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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I’m Really Sorry Those Muslims Went Crazy

"I’ve been asked by my editor, Mark Whitaker, to address some of the criticism that’s been leveled at NEWSWEEK from the blogosphere over the past 48 hours. Arianna Huffington has been kind enough to provide me with the space to do so, for which I’m grateful. My goal is to open a dialogue with her readers about what happened at Gitmo, how we reported it, and what we can do going forward to stop it from happening again. But before we do, I want to make clear, on behalf of myself and the entire NEWSWEEK staff, how deeply sorry I am that those Muslims went crazy.

As a journalist, you never set out to give Muslims an excuse to go crazy. On the contrary. Since September 11th and the start of the war on terror, NEWSWEEK’s editorial guidelines have explicitly instructed its reporters to answer seven core questions when compiling a news story: “who?”, “what?”, “when?”, “where?”, “why?” “how?”, and “will this give Muslims an excuse to go crazy?” In fact, we followed that protocol to the letter in reporting the Gitmo story. Mark and I met personally with Michael Isikoff before it went to press and asked him how many people he thought would be killed when Muslims got wind of it. Michael was sanguine. He said he’d be surprised if there was anything more than a few buildings burned down, or maybe a woman or two stoned to death. All in all, we thought that was a pretty sweet deal. It turned out we were wrong. To the families of the victims in Afghanistan, I extend my sincerest condolences. And I promise, we’re going to redouble our efforts to make sure that the next time we give Muslims an excuse to go crazy, it’ll be for something that actually happened."


From: Arriana Huffington's Toast

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