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February 13, 2005
Live-Blogging Reliable Sources

Howard Kurtz has a round-table on Eason's Fables on right now, and he has David Gergen, Bill Press, and Jeff Jarvis on to discuss the issue. I wasn't going to comment until it was over, but it's so ridiculous I have to live-blog it.

10:37 - Bill Press says that if General Mattis made similar remarks, no one would have cared. Is he out of his mind?

10:39 - Jeff Jarvis hotly disputes the notion that the blogosphere is a lynch mob. All we are, he said, are citizen journalists demanding the truth.

10:41 - Now they're talking about the Gannon/Guckert non-story. I note that Jeff tried to bring up Jordan's "history", but he got cut off by Howard Kurtz. I don't know if Jeff meant the other statements in 2004 and 2002 or his admission of selling out to Saddam in 2003.

10:45 - Kurtz cuts this short so they can fit in another discussion of "Deep Throat"? Now, that's breaking news!

(Note: Now that the main discussion is over, I will back the TiVo up and try to get exact quotes.)

3 minutes, DG: "He made a mistake, I did not think he deserved to lose his job over it. Look, a little context is important. He'd just come back from Baghdad, 16th trip. We were on the eve of elections there, he was extremely tense, because he thought a CNN journalist as well as other journalists were in grave danger there, and he was -- he praised US troops for protecting CNN journalists and others, but he said this was a place where we lost 63 journalists on all sides, and journalists on all sides are being -- are getting killed, often carelessly, and he used the word 'targeting'. He certainly left the impression that US troops were targeting journalists on the other side, al-Jazeera for example, just as insurgents were clearly targeting American journalists..."

Okay, this differs again from what Gergen told Michelle Malkin and Kurtz himself earlier, at least in the details. Now Gergen has Jordan praising the US for protecting CNN's reporters while only assassinating al-Jazeera reporters. It still amounts to the same charge -- that American soldiers deliberately killed civilians in combat knowing they were journalists, regardless of where they worked.

4 minutes, HK: "... Most news organizations didn't touch it. In fact, as far as I know, this is the first time it's being discussed CNN, which I think is a mistake, given Jordan's importance and all the airtime devoted to Dan Rather's problems --"

JJ: "Amen."

Exactly what we meant when we complained about the media blackout, although our ire focused more on Kurtz' role at the Washington Post. No one really expected CNN to cover the controversy, although it would have been nice to see that kind of independence by the network. Our main issue dealt with the same silence from ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and so on.

HK: "How did this reach critical mass?"

JJ: "Witness the news judgment of the people versus the news judgment of the big guys [a tad dramatic, Jeff? ;-)]. Really, the bloggers didn't want his head -- most of us didn't -- we wanted the truth. We want to see that transcript from Davos."

This whole notion of wanting Jordan's head or not wanting Jordan's head is ridiculous. Jarvis is correct that we wanted the truth about Davos, but we also already knew the truth about Portugal in November 2004 and the accusations against the Israeli military in October 2002, all made at journalistic conventions overseas, and none of them ever substantiated. We demanded transparency from CNN instead of obfuscation, and we demanded that their executives exercise objective news judgement instead of selling out America and its ally in order to curry favor with CNN's target markets of the same kleptocracies and tyrannies that support our enemies.

If Jordan had any evidence of these accusations being true, he should have had CNN raising the issues here, so that we could investigate them properly. His lack of effort to do so strongly indicates that Jordan told his fables to boost circulation and not out of any altruistic notions of protecting reporters or serving the truth. If he wanted to serve truth, all he needed to do was to call for the release of the videotape.

10 minutes, DG: "In this case, I have to say, Jeff, while there were bloggers who were simply getting at the truth, I think there was also a quality of vigilante justice building up among some of the bloggers who wanted his head."

JJ: "There were two issues with those bloggers. One was CNN's history with covering this war and the military in general, and the second was Jordan's own history here. And yes, there were some who don't like him and nothing would make them like him. But I wrote about this on my blog as a media story -- because it is. [Kurtz tries interrupting.] And I think the New York Times is embarassed about it because they didn't write about it beforehand."

That bolded portion was as close as anyone ever came to discussing Jordan's history of making similar allegations, with no substantiation, prior to Davos, which I have documented on my blog. Instead of focusing on the supposed vigilantism of the blogosphere, it would have been nice to see these supposedly professional journalists actually review all of the facts of the Eason Jordan case and provide the complete context for the controversy.

In other words, Kurtz has Kurtzed yet again.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 13, 2005 10:36 AM

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Tracked on February 13, 2005 7:15 PM

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