At least 15 people are dead and Afghan Imams have demanded the US turn over those responsible for throwing a Koran in a toilet. Trouble is, the story is false despite the fact that it was published in the MSM. You know, the MSM that’s filled with editors and fact checkers so that nothing like fake documents and fake stories ever see the light of day.
So Newsweek lied and people died. What are we to do?
Powerline, as usual, has some excellent commentary, HERE and HERE.
And HERE is an excellent comment by Wrechard of Belmont Club.
There do not appear to be any laws against printing stories that make the Bush administration look bad, makes the military look bad and rush it into print without caring about the consequences. There is, after all, the First Amendment.
But should reckless people who get other people killed and lead to serious international unrest skate?
Let’s look at the cast of characters:
Michael Isikoff and John Barry wrote that article that was false and prompted the riots and deaths.
An anonymous “senior government official” claims to have paraphrased an unpublished report. Except now he isn’t so sure.
The editors and publishers of Newsweek who approved the publication of a slanderous article from anonymous sources that they should have known would spark riots and killing.
What is one to make of people who are not part of the fabric of American society? Who are so irresponsible, so careless of the messes they make? Who really, really don’t care because they are “citizens of the world” and answer to a higher calling.
In the business world, we have an Elliott Spitzer, ready to send erring executives to prison for crimes they did not think they were breaking. We have executives of Enron and WorldCom going to jail for financial malfeasance. And Martha Stewart for lying to a government official.
What is the punishment for bearing false witness, writing a false article, and publishing that article that gets over a dozen people killed and threatens to start a religious war?