ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Coulter on Newsweak

Ann Coulter certainly is a firebrand (and often makes inane arguments when on the talk shows), but she definitely has a point here:

By Ann Coulter Wed May 18, 7:01 PM ET

When ace reporter Michael Isikoff had the scoop of the decade, a thoroughly sourced story about the president of the United States having an affair with an intern and then pressuring her to lie about it under oath, Newsweek decided not to run the story. Matt Drudge scooped Newsweek, followed by The Washington Post.

When Isikoff had a detailed account of Kathleen Willey's nasty sexual encounter with the president in the Oval Office, backed up with eyewitness and documentary evidence, Newsweek decided not to run it. Again, Matt Drudge got the story.

When Isikoff was the first with detailed reporting on Paula Jones' accusations against a sitting president, Isikoff's then-employer The Washington Post -- which owns Newsweek -- decided not to run it. The American Spectator got the story, followed by the Los Angeles Times.

So apparently it's possible for Michael Isikoff to have a story that actually is true, but for his editors not to run it.

Why no pause for reflection when Isikoff had a story about American interrogators at Guantanamo flushing the Quran down the toilet? Why not sit on this story for, say, even half as long as NBC News sat on Lisa Meyers' highly credible account of
Bill Clinton raping Juanita Broaddrick?
Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas justified Newsweek's decision to run the incendiary anti-U.S. story about the Quran, saying that "similar reports from released detainees" had already run in the foreign press -- "and in the Arab news agency al-Jazeera."

Is there an adult on the editorial board of Newsweek? Al-Jazeera also broadcast a TV miniseries last year based on the "Protocols of the Elders Of Zion." (I didn't see it, but I hear James Brolin was great!) Al-Jazeera has run programs on the intriguing question, "Is Zionism worse than Nazism?" (Take a wild guess where the consensus was on this one.) It runs viewer comments about Jews being descended from pigs and apes. How about that for a Newsweek cover story, Evan? You're covered -- al-Jazeera has already run similar reports!

Ironically, among the reasons Newsweek gave for killing Isikoff's Lewinsky bombshell was that Evan Thomas was worried someone might get hurt. It seems that Lewinsky could be heard on tape saying that if the story came out, "I'll (expletive) kill myself."

And as others have mentioned on radio and online (Jonah Goldberg), why do we excuse the riots in Afghanistan, with a concerned and earnest nod? Why do we "understand" their rage?
During the first few months after 9/11, many U.S. commentators did a great job of blaming us for the attacks. It is hard to remember now, but there was enough self-flagelation in liberal intellectual circles to put the entire S&M industry out of business. We had it coming, because of Israel, because of our greedy need for oil (which powers an economy, which has pulled billions of people out of poverty), because we imposed sanctions on Saddam, because of the Crusades(!), because we are “arrogant.”
Andy McCarthy is absolutely correct. Newsweek screwed-up a story which would have been the 73,087,733th tale of America showing very little respect for the religious sensibilities of murderous terrorists who call themselves Muslims. In response to the story, fanatical young men rioted and people died. The story turned out not to be true. Shame on Newsweek. But what if it were true?* Would that mean the rioters were right to indulge their epilepsy of hatred?

I don’t know how to read the minds of Islamist fanatics, but it seems to me they have all the excuses in the world they’ll ever need to hate us. Osama bin Laden says the Crusades are reason enough. When he blew up that train in Spain, he said it was partly out of a desire to avenge the taking of Andalusia — i.e. Muslim Spain in the 15th century. At some point you need to start saying, “Who cares what makes these people angry?” As Mark Steyn put it beautifully during the whole “blame the Crusades” moment:
Shortly after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese took Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands and arrested 22 British watchkeepers. The following year, they tied them to trees, beheaded them, and burned their bodies in a pit. You won't find that in the Geneva Convention. The Japanese fought a filthy war, but here we are less than 60 years later, and Britain and Japan sit side by side at G-7 meetings. If America is really "paying for" events that occurred seven centuries before the Republic's founding, then that's the Muslim world's problem, not ours.

Remember all the Ramadan-a-ding-donging about how we should have postponed hostilities in Afghanistan out of respect for the Holy Month of Ramadan? Muslims around the world wouldn’t tolerate such an affront, even though Mohammed himself became a helicopter of fists against his enemies during Ramadan. My absolute favorite complaint from the “respect Muslim sensibilities” crowd was when the FBI came out with a new “Most Wanted List” immediately after 9/11 and we were told this was “counterproductive” because it singled out Arabs and Muslims. Reuters favorably quoted Hussein Amin, an Islamic intellectual and former Egyptian ambassador to Algeria, "Why pick on Arabs? Are there no South Americans, Irish, Serbs, Japanese among the most wanted?"
Yes, yes, the irony is rich that for all the bleating from the blame-America crowd about how this war or that invasion will ignite the “street” in the Muslim world it ended up being a ten-line item in the “Periscope” section of Newsweek. But that’s life.

Call me crazy but if we’re talking about insults to Islam, I’d have a lot more respect for the “Muslim street” if there were just a few more riots against jihadists for equating beheadings, terrorist attacks, hosannas for the Holocaust, and random slaughter on the streets of Amsterdam with a faithful reading of the Koran.

This entire story tells us sooo much about our press and the sensibilities with which we fight this war on terror.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler