At best they didn't follow good journalism practices and let a very inflammatory and unsubstantiated statement from an anonymous source into print. At worse they deliberately incited riots and endangered U.S. personnel by printing a false statement. Regardless Newsweeks, response amounted to "Oops my bad".
The blogosphere polarized predictably. The Right feel that Newsweek should be held accountable and many accept the story as more leftist bias in the media. Michelle Malkin threw a liberal meme back at them in her piece "Newsweek Lied, People Died". I've seen the term "Swirliegate" but I cannot remember where. I'll update when I find the source.
On the Left, the feeling is that Newsweek was merely a catalyst for something that was building up. Liberal Avenger says
The Koran incident was a trigger for backlash against their 4th year of war and occupation by this particular foreign army (after years of virtually non-stop warfare and suffering at the hands of the Taliban, warlords, foreign Jihadists and the Red Army).
Again the liberal stance is the Americans deserved it because they oppress the Muslims. LA also took offense at Malkin's "Newsweek Lied" comment.
Republicans should be more careful about their new "Newsweek lied, People died" mantra. Mass death of Muslims (and American servicemen and women) as a result from verifiable and deliberate lies has been a hallmark of this Republican White House Administration.Quoth the moonbat.
I, of course, believe the Right. With all due respect, Liberal Avenger misses the point when it comes to Islam. They are nuts. You try to tell me that someone who is
willing to blow himself up to kill an infidel, or beat his wife/sister/daughter to death for Islamic honor would hesitate to club you to death over desecration his holy book?
To be honest, if you took my King James Bible and started flushing it down the toilet I would have an issue with you. It could become violent. The level of violence would be inversely proportional to your ability to pay the plumbing bill you were creating. The Word of God is written in my heart and settled forever in Heaven. Flushing a copy down the comode is not cause for violence. Besides, like every fundie worth his salt I have many copies of the Good Book. What I am saying, is Christians would not have rioted. But Muslim leaders all over the world have their collective shorts in a wad saying the U.S. should apologize if Qu'ran desecration is true. That is what happens when your faith depends on objects instead of God.