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February 2, 2005
My Rebuttal To Eason Jordan

Dear Mr. Jordan,

While I appreciate your response, I find it singularly inadequate. Just in terms of the one incident in Davos, your characterization of the debate fails to match with the two independent sources we have already seen. The first source, Forumblog, tells us that your forum was videotaped. Where is the transcript? Why don't you simply produce that, or a videotape on CNN, with the portion of your statement? Surely CNN has the resources to track the tape down. The fact that your own news service fails to make that information available causes me to discount your characterization.

Unfortunately, even had I been inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt about Davos, you have a clear pattern of speaking abroad to audiences inclined towards anti-Western sentiment and making unsubstantiated charges against the US and Israel. You also need to explain your statements in the following venues:

November 2004 - You asserted that US military forces illegally detained 10 or more journalists and subjected them to torture. You said that you based this allegation on reports you'd seen which you believe to be true. Why didn't CNN publish these reports? Where are they now? Which journalists were tortured, and by whom? It's been almost four months since you made these charges, Mr. Jordan, and we have seen nothing from CNN.

October 2002 - You claimed that Israeli forces had a policy of targeting journalists, alleging that they had deliberately shot a CNN reporter as a result:

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.

The only CNN journalist wounded in that region was Ben Wedeman, who got shot when he wandered into a crossfire. Your own producer, Bruce Conover, told CNN that no one could tell who shot him, as the bullets and mortars were flying in from all directions. Again, you provided no specifics, no names, and no substantiation whatsoever for the notion that the IDF deliberately targets journalists. Again, you made these statements in a foreign country where your remarks were likely to get less scrutiny in the US and approbation from the people who dislike America and Americans. And I note, once again, that CNN never reported on any special program to target journalists in combat zones, despite your allegations. We can only conclude from this that your rhetoric was immature, irresponsible, and completely unsubstantiated -- again.

Until you can account for the Davos transcript so that we can all see the context of your remarks and explain your prevarications in the above two egregious examples of slander, then you have no credibility and neither does the news organization which takes its orders from you. Your position as the head of a major news organization and as a journalist requires you to be responsible for your words and actions. You have proven yourself to be inadequate to that task and disrespectful of the truth, and as such, you should resign immediately. As long as you remain in charge of CNN, nothing they report will have any credibility.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 2, 2005 9:41 PM

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