Jewish World Review May 23, 2005 / 14 Iyar,
Blood in the water
The Newsweek and Dan Rather situations are so similar it's
eerie. Both got snookered because they bought scenarios that, if true, would
have made President Bush look bad. Both ran with said scenarios. Both
crashed and burned.
Whenever you want anything in this world too much, it is
unlikely to happen. Desperately desiring a person, a job or a lifestyle just
about ensures disaster. All of us must pursue our goals with our eyes wide
open or else we will hit the rocks.
What is it about President Bush that causes such anger in the
press that it is salivating for a story that will hurt him? Wait, I can
answer that question. It's the same emotion that drove right-wingers crazy
whenever they saw President Clinton acting as commander in chief: Partisans
just don't believe these guys deserve the title.
The left-wing print press has rallied around Newsweek, blaming
the whole debacle on the Bush administration for its systematic "abuse" of
prisoners in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. If the abuse had not happened, the
papers wailed, then Newsweek wouldn't be in this fix. From the Los Angeles
Times to the Minneapolis Star Tribune to The Baltimore Sun to The Oregonian
in Portland, the editorials were almost exactly the same. Talk about
To be fair, Newsweek magazine is not even close to being the
biggest Bush basher in town. That publication is far less ideological than
most of the left-wing newspapers. It also does excellent reporting on a
regular basis. But its Achilles' heel is the politically correct germ that
infects most New York City-based media. Newsweek has a tendency to be very
PC and displays far more secular tendencies than traditional ones. It is
Newsweek's prerogative to do that, but it is also risky these days. Most
Americans believe the press is unfair and unfit, and if you make a mistake
that is perceived to be anti-American you will pay a big price.
But Newsweek will not do that and now must rebuild its
reputation. That's not going to be easy, as Dan Rather is finding out.
Americans are jittery these days in the face of killer terrorists, and we
are in no mood for bogus news reports that inflame our enemies. The
left-wing media ignore that fact at their peril.
As with Dan Rather, I do not believe Newsweek knew what it put
out there was false. It was duped. But that happened because the magazine
was comfortable with a sensational item that would make the Bush
administration look bad. As the old adage says: Be careful what you wish
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