I checked Rush Limbaugh’s radio show today to see what The Party is putting out there. Rush says that the entire story about interrogators flushing Korans down toilets was an intentional lie. He says Newsweek “didn’t make a mistake,” but that it was “attempt to undermine the effort” that Bush is making in the Middle East. From this morning’s show, “When’s the last time you saw the media in support of the war on terror or the war in Iraq, Dottie?”
He says Newsweek put this story out there because they (and by extension liberals and Democrats) are on the side of terrorists against America, and that all of the press just lies and should never be listened to. “You’re under the false impression the media’s is on our side. [. . .] you go back to World War II, and you’ll find — even Cronkite … they were all pro-America in World War II, on our side. You have to go back to World War II to find it, but things changed with Vietnam.” He went on to say,
“They have an adversarial relationship with America when a Republican president is conducting a war, and whether they know it or not they end up siding with the bad guys.”
“It’s a different world after 9/11. Since then, Newsweek and TIME, ABC, CBS, NBC, New York Times, Washington Post, had not said as you just did that Bush was duped, they said Bush lied. John Kerry said Bush lied. Michael Moore said Bush lied. They all say Bush is no good, Rumsfeld lied, he’s no good, Rice lied, she’s no good, Richard Clarke was saying they’re incompetent, they’re no good, they lied. The left was saying Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction, Bush knew there weren’t any. He lied. And all these people dead, all these people injured, it was not necessary. Now here comes Newsweek.
[. . .] The attempt to destroy the man, George W. Bush, and members of his administration, from John Ashcroft to Alberto Gonzales to the judges. I mean, to these people nobody is any good, nobody is any good, they all suck, they’re all rotten people, Christians, real threat to America, bammo, here comes Newsweek. … They are admitting they hire reporters that make up quotes, make up sources, basically lie, write bogus stories. … But George Bush is saving American lives, promoting democracy and freedom in parts of the world that have never seen it before. Newsweek is trying to rile up the people who don’t wish that to happen. I mean, I don’t see what’s so hard to understand here.”
And Rush accuses Newsweek of trying to rile people up?
So… when can we expect the leaders of The Party to condemn these remarks?
Rush’s example is pretty much the way this whole thing is being portrayed at most right-wing news outlets and blogs, which means this is pretty much how most of America is hearing the story. They either state or imply Newsweek admitted that no one ever put a Koran in a toilet, which proves that reports of torture, etc. are all part of a media plot to harm the American government.
A media watchdog group . . . compared Newsweek’s journalistic integrity to that of CBS News during the National Guard controversy.
Kincaid said Newsweek’s correction will never catch up with the original false report and that countless Americans may die as a result.
Like Dan Rather and CBS News, Newsweek put politics and craving a scoop ahead of truth, not to mention ahead of America’s security.
“The charge here is that an erroneous report led to death. If that’s what actually happened and can be causally established, then there is no more serious charge you can make against a news organization, and no more bizarre explanation from one,” media analyst and “FOX News Watch” host Eric Burns said.
Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Administration Committee, said Monday that “Newsweek’s behavior is not merely unfortunate, it is criminal.”
In its Koran story, Newsweek itself bought into shady assumptions, partly because of the media’s dire view of the U.S. military.
Disturbingly often what you find instead is liberal-tilting American reporters covering American war efforts with the same critical “detachment” Al Jazeera might bring to the task.
Anybody with a little knowledge could have told them it was likely that people would die as a result of the article.
This is not irresponsible reporting. This is manslaughter.
The mainstream media is ideologically liberal and instinctually hostile to George W. Bush, U.S. foreign policy, and the American military.
And this is just barely getting started. There is so much like this out there…
Meanwhile Columbia Journalism Review’ CJR Daily writes,
What exactly has the magazine retracted? Most reporters, particularly on television, are reporting that Newsweek has retracted the allegation that U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at Guantanamo Bay. But that’s wrong: The magazine has said only that it no longer stands by its claim that allegations of Koran desecration appear in a forthcoming report from U.S. Southern Command. That’s a very different point. There have been numerous other reports — mostly from detainees — suggesting that U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo did abuse the Koran.