Via Instapundit, Jeff Jarvis sums up what the Newsweek story should tell us:
This mistake cost people their lives, put the lives of our soldiers in the Mideast at risk, damaged the American position in the effort to defend itself and spread democracy, and damaged the already tattered reputation of journalism.
And to what end? … then why report it except to play one of two games:
Show-off — in which the journalist delights in knowing something no one else knows and wants to tell the world before everyone else does, even if it’s not assuredly true.
Gotcha — in which the reporter think he has exposed something somebody wanted to hide.
An incident such as this should force us to ask what the end result of journalism should be. Is it to expose anything we can expose? Is it to beat the other guy to tell you something you didn’t know?
Or is it to tell the truth?
And if you don’t know it to be true, is it reporting? If you rely on unnamed sources and unconfirmed reports, is it journalism?