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Ed Driscoll

More Problems At Newsweek

May 22nd, 2005 - 10:40 am

NewsweekFlagTrash-2-2-05Via InstaPundit, we find overseas editions of Newsweek putting the American flag into a garbage can on its cover. (Glenn Reynolds wryly observes, “And yet they’re complaining about Koran-in-the-toilet reports.”)

That Newsweek’s international editions make the domestic edition of Newsweek look as patriotic as National Review or Fox News is reminiscent of something that Fox’s Roger Ailes once said about how CNNi differs from the version of CNN we watch (well, based on the ratings, don’t watch) in the US. We wrote in early February, just as the Eason Jordan scandal was coming to a boil:

Incidentally, back in December, Roger Ailes told Brian Lamb that as bad as the main CNN cable channel can be, CNNi, their international feed, which Jordan helped to launch, is much worse–almost Al Jazeera worse. Of course, that’s also good for business:

Well, the best way to get distribution around the world is to be the BBC or Al Jazeera or CNNi, basically do — if you watch it day in and day out, you can’t find a whole lot good about America. Now, they have no obligation to do good stories about America, but they do have an obligation to have balance and context. And Al Jazeera simply doesn’t. BBC doesn’t. And CNNi is less offensive, but they don’t do it much, either. And I think that context is critically important to the news.

I guess I’m still naive about just how bad the problem is inside the mainstream media: I still find it hard to believe that as bad as the domestic version of Newsweek can be, its international version can be worse.

But it certainly sounds like a pattern with big media, doesn’t it?

The next time the press–or Hollywood–asks, “Why do they hate us?”, it might want to take a good hard look in the mirror.

Update: Ed Morrissey looks at a recent non-apology apology from Newsweek’s domestic edition for its discredited Koran-in-a-toilet story.

Another Update: Why yes, indeed it is clobbering time.

One More Update: Welcome InstaPundit readers!

Incidentally, that Newsweek cover may be even worse than it initially appears. A reader of Little Green Footballs translates the text on the Newsweek cover to read:

The red text at the left just above the “Newsweek” logo says:“America forsaken.”

The big white and yellow text says:

“The Day America Died — The ideal of ‘freedom’ falls to the ground due to Bush continuing in office.”

(Emphasis mine.) If that’s an accurate translation, then all I can say is, what a staggering headline on a publication owned by the Washington Post. Foreign editions of American magazines are generally edited independently of their US counterparts. But I’d like to think that it’s a somewhat safe assumption that a headline that bold on the cover would at least run be past the home office for approval–and if it wasn’t, that raises all sorts of additional questions, doesn’t it?

In any case, it’s awfully tough to maintain a veneer of objectivity when writing cover stories like that–of course, several individual members of the mainstream media started peeling back that veneer shortly after 9/11 and the rise of Weblogs. And as Glenn writes:

many American journalistic enterprises engage in more America-bashing abroad than at home. I suspect that the Internet will make that much harder, as people are starting to pay attention, and to compare this stuff.

Note that it wasn’t a household-name blog that broke this story–but it’s been quickly picked up by InstaPundit and Little Green Footballs–and probably numerous other bigtime blogs by the time the dust settles. It’s the Long Tail in action, yet again.

More: Here’s what that cover would look like if the text was in English. Really packs a wallop–but not the one that Newsweek intended–when it’s spelled out, huh?

And welcome Michelle Malkin readers.

Update (5/24/05): Newsweek hits bottom, continues to dig.

NewsweekFlagTrash-2-2-05

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