WRKO: Newsweek Off Air

dlh@donnahalper.com dlh@donnahalper.com
Mon May 16 12:11:29 EDT 2005

Bob N. wrote--
> John DePetro read a statement from Mike Elder saying that the station
> has dropped its  longtime Sunday night show Newsweek On >Air after it
> was revealed that the magazine inaccurately reported >that copies of
> the Quran were flushed down the toilet at Gitmo Bay.

Umm, I do hope my friends on the right won't go off the deep end over what is a very tragic story.  But first, a few facts-- the story may still turn out to be true: the problem is that Newsweek used only one source, a normally reliable one they said, but now it can't be confirmed with anybody else.  Given the *extreme secrecy* over how the detainees are being treated, there may yet prove to have been some further psychological abuses, of the Abu Ghraib variety but now suddenly, the Pentagon refuses to talk.  That having been said, I hope this won't turn into rants against the allegedly liberal media-- Newsweek is far from liberal.  The deaths of people in fundamentalist countries is a tragedy but it often happens, as a result of clergy who stir people up and misquote certain things to enflame the crowd.  I am not defending Newsweek, but this tragic error in reporting is not the end of the world and I would hate to see it serve as fodder for conservative talk show hosts.   

Bob also wrote--
>and he heard Newsweek's Jonathan Alter and
> the host laughing about the incident.)

Umm, I find that hard to believe.  I've known Alter for a long time and like most reporters at Newsweek, he is very embarrassed and upset by what happened.  Taking things out of context and then ranting about them may make for a good talk show, but let's not take a bad situation and make it even worse.

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