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The best two paragraphs I've read yet on the whole Newsweek fiasco come from James Taranto.

It's not just that the media are biased against conservatives and Republicans, though they certainly are. It is that they see every war as another Vietnam and every supposed scandal as another Watergate--at least when Republicans are in the White House, which they usually are.

The obsession with Vietnam and Watergate is central to the alienation between the press and the people. After all, these were triumphs for the crusading press but tragedies for America. And the press's quest for more such triumphs--futile, so far, after more than 30 years--is what is behind the scandals at both Newsweek and CBS.

Nothing to add.


To compare the Newsweek retraction and the CBS fraudulant document is rediculous. First, it was a small mention in Newsweek. Second, the journalist in question and, by all accounts, the source in question has a history of reliability. Even Lawrence Kudlow and John Loftus on the John Batchelor show said that the journalist in question (Isikoff) has a solid reputation for integrity. What Loftus and others have guessed is that what happened is that the source made an honest mistake and journalists always are in a tough spot when reliable sources make mistakes. Now the question here is whether, given the volatility of material, Newsweek should have printed an item that could potentially enrage the muslim world. Americans have come to view a news article quoting "sources" with a great deal of skepticism. Many in the muslim world, on the other hand, don't have the experience with freedom of press that we have -- which includes the freedom to make mistakes.

However, the idea that the journalistic zeal for a breaking story began with Watergate/Vietnam is hogwash. The press, if anything, was nastier in the early years of this republic and always had writers throughout its 200+ years with an instinct to attack those in power. (Go watch "The Front Page" some day.) Isikoff, after all, was the first guy to break the Monica Lewinsky story.

So. while what James Taranto writes may sound good to a conservative who wants to shake his fist at the MSM, it is simply not true. (The Press and the People have always been at odds for one thing.)

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