Blog of Obscurity

A Very Munchkinly Blog

Monday, May 16, 2005

Don't Blame the Media

John Simpson at the BBC doesn't think we should fault the media for shoddy reporting in the Newsweek scandal:

BBC NEWS | Americas | Reporting the truth:
It is hard to avoid the inference that the people who are really to blame are the men and women who have abused their prisoners, not those who have reported allegations about the ill treatment.

What happened in prisons like Guantanamo, Bagram and Abu Ghraib after 2001 has done serious damage to the United States and its allies: not just the dwindling number who still have troops in Iraq, but the new governments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Do not blame the news media for this. Instead, all the effort needs to go into convincing the world that the abuse has stopped, and will never be allowed to start again.

So, when do you blame the media for sloppy reporting then? Newsweek published a provocative, single-source story. Rather than holding their feet to the fire for sensationalism, we're supposed to blame the Bush administration.