DEFENDING NEWSWEEK….Greg Palast specializes in over-the-top reporting. But sometimes that’s the only way to state the obvious, so go read what he has to say about the Newsweek affair in his latest column.

I’m annoyed at Newsweek for knuckling under to the Pentagon over its Koran desecration piece, I’m annoyed at the reflexive press bashers for piling on even though Newsweek’s reporters did nothing that every other reporter in Washington hasn’t done a dozen times before, and I’m annoyed at my fellow liberals, who have been tepid in defense of Newsweek because the piece in question was written by Michael Isikoff, against whom we are all expected to hold a lifetime grudge because of his treatment of Bill Clinton.

It’s time to grow up. If we want a vigorous press, that means going after thinly sourced stories. It means occasionally making mistakes. And it means sometimes our side takes it in the shorts too. That’s life. But it’s a helluva lot better than the alternative.