May 15, 2005

Newsweeks' Moral Responsibility

We all know and acknowledge the concept of personal responsibility. Every day, each of us deals with the knowledge and the probability that some action we take, either responsibly or irresponsibly, can and will affect our own lives and the lives of others. Sometimes the effects of these actions are minute and inconsequential. Other times, they can be far-reaching and life altering, affecting many, many lives, positively, negatively, permanently.

When one of us makes a faulty decision that hurts another, we are responsible for the damage. As individuals, we make restitution, we do penance, we apologize, sometimes we even do jail time.

But what of those we trust? What of those large entities, the corportations, government agencies, mass media outlets of the main stream media?

This week, Newsweek magazine did the moral equivalent of yelling "Fire" in a packed and anxious theater. They yelled out, in black type on glossy paper, that interrogators at Gitmo had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet in an effort to break down a prisoner and gain information from him. They were oh so sure it was true, even though two other government officials denied all or part of the claims in the article. It must be true, you see, because other news organizations had already reported the incident or similar ones.

So with no proof, no corroboration, nothing but the word of a secret annonymous source, they ran with it. And when yelled this out, they set off a stampede in the Muslim population that resulted in death and destruction all over the world. Afganistan is at the point of calling jihad against all US citizens, even those who sacrifice daily to protect them in their own land, based on the Newsweek story.

When the riots began and people started to die, the US government stepped up. Investigations were conducted quickly into the allegations, and to no one's surprise no evidence of any such act was found at Guantanamo or any other encampment. No one had desecrated a Koran, no one had flushed its pages down a toilet, no such act had been committed. And with the results of the investigation firmly in hand, the government stepped forward and called foul.

In the face of mounting evidence that the story was a fabrication, the primary accuser backed down from his claims, and Newsweek was forced to recant their accusation.

But is that good enough? Is a 400 word statement by the editor enough? Will it help to set aside the anti-American tide now swelling and swirling throughout the Muslim community world-wide? Will it stop the flag burnings, the killings, the arson and looting, the fear? Of course it won't, and even Newsweek isn't foolish enough to think that it will.

Where is Newsweek's accountability for the impact of this story? The argument can be made that there should be no lasting or profound repercussions for such spurious reporting, as such legal accountability would serve to stifle the press and gag the MSN. So in Pakistan, Afgainistan, and other communities around the world, families are burying their dead and busnessmen are taking stock of their losses with no hope of any help from the party most responsible for their losses: Newsweek Magazine.

Posted by Mamamontezz at May 15, 2005 09:51 PM

Deliberate misinformation to make the current administration look bad in the eyes of the enemy forces is no accident and we shouldn't treat it as such. These lowlife yellow journalists need to be prosecuted to the fullest, they have incited riots which have cost lives, putting them at the same level as the terrorists. These traitorous bastards are enemies of the United States through their actions. The least I as a consumer can do is boycott anything to do with Newsweek and complain publicly.

Posted by: Jack at May 16, 2005 09:41 AM

We shall set sail for New Yark on the incoming tide to board and take the offices of Newspeak. Yar. Raise yer cutlass, matey's, the time and tide draw nigh.

Posted by: ZiPpo at May 16, 2005 03:46 PM

Yar. Methinks it high time these cut-throats and blackguards met their match and felt the lash of Ye Imperial Privateers. These perfumed parlor snakes and simpering milqutoasts of the Revolutionary 5th Columne need made to feel the err of their ways, and best to make them feel it is in their moneypouches.

Me corset is laced tight and me busom is heaving with the excitement of battle. Lead on, ZiPpo! Aarrgh.

Posted by: Mamamontezz at May 16, 2005 08:09 PM

YAR! Now don't ye go sailin' off without US! The Boy is going through a growth spurt and his appetite's shot through the roof! He already gnawed his way through two Jehovah's Witnesses and a wench selling carpet-cleaning supplies, an' me cupboard can only hold so much hardtack! He's a growing Lad, he is--an' them Newsweek "journalists" have FRESH MEAT written all over their pitiful carcasses!


Posted by: Denita TwoDragons at May 17, 2005 11:14 PM

I agree completely and I also think what they did could be considered treason. They specifically put our men and women in danger by printing a bald faced lie that was certain to spark some fanatical backlash.

Posted by: Ethne at May 19, 2005 06:49 PM

Hey I finally posted go figure LOL Ga Thanks again.

Posted by: georgia at May 19, 2005 07:38 PM

I rate Newsweek right up there with CBS News. Won't waste my time on either one.

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