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May 26, 2005

Fake But Accurate, Redux: Newsweek Claims Vindication

Well, it is the season for re-runs, right?

So let me get this straight. Newsweek runs a piece citing a "source" (in the original-- called "sourceS") suggesting that a new report would substantiate the flush-Koran stories.

The report comes out. It mentions the allegations -- not much of a shock, as jihadis have been making these claims since 2002 -- but does not mention any substantiation. It just lists the claims.

Newsweek's Howard Feinman claims, "See? We wuz right!"

Oh, really?

Once again, I have to go on record as saying I'm actually nearly 100% certain that the Koran has been treated in a disrespectful manner dozens of times to push the psychological buttons of these religious crazies.

But I'm kind of certain of a lot of things I can't prove. That doesn't mean I can report them as fact. I know that, and I'm just a goddamned amateur moronblogger. I'm not a hotshot reporter for a major (though irreparably tarnished) newsweekly featuring multiple layers of painstaking editorial fact-checking.

Hypothetical for the liberal reporters who think this story is so goddamned important it has to be reported, substantiated or not:

Imagine a Christian religious fundamentalist terrorist. Say an abortion-clinic bomber.

During interrogation -- trying to get the guy to squeal on his compatriots -- an FBI officer tears up the Bible. And then spits on the man's own crucifix.

Does anyone imagine that the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, etc., would be troubled by such "outrageous" tactics? (For the record: I wouldn't be.) Do you think they'd bother reporting them, even if substantiated?

And if they did report them, don't you think they'd be careful to "contextualize" the interrogation by noting 1) it is not physically coercive, but merely psychologically so and 2) done to achieve a greater moral good?

It's been said too many times to even have an impact anymore, but apparently all religions are to be tolerated except 1) Christianity and 2) conservative Judaism.


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posted by Ace at 01:37 PM

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