Nice Work, Spikey

Talk about closing the barn door after the horse has run away, broken a leg, and been beheaded by a raving mob:

Newsweek magazine, under fire for publishing a story that led to deadly protests in Afghanistan, said Monday it was retracting its report that a military probe had found evidence of desecration of the Quran by U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay.

Earlier Monday, Bush administration officials had brushed off an apology that Newsweek’s editor Mark Whitaker had made in an editor’s note and criticized the magazine’s handling of the story.

Protests broke out across much of the Muslim world last week after Newsweek reported that U.S. investigators found evidence that interrogators had flushed a copy of Muslim’s holy book down a toilet in an attempt to rattle detainees. The violence left about 15 dead and scores injured in Afghanistan.

As of yet, there’s been no public word from the bogus story’s authors, Mike “Spikey” Isikoff and John Barry. Since I haven’t read anybody else saying it yet, I’ll jump up and be the first: they should be fired, at a bare minimum. The editors who allowed the bogus story to run should be fired. Richard M. Smith, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, should resign in disgrace, or be fired himself.

Want to know why I think all that? Even if you put aside the sixteen dead people (and you can’t, and shouldn’t), my own brother-in-law is stationed in Afghanistan, and thanks to the above ass clowns, his job just got a whole lot harder and more dangerous.

Nice work, Spikey. Proud of yourself?

Yeah, all those wonderful credentialed “journalists” and “editors” in the MSM. Great people you got there. Very professional and careful. I’m sure Steve Lovelady and his ilk will be out there defending them all, tooth and nail.


46 Responses to “Nice Work, Spikey”

  1. Jim Johnson Says:

    It’s important to note that although Newsweek succumbed to the temptation to publish ‘first’ without adequate verification, the violence that supposedly erupted following this publication had actually begun prior to the Newsweek story.

    Let’s not be overzealous in our efforts to kill the messenger here.

  2. Jim Johnson Says:

    Link verifying my assertion above:

  3. CitzCom Says:

    More on Newsweek Killer Story and Its Retraction

    I totally agree with Will Collier’s call for the guilty parties to be fired. I want more I want them arrested and charged with whatever crime the prosecutors can come up with.

  4. Military Matters with Uncle Jimbo Says:

    Newsweek defends right to incite riots- UPDATE story retracted

    Well now this is refreshing, Squirm you weasels. Newsweek has bowed to the deadly logic and pounding rhetoric of Uncle J, or maybe it was Kev’s promise of retribution raining down and perhaps the White House demanding a retraction might have had some e…

  5. Uncle Jimbo Says:

    There certainly were some demonstrations going on, but they had no juice and would certainly have petered out were it not for the jackals at Newsweek. Nobody thinks they wanted riots to happen, but not caring enough that you would cause them is damn close.

    I trackbacked with my feelings and my buddy Kev’s view from Iraq.


    Uncle J

  6. Scott R Says:

    This incident is further proof, as if any was needed, that certain parts of the MSM have rejected their traditional position as the Fourth Estate to wallow in their new role as the Fifth Column.

  7. Ed Says:

    Further Implications of the Newsweek Debacle

    A commenter on Austin Bay’s Weblog (who says he works for a mid-sized newspaper) makes a great point about how Newsweek’s story directly impacts how the US as a whole is viewed by many in “the Arab Street” (to dust…

  8. Geoff Says:

    The link you posted mentions that the Taliban had an increased level of activity prior to the Newsweek story, but does nothing to discredit the idea that the protests and calls for Jihad (as well as the protest-related deaths) were a direct result of Newsweek’s inflammatory story. The Think Progress site (quite a liberal slant there) seems to be really reaching. Note, too, that while they claim that the right is responsible for laying the blame at Newsweek’s feet, it is the MSM who immediately identified the root cause of the violence.

  9. Terry Reynolds Says:

    Following is a copy of an email I sent to Mike Whitaker, Editor of Newsweek: Mr. Whitaker – Heads should roll over this travesty. Nice to know that the MSM does such a good job of fact-checking, ( you know … that little thing that the blogosphere is unable to do). I heard your lackeys this morning on Imus and I haven’t heard such arrogance and pointing fingers, ( the Pentagon made me do it), since Jayson Blair, (spit). I know you won’t have the guts to do a proper follow-up to this fiasco, but if you do the headline should read “NEWSWEEK lied, people died”.
    Sincerely, Terry Reynolds

  10. Joe Mucia Says:

    They should be fired? I see you lack a a sense of irony.

    In a way, this is exactly what the Bush administration did in the leadup to the war in Iraq that has gotten many more than 15 people dead.

    Both the authors and the administration were pushing their point of view. Both the authors and the administration relied on sources that were wrong, but believed them based on past evidence (in the author’s case, the menstrual blood incident at Guantanomo and other torture incidents; and in the administration’s case, the history of Iraq attempting to require WMDs).

    If the authors should be fired and the editor resigned in disgrace, shouldn’t you advocate the same for the Bush Administration just as strongly?

  11. RR Ryan Says:

    Isikoff and Newsweek are the exact same people who had no problem sitting on a story about a president and a blue dress, supposedly because they couldn’t verify it. Compare and contrast the forseeable repercussions of each story and it becomes difficult no to infer an agenda.

  12. Erik Says:

    The only way to make the MSM sit up and change is to hit them in their wallet. There should be a boycott of Newsweek and their advertisers. Everyone should be writing companies saying that they won’t buy their product if they advertise in Newsweek.

  13. Kathleen A Says:

    Two things – Bush went to war with A LOT more than one anonymous government slipping him information. and TWO – forget firing the journalists – I want to know WHO is the anonymous government source? Why is it that the MSM isn’t worried about printing and posting things that make US look bad – but won’t show pictures from 9/11? It all makes perfect sense. They are tools for the terrorists and do not even know it – OR – are so busy being anti-Bush – they don’t realize they’re also being anti-American. I wonder if they want to start living and reporting from Pakistan? I bet they’ll have all the protection the press requires.

  14. Lisa Gilliam Says:

    Hey Joe we are talking about what just took place in Afganistan you halfwit.Seems not only do you not get your facts straight but your geography stinks too.This pretty typical of you lefists you behave irresposnibly and people call to the carpet on it and you cry and whine like children.You never accept responsiblitiy for anything you all do just blame others for bad behavior.Sorry Joe That dog won’t hunt!Just admit that NewsWeak managed to get blood on its hand.Frankly everybody involved in this should get a firing squad or hanged for treason.I know you don’t like that word but as the saying goes if the shoe fits wear it.In WW2 FDR would’ve cleaned Evan Thomas and Issikoff’s clocks for this kind of stuff.It High time The CINC show some backbone teach these bums and parasites a thing about treason and that there is a price to pay.

  15. ThoughtsOnline Says:

    Someone ought to get fired at Newsweek

    Who depends on exactly who screwed up…If Isikoff misrepresented the story or his supposed corroboration to his editors, then I’d start – and probably end – with firing him.

  16. Media Lies Says:

    Newsweek explains their “standards”

    On the Don Imus show, Newsweek reps explained how they check their sources.

    Imus: “He didn’t confirm it or didn’t deny it or anything, right?”

    Howard Fi…

  17. hey Says:

    so exactly how is this not depraved indifference (i.e. murder 2/manslaughter)? 1st amendment prevents prior restraint and there are interesting rules on crime facilitating speech & incitement(thanks to an idiotic decision wrt a NAACP customer strike/boycott that lead to violence) but i believe that this meets those tests.

    Why doesn’t the government deal with internal enemies like this? Fifth column should be dealt with (as should all the traitors from vietnam…).

  18. jack white Says:

    Wouldn’t we simply have assumed this was typical Big Media hubris on the part of Newsweek only a year ago? It seems like the default belief, and I share it, is that Newsweek deliberately jumped on a shaky yet incendiary story to discredit Bush.

    The left-wing has hit rock bottom when deaths are small prices to pay to win(?) political points.

  19. Joe Mucia Says:

    Hey Joe we are talking about what just took place in Afganistan you halfwit

    No Shit.

    You never accept responsiblitiy for anything you all do just blame others for bad behavior

    I said the reporters got it wrong. If you would read my post you would have known that. I only said that our outrage should be directed at all who make such mistakes.

  20. Ian Wood Says:

    Good God yes, let’s punish Newsweek and its minions because a bunch of halfwits are more than ready to kill people over rumors of the septic disposition of a copy of their most holy book.

    At what point do we hold violent extremists accountable for their own actions?

    If anything, this illuminates the desperate need to bring some semblance of rational Western thought to the poppy-strewn hillsides of Afghanistan, and the mechanism for that action is not the MSM, and never has been. Stop treating it like it’s our only hope.

    These people, and many of the people here, are reacting to the printed word of Newsweek as though it is indeed the printed word of God, with the power to compel unavoidable action.

    Do we therefore rein in all of our punkish idealogues because their words might be used by someone, somewhere, to incite monkey-violence?

    Please. This is censorship and opportunistic First World condescension disguised as moral
    indignation, and I say that with full awareness that “Spikey” and his ilk are propagandists who are not working for the interests of this nation.

    Nevertheless, all you people who are so keen to have the Government step in and prosecute better hope that the political climate never swings against you.

    Honestly: this very medium is our best chance. Bring the Internet to the Pashtun. Bring them Aristotle. Bring them the stories of Christians rioting when Nicholas Berg was decapitated…well, maybe not.

    Point is: stop relying on the MSM and governmental “authorities” to do this job.

  21. The Monk Says:

    I said to fire Isikoff and his editors this morning. If you had an actual timestamp on your link, you could verify who struck first.

  22. Michael B. Babbitt, MA Says:

    You have it exactly right. I am so sick and disgusted by the damage Newsweek has done to our country and the cause for civilization and freedom. Just criminal. This is truly treasonous behavior. I was so angry I even cancelled my subscription to TIME as they are all of the same snobby, smarter than thou elitist ilk.

  23. nemesisenforcer Says:

    This story is illustrative for two reasons: First, is it a surprise the MSM screwed up, lied, and is burying its head in the sand? Second, the fact the they got all worked up over supposed desecration of the Koran is typical. Would they even care if a cop had done the same thing to a Bible while interrogating an abortion-clinic bomber? Do they care that they and their minions in the leftjudiciary are symbollically doing the same thing to the bible every day and in far more damaging ways? That’s what I thought.

  24. Cupie Says:

    LOL, that is all…lol.

  25. Jim Johnson Says:


    It’s interesting to see Media be savaged from both liberal and conservative perspectives.

    Liberals claim concentrated ownership has compromised Media integrity, and that Media are not critical enough of the Administration.

    Conservatives claim that all Media have Liberal bias, regardless of who owns them and sets their marching orders.

    The real victim in this melee is the citizen/consumer. Who to believe? What is true?

    In the case of the Afghanistan riots, do we honestly believe that Newsweek magazine has a significant readership there? Is Newsweek offered in Farsi online? Or is this a case of ‘piling on’ Newsweek, capitalizing on their mistake, using the opportunity to discredit them?

    Consider the similarities in similar Media ‘scandals’ of late: Media releases story based on supposed ‘inside’ sources that later prove false. Are these sources being planted to damage the only currency Media have: Their credibility?

    Food for thought.

    Rave on…

  26. JeffK Says:

    I’m just surprised there’s still that many people out there paying attention to a a lump of rat’s offal like Newsweek in the first place…

  27. rosignol Says:

    Good God yes, let’s punish Newsweek and its minions because a bunch of halfwits are more than ready to kill people over rumors of the septic disposition of a copy of their most holy book.

    That’s part of the problem, but not nearly all of it.

    Third-world countries have long been rather credulous by western standards. Not a whole lot we can do about it other than hoping they wise up sooner rather than later.

    There is also a group of people that looks for things to be offended by so that they can extort cocessions as ‘apologies’. They exist both in the US and in the middle east, and we don’t treat either of them like they deserve.

    At what point do we hold violent extremists accountable for their own actions?

    I’d be happy to do it now. Unfortunately, the military was drawn down a little too much back in the 90s, and our options at the moment are to either ignore ’em, or bomb them back to the stone age.

    If anything, this illuminates the desperate need to bring some semblance of rational Western thought to the poppy-strewn hillsides of Afghanistan, and the mechanism for that action is not the MSM, and never has been. Stop treating it like it’s our only hope.

    The MSM our only hope? ROFL!

    I’d be happy if the MSM would merely refrain from making the job harder. I don’t expect them to help.

  28. Barry Says:

    On a wall somewhere in the offices of the NYTimes and WaPo is a huge 2 position wall switch. Whenever a Republican is inaugurated as President, the switch is moved to the ATTACK/WATERGATE position, where it will remain until a Democrat is inaugurated.

    It is this mode that you get endless coverage of Abu Graib and Gitmo and korans down the tubes.

    The MSM would rather see George W. Bush fail than America win. Gotta have priorities, you see.

  29. bago Says:

    Dude, you’re advocating a stupid zero tolerance policy. This is the same kind of thinking that confiscates toenail clippers at airports.

    It’s alright to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. We’re only human.

    Granted, I’d epect Newsweek to double the budget on their factchecking department in light of this, but firing exeperienced people for one mistake is downright dogmatic.

  30. david Says:

    Press and politics – becoming more blurred every day.
    WE are the idiots, because the media have become overly sensationalistic (we like shock/horror stories – see ratings …) and THINGS like Bush and co have merely run with the ball.
    Precis: (as i understand) GOVT tells media to tell us, sh*t hits the fan, GOVT denies all, media looks stupid, people stay dead.
    The abuses and crimes perpetrated by the current US GOVT have only been possible due to overwhelming media spin doctoring, serving to lull us into docility, if not believing, at least accepting.
    They win.

  31. bago Says:

    Yeah, because hundreds of people at the scene don’t have video cameras and the internet to distribute newsworthy things in a raw format for later aggregation and analysis.

    Like the tsunami, 9/11 and Rodney King.

    Everyone is becoming more connected, and only because of this are the failings of traditional media made clear. 10 years ago this would have been a david brooks/john stossel expose 18 months after the fact. Now it’s hours.

  32. Osamabinladen Says:

    It’s interesting watching the White House reaction: They are demanding more from Newsweek than just a retraction. This positions them with those who have killed others as a result of the screwup, and in a strange way, puts them on the same side–which would be a way to open doors. At the same time, it is this White House that ignited the extremists in the first place with its now famous arrogance-go-it-alone escapade. I’m sure there are meetings going on this morning at the WH to move to the next step. It’s Theater folks. All Theater.

  33. Mona Says:

    Joe writes: If you would read my post you would have known that. I only said that our outrage should be directed at all who make such mistakes.

    The outrage you believe should be directed at the Bush Admin had an opportunity to manifest last November — but Bush was re-hired. By a margin of about 75% among the active military, you know, the people you think Bush is recklessly killing. In part he was rehired because some of us know how pervasive and well-supported was the belief, among members of both parties, that Saddam had WMD. And also because WMD was never Bush’s sole, overtly stated reason for toppling Saddam. And, since the election, the good sense of the American people has been affirmed, given the progress toward democracy breaking out in the Middle East.

    By contrast, Newsweek ran a story that was very poorly sourced, that it knew or should have known would put American soldiers and civilians, as well as Muslims, in harm’s way. The “Arab Street” is a dangerous demographic, and the Salman Rushdie fatwa demonstrates how, uh, aroused many Muslims can become over desecrating their sacred text.

    Indeed, I firmly believe that Newsweek should not have run this story even had it been true. The Koran is a freakin’ book, and when I read people soberly discussing “Koran abuse,” I simply get the giggles. (Say, instead of beheading Americans, why don’t the terrorists simply abuse their Bibles? Cuz that’s the worst thing you can do, of course.)

    Taunting people about their religion and disrespecting their icons — like, say, a Piss Christ display — is not nice. Polite people should not do it. But when they do, the media should consider whether the news value of such incidents is outweighed by risk to American lives. And conduct itself accordingly.

  34. Nahanni Says:

    Thank you Newsweak!

    You have just helped me convince one of my most liberal, Bush hating co-workers that what I have been trying to tell him about how he has been lied to by the LLL MSM to further their political agenda is true. How the LLL MSM has gone beyond the Pale, beyond mere bias and “spin” and are now in an all out propaganda war against the United States. For years he has tried to make excuses for them but with the Newsweak debacle even he had to admit that I am right.

    He has been very quiet and introspective for the last day or two. I pity him for he has had his little world rocked.

  35. ronin Says:

    Moral equivillance?

    Flush a copy of the Bible down the toilet or set a crate of them on fire, show it on CNN. What would be the outcome?

    I dont think anyone would die.

  36. Brett Says:

    Curious thing about public figures of the baby boom: they are rarely ashamed or embarassed enough to resign their positions. They treat even the barest suggestion of such as tyrannical oppression.

  37. Sandy P Says:

    Nahanni, tell him he’s been Viet Nam’d.

    That’s what this coverage is.

  38. laxpat Says:


  39. Vince Says:

    Newsweek makes shit up, people die = very, very bad. Shame on you Newsweek for instigating violence. This violence is clearly the result of your lies, and the the people committing the violence are blameless.

    Bush’s administration makes shit up, many, many more people die = not their fault! Mistakes were made! That’s why pencils have erasers! Besides, people should held responsible for their actions! We’re talking personal responsibilty here people!

    Thank God Bush’s approval ratings are sinking faster than the Titantic.

    Some perspective on the Newsweek thing:

    [endless cut-and-paste deleted; link above]

  40. Robin Roberts Says:

    Plagiarism does not improve that lame analogy, Vince.

  41. Mauther Says:

    I’m willing to give Newsweek the benefit of the doubt on this. They printed a story in good faith. While the story itself may have been inflammatory, they did not sensationalize it. That people dies in the rioting is the fault of the rioters and those who inflamed the rioters (mainly the local radical imans). You’ll note that there were no large scale riots over civilian deaths caused by insurgents in Iraq. Infighting and political murders within the Palestinian Authority (printed in Newsweek) passed without comment in the Arab world. The continued violence in Algeria (where Muslim fanatics kill fellow Arab Muslims in a campaign against the secular government) and Sudan (where Arab Muslims are killing black Muslims) are almost never even mentioned in Arab news services. For fun, compare the number occurences of Abu Graib on Al Jezeera with the occurences of Darfur.

    That people dies is regretable, that property was damaged is a shame. But the blame rests solely on those who chose to riot. Culture and values are not a valid excuse in this case. In the pictures of the violence, you’ll see that the rioters are all wearing the white robes, white cap and traditional long (utrimmed) beard. These are throw backs who want a return to the 12th century. We can not let them dictate the operation of our free press.

    Back in the 80’s when Maplethorp did his little exhibit with the crucifix submerged in urine, Christians had a legitimate reason to be upset. They did not have a reason for violence. Had Catholics in the Bronx rioted, we wouldn’t be blaming the “artist”, we’d (riotly) be blaming the Catholics. That the rioteers in this case are third world fanatics doesn’t change the issue. When Pakistan complains about Newsweeks retraction, we need (but won’t) to tell them their people rioted, that’s their people’s fault. We don’t need to be exporting our fear of personal responsibility to the rest of the world.

  42. Mauther Says:

    And I can’t spell. Liberally edit the dies for died, for some reason I apparently spasmed repeatedly and mis-typed. Also I didn’t intend for Riotly (instead of rightly) to be used to describe the rioters, but in hindsight it is mildly pithy so I’ll claim it anyways.

  43. RA Says:

    Andrew Sullivan is not only supporting Newsweek but blaming Bush for the riots!!

    MSM policy is responsible for more deaths than the Bush Administration policy at Abu Grab and Gitmo combined.

    I’m with Erik. We need a boycott of Newsweeks sponsors.

  44. Kathleen A Says:

    It’s really not Newsweek’s fault – it’s the bubble in which they live. They think making a terrorist wear panties on his head is torture and they think having a young American decapitated is too graphic for us to see. They think THEY HATE US and we must deserve it. They don’t bother to ask WHY we should fear them or fight back.

  45. Donald Says:

    The arab street. What kind of morons are they? That there is one person in this world, that would go nuts like these animals do because they don’t like something…anything about other’s thoughts on their religion proves that they are, well morons and animals. One would think, that oh I don’t know maybe, taking a supposed incident like the Koran deal and well, taking the time to educate the unknowing on the proper, I don’t know, handling of their delicate piece of shit book or their delicate piece of shit psyches might be nice. Maybe they could even convert as opposed to kill the non-believers. I deeply resent that all this crap going on in the world is really a battle out of the goddamned crusades times mold. It is insulting to any thinking person that I got to put up with this never ending battle between Christian, Jews, and muslims. People, I don’t care about your god, and I really don’t like the fact that the world is in a complete upheaveal over something, body, spirit that doesn’t exist.

  46. bago Says:

    Right. Somehow claiming that newsweek is responsible for a whole 18 deaths is worse than the number of deaths causes by the mismanagement of the occupation is retarded.

    When a general says we have no phase four plan, you know someone is grossly incompetent.

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