KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Monday, May 30, 2005

Afraid of Their Own Shadows

Over 20 years ago, I did a stint as a newspaper reporter in Texas. I thought I'd be the next Woodward or Bernstein, exposing corruption to sunlight so that it would wither and die. I didn't end up doing that for long; life had other plans for me. I wish I had, though, because too many mainstream journalists are scared of their own shadows these days.

Newsweek's retraction of and letter to its readers about its May 9 story about alleged abuse of the Qur'an at Guantánamo Bay were totally unnecessary. Its main source for the story chickened out, likely under pressure from Bushco, so Newsweek chickened out, too . . . even though the International Committee of the Red Cross did produce reports of such abuse.

Dammit, we need reporters and their employers to regain the belief that those in power aren't telling the truth, until it can be proven that they are. Why is it now a good thing to cower when Bush yells? You and I both know that Bush and plenty of his soldiers don't respect anything Islamic, whether that's Iraqis or the Qur'an, so when Bush blamed the outbreak of additional attacks and protests by Muslims on Newsweek, we know he was gleeful at having a scapegoat. The Newsweek mess took Americans' attention away from Bush's disrespect for the Iraqis and his failed imperialistic meddling in Iraq.

Get some courage, journalists, and get it now, or our country's going to sink like the Titanic. I'm ashamed to say I was once one of you.

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