Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Isikoff causing people to die? Just a blip.

Politics: This is usually where the professional race groups come in to denounce the indifference expressed by that person. It reads like you standard apology followed by a moment of truth. But still blaming the Pentagon for his screwup shows something about his character.

NEW YORK - One of the two Newsweek journalists behind the retracted article alleging that U.S. interrogators desecrated the Quran at Guantanamo Bay said he dropped the ball by not properly corroborating his anonymous source. Michael Isikoff, addressing the furor in an interview broadcast Monday night on "The Charlie Rose Show," said he regretted the possibility that his article, which has been blamed for violent protests in Muslim countries, may have spurred riots. "It was terrible what happened," he told Rose. "Even if it was just a little bit that we contributed to the violence that went on over there, that was awful, terrible." He said that the reporters had provided the article in full to a senior Defense Department official. The official asked for a change of wording on a separate issue, but said nothing about the details concerning the Quran. He and co-author, John Barry had provided his article for review as a precaution, he said, but had erred by not getting positive corroboration on each point in the article by the Pentagon official. Isikoff said that he thought the error had harmed the magazine. "I think it has clearly done some temporary damage," he said. "It's thrown us off our game for a little bit," he said. "I think this will end up being a blip."

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