Richard M. Smith, the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek Magazine has written a letter to readers of that magazine. Smith attempts to explain the events that led to the publication of a story on the American military flushing the Qur’an down the toilet. A story that turned out to be bogus, leading to rioting and deaths in the Middle East, and more discredited reporters in the U.S.
Smith promises to keep the use of anonymous sources to an absolute minimum. If Newsweek completely rid itself from using unnamed sources, it would certainly make for some light reading. The “table of contents” would look something like this:
Page 1: Cyber-scope
Page 2: Celebrity birthdays
Page 3: “The Last Word”: George Will
Newsweek had better not overdo it on getting rid of anonymous sources, or else it will be one magazine that actually will fit down the toilet.