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Newsweek’s Message to the Arab World

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When the White House “encouraged” Newsweek to help repair the damage to America’s image caused by Newsweek’s false Koran-in-a-commode story, I don’t think this is what they had in mind.

Newsweek’s Washington Bureau Chief Daniel Klaidman appeared on Al Jazeera TV on May 19, and told the Arab world that, despite their retraction, Newsweek is “neutral” on whether any of this happened.

[Video no longer available.]

Klaidman: And so, based on the fact that he could not be as precise as he was when we first talked to him and that he could not be sure about some of the information he provided us, and also the denials from the Defense Department, which, of course, we factored in, we concluded that we did not have the information that we needed to make the assertion that we did in this item – that this had happened.

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

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 are… 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 don’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.

(Video courtesy of MEMRI TV.)

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