Just days after Newsweek “retracted” its Quran-flushing story, a top editor with the magazine seemingly backed away from its flat-out retraction, telling the U.S.-hostile al-Jazeera network that Newsweek was “neutral” on whether Americans had desecrated the Quran.
In a May 19 interview with the Arab TV network Al-Jazeera, Newsweek’s Washington bureau chief Daniel Klaidman admitted the magazine made a “mistake” in publishing the story, and promised: “In the future, we won’t make these kinds of mistakes.”…
The Memri transcript shows that Newsweek was cleverly telling millions of Arab viewers there story may still be true — they just did not have the evidence to support their original allegations.
The Al-Jazeera reporter asked Newsweek’s [Daniel] Klaidman, “But there is no proof that it [the Quran desecration] did not happen either.”
Klaidman replied, “We are neutral on whether any form of Quran desecration took place. There are allegations out there, but the allegations have not been subjected to the kind of scrutiny or legal processes that normally … you need before you can establish whether they are true, and we certainly know that the military has not confirmed any of these allegations.
“As to whether these things happened or not, we are, like the rest of the people out there and news organizations — we don’t know. We have heard the allegations, we continue to report, and the U.S. military and other entities are investigating, and as I said, we are neutral on whether any of this ever happened.”
Klaidman also said Newsweek is continuing to protect the identity of the anonymous source that provided the Quran desecration report, despite calls for the magazine to unmask the source.
Klaidman said: “We have to protect the anonymity of our source because we made an agreement of confidentiality with this person.”
But veteran newsman David Gergen of U.S. News & World Report told CNN, “There was an old rule in journalism that if an unnamed source lies to a news organization, that source loses his anonymity, by definition, because he misled people.”