Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Newsweek Aftermath

Two excellent post mortem summaries at Winds of Change. (Note: In this case, I don't think this story will be truly "post mortem" for years, as Newsweek's carelessness and utter disregard of the outrage and violent response this would cause will reverberate (and kill) for years to come.

As if the U.S. Military needed any additional baggage. As if we aren't already elbow deep in fighting our way out of other sinkholes Newsweek, other media, and other anti-American interests have dug with propaganda against our fine military members.

Dan Darling fairly grieves over the utter inconsequence of Newsweek's sort of apology, full apology, and now retraction against ongoing and future violence. In the same way, he reaches the grim conclusion that none of our outrage against such press perfidy will change the future here forward, either. This one's an unmitigated Al Qaeda victory in the public relations war. But he ends with some hope, hopefully not unfounded:
The bottom line, however, is that al-Qaeda scored a propaganda victory this time around. This ain't red or blue issue either and all the people who have (accurately) pointed out that al-Qaeda is using the war in Iraq or what happened at Abu Ghraib as a recruiting engine need to consider that much the same is true of this story. Let us all do what we can to make sure they don't score another one, yes?
Joe Katzman soundly demonstrates how media bias, prejudices, ignorance and lack of intellectual diversity at media outlets like Newsweek virtually guarantee this kind of journalistic abuse.
Lack of political diversity within the media is preventing it from questioning the wisdom of stories like the one Newsweek ran, a simple act that would have forestalled many deaths. Having that kind of political diversity on hand might have given Newsweek some people in the newsroom who would familiarize themselves with stuff like al-Qaeda's manual (we have them here, on a far lower budget), or have good enough relations with military and intel sources to elicit that kind of information. People who would treat extreme claims from captured terrorists with more skepticism - which, as Greyhawk notes above, is utterly warranted. People who might have insisted on following the rules Tapscott cites above.
Lots of great links, other fine points, no need to repeat them here,
follow the link.

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