Wednesday, May 18, 2005

More Tragic Upshots of Newsweek Story

This report from MSNBC demonstrates the likely impact of the now-retracted Newsweek story which had alleged abuse of the Koran by US interrogators at Guantanamo.

Consider this paragraph:
"The damage cannot be controlled by the belated retraction from Newsweek under U.S. government pressure," said Qazi Hussain Ahmad, leader of the major Islamic party alliance in Pakistan, interviewed by telephone from Islamabad. "The desecration of the Holy Koran by U.S. soldiers shows that the United States is on a path of clashing with Islam."
Irrespective of the actual facts, millions of people who were previously convinced of US hostility toward Islam see the retracted tale of Koran-desecration as a fact confirming their suspicions and Newsweek backpedaling as the result of government pressure. They will see a cover-up. What a mess!


Anonymous said...

Many Americans will also believe this to be a cover-up. Whether it is or not I don't know. It's part of the cynicism of our times. It's a sad commentary that we no longer trust our government or our news publications to speak the truth. Once upon a time our news anchors were among the most trusted people in America (remember Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor.) But now we get our news from tabloids, and news anchors get caught up in scandals, and we find out that the government is buying journalists and planting stories. Whether the story is true or not, we have ourselves to blame.

Mark Daniels said...

David: You're right that many Americans will also regard the retraction as being part of a cover-up. This only underscores the importance of journalists and editors being more careful about stringently sourcing their stories.

Thanks for dropping by the blog and for your comments.