Tags: Newsweek | Wallows | Same | Mire | CBS | News

Newsweek Wallows in Same Mire as CBS News

Monday, 16 May 2005 12:00 AM

Like Dan Rather and his producers at "60 Minutes," Newsweek's reporters were trying to mine whatever unsavory pickings they might be able to glean from U.S. treatment of Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo, in the spirit of the Abu Ghraib scandals.

With no real attempt made either to find credible sources or to vet whatever gossip they stumbled across, Isikoff and Barry lurched into print with the inflammatory suggestion that a Koran was unceremoniously cast into a commode by U.S. interrogators to break the spirit of a detainee.

With the rising tide of furious Afghans, and angry denials by the Department of Defense and Condoleezza Rice, Newsweek's editors had to issue an apology of sorts, feeling sanctimoniously sorry for getting "any part of our story wrong," and extending their superfluous sympathies "to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst."

Again, like CBS, the principal motivation for the story seemed to be to discredit President Bush and American foreign policy under his administration. Anything that would give credence to Islamist and anti-American claims that the U.S. is either torturing or otherwise humiliating Muslim prisoners is fair game, according to this crowd.

With Abu Ghraib the poster boy for impropriety, jumping on the attack bandwagon is the preferred method of the liberal media – blaming misbehavior of lower-level military personnel as merely a surrogate for the sanctioned military policy of higher-ups. As former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger unhappily concluded in a recent column in the Wall Street Journal, today's press wants to make a "judgment first, [and find] evidence later."

One wonders why the liberal media tiptoe around the sensitivities of Muslims, whose every religious belief has to be respected, yet they regularly denigrate devout Christian beliefs as self-deceptions by the less intelligent or dogmatic, and in the case of fundamentalists, simply superstitions held by inflexible rubes and Bible-thumpers.

One also wonders why, a few years back, liberals were very much in support of the right of dissenters to burn the flag, or to wear it as underwear or use it as toilet paper. "It's only a piece of colored cloth," they declared. "Who cares what a person does with a piece of cloth?"

Blinded to the spiritual dimension of the U.S. flag, liberals routinely ridiculed the patriotic impulses of Americans who did not wish to see their country's symbol – and the thousands of soldiers who died for it – thus desecrated.

Yet when an alleged copy of the Koran is similarly violated, liberals fall all over themselves to expose this outrage, how deep-seated beliefs of millions of Muslims are being regularly debased and traduced by the ignorant Americans who support President Bush.

That's the message and it's sheer hypocrisy, if not treasonous. The liberal media don't care any more about the Koran than they do about the Bible. It's simply a sleazy way for them to inflame any group that is demonstrably anti-Bush and against current U.S. foreign policy, thus mirroring their own attitudes. Is this not "aiding and comforting the enemy"?

Doesn't anyone question why thousands of Muslims would take to the streets, anyway, only to vent their anger about a book being destroyed, instead of marching against human beings being mistreated at a prison? Would Americans take to the streets if an Imam on our shores flushed a Bible down the hopper? Would the media take up the cudgels?

Many have difficulty understanding why thousands of people think a printed book is more important than a fellow human being. And many others question why some journalists would deliberately try to enrage them for blatantly ideological purposes.

Barrett Kalellis is a Michigan-based columnist and writer whose articles appear regularly in various local and national print and online publications. He may be reached at

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Like Dan Rather and his producers at "60 Minutes," Newsweek's reporters were trying to mine whatever unsavory pickings they might be able to glean from U.S. treatment of Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo, in the spirit of the Abu Ghraib scandals. With no real attempt made...
Newsweek,Wallows,Same,Mire,CBS,News
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2005-00-16
Monday, 16 May 2005 12:00 AM
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