Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Perspective on Newsweek and rioting

Yes, Newsweek messed up. Yes, the journalism was poor and the editorial oversight was worse. And yes, people died.

Yes, the mainstream media tend to be ideologically if unwittingly liberal. Yes, the mainstream media tend to be innately hostile to President Bush, his policies and the American military.

But let us not lose perspective. As Andrew McCarthy has written,
The reason for the carnage here was, and is, militant Islam. Nothing more.
McCarthy is right. Newsweek practiced poor journalism, but radical Islamists--not Newsweek journalists--are responsible for the pursuant death and mayhem.

After 9/11, some pundits distastefully and inaccurately tried to blame the atrocities on American behavior and policy: What did we do that made those people mad, and how can we stop doing it in the future? Those pundits were wrong.

Those who put the blame for the recent deaths on Newsweek are just as wrong.

The issues are separate in fact and in import: To the degree that Newsweek is broken, it must be fixed in the interests of good journalism and a properly informed public. To the degree that Islamist extremism is causing death and mayhem, it must be eliminated in the interests of national and global security.