Who and what is reliable?By now, virtually everyone who is "in-the-know" is aware of the Newsweek report that alleged that prison officers at Guantanimo Bay, Cuba flushed copies of the Quran down the toilet. That story, of course, caused an upheaval all over the Islamic world. The usual screams of "Death to America" and "down with the Great Satan" were far louder than normal. Terrorist actions against U.S. soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan were seen to be a direct result of the Newsweek story. People died as a result of the backlash.
Now, Newsweek has admitted that the story is false, and has issued a retraction. In the mean time, their story was an outright lie, and all they can do is take it back. Newsweek should formally apologize to the families of every person who died as a result of their negligence.
The reason I chose to write about this issue today, after everyone else is writing about it across the blogging world, was not to bring the issue to light. I make the assumption that my informed readers are already aware of the situation at Newsweek. Rather, I wanted to use the issue of this blatantly false news report to point out that many of the so-called "journalists" at the big Washington and New York news operations have biases of their own, the red-leftist tint of many of their stories is so evident that the informed reader or viewer often has to dig for themselves to find the real facts. At the same time as these self-righteous reporters trumpet their own journalistic objectivity, they tell us that bloggers and blogs are unreliable sources of news, information, and opinion.
I'll be the first to admit that my blog has a bias. It is conservative, traditionalist, and Catholic. However, if I publish an error of fact, and that error is discovered, I immediately retract it. I rely on my readers to let me know when I am wrong, and if I am, I'll be the first to admit it.
There are many blogs out there that are unreliable and, frankly, not very well done. There are blogs, though, that are very fine quality sources of information and opinion, even with their evident biases. In the wake of what has happened at Newsweek, I can say with some confidence that no blogger I know of was capable of any worse, and probably could have done a much better job of reporting.