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February 2, 2005
Jordan: Not Just The Americans

Eason Jordan appears to like spreading the slander around when it comes to accusations of assassination attempts by Western military forces. CQ reader and blogger Peter Cook found this forum transcript from News Xchange 2002, where Jordan makes the same accusations -- with the same lack of specifics -- against the Israelis:

NG: Eason, why do you think you've been targeted specifically, I mean there are Israeli bumper stickers that say 'CNN lies', the Israeli communications minister talked about CNN as being 'evil, biased and unbalanced' you'll be familiar with all these quotes?

EJ: Absolutely, well the Israeli government is making a mistake if it considers CNN the enemy, CNN is just trying to tell the story of Israel, the story of Palestinian areas in a straightforward way. We're not trying to favour one side over the other we're not going to pull any punches in our reporting but the truth hurts sometimes and it hurts both sides but it's a mistake to target the news media. We've had enormous frustrations in having access to occupied areas of the West Bank and Israeli forces on a number of occasions have shot at CNN personnel and in fact did shoot one CNN correspondent, he was badly wounded. The Israelis say they're actually trying to restrict our access to these areas and they say it's too dangerous for you to be there and my response to that is that it wouldn't be nearly as dangerous if you didn't shoot at us when we're clearly labelled as CNN crews and journalists. And so this must stop, this targeting of the news media both literally and figuratively must come to an end immediately.

Who got shot? When and where did this happen? Jordan doesn't say. Again, if CNN has evidence that the Israelis target journalists for assassination, why haven't they reported the story? And if they don't have any proof of Jordan's allegations, why does he toss them around so carelessly? Either Jordan is a raging paranoid or has political reasons for his allegations. Given his past, I'd lean more towards the latter.

Having a man at the top of a major news organization engaging in this kind of conduct destroys the credibility of the entire organization. Perhaps we in the blogosphere have been slow to check Eason Jordan, but we're conscious of the problem now and we will continue to push this story as long as the mainstream news media continues to ignore it. If Jordan has proof of these multiple accusations, let's see it. If not, Time Warner should fire him immediately.

UPDATE: CNN has released a statement via e-mail to those who have written in (hat tip: TKS):

Many blogs have taken Mr. Jordan's remarks out of context. Eason Jordan does not believe the U.S. military is trying to kill journalists. Mr. Jordan simply pointed out the facts: While the majority of journalists killed in Iraq have been slain at the hands of insurgents, the Pentagon has also noted that the U.S. military on occasion has killed people who turned out to be journalists. The Pentagon has apologized for those actions.

Mr. Jordan was responding to an assertion by Cong. Frank that all 63 journalist victims had been the result of "collateral damage."

First off, it's interesting to note that CNN responded to blogs here, not just readers or viewers. But it hardly answers the question of what actually was said. It sounds like Jordan disagreed with the notion that all 63 journalists were killed as a result of collateral damage. So what did Jordan claim as the cause?

Better yet, why did Eason Jordan accuse the Israelis of the exact same thing -- targeted assassinations -- without providing any specifics or evidence? This release means nothing except a quick attempt to avoid a blogswarm. Nice try, but no cigar, pals.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 2, 2005 11:02 AM

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