Tuesday, May 17

Dance, dance, dance to that funky, donkey beat

The Newsweek retraction is a severe disappointment for a myriad of reasons, the most obvious one being that the Koran-flushing has been reported at least 8 times in the past 3 years. Still, no one really knows if it did or didn't happen, but it seems the Pentagon isn't really concerned with finding out. The folks over at Think Progress provided this quote from Pentagon spokesperson L. DiRita :

DIRITA: We’ve found nothing that would substantiate anything that you just said about the treatment of a Koran. We have, other than what we’ve seen – that it’s possible detainees themselves have done with pages of the Koran. And I don’t want to overstate that, either, because it’s based on log entries that have to be corroborated..

Nothing's better than the they-did-it-first-defense. In other news, Drudge has one of his exclusives up right now, which is pretty much a partial transcript of Scotty McClelland's press briefing today. Upon my return from the National Conference on Media Reform this weekend, it's nice to see some reporters growing a pair:

Q With respect, who made you the editor of Newsweek? Do you think it's appropriate for you, at that podium, speaking with the authority of the President of the United States, to tell an American magazine what they should print? MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not telling them. I'm saying that we would encourage them to help -- Q You're pressuring them. MR. McCLELLAN: No, I'm saying that we would encourage them -- Q It's not pressure? MR. McCLELLAN: Look, this report caused serious damage to the image of the United States abroad. And Newsweek has said that they got it wrong. I think Newsweek recognizes the responsibility they have. We appreciate the step that they took by retracting the story. Now we would encourage them to move forward and do all that they can to help repair the damage that has been done by this report. And that's all I'm saying. But, no, you're absolutely right, it's not my position to get into telling people what they can and cannot report.... Q Are you asking them to write a story about how great the American military is; is that what you're saying here? MR. McCLELLAN: Elisabeth, let me finish my sentence. Our military -- Q You've already said what you're -- I know what -- how it ends.

Nice job, Elisabeth, whoever you are. I guess we'll just have to wait and see if this goes anywhere, or if it'll get replayed on The SPAN anytime soon. John Conyers had a few things to say regarding that very same briefing, and the letter he sent Scotty will soon be in the hands of the entire Washington Press Corps. Is "the movement" growing at a rapid pace, or am I just starry-eyed from the reform conference? (Beers with John Connolly and a certain, unnamed mea culpa'd truthseeker + my shared emo-moment with Phil Donahue + a run in with Jim Gilliam are just a few of the highlights...) Anyhow, I'm beat, so I'll just leave you with this final thought from my favorite giant:

"Most Americans want Guantanamo, they want these people to be there, and in another society, things would be different because [sic] we would have executed these people." -Bill O'Reilly 5.17.05

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