May 17, 2005

The Backpaddling Finally Ends

Yesterday, Newsweek, had it's spinners all over the national media trying to absolve themselves of any culpability by explaining that they did everything they could to ensure they were responsible and accurate in their reporting. As details kept emerging, and criticisms from the public and bloggers grew, it became harder for Newsweek to drown out the truth and spin the resulting 15 deaths and the hundreds that were maimed and injured into anything positive. The fact that they tried made their efforts more abhorrent to the public. They have finally retracted their story!

Where do we go from here? For me it's clear, we go back to the pre-watergate era when reporters were questioned thoroughly by their editors; when claims by anonymous sources were investigated by reporters and corroborated with existing factual information and not just from a source's lone witness account; when editors personally met big news sources to gage their credibility and truthfulness, double-checked that against the data and story their reporters had presented.

News Editors need to dig deep into their values and go back to a place before news was a commodity; before news became earnings, ratings and subscriptions competition, to a place where a News Editor's role is once again that of a vanguard and protector of the truth. For that is what the American people want, and that is what our system of democracy demands.

If we are to have any credibility, as a leader in democratic principles and the lone nation that will singlehandedly stand up in the global war on terror, it is imperative that truth be valued more highly than anything else. For it is only then that we will have the most powerful weapon in our arsenal, one that is undeniably powerful in opening the hearts and minds of our critics, and potential enemies. Truth is the most accurate and powerful weapon we have in the battle against propaganda and holy jihad. For what we are fighting in essence is an ideology and a belief system.

The only way our nation will ever be effective in combatting the darkness of terror, is by holding up the powerful light of truth for all to see.

The blogosphere has similar opinions but from diverging viewpoints. Several former journalists and prominent bloggers bring up excelent points. I'm linking to Laughing Wolf, Indiepundit, and Buzzmachine, are all good reading on this subject.

Posted by Michele at May 17, 2005 12:39 AM

Just can't help thinking that there was once a time in this country when a made-up Newsweek story would've been PRO-American propaganda.

I'd rather have the *truth*, of course, but a little cheerleading for OUR side would be my second choice.

Posted by: Harvey at May 17, 2005 10:22 AM

I don't know too much about this issue, but I've seen a few posts around and about. Yours highlights just how disgraceful it was.

PS Thanks for the poetry quiz. It was so far back, I thought you'd miss the comment there. I got 11 / 11 too. I'd thought my brain had pretty much turned to mush after childbirth, so it was very heartening :-)

Posted by: Sally at May 18, 2005 02:07 PM
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