I just googled "Newsweek" and "Koran" and found several websites announcing "Newsweek Lied, People Died" and referencing "Rathergate."
I don't usually blog in a state of aggravation but I am, in fact, "outraged by the outrage" that I'm seeing on the web in relation fo this issue. First off, so far as I can tell, while Newsweek's editor has apologized, there has been no retraction, and there are several different sources going back over the past year who have made this allegation abou tthe Koran flushing incident. SusanHu of Daily Kos has a good set of comments on this, and they've been linked by several, right and left. It seems to me that if the US weren't torturing people in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, and if they hadn't already done some pretty shocking things related to deseccrating Islam, this story wouldn't be as believable as it is. Mark Crispin Miller's blog has a couple of excellent articles that refer to the history of these allegations.
Before writing this entry, I was reading loony right wing blogs, but I don't want the twits to get any traffic, so I'll just say this instead of linking: It's sad really. These people are so genuinely outraged by any criticism of the USA. I think the pose of indignation must be really satisfying if you are so over-identified with the American government that you are unwilling to face the truth about it. Al Franken had a great insight about the ultra-righties in Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: Those conservatives who call anyone who criticizes American policies a "traitor" love their country the way a three year old loves its Mommy or Daddy. And now the little three-year-olds are jumping up and down in the sandbox, excited to point the finger at Newsweek instead of looking at the hard facts: People around the world don't like America because America is an actively oppressive force in their lives. The only way that these folks can justify their beliefs about the righteousness of the US is to call all its critics "traitors" and "terrorists." Isn't it sad? It reminds me of how the Israelis reacted to coverage of the massacres of Sabra and Chatila.
It doesn't help that our lap-dog media is unwilling to shake these toddlers out of their illusions.
Let's just list some of the actually important crap reporting jobs that we've seen over the last year that have gotten no attention.
1.Where is the fucking outrage about the smoking-gun memo?
2. and let's recall how The NYT bolstered Bush's bogus WMD claims.
3. The media skewered Dan Rather and CBS over faked memos, but the real story should have been that Bush still never told the truth about his national guard service.
4.How about the way that the big news agencies keep reporting on Social Security as if it's in a "crisis"
5. Then there's the way they keep saying that George Bush was elected president.
6. and they also write as if Bush were actually the president, the guy in charge.
What if we go back further?
6. How about the crap coverage of Iran Contra
There are so many outright lies that get repeated, revealed and then retracted... and now this outrage over an allegation that has been public for over a year and hasn't been revealed as a lie, only a story without a clear confirmation from an official source who is connected to the institution being criticized.
The cynicism of the current administration boggles the mind. Take for instance this slice of Danner's article on the "smoking-gun memo":
an interesting observation that an unnamed "senior advisor" to President Bush made to a New York Times Magazine reporter last fall:
"The aide said that guys like me [i.e., reporters and commentators] were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"
I think the only explanation for the right-wing frenzy is that there are SO MANY lies and SO MANY inaccurate stories that praise and minimize the catastrophic errors and outright wickedness of the Bushies, that the righ-wingers are extra excited when they find even a minor inaccuracy in something critical of the administration. Even their use of "Newsweek Lied, People Died" is an (unconscious?) acknowledgement of what they already know: Bush sent people to die, and has killed at least 100,000 Iraqis and it is all based deliberate lie, a hustle.
Oy Gevult. I think I'll go mad if I think about it any more.