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View Diary: (Official Retraction) The Newsweek Backtrack: Did the Right Win a Game of Chicken? (315 comments)

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  •  A big favor by Newsweek? (4.00)
    I wonder if these was a top, over the top secret call from someone very very very high up in the WH to some high up (HU) at Newsweek saying something like -- look we got a heap of trouble from your report and we need you to announce a retraction and that you made a mistake ---

    Newsweek HU: But we didn't. our writer was very careful and besides our recent source there have been many written reports of this behaviour in the past.

    WH  vvvHU: Yeah, I heard something like that and believe me, we're right on top of it and it isn't going to happen anymore... But look, this is getting out of hand and those Muslims just don't seem to belive us when we say we didn't intend for this to get out, I mean happen. We tell them we respect the Koran 'just like the Bible.  But they keep on rioting.  And there's so many of them.

    Newsweek HU: Look, we just report the news, we didn't do the deed.

    WH vvvHU: Yeah, when we find out who did it we'll wring his neck. But, what will it take for you to say you made a mistake, you retract the story?

    Newsweek HU: What do you mean?

    WH vvvHU: Anything. Name your price. We're in trouble, you must help us, it's your patriotic duty.

    NW  HP: Huh? are you crazy?

    WH vvvHP? Never mind that. You have to or you'll have more trouble than you want, IRS, SEC, the whole damn alphabet.  How about we promise you a real big scoop. Two scoops! You have to help us--

    more threats, more guilt trips, more bribes, Newsweek caves.

    The simple story- Newsweek sudenly discovered they goofed- doesn't make sense.

    •  Wow. This reminds me of a made-for-HBO thing (none)
      Stick with me.

      There's an episode of From The Earth To The Moon (get it, or rent it, it's great) where the Apollo 1 mission failure is being investigated.  In it, the contractor that built the Apollo module ultimately took the big fall for the problem, even though it wasn't really anything they did wrong.  As stated in the episode, it was a failure of imagination -- they hadn't thought of the test that led to the failure being fatal, it hadn't even been considered dangerous.

      But the contractor took the fall, firing some of its top staff and making public apologies, because they knew if they just blamed NASA, the Apollo program would fail and the Russians would have gotten to the moon first.  So they took the patriotic bullet, knowing that NASA couldn't change contractors so far into the process.

      One could argue that this is what Newsweek is trying to do, many seem to be saying in Freeper land that this is what Newsweek SHOULD do, retracting the story entirely and taking all the heat.  Some would say they shouldn't have written about this at all.

      It makes me crazy.  The biggest difference here is that the moon landings were a noble quest, this is just a horrific debacle.  Newsweek is doing the right thing to (even partially) stick to its guns, I hope it makes a louder stink about being blamed for the is absolutely wrong to blame the messenger.  And it sets a really bad precident: don't report your government's failings if another country or their people might be upset to hear about it.  Bye-bye free media!  Hello state-run media!

      Even Lt. Chekov knew how to say 'nuclear'..even if he couldn't say 'vessels'.

      by Stymnus on Mon May 16, 2005 at 07:18:11 AM PDT

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