This time the get-America mentality of the mainstream media has cost dozens of people their lives.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Newsweek magazine said on Sunday it erred in a May 9 report that U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, and apologized to the victims of deadly Muslim protests sparked by the article.

Editor Mark Whitaker said the magazine inaccurately reported that U.S. military investigators had confirmed that personnel at the detention facility in Cuba had flushed the Muslim holy book down the toilet.

The report sparked angry and violent protests across the Muslim world from Afghanistan, where 16 were killed and more than 100 injured, to Pakistan to Indonesia to Gaza. In the past week it was condemned in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and by the Arab League.

It's not exactly like the Muslim crazies need much of an excuse to riot, kill people, and burn the American flag, but Newsweek is still responsible for fanning the flames that led those deaths and injuries. It's particularly egregious because the magazine obviously intended to set this wildfire, and they're only apologizing because the crap they printed turned out to be false. Is it unpatriotic for an American magazine to purposefully incite hatred and violence against our country? Signs point to yes.

"We regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst," Whitaker wrote in the magazine's latest issue, due to appear on U.S. newsstands on Monday.

Oh, good job, I'm sure that'll solve the problem. Moron. People died, and heads shold roll at Newsweek.

Whitaker told Reuters that Newsweek did not know if the reported toilet incident involving the Koran ever occurred. "As to whether anything like this happened, we just don't know," he said in an interview. "We're not saying it absolutely happened but we can't say that it absolutely didn't happen either."

Wow, that's some spectacular content you've got in your magazine. Good thing you respected media elites have editors like Mark Whitaker to maintain that exalted maybe/maybe-not standard that all we bloggers marvel at.

The magazine said other news organizations had already aired charges of Koran desecration based "only on the testimony of detainees."

And what motive could Islamofacist terrorists detained for acts of terrorism against the United States possibly have to lie?

Oddly amusing is this threat:

On Sunday, Afghan Muslim clerics threatened to call for a holy war against the United States.

Didn't we cross this bridge, like, three and a half years ago?

Jim Geraghty at the excellent TKS (née KerrySpot) has a lot of links, and says this story will end up being bigger than Rathergate. Makes sense, what with all the dead bodies and all.

And something tells me this one is going to be bigger than Rather. There was something goofy and absurd about the whole CBS memo mess – their ludicrous claim of Burkett as an ‘unimpeachable source,’ the tale of memos passed at a rodeo, Rather’s stubborn insistence that 1972 typewriters could perfectly match Microsoft Word default settings.

This latest journalistic train wreck is just ugly. Dead Afghans, calls for jihad, threats of more violence, Islamists rejecting the Newsweek retraction… This can still get worse, and there will be no laughs in this one.

Still, Jay Tea at Wizbang thinks that some people are overreacting by blaming Newsweek for the deaths.

As noted below and elsewhere, there is a lot of heat going around right now about Newsweek and its erroneous story about a Koran being flushed down a toilet at Guantanamo. And while I agree with a lot of it, I have to argue against the most severe sanctions people are proposing against Newsweek -- in particular, lawsuits for the deaths of those killed in the ensuing riots.

The purpose of such lawsuits is to hold people liable for reasonable and predictable reactions to their actions, and I don't think the riots and deaths fall into that category.

I willingly grant the "predictable" element, but I draw the line at "reasonable." The use of that is to justify the unjustifiable. The riots were a completely irrational and wrong response, and Newsweek should not be held responsible for what a bunch of religious, West-hating whackos do. Those lunatics are simply atrocities waiting to happen, and anything -- anything -- can be the trigger. One might as well find the woman who rejected Ted Bundy and blame her for all the women he subsequently murdered.

But it should be realized that the riots weren't just "predictable", they were intended. If the woman who rejected Ted Bundy was purposefully manipulating him to commit murder, she would bear some responsibility. The thing about responsibility is that by putting some blame on Newsweek we don't have to lessen the blame we put on the rioters -- it isn't a zero-sum game.

HE!D!, a female American veteran, mocks the Muslims for being so thin-skinned.

The BBC is reporting that the Americans are at it again - mercilessly torturing the “innocent detainees” of Guantanamo Bay. Even despite the panty-waist PC strictures placed on interrogations, the evil Americans have found a way to subvert the law and *gasp* horribly scar the gentle souls of the Muslim prisoners!!!
Pakistani officials say they are “deeply dismayed” over reports that the Koran was desecrated at the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay.

The latest edition of the American Newsweek magazine said such tactics were used to rattle suspects.

“Rattle the suspects”? Wow - I bet crucial information just started POURING out of them once they were “rattled”! Who could possibly withstand such powerful interrogation techniques?!

Sounds right to me. I'm about to go riot right now because of those burning flags; I can hardly contain myself.

Update:
Hey Glenn, thanks for quoting Clayton Cramer's piece starting immediately after the sentence where he links to me.

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» Newsweek Gets Swarmed from Myopic Zeal

Drudge has picked up on the story that was the buzz of the blogosphere over the weekend. Click here for full Myopic Zeal coverage of Newsweek’s culpability in the protest deaths. And Danny Carlton over at JackLewis.net has a different look at ... Read More

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