Monday, May 16, 2005

Newsweek's apology

In this morning's New York Times, Kit Seelye reports that "Newsweek Apologizes for Report of Koran Insult." From Seelye's article:

Newsweek apologized yesterday for printing a small item on May 9 about reported desecration of the Koran by American guards at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an item linked to riots in Pakistan and Afghanistan that led to the deaths of at least 17 people. But the magazine, while acknowledging unspecified errors in the article, stopped short of retracting it.

As the article notes, the allegation has been reporter previously in other publications and detainees have spoken of it.

So Newsweek offers an apology under what appears to be strong pressure. And the press suffers. What are they noting? That a source they had has retracted his statement that the Koran toilet flushing would appear in a Pentagon report. Not that it didn't happen (again the incident has been reported elsewhere for some time), the source is only retracting that an upcoming report from the Pentagon will address it. Are we all confused?

If so, what may confuse some is the apology:

"We regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in the midst."

In other related news, the nation's oldest newspaper, the New York Post, has announced that it will be apologizing for reporting that the Union won the Civil War while the Weather Channel has annouced that they regret all weather predictions, both the ones that they called correctly and the ones they got wrong.

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