The Corner

Pots and Kettles

Much is written about the New York Times’s increasing lack of journalistic standards and fairness. But to my mind, Newsweek is as culpable. Take the recent expose “That Night at Duke” that in workmanlike fashion reconstructs the frame-up of the lacrosse players.

The problem here is that one of the worst culprits of last year’s rush-to-judgment lynch mob was Newsweek itself in its May 1, 2006 headline cover story “Sex, Lies, and Duke” with photos of the falsely accused splashed across the cover. Most saw that lurid spread, as Newsweek well knew they would, without reading the story inside, and came away with the images of these young men as rapists or worse. There was no need for the pictures of the accused on the cover, especially when the story inside did not substantiate the lurid attention given them.

Now we have the Newsweek self-righteous story of Imus’s deserved fall by Weston Kosova that details the bully’s serial obnoxiousness. But of course, Newsweek’s top reporters were frequent guests, as noted in the story, who calculated that the publicity gained for their current books was worth ignoring the Imus racial banter. And as bad as Imus’s racist recklessness was, no one so far has died–unlike the consequences of riot and rampage from Newsweek’s bogus accusation that guards had flushed a Koran down a Guantanamo Bay cell toilet. That lie appeared in the hip “Periscope” section, a fluffy feature that is now the journalistic equivalent of the shock-jock tossed asides.

We don’t expect Newsweek apologies, but it never seems to stop and reexamine its methodology, instead always confident that as it barrels ahead recklessly it can always, issues later, look back at the damage it does, and matter-of-factly note that Newsweek once wrote a story or published an account in the past…, as the reader is left to conclude that it shouldn’t have.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Kat Timpf Chased Out of Brooklyn Bar

Fox News personality and National Review contributor Kat Timpf was forced to leave a bar in Brooklyn over the weekend after a woman she had never met became enraged upon learning she worked in conservative media. Timpf, who has twice previously been harassed while socializing in New York City, first described ... Read More
Film & TV

The Dan Crenshaw Moment

Given the spirit of our times, things could have gone so differently. On November 3, when Saturday Night Live comic Pete Davidson mocked Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw’s eye patch, saying he looked like a “hit man in a porno movie” — then adding, “I know he lost his eye in war or whatever” — it was a ... Read More
U.S.

The Present American Revolution

The revolution of 1776 sought to turn a colony of Great Britain into a new independent republic based on constitutionally protected freedom. It succeeded with the creation of the United States. The failed revolution of 1861, by a slave-owning South declaring its independence from the Union, sought to bifurcate ... Read More
Elections

Florida’s Shame, and Ours

Conspiracy theories are bad for civic life. So are conspiracies. I wonder if there is one mentally normal adult walking these fruited plains -- even the most craven, abject, brain-dead partisan Democrat -- who believes that what has been going on in Broward County, Fla., is anything other than a brazen ... Read More