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The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal

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Lies and Consequences...
Newsweek has admitted that it lied when it published a report that US interrogators defaced the Quran to get prisoners to talk. Great. "We are going to learn from this," they said. But nobody has ever suggested that there ought to be some sort of penalty for the fact that this deliberately erroneous report has already caused at least 15 deaths in rioting in Afghanistan...If I were a predominantly Muslim nation's leader, I'd declare every Newsweek reporter and stringer persona non grata and make them go home immediately. I wonder how Newsweek could survive sanctions like that.

I fully embrace freedom of the press. I also believe that such freedom brings responsibility.

As a journalist, I have a real problem with Newsweek's attitude. They appear to think that there is no real problem, and no real penalty for bad journalism that produces dead bodies. And I absolutely am ashamed of the fact that they felt the need to lie, and say that they had no idea what was going to happen. Of course they knew what was going to happen...but they had such a need to score a great story, to embarrass the administration, to sell magazines, or whatever else motivated them, that they didn't care.

We can't always see the consequences of our actions, but we sure as hell need to take responsibility for them, unintended or not.