Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world

5/17/2005

Newsweek

Filed under: Media,World — Dangerous Dan @ 10:46 pm

I suppose I’m required by the blogosphere to talk about the Newsweek-Koran flushing story, but I don't think I can possibly add anything that hasn't already been thoroughly hashed out elsewhere. I’ll just add my own thoughts for the record.

Newsweek… excuse me… NEWSWEEK was clearly wrong in their reporting. I think Belmont Club said it best:

Newsweek is admitting to starting an international political firestorm, which got actual people killed, caused civil disturbances, endangered the lives of American troops and significantly set back US efforts in the war on terror because they ran a story from an anonymous source who cannot even remember if he told them what they said he told them. Their efforts at "confirmation" yielded a denial and a non-denial from Defense officials, but no confirmation. In predicate calculus, Newsweek asserted P. Their attempts at confirmation yielded ~P and Null. Hence they concluded P, which is wrong, wrong and wrong. It is wrong from the pont of view of elementary logic. It would be wrong anywhere, even in the Andromeda Galaxy. But apparently it is right at Newsweek.

Newsweek's defense so far has been that the Pentagon didn't issue vehement full-throated denials when the paragraph was run by a spokesman at the last minute and that means it was reasonable to believe that the story of Koran flushing was true. Of course, had the Pentagon spokesman denied it, that defensiveness too would have been taken as confirmation. The item still would have run, but it would have added the little blip that the Pentagon denies the charges.

I also agree with the folks saying that Muslims who have gotten their knickers in a knot over this incident are, well, idiots. Even if the story were true, it doesn't justify all the indignation, protests, and deaths. Some manner of indignation would be ok, but not to the degree that we're seeing.

Others claim that we shouldn't put so much blame on Newsweek because we shouldn't racistly think that Arab Muslims can't handle such an affront as Koran flushing. That's true, but nevertheless they should have known that some would and the results would not be pretty. One blogger, I forget who, made the point that the MSM refused to show or replay the more graphic scenes of 9/11 on account of not wanting to build American anti-Muslim sentiment, but the same MSM has no problem carpeting papers and TV with images that will foment Muslim anti-American sentiment.

One caveat: I don't think that all Muslims are off their rockers over this story. From what I've seen, the most Muslim noise has been made by a minority who already have vested interests in anti-Americanism and will latch onto anything that furthers that sentiment among others.

Anyway, if you want more, just click on any one of those links on my blogroll to the right and you're sure to find plenty of commentary on this subject.

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