There is commentary aplenty on the Newsweek mess of the false story of Koran flushing at Gitmo. Dawn's Early Light has nothing substantive to add to this debate other than a further sense that the Main Stream Media is continuing to lose its gatekeeper position as it continually blows major stories with a telling bias.
However, I have seen and been sent several pieces with different perspectives worth reviewing that I would like to share with my readers:
"It is quite remarkable that many Muslims believe that an American interrogator flushing pages of the Koran is worthy of rioting, but all the torture, slaughter, terror and mass murder done by Muslims in the name of the Koran are unworthy of even a peaceful protest.
Nevertheless, one will have to search extensively for any editorials condemning these primitives in the Western press, let alone in the Muslim press. This is because moral expectations of Muslims are lower than those of other religious groups. Behavior that would be held in contempt if engaged in by Christians or Jews is not only not condemned, it is frequently "understood" when done by Muslims.
That, not phony reports about an American desecrating Koranic pages, should really upset Muslims. It won't. Just as the CBS and Newsweek debacles won't upset the American news media.
The lowest of the Muslim world and the elite of the Western world: Anti-Americanism makes strange bedfellows."
"One of the greatest hurdles we face in fighting a nihilistic enemy bent on the destruction of our civilization is not their military prowess, but the inherent biases that exist within our own media elites. The desire to promote their agendas at the expense of the truth or our safety provides a measure of comfort to our enemy, who hopes to divide us from within.
Evan Thomas (a man in the know who stated during the 2004 Presidential election; “The media, I think, wants Kerry to win”) reports “More allegations, credible or not, are sure to come” with respect to the treatment of detainees in Gitmo. Our politically biased, fact and logic challenged media no doubt will report these allegations, the effects on the War on Terror be damned. They have a message to deliver, and it is a message al Qaeda wishes to be disseminated. That the media do not recognize this or worse, do not care, speaks volumes about their competence to accurately report the news."
"It is not that I don’t believe Newsweek made an error, I believe the reporting was erroneous, the question for me is whether or not Newsweek knew, in advance of its publication, that the story lacked credibility, would cause an outrage, and would further damage U.S. relations with the Muslim world. It is hard for me to accept that Newsweek’s staff of supposedly worldly journalist and editors weren’t aware of the potential for a story of this nature to become a spark in the tinder box that is the Muslim world. I believe they either knew, and were okay with it, or worse, knew and wanted it."
"We are dealing with a professional mindset that is simply not part of the regular world being defended by the bravery and blood of volunteers. These people are simply in denial about the peril our freedoms are in and otherwise willfully arrogant about the lack of maturity and responsibility demonstrated every day in the MSM. The insularity and elitism that has cost these media market share, consumer confidence, advertising revenues, circulation, viewers, readers – the very approval that all civilized instructions require let alone commercial enterprises – has also insulated these otherwise good people from the common sense that even a gas station earning minimum wage knows. It's hard to beat the simple statement made by SecDef Rumsfeld on Capital Hill Monday: 'People lost their lives. People are dead. People need to be very careful about what they say, just as they need to be careful about what they do.'"
Men and women of the United States were put in harm's way by Newsweek's faulty reporting. That some in the MSM want to turn this story around and blame the Bush Administration policies further decreases the public's remaining respect for the legacy media. America's reputation has suffered again and people have lost their lives.
I think all of the above bloggers have merit in their comments. Until we see the double standard that militant Islam is afforded confronted in the MSM, as Dennis Prager points out, we can have little progress over bridging issues that divide us in America. The War on Terror is too important to our way of life, but the WoT is often treated by the MSM as just another story, devoid of moral clarity.
We are an increasingly polarized nation between red and blue. The MSM represents blue state thinking and biases as talk radio and the right side of the blogosphere represent the red states. MSM biases are hard to question when the facts are hazy and deadlines near with what appears to be a major scoop. Ask Dan Rather, ask Howell Raines about the importance of fact checking and reporting the truth, not how you believe the truth probably is based on one's political bent.
Newsweek has dealt itself, the MSM and our country a decent blow.