Jonah, I have to disagree with you a bit on the notion that Newsweek didn’t think it was a great story because it was in the Periscope section. The investigative hot shots regularly appear there since their bits and pieces of jazzy info might not warrant three or four pages (and if a weekly magazine thinks it has hot scoop, they’re quite worried it will be old news by the next weekend).
The first thing to be said about this Newsweek scandal is that just as in the Dan Rather case, the allegation of Koran-flushing seemed “too good to check.” This is where all the journalistic awards are won — finding America’s latest depredation. Nobody wins an award for uncovering Saddam’s bribery or cruelty. But American mistreatment of prisoners — that’s gold!
My colleague down the hall wonders how all the “Plamegate” fanatics will react now. Valerie Plame suffered no harm–you can still see her smiling in sunglasses in Vanity Fair. But firing up the fanatics here caused real harm. Joe Wilson’s Army better not try to whistle past this story.