Newsweek Apologized Why?

White House spokesman Scott McClellan last week said Newsweek “got the facts wrong” and Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman called the article “demonstrably false.” Di Rita said last week the Pentagon had received “no credible and specific allegations” that U.S. personnel had put a Koran in the toilet.

But they did.

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6 comments for “Newsweek Apologized Why?

  1. jam
    May 27, 2005 at 6:49 am

    good question. a few possibilities spring to mind concerning the Koran incident(s). either it was an real leak & Newsweek was actually performing its journalistic duty by informing the public (hey, stop laughing in back!)

    or it was a piece of info intentionally released by the powers-that-be (Pentagon, White House, etc.) in order to gauge public reaction…

    another possibility might be that it was a piece of info released by one faction within the administration, with other factions now working to suppress it – i.e., another example of the internecine squabbles for power that happen regularly among the powers-that-be…

    as for Newsweeks apology: off the top of my head i’d say it’s most likely because they, along with the rest of the mainstream press, are a bunch of trained lapdogs with spines made out of soggy graham crackers…

  2. jam
    May 27, 2005 at 7:09 am

    perhaps also of interest…

    McClellan Backs Away from Claims that ‘Newsweek’ Story Cost Afghan Lives

    shameless, ain’t they?

  3. CKR
    May 27, 2005 at 9:05 am

    What Newsweek retracted was the statement that the Koran-flushing incident would be included in a report that was slated to appear soon. Their source was wavering at about the same time Larry DiRita of the Pentagon was denying the story. This was noted in some coverage early on, but it has mostly disappeared from the discussion at this point.

    Note that Newsweek was not saying anything about the truth or falsity of the Koran-flushing incident in its retraction.

    Others have done the work now, and it’s clear that Koran desecration, possibly even flushing, took place.

    E. J. Dionne today puts some of this in perspective. Terry Neal, also of the WaPo, had a good article a few days ago.

    Something else that has been largely ignored by the MSM, with the exception of one op-ed (I think yesterday) and David Brooks last week in the NYT, is that a few lines in Newsweek was hardly likely to ignite riots without falling on fertile ground. Here is some of that background.

    All that said, Newsweek certainly abased itself. It may have been a deliberate strategy, however, so that the administration wouldn’t be able to continue beating them about the head and shoulders. I’ve done the same with unreasonable bosses: a bit of bowing and scraping usually appeases the authoritarians better than defiance, particularly if they’ve got even a scrap of evidence against you.

    If that was the strategy, it may be working. Others are digging up the evidence and even Tom Friedman today is calling for Gitmo to be shut down.

    [BTW, Lauren, nice comment facility! Thanks!]

  4. Ralph Hitchens
    May 27, 2005 at 9:31 am

    I don’t get it. My reading is that an allegation was made by a prisoner, it was investigated and no corroborating evidence was found, the prisoner was reinterviewed but nothing came of it. Sounds to me like all Newsweek had was an unsubstantiated allegation, which they had the bad judgment to print.

  5. anonymous
    May 27, 2005 at 2:28 pm

    I believe it is time to say that everything that this government says is a lie and everything that it states is absolutely not credible.

  6. May 27, 2005 at 5:18 pm

    Anon, I’m with you. I’m more likely not to believe what comes out of this administration than to believe it. I have almost zero trust in anything they say.

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