Saturday, February 05, 2005

Eason Jordan Round Up

This is currently a huge story on the blogosphere and has yet to be covered by the mainstream media. To date, only a Washington Times op/ed piece has published anything related on the matter. (Captain Ed is monitoring any updates)

CNN Chief News Executive Eason Jordan, while at a panel discussion for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos Switzeland, stated that a number of journalists killed in Iraq had been targeted by the US military. Obviously these remarks drew a wide range of reactions from the international crowd and press. Rony Abovitz, the blogger who covered the event and initially reported on Jordan's comments challenged the remarks asking for proof. While Jordan backpeddled a little, he never withdrew his assertion and latter received support from a few members of the international press.

After Abovitz posted his take on Jordan's comments, the blogosphere erupted and individual bloggers took it upon themselves to get to the bottom of the story. Within a short time, bloggers reminded America of incriminatory remarks made by Jordan years ago where he admitted that CNN had chosen not to report the full story on Saddam's torturous regime so that they might maintain access to Baghdad. Even more suprising, Captain Ed found statements made by Jordan to the UK's Guardian, actually claiming that US Forces had "arrested and tortured" journalists. Bloggers also uncovered remarks made by another CNN exec who said that soldiers had deliberately targeted journalist for "seeking out the truth."

CNN, having wisely learned the lessons of the CBS scandal, decided to take the blogs seriously and in an effort to cover itself sent out a generic email to bloggers who had been critical of Jordan's remarks. At least one blogger was actually contacted over the phone. The whole point was that CNN was claiming that Jordan's comments had been taken out of context. In addition, Jordan emailed a published statement to Carol Liebau, claiming that when he said "targeted" he did not mean that that they were targeted because they were journalists, but that it was simply a case of mistaken identity. While Jordan's clarification sounds nice, it is suspect given his previous allegations against the US military, as Captain Ed demonstrates.

In an effort to clear up some of the confusion, Hugh Hewitt interviewed Abovitz to get his complete take on what Jordan said and meant. It is a damning conversation if Abovitz' interpretation is accurate. Whether they were taken out of context ultimately depends on when and if the video of the forum is made available. In the meantime, all we have are comments from Abovitz and one other reporter at the forum that have substantiated the bloggers' take on the story.

To me, the gravity of Jordan's accusations are immediatly apparent. Here is a top exec at CNN whose statements, whether taken out of context or not have likely fueled anti-American sentiment. If Jordan actually believes that US forces are targeting and killing journalists, shame on him for not investing the journalistic capital to uncover such a story. Even if Jordan believes no such thing, shame on him for making his point in such a vague, abstract manner so as to allow
those adverse to America to use his comments to further attack the US forces.


Post a Comment

<< Home