May 22, 2005

NEWSWEEK puts the American flag in a trash can? And yet they're complaining about Koran-in-the-toilet reports.

I suspect that they're going to hear about this now. But there probably won't be, you know, riots or anything.

UPDATE: Ed Driscoll notes, correctly, that 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.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Brian Dunn has more thoughts.

MORE: Some readers wonder if it's a photoshop. Well, you're always right to acknowledge the possibility, but I doubt it. First, the blog it's on has been around a while. Second, I got this email from Hong Kong reader Mac Overton:

Yep, the American flag in the garbage can showed up here as well. They asked me to "resubscribe" a couple of months ago, but I've refused. I'm simply exhausted from all the negativity. I used to like Fareed Zakaria, but I've found him to be annoying, self-righteous, and downright unpleasant of late.
Funny enough, they still send me a copy of Newsweek every week even though I'm no longer paying for it. I wonder if there are enough others like me reading the International edition who are now simply "fed up." Yet, they continue to mail copies simply to keep up their "circulation" figures? Just another wild conspiracy theory in my little backyard....

A lot of newspapers seem to be doing that last, as I've noted before. Meanwhile, reader Jason Davis emails from Jakarta:

I'm an American living in Jakarta, Indonesia. On the whole Indonesia is a very friendly, moderate country where Muslims, Christians, and Hindus generally get along far better than news reports (from the left and right) would lead you to believe.

However, since the Newsweek story I have been worried for the first time since I've been here. The crazies now have an issue (true or not does not matter). I don't mind America having to answer for things we ACTUALLY did but this is ridiculous. What really worries us the additional stories that will come in effort to defend Newsweek.

We have receieved a large number of official warnings over the last week from our corporate security group and our working group's various embassies. [Warning emails from the Embassy and reports of Americans being stalked and harassed omitted.]

We are sitting here hoping the MSM in the U.S. will learn some small lesson from all of this and stop lobbing bomb shells our way. Stories like this are nothing more than toxic by product not very different from a 1930's factory belching smoke. Back then the factory operators ignored all the external effects of their actions in the name of profit. The factories eventually cleaned up their act, will the reporters?

We'll see.

And a note to the journalists: Davis's email is a reminder that "free enterprise" and "freedom of contract" once seemed just as sacrosanct as "freedom of the press" does today.