Major. League. Asshole.

Little Green Footballs notes that a Memri transcript has an idiot from Newsweek appearing on Al Jazeera after to effectively whitewash its retraction of its story claiming that interrogators at Guantanamo Bay flushed a Koran down a toilet,

Host: But there is no proof that it did not happen either…

[NewsweekÂ’s Washington Bureau Chief Daniel Klaidman] Klaidman: We are neutral on whether any form of Koran desecration took place. There are allegations out there, but the allegations have not been subjected to the kind of scrutiny or legal processes that normally areÂ… you need before you can establish whether they are true and we certainly know that the military has not confirmed any of these allegations, and so what we are saying is we did not have the information we needed to go forward with this story and we are also saying that this specific act of Koran desecration was not confirmed by the US military investigators, and that is what we reported. As to whether these things happened or not, we are, like the rest of the people out there and news organizations – we donÂ’t know. We have heard the allegations, we continue to report, and the US military and other entities are investigating, and as I said, we are neutral on whether any of this ever happened.

Leaving aside why Newsweek felt the need to run to Al Jazeera to clarify its retraction, its interesting how when journalists get caught doing something wrong that they immediately turn into politicians complete with passive voice explanations of their behavior.

So, Klaidman won’t say “We didn’t do enough to confirm the story” but rather nonsense like “. . . the allegations have not been subjected . . .”

The line, “We are neutral on whether any form of Koran desecration took place” could have easily been lifted from any cover-your-ass Pentagon or Congressional report. Its complete bureacrat-speak.

Of course you could say this about pretty much anything. For example, did Bill Clinton rape Juanita Broderick? Hmm. . . “We are neutral on whether or not any rape occurred.” Don’t remember anyone from Newsweek every saying anything like that (nor should they have).

I was telling someone the other day that journalism is not brain surgery. The way Newsweek practices it, its not even veterinary medicine (apologies in advanced to veterinarians).

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