Roger L. Simon's rebuke of Newsweek in the wake of the magazine's admission of error in the case of the flushed Koran report comes off more as a cheap shot than a knockout punch. Simon writes as if the too highly-regarded "anonymous source" is a journalistic franchise of the left, a story tool never employed by media supporters of Pax Americana true belief. Nonsense. Regardless of your opinion of the efficacy of anonymously-sourced information, you'd tie yourself in knots trying to prove substantively that it has been used more frequently or flagrantly by either side. It is what it is.
In laying responsibility for large-scale rioting and fourteen attendant deaths at the hands of the magazine and its reporters, Simon conveniently ignores that reports of Koran desecration at Guantanamo had first appeared in 2004, in newspapers both in the United Kingdom and Russia, as well as on the Qatar-based television network Al Jazeera. Newsweek didn't run the story, actually a look-ahead to a future story which included the Koran detail, until reporters who had been diligently covering the story for months were motivated by what they describe as a high-level government source.
That the magazine is responsible enough to voluntarily admit an error amid the ensuing firestorm is something to be respected, not to be used as Mr. Simon did, as a jumping-off point for suggesting that general media and their reporters have a get-Bush mentality. If general media had a get-Bush mentality, they'd have been much quicker to respond to the significance of the British intelligence memo further substantiating the administration's Iraq buildup perfidy, and for that matter they'd work a lot harder at determining what really happened in the Presidential election of 2004.
As for expressed neoconservative outrage over the fourteen deaths, get real. Those of us who oppose this administration and its private $300 billion Iraq war are as saddened as we should be about the fourteen people who died in Afghanistan because of this. We're equally saddened by the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians cavalierly sacrificed on the altar of Messrs. Bush/Cheney/Wolfowitz/Rumsfeld's preconceived "anti-terror" initiative. For pro-Bush writers to attempt to guilt-trip professional reporters for collateral damage is beyond ludicrous. It's immoral.