Newsweek recently published an article on how guards at Gitmo were flushing the Koran down the toilet. The source they used was anonymous and never verified. Over a dozen people were killed in rioting in Afganistan as a direct result of that article. Nothing Newsweek says now will ever recover those lives or undo the damage they did to the image of the United States abroad.
There is much speculation on if they did this out of malice. That the author, and Newsweek actually hate the USA. I think it is much worse.
I believe that they did it out of indifference and greed.
The media, whether it be USA Today, Fox News, 60 Minutes, CNN, or The New York Times are all VERY aware of the power and influence they wield. But they are in the news _business_. That business is to sell, news, even if they have to make it. Case in point is the Spanish-American War of 1898. Check out The Spanish-American War
Then there is the case of the Sino-Japanese War (the second one) where in 1938 Life Magazine published a touched up photo
in an attempt to spur American interest (I use "American" meaning USA, apologies to the Canadians, Mexicans, Brazilians, Argentinians, Peruvians, Chilaens, and so on) in the Sino-Japanese war abroad. A simple touched photo to inflame the US to take action.
Doom sells. War sells REALLY well. If strife can be concocted or national policy oriented so that strife is more likely, that suits them just fine. They will sell more papers, commercials, and magazines. I don't think the media wants the US to be demolished. They just want to make money. Sometimes they'll lie to do it.
... even if it means the unecessary death of a few Arabs.