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Last Updated: Monday, 16 May 2005, 20:54 GMT 21:54 UK
Blogging Newsweek's nightmare
By Kevin Anderson
BBC News website

Man burns a US flag
Newsweek's report has triggered riots in the Muslim world
A blogswarm - or tens of thousands of blog posts - has broken out as conservative bloggers level their anger at the MSM, the mainstream media.

Blogs for Bush wrote: "Spread the word - send this linked article to everyone you know; if you run a blog, link it and report on it. Don't let our near-treasonous MSM betray our brave men and women in Iraq."

Much of the opinion by conservative bloggers in the US has been: "Newsweek lied. People died."

They seem to be levelling their rage at the magazine and not necessarily at the reporters who originally wrote the report.

"It will be a cold day in hell before I pick up another copy of your miserable publication," wrote blogger Tammy Swofford.

'Form of combat'

And bloggers are angry that they are derided for lacking journalistic standards by the same media that makes mistakes like this.

Don't like reality? Make up a new one!

"This is also still further proof that the notion that "professional" journalists have greater fact-checking or "checks and balances" than responsible bloggers is nonsense," wrote Dean Esmay on his Dean's World blog.

But some left-wing bloggers see this as another attempt to discredit the media entirely for political purposes.

"The people driving the attack on Newsweek," wrote the blogger at the Poorman.net, "are the same people who drove the attack on Rather," CBS's former news anchor. They "hate the free press".

"They view journalism as a form of combat, quite literally, in which you must fight to establish an ideologically and politically useful narrative, and in this a free press is at best useless, and likely actively in league with the enemy," the blogger added.

And one of the most well known left-leaning bloggers, Atrios, saw the Newsweek controversy as a classic move by White House political operative Karl Rove.

He predicted that the right would try to "drag" Michael Isikoff, Newsweek's investigative reporter, "down".

"But you recognise this pattern, right? It's the fabulous Karl Rove poison the messenger approach to news. Don't like reality? Make up a new one!" Atrios wrote.

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