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#22 Posted on 8.6.05 2225.09 Reposted on: 8.6.12 2226.30
Originally posted by Messenoir I sure try to be. The faith I follow does tell me to forgive people, especially when they apologize for their errors. Newsweek, to whit, apologized for screwing up and said they would fix the process that led to screwing up.
But let's repeat the main point. Here's the gist of the Newsweek story:
Primary point: There have been abuses against prisoners and the Quran.
Example: a Quran got flushed down the toilet.
Now what was the error in the story? Not the primary point, but the example. What is the important part of the story? I would say the fact there have been abuses against prisoners. So, in the end, Newsweek got the primary point right, which they got from multiple sources all saying there have been abuses against prisoners and the Quran, but one source talking about one example Newsweek turned out to be wrong, or at least not able to 100% back his/her statement.
And, in the end, I would say a prisoner and his Quran getting pissed on is as bad/worse as the Quran getting flushed down the toilet.
So, to wrap up, Newsweek got the primary, important, supportable with factual evidence right and the example wrong. And Arabs didn't riot because of the specific example of the Quran getting flushed. They rioted because of the larger issue of Qurans and prisoners getting abused at all. The reasons for their riots are still there, if the specific example is not.
The problem is, they didn't report on the instances of Koran abuse that were confirmed by the Goverment, and none of the ones that the Government confirmed said that a Koran was flushed down the toilet. The way I see it, they wrote a story about something that was false. The fact that they wrote the story which was later proven to be true through different sources doesn't make their report any better. It might as well have been a wild guess that there was Koran abuse for all that Newsweek new about the facts of what they were reporting.
In addition, it seems to be a pretty hard and fast rule that where a few public abuses occur,whether in the military or in business, there are going to be other uncaught abuses. Many people are afraid to come forward to report abuses, you can't always watch all people in power at all times. Most times, if someone in a company gets in trouble for, say, sexual harrasing someone, that sexual harrasment wasn't only focused on one person. It's just that one person finally decided to come forward to report it when others were afraid to.
I don't think that that is necessarily wrong, but that shouldn't be an excuse for shoddy reporting. I wouldn't expect a supposedly reputable publication to say, well, if we have this one piece of verification, even if its shoddy, let's just assume that this was part of a pattern because things like these tend to be. That would be a good reason to investigate further, not run the story.
Either way, I think that all the talk about Newsweek got blown out of proportion and all the talk of how it caused riots seemed pretty convenient to me. The real debate on this issue is probably whether or not this is abuse because I think that a lot of people just aren't seeing it that way.
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