Despite claims that General Richard Myers did NOT tie Muslim protests in Afghanistan and other countries to the Newsweek Koran story, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday that the magazine inflamed the situation, provoked violence, and threatened the lives of U.S. civilian and military personnel. “It’s not helpful when you have inaccurate reporting that incites people to violence,” he stated. Accuracy in Media editor Cliff Kincaid urged the media to report Gen. Myer’s remarks so that the record is set straight on Newsweek’s role in the bloody riots.
The Washington Post’s media reporter Howard Kurtz claimed that Myers had quoted his commander in Afghanistan as saying the riots were not tied to Newsweek. In fact, Myers said that his commander, Gen. Karl Eikenberry, had described the violence in one Afghan city, Jalalabad, as “not necessarily” tied to the newsweekly.
Gen. Myers said yesterday that this was Gen. Eikenberry’s “initial thought” because some protests had been planned in advance. But the violence spread to 10 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces and other Muslim countries, as demonstrators and activists openly cited the Newsweek article in their denunciations of the U.S.
Gen. Myers said that the “inaccurate reporting” was “not helpful in that part of the world” when U.S. civilian and military personnel are “trying to help people have a better life.”
“The effort by Kurtz and others to get the magazine off the hook for its role in the violence does not stand up to scrutiny,” Kincaid said. “Newsweek is guilty as charged. The White House is right to insist that the magazine do more than apologize.”
Accuracy In Media (AIM) is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage.