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February 12, 2005
The LA Times Finally Covers Eason's Fables

The readers of the Los Angeles Times finally got informed of Eason's Fables this morning, only after the two weeks of outrage in the blogosphere and later in the mass-media punditry forced him to resign. I wonder what LA Times readers thought when they read this:

Eason Jordan, CNN's chief news executive, who led much of the network's war coverage, resigned late Friday in the wake of contentious comments he recently made about journalists killed by U.S. troops in Iraq.

During a Jan. 27 panel discussion in Davos, Switzerland, Jordan alleged that some reporters and cameramen killed in the combat zones had, in fact, been targeted, according to some observers in the audience. The World Economic Forum, which sponsored the panel discussion, has declined to release the transcript or videotape of the off-the-record session, which was titled "Will Democracy Survive the Media?"

In a statement Jordan sent to his staff Friday, the CNN executive vice president cited "conflicting accounts" over his recent remarks as a threat to the news organization's credibility. In resigning, Jordan said he sought "to prevent CNN from being further tarnished by the controversy."

The announcement comes after a week when commentators and newspaper editorial writers joined the chorus of complaints among Internet bloggers that Jordan had made insupportable accusations.

Ned Martel never delves any deeper into the story than that, only covering what we all knew more than ten days ago. Martel never mentions, for instance, that Eason Jordan sits on the World Economic Forum board and could have pressured the WEF to release that videotape. Martel makes Jordan look like a victim of the WEF instead. Martel even notes further that "the furor grew beyond the reported mild gasps at the Davos session into a wider media discussion," in an attempt to make it sound like Jordan got caught up by mob hysteria.

I'm sure Patterico will be all over this story, and he should. Martel probably signals what the mainstream media spin will be on Eason's Fables -- poorly researched articles that deliver the minimum of details in an attempt to cast Jordan as a victim of blogger bloodlust. They're hoping that while they mention blogsites like Roger L. Simon and Easongate, their readers will remain too stupid to actually go check them out.

Unfortunately for the LA Times, that kind of thinking has proven disastrous. Jordan's resignation from CNN shows the Times' readers that their newspaper hid a huge scandal from them, and they will want to know why. They may wind up disagreeing about the extent of the issue, but they won't escape the conclusion that the LA Times participated in a conspiracy to cover up for Eason Jordan and CNN until the very last minute. And then they'll realize that Jordan's abrupt resignation and the ostensible reason for it -- to salvage a reputation on which no media outlet had done any damage -- makes no sense unless Jordan knew his whole defense was a sham, and one that was about to collapse.

The LA Times has learned nothing from Eason's Fables or Memogate. The mainstream media is in the process of a long, slow suicide, and while they may blame the blogs, the they are the true culprits.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 12, 2005 7:29 AM

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