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Monday, May 16, 2005

WaPo to Newsweak: Put on Those Knee Pads!!

Thanks, Howie, for clearing it all up for me. The Putz leads with his chin:
Newsweek apologized yesterday for an inaccurate report on the treatment of detainees that triggered several days of rioting in Afghanistan and other countries in which at least 15 people died.
How, exactly, does this jibe with the facts? From the State Department's own website:
The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff....Air Force General Richard Myers told reporters at the Pentagon May 12 that he has been told that the Jalalabad, Afghanistan, rioting was related more to the ongoing political reconciliation process in Afghanistan than anything else.
But that hasn't stopped the right-wing noise machine from going full-on John Phillips Souza today. Because, you know, there's still the inaccurate bit:
Some detainees complained of religious humiliation, saying guards had defaced their copies of the Koran and, in one case, had thrown it in a toilet, said Kristine Huskey [an attorney in Washington, D.C.], who interviewed clients late last month. -- Philadelphia Enquirer, 1/20/2005
Or this:
They were never given prayer mats and initially they didn't get a Koran. When the Korans were provided, they were kicked and thrown about by the guards and on occasion thrown in the buckets used for the toilets. - Center For Constitutional Rights, Human Rights Watch Report
Never one to let the facts hijack a good story, BushCo. is screaming this morning that an Apology is Not Enough:
McClellan complained that the story was “based on a single anonymous source who could not personally substantiate the allegation that was made.”

“The report has had serious consequences,” he said. “People have lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged.”
Righto, Scotty. Because we well might attach electrodes to their genitals, sexually humiliate and boil 'em to death, but deface the Koran? Wooah, that's where we draw the line!

It's quite ironic that the Administration's tone of self-righteous indignation seems to change, depending on who they're talking to. One for the American public, another for our good friends the irate Saudis:
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced yesterday that the desecration of the Qur'an was unacceptable in the US and if the claims were validated, they would take prompt action.
So thanks, Howie, for giving BushCo. the reacharound and tying up the journalistic complexities and contradicting stories in this whole event into a nice, tidy package, demanding of absolutely no thought whatsoever. It's what we look to you for, after all. Your summation is particularly moving:
But critics are already pouncing on the story as the latest in a high-profile series of media blunders at such respected news organizations as the New York Times, USA Today and CBS News. In this case, the consequences -- deadly riots -- were far more serious than a breach of journalistic ethics.
Media blunders? Media blunders? Hey Howie, here's a hot tip for you -- there are no weapos of mass destruction. I think you should get right on it.

(thanks to Susan Hu)