Monday, May 16, 2005

Partisan Bloggers Spin Newsweek Story

The Newsweek imbroglio has spawned an immense blogstorm. The opinions out there are widely varied although Newsweek is universally disparaged—sometimes for being cowards, sometimes for being traitors, most often for being plain lousy journalists.

But what’s most fascinating about the reaction is watching certain partisan bloggers spin the story to fit inside their very specific worldviews.

At the staunchly conservative, unfailingly partisan Power Line, John Hinderaker responds to another blogger who called the event, “the press’s Abu Ghraib.”:

I really think that calling Newsweek's blunder "the press's Abu Ghraib" is unfair to the low-lifes who carried out the Abu Ghraib abuses. After all, they didn't even hurt anyone, let alone kill them. And the people they abused were almost certainly terrorists. One can't say the same for the people who were murdered in the riots that foreseeably followed Newsweek's story.

Not only does Hinderaker manage to slip in a disgusting defense for Abu Ghraib, but he would have us believe that by wrongly reporting as fact the rumor of Quran desecration, Newsweek has committed a worse offense than physical torture. The thinking being: people died because of riots that broke out after the report, therefore the reporters are to blame. Odd how Hinderaker who is usually so quick to say people must be held accountable for their own actions is now arguing that the rioters were just poor folk incited to violence by the liberally biased stupidity of Newsweek. Fact is, while the magazine is culpable for supplying our enemies with unwarranted propaganda, they can’t be directly blamed for the deaths caused by rioters. The lion’s share of the blame for those deaths rests squarely on the rioters themselves.

Of course, we won’t find any saner voices over at the hard-line liberal, unabashedly partisan Daily Kos, where Susan Hu has written:

I see this incident this way: Newsweek has good sources for its allegations, but has backed off because it finds itself in a dicey, ill-founded public relations nightmare.

Newsweek has foresaken journalism to save what it perceives as its own hide.

By “good sources” Hu is referring to the several former Guantanamo prisoners who have alleged that soldiers desecrated the Quran. Hu is actually more inclined to believe enemy combatants than she is willing to believe her own government. A little distrust of government is a good thing, but what twisted thought process leads one to instinctively put more trust in the enemy? Those at Kos have fallen so deep into Bush-hate that they are more-than-eager to believe every slander against our military—even if it means actively taking the enemy’s side.

What Daily Kos and Power Line demonstrate is how twisted the logic of partisan ideologues has become. One views all those who oppose American action as evil while the other views all those who support American action as evil. There is no room for nuance and certainly no room for debate.

Fortunately, the blogosphere is huge and, if you search, there are plenty voices of reason. (There’s even a list just over there on the right of the screen).


At 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully your readers will see the weakness of your point when they read the two posts: one vile, one thoughtful.

That aside: Why do you say that by "good sources" Susan Hu was referring to the prisoners? Why not the government officials the Newsweek questioned (one confirmed the Koran in the toilet story, one wouldn't deny it)?

I disagree with your conclusion, strongly.

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

In Hu's full post she backs up her claims that the story is true by quoting several ex-prisoners. If she is actually referring to Newsweek's source, I'd like to know how she could know who that anonymous source is. Hu just really hopes the story is true and finds "proof" in the statements of admitted enemies of America.

At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah no kidding. these are very partisan times, but that doesn't change the fact that this whole story reeks of a disgusting government/media cover-up.

Newsweek's 'retraction' was very weak. They may have retracted the story, but it is clear that their anonymous sources do not deny that they read in govt documents (mabye not in the military investigative report as the Newsweek article stated, but what difference does that make - a govt document is a govt document) that the Koran was flushed down a stinky Gitmo john. Why would they make it up? To spark up this controversy? They would have had to been pretty exceptional govt officials, because that would have actually required some understanding of the culture of the people our govt is killing/liberating.

Your post is yet another example of people blinding themselves in their efforts to have a centrist viewpoint. This is exactly what our main media outlets do on a daily basis. But at least they do it to avoid bad publicity and keep them ad dollars flowing.

You two really ought to consider changing your tag line to 'former democrat and former republican sucking each others blogs'.

At 11:09 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

For those looking for a great example of partisan thought, read the former comment. Because The Yellow Line refuses to unquestionally buy into the hard-left belief that our government is completely crooked, we are labeled as "blind."

Independent thought is a dangerous thing--it gets you a lot of hate mail.

At 12:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yo alan, relax. I didn't label you as 'blind' or anything for that matter. Nor am I hard-left (unless you're talking about my anatomy, in which case you'd be absolutely right - the ladies kill for it).

I was merely making the point that you can't be centrist on everything. To do so would inevitably involve a betrayal of your own better judgement.

- me again.

At 5:52 PM, Blogger Sean said...

please tell me how a Koran can be flushed down a toilet?
sometimes, simple logic, makes thinsg a little clearer.
Unless we believe they have better toilets at Gitmo, than most Americans (low water flush). Then it seems to be at worst an exaggerated story, and at best a lie.
Does it matter? Nope. Is that torture?
Says a lot about people willing to riot about a toilet story, but go silent when people use the Koran to murder innocent people.

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sure sean, its pretty simple to flush a koran or a bible down a toilet. all you have to do is tear those wonderful works of fiction up into little pieces first - page by page.

religious texts have been used as excuses to kill, control and enslave (as was done right here in the good ol' us of a, for example) people all throughout history. nothing new there. we're *all* a murderous bunch of assholes.

so go ahead try flushing one down for yourself. you can do it. drop a dookie on it too. sure made me feel better.


Post a Comment

<< Home