsweek report was the sole cause of the rioting that rocked eastern Afghanistan last week.

    He said "many elements" contributed and noted that Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week the U.S. commander in Afghanistan put more emphasis on local politics than anti-American sentiment stirred by the magazine report.

    "On the other hand, clearly, our report played a role, and for that we feel terrible," Whitaker said.

    He said everyone at Newsweek "behaved professionally" in producing the report, and that the magazine went to the "extraordinary length" of showing the story to a Pentagon official for a response before publication.

    "That official challenged other aspects of the story, but not the Quran detail," Whitaker said. He said no U.S. officials complained about the accuracy of the report for 11 days, until after the Afghan riots broke out.



bash91
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#4 Posted on 17.5.05 0923.28
Reposted on: 17.5.12 0923.31
You mean this (cnn.com) retraction
    Originally posted by Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker
    "Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Quran abuse at Guantanamo Bay," Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker said in a statement issued Monday afternoon.
.

Tim
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#5 Posted on 17.5.05 1309.26
Reposted on: 17.5.12 1310.21
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by DrOp
      I am left to wonder should we be angrier because (a) Newsweek ran the story and it caused riots or (b) that these types of treatment happen?
    Given the fact that Newsweek retracted the story, why is (b) even worthy of discussion?

    (edited by Grimis on 17.5.05 0917)


Because now it becomes a question as to whether Newsweek retracted the story because it was false or because the White House forced a retraction out of them. If it's the latter, then this is a sad day for the First Amendment and freedom of the press.
oldschoolhero
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#6 Posted on 17.5.05 1317.42
Reposted on: 17.5.12 1321.15
The retraction was issued after a militry investigation uncovered no evidence of the alleged desecration. Now I'm a lefite and my natural respons eis an eye-rolling "well, of COURSE....", but in this case both sides could argue themselves into oblivion. It's not out of the realsm of possiblity that the investigation was half-assed or at worst totally fabricated, but at the same time any questioning can, depending on your point of view, be quickly dismissed. Best just to move on.
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#7 Posted on 17.5.05 1351.11
Reposted on: 17.5.12 1355.05
I think the real problem is that the Bush administration will use this as a grounds to dismiss legitimate cases of inappropriate interrogation techniques. There are plenty of reports - and they've been coming for a while - of this sort of stuff happening, with little to no interest from the White House.
bash91
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#8 Posted on 17.5.05 1504.45
Reposted on: 17.5.12 1508.14
I'd say the real problem was just how weak the original sourcing was on this story. Stealing from Jay Rosen (journalism.nyu.edu), who is certainly no fan of the Bush Administration and their relationship with the press (see here (journalism.nyu.edu) and here (journalism.nyu.edu) for examples of what I mean),it's pretty apparent that Newsweek went for a scoop rather than performing any, you know, actual journalism. Newsweek relied upon multiple layers of anonymous sourcing to predict what they, or their anonymous source, thought might be in an upcoming government report rather than waiting until they had even a draft of said report. I think Rosen sums it up best when he says
    Originally posted by Jay Rosen
    The Periscope item in the May 9th issue of Newsweek is a creature from an earlier climate of credibility: when a single-source story was good enough; when anonymous was okay as long as you trusted "your guy" at the Pentagon or the DA; when the consequences of being wrong were not as great, as instant, or as global; when the game of being first--which always meant more to journalists than anyone else--could go on as if it had intrinsic value to the public. Porter says the scoop mentality at Newsweek is "vestigial." I agree.

    The obsession with being first was so strong that the wire services or networks routinely crowed if they beat the competition by minutes.

    That day is gone. News today is a continuum. It flows ceaselessly from producer to consumer and, more and more, back again to the producer. It can be stopped and recorded for consumption later, it can be sampled at any hour of the day or night, or it can be ignored altogether, as it increasingly is.

    By using the loopy logic of "firstness" (this is the first government source to say it!) Newsweek was I think pursuing the wrong goods, and it compounded the problem by settling for a low level of reliability in deciding to make its Periscope item news. On top of that Editor Mark Whitaker does not appear to understand the difference between "take our word for it" journalism, and the "don't take our word for it, judge for yourself" kind, a shorter term for which is transparency.

    It was next-to impossible for us to judge the Periscope item for ourselves; there was almost nothing in it our trust could latch on to, except Newsweek's royal stamp and Michael Isikoff's magic name.

In this case, Newsweek seemingly hoped that their credibility would overcome the obvious issues with sourcing and verifiability. Unfortunately for them, they were quite wrong. And, as I type this and check a source, I see that Michelle Malkin (michellemalkin.com) is adding to a Drudge note on Newsweek refusing to accept Isikoff's resignation for horribly botching this story and asking why Newsweek won't simply tell us who the original source is so that we can judge his credibility for ourselves.

Unfortunately, Leroy's probably right that this story will be used to discredit, or at least make it a lot harder to get published, other, more legitimate, stories about abuses by interrogators. Even more unfortunately, this is the kind of story that lends credence to the thought that the media really is biased as Editor and Publisher (editorandpublisher.com) reports that some 60 percent of the American populace believes, or simply untrustworthy. As I recall, Newsweek held Isikoff's story on the Clinton-Lewinsky affair until they were scooped by the National Enquirer because it was based on a single anonymous source that couldn't be independently verified, just like this story. Why was one held and one published? I don't know, but bias for a particular political position is certainly a very plausible explanation as to why one story was initially spiked and one was published.

Tim
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#9 Posted on 17.5.05 1528.49
Reposted on: 17.5.12 1529.01
I would say holding back the Lewinsky story probably is directly related to the reasons why this story got pushed through. They got scooped holding back on one of the biggest stories of the last decade. Now, even a smaller scale story like this one has the gun jumped because they don't want to miss the 'scoop'.

I'm not particularly bothered by intimations of bias one way or the other. I'm smart enough to be able to parse and sort spin without a great deal of difficulty. What this situation is indicative of, however, is just how truly lazy the media has becoming. Investigative journalism is a joke in the major news outlets. In this environment, Watergate would never have been broken. Not because a conservative or liberal media would decide to avoid it, but just because doing the extensive leg work and research involved would take time away from listening to press briefing of obvious policy decisions #4024.
Leroy
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#10 Posted on 17.5.05 1602.24
Reposted on: 17.5.12 1602.29
    Originally posted by bash91

    In this case, Newsweek seemingly hoped that their credibility would overcome the obvious issues with sourcing and verifiability. Unfortunately for them, they were quite wrong.


Don't get me wrong. I think Newsweek is in a pretty indefensible position here. They should have done their homework.

Personally, I don't think they expected the aftermath of publishing such a story (i.e. the riots and resulting death toll), and they thought it would probably go into the rest of the pile of reported abuses that no one seems to care about. Clearly, they saw the Lewinsky story as a much bigger deal.

    Originally posted by GodEatGod

    Not because a conservative or liberal media would decide to avoid it, but just because doing the extensive leg work and research involved would take time away from listening to press briefing of obvious policy decisions #4024.


Funny thing, but in watching our local news I've begun to notice just how little research they seem to do. It's almost as though they get a press releases, send a camera to the event, interview a few people, and call it news. No noticeable independent research of any kind into any major issue that one couldn't find on their own.

(edited by Leroy on 17.5.05 1403)
RYDER FAKIN
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#11 Posted on 17.5.05 1938.51
Reposted on: 17.5.12 1949.27
Well, it doesn't look like this story is going anywhere anytime soon - all the talk shows are proclaiming this as "the worst thing ever" and "how could they be so irresponsible..." and "loss of life and it makes America looks like...". Stomping all over anyone that even *hints* at taking Newsweek's (or anti-administration) points of view...good Lord this is embarrassing

WILL ONE PERSON say "Well, gee whiz, this whole WAR was based on false reports, bad "investigative" work and jumping to a pretty heavy conclusion without COLD HARD FACTS (evidence)!!!". Is the anti-administration / war crowd so pussywhipped that they forgot there were no WMD? Our point of being there in the first place? (although history has gotten revised and excused pretty well)

Not that I'm against the war - the MidEast should have been handled years ago - but, we are over there, so shit or get off the pot already. The longer this drags on, the more I have to watch the alleged Conservatives continue to make asses of themselves, while the "left", or "liberal media" hands stuff like this to them on a silver platter, and then don't fight tooth and nail for the whole story. They just roll over...ever single time

Also, WoodStein would have never made the grade with Watergate if the Post / editors would have backed down from Nixon...like everyone else was doing. A good portion of their "investigating" was throwing shit against the wall and hoping it stuck - or at least getting a "non-denial denial" out of it. Which kept them going. No one seems to have the guts to do this anymore

FLEA
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#12 Posted on 17.5.05 2339.04
Reposted on: 17.5.12 2342.35
    Originally posted by DrOp
    After watching some of the Today show this morning and hearing Rumsfeld's comments, I am left to wonder should we be angrier because (a) Newsweek ran the story and it caused riots or (b) that these types of treatment happen?

    If the story is true, should Newsweek hide it in the best interests of the American Political machine?



    Originally posted by DrOp
    Newsweek has never, to the best of my knowledge, said that they entire story was false. Just because a story is retracted doesn't mean it didn't happen.


    Originally posted by Leroy
    I think the real problem is that the Bush administration will use this as a grounds to dismiss legitimate cases of inappropriate interrogation techniques. There are plenty of reports - and they've been coming for a while - of this sort of stuff happening, with little to no interest from the White House.


As far as we know, nothing happened. Newsweek ran an unsubstantiated report. Imagine if this was a criminal allegation. "Well, maybe he didn't rape that girl, but shouldnt we all be concerned that he might?"

(edited by PalpatineW on 18.5.05 0040)
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#13 Posted on 18.5.05 0259.10
Reposted on: 18.5.12 0301.56
    Originally posted by PalpatineW
    Newsweek ran an unsubstantiated report. Imagine if this was a criminal allegation. "Well, maybe he didn't rape that girl, but shouldnt we all be concerned that he might?


You mean like Al Sharpton did in the Tawana Brawley case (Wikipedia) with his "...but white people WOULD do that" quote when news of her scam hit?

OK, back on task.

Yeah, Newsweek f'd up. Bad journalism, on an issue this big, from an outlet that big, is damned unacceptable, and as a journalist, p*sses me off.

But shouldn't our righteous anger be directed at the Muslim extremist fanatics who saw a little article in a magazine as an excuse to RIOT AND MURDER, fer Chrissakes? And according to "Nightline," there were foreigners and al-Qaeda sympathizers in the midst of the Afghan crowds egging 'em on...who knows if they were there in the other protest sites, such as the Gaza Strip.

The murderous, fascist, Islamic fanatics and al-Qaeda scumbags are the bad guys here. Period. The more of 'em shot, the better.
Leroy
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#14 Posted on 18.5.05 0347.58
Reposted on: 18.5.12 0359.01
    Originally posted by The Thrill
    You mean like Al Sharpton did in the Tawana Brawley case (Wikipedia) with his "...but white people WOULD do that" quote when news of her scam hit?



You know, you kind of make my point with your "example". Yeah, Sharpton was duped. But that doesn't mean that this shit doesn't happen.


    Originally posted by The Thrill
    >But shouldn't our righteous anger be directed at the Muslim extremist fanatics who saw a little article in a magazine as an excuse to RIOT AND MURDER, fer Chrissakes? And according to "Nightline," there were foreigners and al-Qaeda sympathizers in the midst of the Afghan crowds egging 'em on...who knows if they were there in the other protest sites, such as the Gaza Strip.

    The murderous, fascist, Islamic fanatics and al-Qaeda scumbags are the bad guys here. Period. The more of 'em shot, the better.


Fresh Guantanamo torture claims

Pentagon inquiry said to confirm detainee's allegations

Pentagon Inquiry Is Said to Confirm Muslims' Accounts of Sexual Tactics at Guantanamo

There have been plenty of legitimate claims around for quite some time that have nothing to do with the Newsweek fuck up. And the press was either been ignored, or been ignoring, the majority of it.




(edited by Leroy on 18.5.05 0215)
DrOp
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#15 Posted on 18.5.05 0644.39
Reposted on: 18.5.12 0647.48
I personally feel that the sheer fact that we have have to *debate* whether these types of things are even happening merits and warrants invesitgation. If there was nothing to talk about, nothing to uncover, nothing to hide--there would be no seeking, no digging, and no snooping. Where there is smoke--there is fire (usually).

We *know* the prisoners get treated poorly in war. As Ryder Fakin said--shit or get off the pot. Say--"we're here to put an end to this shit once and for all, by any means necessary" (which is what we *appear* to be doing) or say "these types of actions are unacceptable and do not respresent our eforts to bring democracy to the middle east" and end it already.

Is all fair in love and war?
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#16 Posted on 18.5.05 1936.53
Reposted on: 18.5.12 1937.42
I find it scary that Jerry Springer hit it on the head when he said (and I paraphrase), "Honestly -- who subscribes to Newsweek in the Middle East?"

I find it scary that I was listening to Springer on the radio as well, but that's for another thread.
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#17 Posted on 18.5.05 2019.56
Reposted on: 18.5.12 2025.28
    Originally posted by RYDER FAKIN
    WILL ONE PERSON say "Well, gee whiz, this whole WAR was based on false reports, bad "investigative" work and jumping to a pretty heavy conclusion without COLD HARD FACTS (evidence)!!!". Also, WoodStein would have never made the grade with Watergate if the Post / editors would have backed down from Nixon...like everyone else was doing. A good portion of their "investigating" was throwing shit against the wall and hoping it stuck - or at least getting a "non-denial denial" out of it. Which kept them going. No one seems to have the guts to do this anymore

    FLEA


1. Plenty of people have said that; even the NY Times has admitted that its pre-war reporting on WMD was flawed. However, most people seem to not care. Since the media has done a darn good job of shooting itself in the foot repeatedly while trying to bring down Bush, there's a large chunk of the country _ even people on the left _ who ignore a lot of things because they think it's just the media in attack mode.

2. The big difference between something like this and Watergate is that Woodward and Bernstein were RIGHT almost every time. They got fed some bad info, but most everything they reported turned out to be true. Ben Bradlee was smart enough to trust two really good reporters and one really good source. I wonder if the managing editor of Newsweek even knew who the source for this story was.

This may sound strange, but Watergate was one of the worst things to ever happen to journalism. After the holy hell that Woodward and Bernstein called down on Nixon, every journalist wanted the next big scoop and every government flunky wanted to be the next Deep Throat. The problem is that Deep Throat (My guess: Kissinger) was high enough up the ladder that he could actually give Woodward and Bernstein information that truly needed to be scrubbed because there were only a few people it could have come from. Now, every mid-level desk jockey wants to be an "anonymous source" because it makes them feel important, even if they have no information of real value.
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