Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Musings 37--No apology necessary!

The flap over Newsweek Magazine's reporting of the flushing of a copy of the Koran down the toilet at Guantanomo Bay, Cuba seems to be a bit overblown. Sources in Afghanistan say that there have been riots and deaths--17 last count--because of the article.

Newsweek has retracted its story due to the chilling fact that its "longtime reliable source" has backed down from what was originally told reporter Mike Isikoff and John Barry. Sitting in my print shop in Huntington, WV, I will venture a guess as to what happened. It's simple, really, Isikoff and Barry got screwed by a source that is close to the White House. Journalism 101 says that you need more than one source for stories. However, human nature tells you that if a source has been on the square with you for a longtime--maybe even years--then, you can trust that single source. This is when you are really being set up. A good set up takes a longtime and is used only once because reporters learn after they have been burned.

In Pakistan there is a guy named Iman Khan. Khan used to support Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. Khan was a big crusader against corruption in Pakistan. Recently, he has become a vocal critic of the United States policies in Afghanistan and Iraq. He set upon the Newsweek article and played it for all that he could. Khan wants to run against Musharraf if Pakistan ever has another election. It did not seem to do much in Pakistan, but, in Afghanistan, he apparently struck a cord. It usually does not take much to make things boil over when people are already angry. Apparently, there is much anger in Afghanistan.

If the carrying on at Abu Greib prison did not make the Afghanistan's mad; then, it is doubtful that the actual flushing of a copy of the Koran would inflame them--unless they were looking to be inflamed. Iman Khan blew smoke into Pakistan, but the fire started in Afghanistan. A blind person could see this.

Mr. President's administration, always ready to take whacks at the press, blew more oxygen on the flames. Instead of being mum and saying nothing, Mr. President and his spinners are pointing the finger at Newsweek. Bad Newsweek...bad Newsweek!

Personally, I think that Newsweek should have said nothing. By trying to defuse the situation, Newsweek played into the hands of the administration.

All journalist remember when President Lyndon Johnson set up Ben Bradley over the J. Edgar Hoover appointment. It was used in the movie, All the Presient's Men. President Johnson told Bradley that he was replacing Hoover as head of FBI. Bradley ran the story in the Washington Post. The next day, Johnson gave Hoover a vote of confidence and said he could stay on as director. Johnson called Bradley and said, "I got you." Bradley was factually right, but the story was wrong. How many sources do you need if you're talking to the President of the United States? (I feel that the bible is correct when it speaks of two or three wittnesses.) Things have not changed -much. The backstabbing and spin continue. I wonder...whatever happened to the idea of bringing back integrity to the office of the president?


At 9:14 PM, Blogger I Think You're All Idiots said...

Silly Print Guy. Were you led astray?
By the way, I have a great bridge for sale. E-mail me if your interseted.

At 9:25 PM, Blogger I Think You're All Idiots said...

"Newsweek has retracted its story.."--but has yet to admit any wrong doing. Big difference.

"It's simple, really, Isikoff and Barry got screwed by a source that is close to the White House."--I see, Bush set them up. They must've upset him in the past. I love conspiracies.

"reporters learn after they have been burned."--Apparently not. Remember Rathergate? That wasn't so long ago. That's the thing with the liberal media..they NEVER learn.

"Iman Khan"-- I'm in the Klan of the Knee Oh Khan. Hah.


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