Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Newsweek, Sit!

That's a good magazine.

The war hogs and their White House masters finally got what they desired -- Newsweek retracting its story about US defilement of the Koran at Gitmo.

That should calm matters!

As Reuters reports, "the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department all heavily criticized the report and said it had damaged the U.S. image abroad. White House spokesman Scott McClellan had said it was 'puzzling' that Newsweek had not retracted the story a day after apologizing for it.

"'A retraction is a good first step,' McClellan said after Newsweek issued its statement. 'This allegation was unsubstantiated and it was contrary to everything that we value and all that our military works to uphold. We encourage Newsweek to now work diligently to help undo what damage can be undone.'"

Translation: perhaps now Newsweek will help to transmit uncritical stories about the "War on Terror." After all, the function of a Free Press is to give the state the benefit of the doubt, when not actively promoting its interests.

And of course torture and humiliation of Muslim prisoners is "contrary to everything that we value and all that our military works to uphold." Quite right. How could anyone doubt our noble intentions, esp an American magazine?

McClellan added, "People lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged. It will take work to undo what can be undone."

Wow -- who could imagine that Newsweek carried that much global weight? Time and US News must be pissing themselves in jealous fits.

Now that Newsweek has been leashed and whacked on the nose with a rolled up copy of last week's issue, the rest of the corporate media is on notice: Watch Your Step.

And what about trusting government sources? There are some who believe that Newsweek was given this story so that what happened, happened. A discreet disinfo tactic used to give the Bush admin some breathing room and to put the press on its heels.

Possible? Sure. Probable? Why not? Given the amount of spin and propaganda that comes out of the White House on an hourly basis, something of this nature is not beyond their abilities. Or desires. And Newsweek's humiliation comes at a good time for the Bush admin, which can now strut around and proclaim its righteousness, while its online admirers hoot, holler and drool.

But that's what democracy's all about, right? Iraq, you ain't seen nuthin' yet!

OH YES: New friend Arthur Silber has some worthwhile thoughts on the Newsweek saga. Check him out.