Monday, May 16, 2005

News Weak

The (previously) respected news magazine Newsweek has had to resort to the same emergency tactic as so many dim-witted internet message board patrons who find themselves the target outnumbered by opposition.

After running an article that BLEW THE LID OFF!!! the desecration of the Koran by US interrogators at Guantanamo Bay (and the predictably bloody, devastating protest that followed), Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker has done what I like to call the Clumsy Retraction Escape Maneuver, or CREM. This is a sudden reversal of previous contentions, borne of the pressure put on by angry masses. Take, for example, this instance of the CREM being used on a Tekken 5 discussion board:

KazamaFaLife03: I think Dead or Alive is better than Tekken because it has more interactive environments.

trueking: ummm you are stupid. how could you like a game like DOA, which has no depth and so many balance issues. DOA is broke.

00redfalcone00: trueking is right. Tekken is much more balanced. Therefor you phail.

mitsuyoshi: OMGWTF you just like DOA for the BOOOOOBS! ur a boob noob!!!!!!!!111 get a girlfriend

KazamaFaLife03: Couldn't you tell I was just kidding? Some people need to learn what sarcasm is o_O

supahFINE1: pwned.

As you can see, the user called KazamaFaLife03 decided to do a CREM, suddenly pretending that his original post had been sarcastic in order to save face with his fellow netizens. Newsweek has apparently seen fit to use a similar strategy to curb the wrath of the Muslim world. Unfortunately for Newsweek, this strategy never works.

Now Newsweek finds itself in the catch-22 of being seen as both unreliable (because it has admitted to printing supposedly erroneous material) and untrustworthy (because it has suddenly done a CREM, which most observers can recognize as complete baloney). Their emergency about-face doesn't fool the people (myself included) who find the idea of US interrogators putting a Koran in the toilet totally plausible and probable...on top of that, it makes them look like idiots.

I think supahFINE1 said it best: "pwned."

May 20, 2005 Addendum: Some people misunderstood the title "News Weak" as an attack on the magazine's integrity. While most of the actual article was an attack on Newsweek's integrity in this particular case, the title was meant more as a condemnation of the news magazine for allowing itself to be bullied by Washington (which obviously seeks to divert scrutiny away from itself on the highly believeable concept of the Koran in a Guantanamo Bay latrine). My initial beef with Newsweek was that it instigated violent riots with its irresponsible reporting...but since there's no "good" way to report a story like this...and since reporting a story like this is always better than burying it...and since it would be equally irresponsible to believe that world Muslims' anger really stems from the actions of Newsweek...yeah.

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