At least he feels bad about it

From Drudge:

NEWSWEEK’s top executives and editors are standing firm behind reporter Michael Isikoff after the magazine retracted his story that U.S. investigators found evidence interrogators at Guantanamo Bay desecrated the Quran.

“Mike was told he would not be sacrificed, we are standing behind him 100%,” a top magazine source told the DRUDGE REPORT. “We do not, I repeat, do not let this White House, any White House, make our staff decisions for us.”

The top NEWSWEEK executive claims an emotional Isikoff offered to resign from the magazine over the weekend, in a gesture to cool off the international situation. Isikoff’s Guantanamo article was blamed for inciting riots in the Muslim world, where at least 17 people were killed in the ensuing violence.

Of course, Newsweek executives will likely feel considerably different if the pressure starts coming from rioting Muslims. I have a feeling that they might sprain their ankles in a hurried rush to leap from their high horses.

Isikoff shouldn’t resign because of pressure from the White House. He should resign because his shoddy, albeit typically journalistic decision to print unsubstantiated rumors in an attempted political jab led directly to bloodshed around the world.

I find it interesting how journalists are quick to boast about how their careful fact-checking and editorial supervision sets them above the blogosphere, but every time they report a provable fiction as fact, all we hear is that mistakes are inevitable. And that comes only after several days – or sometimes weeks – of denying any possibility of error or falsehood.