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February 13, 2005
Eason's New Fable: Martyrdom

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution takes its first look at Eason's Fables, and instead of actually investigating what the bloggers found out about Eason Jordan's pattern of attacking US and Israeli military forces, the AJC instead paints Jordan as the victim of a witch hunt. Matt Kempner paints a love note to Jordan on the eve of Valentine's Day and does a disservice to the AJC's readers by covering up the worst of Jordan's allegations (via Michelle Malkin, registration required for AJC article):

A quiet man who helped turn the upstart network into a power that could outhustle big broadcast news, he was undone by his own words and the aggressiveness of another upstart news venue: Internet blogs.

Pummeled online and more gradually on TV and in newspapers Jordan resigned Friday after a growing storm over comments he made about U.S. troops during a Jan. 27 panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Jordan was reported to have said that a dozen journalists who died in Iraq were targeted by the U.S. military. When participants challenged his comments, he quickly backpedaled, but apparently not nearly far enough or fast enough.

Bloggers pushed CNN to ask the World Economic Forum for a transcript of the discussion. The network did not do so, spokeswoman Christa Robinson said, because there's no dispute over what Jordan said and because he tried to clarify his comments.

CNN executives were concerned about his statements, though he was not threatened with firing, one said.

I suppose one could claim that no dispute exists about what Jordan said, as almost every witness to them says the same thing -- that Jordan said the US military deliberately targeted journalists in combat zones for assassination. The witnesses include Rep. Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd, two New England liberals who could hardly be accused of participating in a right-wing witch hunt, and six other people, including former CNN reporter Rebecca MacKinnon.

Kempner doesn't bother to interview them, nor did he appear to read the blogs that called for the complete disclosure of the Davos videotape. Had he done so, he would have found that Jordan had also accused the US military of torturing journalists (November 2004) and the Israeli military of deliberate assassinations (October 2002) at journalistic forums, all overseas and outside the reach of most American media. In the case of the latter, he claims that the Israelis shot a CNN reporter as a result of the policy. However, CNN has only reported on one such incident, the wounding of Ben Wedeman in October 2000, and CNN's own producer told CNN viewers that they wandered into a crossfire and no one could tell who shot Wedeman.

Most damning, at no time did CNN -- the network that Jordan ran -- ever produce any evidence of these allegations. If true, they should have been investigated and reported to the American public. If CNN wasn't prepared to do that, Jordan shouldn't have made these allegations, especially in foreign settings to curry favor with the most disgusting and blatant anti-American propaganda imaginable. It goes hand in hand with Jordan's earlier sell-out of CNN's coverage to mollify Saddam Hussein, something Jordan admitted on the pages of the New York Times immediately after the Americans liberated Baghdad from the brutal reign that CNN helped perpetuate. (Kempner does mention this in the article.)

If this is any indication, the mainstream media appears likely to hoist the dead reputation of Eason Jordan on its secular cross and march to war against the blogs as its answer to our calls for accountability. The more we see of the reaction from so-called journalists, the more they reveal themselves as partisans and provocateurs, and their attacks on bloggers as such -- the ones who actually researched and reported on the facts of Eason Jordan's career of slandering the military -- amount to nothing more than projection.

Note: I will e-mail this to Matt Kempner, and if he responds for the record, I'll let you know.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 13, 2005 8:36 AM

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Instapundit linked to Matt Kempner's article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. My email to Mr. Kempner follows: [Read More]

Tracked on February 13, 2005 2:58 PM

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