Well, I’m confused

Guantanamo Guards Accused of Mistreating Koran

I thought the Koran story wasn’t a big deal because it had already been reported. If so, then why is another Koran story top center and largest font on washingtonpost.com?

Well, okay. This isn’t really another Koran story. It’s the same Koran story that was reported earlier and wasn’t even all that newsworthy, according to many Newsweek defenders. It’s the story about how some Gitmo detainees claim that the Koran was abused. Or that they heard that others claimed it was abused.

Yet top and center it runs.

Here’s a glimpse at this incredible story:

Nearly all of the hundreds of pages of documents consist of FBI summaries of detainee interrogations, and therefore do not generally provide corroboration of the allegations. At least two detainees also conceded that they had not personally witnessed mistreatment of the Koran but had heard about incidents from other inmates, the records show.

Stop the presses! Extra! Extra! Film at eleven!

Just yesterday a two co-workers were discussing the idea that big media runs stories to make President Bush look bad. One said that it wasn’t an agenda to smear Bush, only an attempt to sell stories. If it’s newsworthy, it runs.

So this is newsworthy, I guess. And it runs. I guess I missed the newsworthy stories about how Bush’s policies benefited the occasional person once in a while. (Unless you really, truly believe that Bush’s moves have been 100% wrong every single time 100% everywhere, I guess.)

And I guess that it’s official that the defense of Newsweek has solidified around “the Newsweek story didn’t cause the riots”. There were several schools of thought about why there was nothing wrong with Newsweek’s report, but everyone seems to have latched on to this one. Today’s WaPo story, for example:

The release of the new FBI documents comes in the wake of an international uproar over a now-retracted story by Newsweek magazine, which reported that an internal military report had confirmed that a Koran was flushed down a toilet. The retracted story has been linked by the Bush administration to deadly riots overseas. [emphasis mine]

See? It’s the “Bush administration” that linked the story to the riots.

Well, them and the rioters. That’s a fact, Jack. They were very clear about it. Repeatedly. In fact, there was a day of international protests planned for Friday specifically in reaction to the Newsweek story. I’m not sure if it’s still on or not.

On another site, after a commenter wrote that the riots weren’t caused by the story because there’s already unrest and turmoil in the Arab world, I pointed out that the rioters pointed specifically to the story as the reason for the riots. I pointed out that the Newsweek story was specifically named as the reason for the planned riots scheduled for this Friday. He replied that he “wasn’t sure that really made a difference”.

I am so confused. I would have thought that the rioters themselves would know best. I would have thought that when a religious leader says he’s calling for demonstrations because of the Newsweek story, it meant that he was calling for demonstrations because of the Newsweek story.

They must be being too nuanced for old Murdoc.

Incidentally, I’d like to remind everyone that my position is that Newsweek shouldn’t have run the story even if it was true. They did, so I’m calling them unpatriotic.

I’m not sure where the WaPo is on this story, as it’s nothing new. I don’t know if they’re unpatriotic for running it or not. I’m thinking not, but I could be convinced otherwise.


  1. Here’s the tip………..we all start making scurrilous and sensational accusations against famous members of the legacy media. Let’s see if they start trumpeting those around like they do with many unsubstantiated complaints against (fill in the blank). I performed many formal investigation, at my last agency, into one sort or another ‘alleged’ misconduct. That’s EXACTLY what accusations are; ‘alleged’ or ‘unsubstantiated’ until they’re investigated properly and found to be sustained (mostly/true), or unproven (can’t tell one way or the other), or unfounded (a crock/likely a crock). The problem with so much of the legacy media is their anti US bias frequently shades their judgement (and I’m being charitable in attributing their motives to only that) when reporting issues like the Quran story. By NewsWeeks own admission they neither saw or heard anything of the alleged Quran incidents. Neither did they talk to any direct participants who could credibly say they had seen or heard any of the alleged Quran incidents. NewsWeek talked to ‘some guy/gal’ who ‘said’ he/she knew the investigtion into the Quran allegations was going to be sustained. Now if that doesn’t qualify as ‘my uncle’s, bother’s, best friend’s, dog told me’……….I don’t know what does. Not a good foundation for repeating anything, let alone something as potentially harmful to Americans or American interests. Murdoc is spot on in saying Newsweek is unpatriotic………did I mention amateurish and stupid?