CNN Archives

February 1, 2005

Did Eason Jordan Accuse US Military Of Assassinating Journalists?

Forumblog, the blog dedicated to covering the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, reported last Friday that CNN chief Eason Jordan accused the US military of targeting journalists for assassination, and succeeding in twelve cases (via Hugh Hewitt): During one of the discussions about the number of journalists killed in the Iraq War, Eason Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by US troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted. He repeated the assertion a few times, which seemed to win favor in parts of the audience (the anti-US crowd) and cause great strain on others. Due to the nature of the forum, I was able to directly challenge Eason, asking if he had any objective and clear evidence to backup these claims, because if what he said was true, it would make Abu Ghraib look like a walk in...

Eason Jordan: An Echo In 2002?

CQ reader and commenter Fluff 'n Stuff did a little research on the Eason Jordan accusations of deliberate assassinations of journalists by the American military, and he found this interview of Jordan by Transnational Broadcast Studies in the spring of 2002. TBS is a publication of the American University in Cairo, where Jordan talked about the difficulties of covering the news around the world and being a global broadcaster instead of an American news service. The last question that TBS Managing Editor Sarah Sullivan asks Jordan about the technical difficulties of covering the war in Southwest Asia, but Jordan drifts off into strangely familiar territory (emphasis mine): Sullivan: Your coverage in Afghanistan, it's been reported, has been one of the most expensive and resource-intensive operations CNN has ever undertaken. Can you describe who you have there now, what kind of technologies are being used, and how you're even getting equipment...

February 2, 2005

Eason Jordan Should Know Better

CQ reader John J. passes along two interesting reports about Eason Jordan's personal connection to a journalist that actually was targeted and assassinated in the Middle East. The London Telegraph did a human-interest profile on the widow of Danny Pearl, whose capture and beheading by Islamists in Pakistan first showed the world the bigotry, inhumanity, and bloodthirsty nature of the Islamofascist thugs arrayed against the West. The Telegraph updated its readers on the renaissance of Marianne Pearl in October 2004: It was an extraordinary way to lose a husband - butchered in Pakistan by kidnappers who revelled in their own inhumanity, who filmed their deeds in order to heighten the shock to Western sensibilities. But Mariane is an extraordinary woman. Instead of curling into a shell, as she is convinced Daniel's assassins hoped she would, she has turned her life into a straightforward declaration of intent: "Terrorists may have destroyed...

Targeting A Consistent Theme For Eason Jordan

CQ reader and new blogger The Baron spent a few shillings out of his own pocket for a Nexis article on Eason Jordan research, and as we dig more and more into Jordan's public record, the more we find that Jordan seems obsessed with journalist-targeting. The Baron finds an article from USA Today by Marilyn Greene that ran on page 3 of their 10/5/93 edition. Greene wrote about the lack of reporters in strife-torn Mogadishu, and interviewed Jordan as well as the Toronto Star's Paul Watson. Watson accuses US troops of shooting at him, while Jordan excuses the lack of CNN correspondents in the region to journalist-targeting by combatants: When U.S. troops landed in Somalia, they were met on the beach by a horde of TV cameras and reporters. When U.S. helicopters were downed Sunday in Somalia, not a single U.S. reporter was in Mogadishu to record the event. In...

More Background On Jordan's Folly

I've done more Nexis searching myself and found more background on Eason Jordan and the journalist-targeting issue. To say that this may be Jordan's favorite talking point is an understatement; I'm beginning to believe that no one has written a major article on the subject without his input. This article comes from the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, published on March 1, 2004 as a straight news item as compared to his Media Notes column. Under the headline "For Reporters in Iraq, Security Gets Personal," Kurtz reported: There is a long tradition in the news business that journalists, like Red Cross workers, should be seen as unaligned observers with no weapons or agenda. That tradition is being sorely tested, journalists say, in Iraq, where insurgents routinely *target* Americans in shootings and bombings in an effort to undermine the occupying force. ... Safety is a constant topic of discussion. Several news organizations...

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...

CNN Reporter Targeted By Israelis? Hardly!

In October 2002, Eason Jordan claimed that the Israeli Defensive Forces had shot a CNN reporter as part of a deliberate strategy of targeting journalists covering the war in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (see post below). I did a little searching on Nexis again, confident that had CNN reporters taken fire in the line of duty, CNN would report it. I conducted a search for 'CNN reporter shot' (non-exclusive), and I got only five hits, all of which reported the same incident, which occurred on October 31, 2000. According to CNN's own coverage of the incident and their own eyewitness to the event, Eason Jordan lied about it during the October 2002 conference: DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Violence in the Middle East has been increasing over the past few days. The death toll is rising. At least, 151 people have been killed in the clashes, and today the...

Corroboration For Eason's Fables In Davos

Rebecca MacKinnon, a TV reporter as well as a blogger, somewhat reluctantly confirms the account given in Forumblog about Eason Jordan's remarks in Davos last week (hat tip TKS). MacKinnon writes in her blog, RConversations: I was in the room and Rony's account is consistent with what I heard. I was also contributing to the Forumblog, but to be honest, Jordan happens to be my former boss who promoted me and defended me in some rather sticky situations after my reporting angered the Chinese government. As CNN's "senior statesman" over the years, Eason has done some things I agreed with and other things I wondered about. But at least when it came to China, he was no apologist and defended my reports on human rights abuses and political dissent. Actually, I find Ms. MacKinnon's loyalties to both the truth and her former boss admirable. It's obvious that she thought carefully...

CNN Just Discovered Captain's Quarters

Hey, folks, guess what I just received in my e-mail? 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." I posted this earlier, as TKS had received it after sending CNN a complaint by e-mail. However, I never did send CNN an e-mail -- and this message was e-mailed to me specifically, with my address in the To: field. Do you think someone at...

Another Example Of Eason's Fables

In yet another example of how Eason Jordan tosses around accusations without much supporting evidence -- or any at all -- the Guardian (UK) covering the News Xchange Forum this past November reports on accusations of the torture of journalists by American forces (hat tip - Peter Cook): Eason Jordan, chief news executive at CNN, said there had been only a "limited amount of progress", despite repeated meetings between news organisations and the US authorities. "Actions speak louder than words. The reality is that at least 10 journalists have been killed by the US military, and according to reports I believe to be true journalists have been arrested and tortured by US forces," Mr Jordan told an audience of news executives at the News Xchange conference in Portugal. Once again, we go to CNN's own archives to find any report that mentions Jordan and the torture of reporters by any...

Eason Jordan Responds

Carol Platt Liebau has Eason Jordan's official response, which she got by working through mutual acquaintances. Jordan maintains that he never said that the US deliberately targeted journalists: "To be clear, I do not believe the U.S. military is trying to kill journalists in Iraq. I said so during the forum panel discussion. But, nonetheless, the U.S. military has killed several journalists in Iraq in cases of mistaken identity. The reason the word "targeted" came up at all is because I was responding to a comment by Congressman Franks, who said he believed the 63 journalists killed in Iraq were the victims of "collateral damage." Since three of my CNN colleagues and many other journalists have been killed on purpose in Iraq, I disputed the "collateral damage" statement, saying, unfortunately, many journalists -- not all -- killed in Iraq were indeed targeted. When someone aims a gun at someone and...

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:...

February 3, 2005

Hugh: Media Bias In The Silences

Hugh Hewitt has a new column out for the Weekly Standard on media bias. His thoughts have has special resonance today as we see the major American media outlets put the Cone of Silence over Eason's Fables, which plays a part in Hugh's column. Hugh reminds us that bias not only exists in what's reported, but also in what isn't: Even though attention will turn today to the president's speech to the exclusion of almost everything else, let me underline two recent media events which deserve more scrutiny than they have thus far received. The first is the genuinely scandalous assertion by CNN's Eason Jordan, made at the World Economic Forum, that the United States military has targeted and killed a dozen journalists. The account of Jordan's remarks -including his backpedaling and the crowd's reactions--is available at ForumBlog. Thus far no major media outlet has demanded an accounting of Jordan,...

February 4, 2005

Eason's Fables Makes The Washington Times Editorial Page

The Washington Times becomes the first major daily to take Eason Jordan's paranoid rantings to task since the Wall Street Journal initially reported Congressman Barney Frank's challenge to the CNN chief. The Times issues a measured reprimand to Jordan for his predilection for making unsubstantiated allegations about atrocities: At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, during a discussion on media and democracy, Mr. Jordan apparently told the audience that "he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by U.S. troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted," according to a report on the forum's Web site (www.forumblog.org). ... [I]t's an assertion Mr. Jordan has made before. In November, as reported in the London Guardian, Mr. Jordan said, "The reality is that at least 10 journalists have been killed by the U.S. military, and according to reports I believe to be true journalists have been...

Eason's Fables Meets Day By Day

... with the usual hilarious result. Be sure to check it out!...

More Of Eason's Fables Past

Peter Cook once again finds nuggets in Eason Jordan's past statements about the United States, CNN, and how Jordan has a real problem with misrepresentation. Jordan gave a speech in March 1999 to the Nieman Foundation, ironically titled "No Substitute for First-Rate Journalists." The speech gives quite a revealing look at Jordan's ability to prevaricate at ease to his audiences. For instance, here he speaks about CNN's coverage of Iraq as an adamantly independent operation, free of influence by either the Iraqi or US government (emphasis mine): CNN has had tremendous difficulties with the Iraqi government, a government that's accused me during my own trips to Baghdad of being a CIA station chief for Iraq. I feel lucky to have emerged alive from that. But it's very difficult working from Baghdad. It was during the war, and it continues to be today. Our view is, first of all, we will...

Rony Arbovitz Confirms Eason's Fables In Davos

Hugh Hewitt got to Forumblog's Rony Arbovitz before CNN could and publishes Rony's confirmation of exactly what Eason Jordan told the Davos forum. In an e-mail exchange, Arbovitz makes clear that Jordan intended on telling the forum participants that the supposed targeting of reporters by the US military was deliberate and with full knowledge of their identity: HH: Did Mr. Jordan make his "targeted" remark in response to a comment by Congressman Frank? RA: I believe that Congressman Frank was dragged into all of this after the fact. Mr. Jordan gave us all a monologue that evolved from his personal experiences in Iraq about this idea of U.S. soldiers targeting U.S. and foreign journalists. I first challenged Mr. Jordan, and then moderator David Gergen (of Harvard's JFK School of Government) brought Frank in as a member of the U.S. government to respond to claims that shocked all of us. I...

Hugh Hewitt Goes National With Eason's Fables

Hugh Hewitt has a notice on his blog that he will appear on the Chris Matthews show Sunday evening -- and he intends on making Eason's Fables part of the discussion. Be sure to tune in to CNBC at 6:30 PM CT. Hugh also alerts his readers that Chris Wallace at Fox things that Eason's Fables will make an excellent topic for his own Fox show at 4 pm CT Sunday, so tune in there as well. By Monday, the mainstream media may have Eason's Fables forced down their throats....

Eason's Fables Comes To Video Near You!

The blog Sisyphean Musings has contacted the head of media for the World Economic Forum at Davos, Mark Adams. Sisyphus got Adams to confirm Forumblog's testimony that videotape was taken of the forum where Eason Jordan spoke, and agree to send a copy to Sisyphus: First, big kudos to Mr. Adams for the quick response! Please pass the word that I'm working this with him so please do not flood him with requests. Second, he has confirmed that he has the video. He needs to make a copy. I have asked for it to be mailed to me by Wednesday next week. I'll update this post as more information becomes available. CNN has until Wednesday at the latest to come clean about Jordan. If they allow the blogosphere to get to the finish line first, they're toast. And not just CNN, either; the major media have all gone AWOL over...

A Tale Of Two Tales And Many Questions

General James Mattis, commander of Marine expeditions in Iraq, came under domestic fire this week for his blunt and controversial remarks about the joy of war. His intemperate remarks roiled a nation obsessed with political correctness and image projection, even as his men defended his leadership: "Actually it's quite fun to fight them, you know. It's a hell of a hoot," Mattis said, prompting laughter from some military members in the audience. "It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up there with you. I like brawling. "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis said. "You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them." I don't think that General Mattis' remarks about the delight he takes in killing the enemy are...

February 5, 2005

Another Crack In The Media Blackout For Eason's Fables

CQ reader Rodger M. tips me to some correspondence that he has had with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Jack Kelly, one of the few members of the mainstream media who pushes back against these blackouts. Rodger have me a preview of what Jack will have to say: The scandalous remarks of Eason Jordan, CNNs top news executive, last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (where Europes elite goes once a year to sneer at the United States), and the failure of the major media to report them suggest the distortions are deliberate. Jordan told a panel that the U.S. military had killed a dozen journalists in Iraq, and that they had been deliberately targeted. When challenged, Jordan could provide no evidence to support the charge, and subsequently lied about having made it, though the record shows he had made a similar charge a few months before, and also...

Hugh Launches Attack On Eason's Fables On CNBC

Hugh Hewitt appeared on Chris Matthews's weekend show this evening, and fortunately loyal CQ reader Vayapaso caught the broadcast. While the transcript hasn't yet been posted, Vayapaso summarized Hugh's appearance: He was great! When each participant had to give a prediction for next week, Hugh named the Eason Jordan story. He told them the facts; that it is a big story on the Internet and new media; that it broke through with the Washington Times on Friday and will break big time next week msm. Mathews was surprised and made a comment that I could not completely understand but the implication was that Hugh's prediction was the big one of the evening. The cracks continue to multiply ......

February 6, 2005

Cracking The Blackout On Your Own

Michelle Malkin and Mickey Kaus point out that the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz will host a live-chat event on Monday, noon ET, in which Kurtz takes questions from Internet readers and answers them on the fly. The questions themselves have to be submitted in advance by readers. Obviously, I'd want to ask this question: In at least two separate incidents (Jan 2005 - Davos and November 2004 - Portugal), CNN's Eason Jordan accused the US military of deliberately targeting journalists for assassination and torture. These have been documented at http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/. The sources for the Davos commentary are two eyewitnesses at the event, and the Portugal source is the Guardian (UK), which quotes Jordan directly. Jordan has also accused the Israeli military of deliberately targeting journalists and claims a CNN reporter, Ben Wedeman, was severely injured as a result, when CNN's own producer, an eyewitness, reported on air that Wedeman got...

One More Crack In The Dam

The Riverside Press-Enterprise, a newspaper with a conservative editorial policy serving the high-desert communities outside of Los Angeles, cracks the media blackout with the first MSM commentary devoted entirely to Eason's Fables. The editorial focuses entirely on the Davos commentary instead of the broader accusations made by Eason Jordan on multiple occasions, but it also takes apart the exceedingly inadequate attempt by CNN to spin Jordan's statement: CNN's chief news executive, Eason Jordan, said Jan. 27 on a world stage that "he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by U.S. troops, but they had in fact been targeted," according to Rony Abovitz of the World Economic Forum's weblog. Problem is, Jordan has provided no facts to substantiate this very serious charge. Now the claim, which Jordan floated at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is spreading through anti-American circles in Europe and the Middle East....

Eason's Fables Introduction

I'd like to welcome Instapundit readers, especially those who have just come here for the first time. If you have not had a chance to read about Eason Jordan and his serial slanders against the US and Israeli militaries, you can find all of my work on the subject in the CNN category. That will allow you to read all of my posts on one page; my earlier posts have gone to archive now. I appreciate Glenn's reference as "Eason Jordan central," but I'd like to include a couple of other bloggers in that description. La Shawn Barber has done a magnificent job in keeping up with the multitude of links around the blogosphere that have created the massive momentum that will eventually break the media blackout we've seen. Hugh Hewitt has done more to push the story into the laps of the MSM than anyone so far. Keep checking...

The Details That Destroy Eason's Fables

CQ reader Blanknoone decided to take Eason Jordan's Davos comments at face value and do some research to see if his accusations had any basis in fact. Bear in mind that I believe the issue with Jordan is not just his specific Davos comments but the repeated allegations of our military committing atrocities specifically targeting journalists, and his predilection for making those accusations in foreign settings where he can build his anti-American credentials while not facing any scrutiny for his lack of substantiation. However, Blanknoone's work in researching the issue through Reporters Sans Frontieres -- itself not exactly sympathetic to American military power -- is significant enough that I think CQ readers should read this as well. I'm posting the work verbatim, and of course my comments are open for anyone with further information that supports or contradicts Blanknoone's analysis. As this is quite lengthy, most of it will appear...

Continue reading "The Details That Destroy Eason's Fables" »

Cox & Forkum On Eason's Fables

Cox and Forkum not only have this great cartoon, but a good recap that links back to a number of blogs, including CQ. Make sure you check in with them tomorrow to see what else they'll produce!...

February 7, 2005

MSM Silence On Eason Jordan (Updates!)

The mainstream media has spent another news cycle ignoring the Eason Jordan scandal, where he has been discovered to have made repeated claims of atrocities deliberately committed by US troops against reporters. CNN felt that Eason's Fables could be so damaging that they took the unusual step of not only e-mailing a statement to those who e-mailed their complaints, but also to bloggers who posted on the story but never sent a complaint to CNN. (We believe they worked off of Hugh Hewitt's link list on the scandal.) However, despite the obvious concern at CNN, they still have posted nothing on the story, not even their own statement. The Washington Post, where Howard Kurtz was rumored to have been working on this story, likewise has nothing on its pages or website this morning, more than 36 hours after it achieved national prominence from broadcast and bloggers. Likewise, the "Paper of...

Another Voice From Davos Comments On Eason's Fables

Jay Rosen at Pressthink, one of the best media-related blogs, has done what the American media so far refuses to do with Eason's Fables -- act like a reporter and try to get the story. Jay tracked down the BBC's Richard Sambrook, who attended the Davos forum in question, and asked him what he remembered of Eason Jordan's remarks. Sambrook replies, in part: Eason's comments were a reaction to a statement that journalists killed in Iraq amounted to "collateral damage". His point was that many of these journalists (and indeed civilians) killed in Iraq were not accidental victims--as suggested by the terms "collateral damage"--but had been "targeted", for example by snipers. He clarified this comment to say he did not believe they were targeted because they were journalists, although there are others in the media community who do hold that view (personally, I don't). They had been deliberately killed as...

Malkin Gets Frank On Record On Eason's Fables

Michelle Malkin gets the scoop of the day by getting Rep. Barney Frank, the firebrand liberal with integrity to spare, to go on the record about Eason Jordan and his comments at the Davos forum: Rep. Frank said Eason Jordan did assert that there was deliberate targeting of journalists by the U.S. military. After Jordan made the statement, Rep. Frank said he immediately "expressed deep skepticism." Jordan backed off (slightly), Rep. Frank said, "explaining that he wasn't saying it was the policy of the American military to target journalists, but that there may have been individual cases where they were targeted by younger personnel who were not properly disciplined." Rep. Frank said he didn't pay attention to the audience reaction at the time of the panel, but recalled that Sen. Dodd was "somewhat disturbed" and "somewhat exercised" and that moderator David Gergen also said Jordan's assertions were "disturbing if true."...

Will Kurtz Talk About Eason's Fables?

Howard Kurtz is in the middle of conducting his hour-long Media Backtalk live chat session. I and a number of CQ readers submitted questions on Eason's Fables. Will Kurtz break the silence? So far (11:23 CT), he hasn't. UPDATE: 11:34 -- Still nothing. He's talking about the use of anonymous sources instead. UPDATE II: Kurtz apparently refused to answer our questions. He's not the independent voice I thought he was. However, I have it on good authority that a major-city broadsheet is working on an Eason's Fables story. I'll let you know more later. UPDATE III: Will Collier tells it like it is: Anybody here believe that Kurtz didn't receive a single question about Easongate today? I sure don't--I sent half a dozen of them myself. You're a coward, Howard. Your silence, your outright stonewalling in failing to even mention a developing story about one of your bosses isn't just...

Eason's Fables: Demand Congressional Hearings Now

We are now finding out that the source for the promised videotape of the Davos forum where Eason Jordan alleged that the US military targeted journalists for assassination may never be released. Sisyphus, who originally got WEF official Mark Adams to promise its release, now says that it may be against the rules for that particular forum: He warned me that the session WAS under "Chatham House Rule". This means that after finding the tape, he needs to get a policy decision about making it publicly available, as that would violate the Rule. I have arranged to speak with him again 5:00AM EST tomorrow to check if the tape has been unpacked and if there has been a policy decision. Rebecca MacKinnon has more to say about the rules at Davos: On and Off the Record Policy for AM 2005 All plenary sessions are fully on the record. All sessions...

Open Letter To My Congressional Representatives

This is the message I am sending to both Minnesota senators and my Congressional representative in response to Eason's Fables, urging public hearings into Eason Jordan's allegations. I encourage you to send something similar or even identical to your representatives as well. CNN executive Eason Jordan has on two occasions in the past four months accused the US military of targeting journalists for torture and murder. In a November 2004 News Xchange forum in Portugal, Mr. Jordan said the following (quoted by the British newspaper The Guardian): Eason Jordan, chief news executive at CNN, said there had been only a "limited amount of progress", despite repeated meetings between news organisations and the US authorities." "Actions speak louder than words. The reality is that at least 10 journalists have been killed by the US military, and according to reports I believe to be true journalists have been arrested and tortured by...

Malkin Gets Gergen On Record On Eason's Fables

Michelle Malkin scores coup #2 this afternoon with an interview of David Gergen, one of the forum moderators at Davos and the one who reportedly shut down the debate after Eason Jordan accused the US military of deliberately targeting journalists for assassination. Gergen verifies what Barney Frank, Rony Arbovitz, and Rebecca MacKinnon have already said about Jordan's comments: First, Gergen confirmed that Eason Jordan did in fact initially assert that journalists in Iraq had been targeted by military "on both sides." Gergen, who has known Jordan for some 20 years, told me Jordan "realized as soon as the words had left his mouth that he had gone too far" and "walked himself back." Gergen said as soon as he heard the assertion that journalists had been deliberately targeted, "I was startled. It's contrary to history, which is so far the other way. Our troops have gone out of their way...

Eason's Fables To Break Into Mainstream Media

I have it on good authority that New York Sun reporter Roderick Boyd will publish a story on Eason's Fables in tomorrow's edition. Keep your eye on the morning edition. Mickey Kaus also reports that Howard Kurtz's long-awaited piece on Eason's Fables will run tomorrow. Kurtz is none too pleased with Mickey's needling about CNN keeping Kurtz's gonads in a safe at an undisclosed Atlanta location -- but after that pathetic performance in today's Media Backtalk chat, Kurtz has it coming in spades. UPDATE: Rodger Morrow notes that another witness has come forward to back up Rony Arbovitz's account of Eason's Fables at Davos. The original was in French, but Mick Stockinger translated it to English: It must be said that Eason Jordan, one of the star journalists of CNN, didn't mince words in declaring that the intentions of journalist in Iraq were never perceived as neutral and were made...

Kurtz Sticks To Davos, Ignores Other Eason's Fables

The Washington Post article on Eason Jordan by Howard Kurtz is now available. In tomorrow's edition, Kurtz focuses narrowly on Jordan's comments in Davos, allowing him to couch the incident as a perception issue instead of the consistent theme in Eason Jordan's overseas remarks: What CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan said, or didn't say, in Davos, Switzerland, last month has become a burgeoning controversy among bloggers and media critics. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who attended the World Economic Forum panel at which Jordan spoke, recalled yesterday that Jordan said he knew of 12 journalists who were killed by coalition forces in Iraq. At first, said Frank, "it sounded like he was saying it was official military policy to take out journalists." But Jordan later "modified" his remarks to say some U.S. soldiers did this "maybe knowing they were killing journalists, out of anger. . . . He did say...

February 8, 2005

New York Sun On Eason's Fables: More Than Kurtz Can Do

Roderick Boyd writes on Eason's Fables in today's New York Sun and manages to scoop Howard Kurtz after working on the story only a few hours. In his report, Boyd discusses all three documented instances of Jordan's accuations agains the US and Israeli military forces and the corroboration of several witnesses at Davos of his latest outrages: The head of CNN's news division, Eason Jordan, ignited an Internet firestorm last week when he told a panel at a World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, Switzerland, that the American military had targeted journalists during operations in Iraq. Mr. Jordan, speaking in a panel discussion titled "Will Democracy Survive the Media?" said "he knew of about 12 journalists who had not only been killed by American troops, but had been targeted as a matter of policy," said Rep. Barney Frank, a Democrat of Massachusetts who was on the panel with Mr. Jordan....

No Video Will Be Forthcoming

Mark Adams at the World Economic Forum in Davos has now decided not to release the videotape of the conference in which Eason Jordan accused the US military of assassinating and torturing journalists. Adams claims that no one contacted him to urge him to keep the tape private. I find it interesting -- and highly telling -- that no one from CNN contacted him to ask for its release. Do you think CNN could have gotten the tape released? I sure do. Why do think they want it kept private?...

Eason's Fables Not An Isolated Incident For CNN

Slublog's Peter Cook, who has done some remarkable sleuthing on the Eason's Fables scandal, finds out that Eason Jordan isn't the only CNN executive that spreads rumors about deliberate targeting of journalists for death by US military forces. Chris Cramer, who Jordan hired away from the BBC as CNN International's managing director, gave this speech in November 2003 to the International News Safety Institute (INSI) meeting in Budapest. Towards the end of the speech, he recommends a particular book for the journalists, Dying to Tell the Story by Nik Grower: I want to commend to you the very sad, very traumatic and very important book which INSI has backed from the start. It’s a first of its kind. A detailed tribute to each and every one of our colleagues who died or went missing. Important contributions from the freelance community. From the security industry. From Nik Gowing on the worrying...

Eason's Fables -- As Told By Chris Cramer

CQ reader Ex-Democrat notes another incident of Chris Cramer echoing the allegations of his boss, Eason Jordan, in overseas settings. In a September 2004 interview with Businessworld India, Cramer spoke about the dangers that journalists face while covering conflict (emphases mine): But the profession is in trouble. Around the world, there is scepticism about journalists. Some even want them killed. This year more than 60 journalists have died in Iraq and we are just into August. Hilariously, Cramer in the very next excerpt describes exactly why CNN and the mainstream media is in so much trouble, while remaining clueless to the irony: There is no alchemy involved in accessing news. People can find it themselves. So what you offer them is your version. Plus, the Hutton Enquiry and some incidents in the US show bad journalism. So trust is down. Talk about foreshadowing; this comment came from Cramer in August...

IBD: Time For Jordan To Eason Down The Road, And Other Quick Links

Investor's Business Daily has an editorial in their issue tomorrow which calls for the firing of Eason Jordan, CNN's embattled chief. As the new blog Easongate notes, this appears to show that the momentum continues to build for a day of reckoning for Jordan, rather than the free pass he got after his 2003 admission of selling out to Saddam: Speaking last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jordan made an arresting charge. He claimed the U.S. military, while pacifying Iraq, had targeted both American and foreign journalists. ... That's when the bloggers stepped in, including some who were actually there. Then master blogger Hugh Hewitt took up the case. Soon the blogosphere was electric with outrage over Jordan's irresponsible charge. Now there's an easongate.com, tracking the scandal's every fact, every claim, every angle, and demanding CNN come clean. Why "scandal"? Jordan was spouting outrageous charges with...

February 9, 2005

Note To Jordan And Cramer: This Is What Targeting Journalists Looks Like

CNN executives Eason Jordan and Chris Cramer have repeatedly stated in overseas venues that the US and Israeli military have a policy of targeting journalists for death or torture. Today's news provides the two with a real example of assassination: Gunmen killed an Iraqi journalist working for a U.S.-funded television station and his son as they left their home Wednesday in the southern city of Basra, an Iraqi official said. Abdul Hussein al-Basri, correspondent of Al-Hurra, and his son were both killed in the Maqal area of Basra, 340 miles southeast of Baghdad, said Nazim al Moussawi, a spokesman for the local government administration. Launched in February 2004 Al-Hurra, or The Free, was tailored for Arab audiences to compete with other regional stations like Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya. Some Muslim clerics have denounced the TV station as propaganda. You might expect Jordan and Cramer to jump all over this story, especially...

Long History Of Hostility Towards Military By CNNi Executive

Chris Cramer, managing editor of CNN's International news division and a chief lieutenant of Eason Jordan, has made similar allegations about the military targeting journalists as his boss, as outlined here earlier and on Slublog. Alert CQ reader David D remembered Cramer from a famous hostage-rescue case in London in 1980, and pointed the way to other inflammatory comments Cramer made towards the men who rescued the hostages. On April 11, 1980, six armed Iranians opposed to the rule of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini invaded the Iranian embassy in London, taking everyone inside hostage for a six-day siege. Two of the hostages were BBC reporter Chris Cramer and his partner and soundman, Sim Harris: The hostages were mainly Iranian embassy staff, but also included a number of tourists and two BBC employees - journalist Chris Cramer and sound recordist Sim Harris - who had stopped by to pick up visas....

Nik Gowing, The Philosophical Guru Of Eason Jordan And Chris Cramer

The Baron did more investigating of Nik Gowing, whose book Dying To Tell The Story appears to have prompted Eason Jordan and Chris Cramer, executives at CNN, to issue multiple unsubstantiated allegations of deliberate targeting by US and Israeli militaries of journalists in war zones as policy. Baron found this sample from the book, a lengthy essay written by Gowing to summarize the arguments he presents. From the start, Gowing makes clear that he has no intention of using temperate rhetoric to make his case: There is a growing fear in our business that some governments especially the most militarily sophisticated like the US and Israel are sanctioning the active targeting of journalists in war zones in order to shut down what we are there to do to bear witness and report what they are doing. The fear is that an apparent culture of impunity by at...

Eason's Fables On Fox News (Updated!)

CQ reader Jim W informs me that Brit Hume spent five minutes on Fox's prime-time news broadcast covering Eason's Fables, bringing the subject up for the second night in a row. Hume had Mort Kondracke, Mara Liasson, and Charles Krauthammer batting Jordan around, and Jim reports the general gist of it: Kondracke, no sympathy -- opener and money quote -- "Jordan doesn't have tenure coverage like Churchill." Liasson, largely negative on Jordan Krauthammer demolishes Jordan Hume doesn't offer Jordan any way out Kondracke closes comments and accentuates the negative conclusion Jim: "All mentioned the Liberal records of Frank and Dodd, that they were extremely upset by the coments and that '...they don't lie.'" As soon as I see a transcript on this, I'll review it. Right now we're standing in for Hugh Hewitt's radio show, and we'll be touching on this again tonight! UPDATE: Johnny Dollar's Place has a transcript...

Scarborough: Eason Jordan Should Be Fired

Joe Scarborough weighed in on Eason's Fables for the first time on his blog after making it a featured topic on his show earlier. Scarborough calls for Eason Jordan to either name names and present the evidence for his allegations, or get fired by CNN: There is a cancer growing at CNN, and it's time it got cut out. It's time for the real deal. ... One of the top news executives in America spent his time before some of the most influential people on the planet telling them that American men and women deliberately targeted journalists for assassination. Democratic Congressman Barney Frank told Michelle Malkin that after Jordan made the statements, he was so troubled that he tried to get specific examples from Jordan. But Jordan refused to provide an ounce of proof to support his outrageous charge. I'm delighted to see Scarborough quote Michelle Malkin, who has led...

February 10, 2005

Townhall Outdoes WSJ On Eason's Fables

Unlike the Wall Street Journal, where an editor witnessed Eason Jordan's Davos commentary and waited two weeks to issue a dismissive report, Townhall remains on top of all developments in the Eason's Fables scandal. Today, Marvin Olasky contrasts the wan efforts of Bret Stephens by checking Lexis-Nexis instead of Google and discovering a strange imbalance in media response to journalistic scandal: In January and early February, four American journalists came under fire to various degrees, as indicated by the number of Lexis-Nexis mentions during the month beginning Jan. 8: Armstrong Williams, 1,133; Maggie Gallagher, 238; Michael McManus, 43; Eason Jordan, 12. ... Bloggers have reported the story extensively, often accusing Jordan of giving aid and comfort to terrorists and their appeasers. This is the type of story that's harder to cover than one in which dollars clearly change hands, but it may be a more subtle form of bribery. Fox...

Miami Herald Introduces Its Readers To Eason's Fables

The news about Eason Jordan's remarks at Davos continues to break into the mainstream news media, and not just in the op-ed sections to which it had been limited. Today, the Miami Herald covers the story in its TV section, explaining how bloggers can work in positive ways to bring news to light (via La Shawn Barber at Easongate): Abovitz's account of remarks he heard from Eason Jordan, CNN's chief news executive, during a panel discussion at an economic conference in Switzerland have not only rocketed around the Internet, but triggered fierce attacks on CNN from mainstream media critics. They've also touched off another major credibility crisis for television news, still reeling from the scandal over a botched preelection CBS report on President Bush's military service. And they've demonstrated the new power of the independent Internet diaries known as Web logs, or blogs. Jordan's remarks -- which he says were...

WSJ Several Days Late And A Few Bricks Short

Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal writes an odd little entry in the Eason's Fables sweepstakes that finally seems to have gathered some media interest. Stephens witnessed Jordan's commentary at Davos and confirms what Rony Arbovitz, Rebecca MacKinnon, and Justin Vaisse reported about Jordan's slanders. However, Stephens doesn't bother to name any of them and treats the entire issue as a tempest in a teapot: By chance, I was in the audience of the World Economic Forum's panel discussion where Mr. Jordan spoke. What happened was this: Mr. Jordan observed that of the 60-odd journalists killed in Iraq, 12 had been targeted and killed by coalition forces. He then offered a story of an unnamed Al-Jazeera journalist who had been "tortured for weeks" at Abu Ghraib, made to eat his shoes, and called "Al-Jazeera boy" by his American captors. Here Rep. Barney Frank, also a member of the panel,...

Eason Jordan's Flimsy Journalistic Ethics

Dread Pundit Bluto notes today that Eason Jordan's utter silence on the withheld videotape from the Davos forum not only strongly suggests that he has lied about his statements at the WEF forum, but that his journalistic ethics demonstrate a remarkable elasticity. In 2002, CNN aired excerpts of an Osama bin Laden interview conducted by al-Jazeera, which caused the Arabian broadcaster to threaten their partnership with CNN. Eason Jordan took the opportunity to school AJ on the niceties of journalistic practice: "It's a shame that it came to that," CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan said, "but once the tape came into our hands, it would have been journalistically irresponsible to ignore it." ... "I think Al-Jazeera has some tough questions to answer" as to why it never made the tape public, Jordan said. What a difference proximity makes! Now we have Eason Jordan on videotape, pontificating about journalist safety...

Conflict Of Interest At The WSJ

Bret Stephens, who wrote a Wall Street Journal piece on Eason Jordan that mildly criticized his "defamatory innuendo" but suggested that his critics were in the middle of a meltdown, may have his own ethical issues to face. Stephens failed to disclose his own connections to the World Economic Forum and his access through an affiliated, exclusive club when he wrote his critique on l'affaire Eason earlier, according to the Dinocrat: Bret Stephens apparently did not see the significance of Eason Jordans comments, which were merely a defamatory innuendo, served up by the lower classes ... Was he just a clueless reporter on the wrong beat? Hardly. Mr. Stephens says this in his WSJ piece: By chance, I was in the audience of the World Economic Forums panel discussion where Mr. Jordan spoke. Well, whether he was in that particular audience by chance is not the story. Stephens has a...

Gray Lady Kurtzes On Eason's Fables

The New York Times finally mentions Eason's Fables, although it appears only in a wire-service report that gives Times readers the Kurtz treatment. The AP reports on CNN's statement explaining that Eason Jordan feels misunderstood, although he accepts responsibility for the problem: Despite comments that may have left a different impression, CNN's chief news executive said Thursday that he does not believe the U.S. military intended to kill journalists in the Iraq war. ... CNN said that Jordan was responding to a comment made by another panelist that journalists killed in Iraq were collateral damage. He had intended to draw a distinction between reporters killed because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when a bomb fell, for example, and those killed because someone mistook them for the enemy, CNN spokeswoman Christa Robinson said on Thursday. However, Jordan did a poor job saying so, she...

February 11, 2005

Jay Rosen Continues His Critical Look At Eason's Fables

Jay Rosen continued to look into the media coverage and blog swarming on Eason's Fables in a post from last night, in which he debates the need for the level of attention the blogs have given the issue. Jay remains something of an EF agnostic, but he gathers an impressive collection of thought from both sides for his Pressthink blog. One point in which he links to CQ is the status of Bret Stephens in the story's timeline. Roddy Boyd gave Stephens credit for breaking the story in Boyd's piece for the New York Sun, but Jay disagrees: Bret Stephens put the news in an e-mail newsletter available by subscription from the Wall Street Journal, the Political Diary. It is not on the Web. The Sun reporter was incorrect: The Diary is not a blog. You cannot link to it. It comes to your IN box if you pay the...

Washington Times: CNN "Stonewalling"

In one of the most scathing editorials from a broadsheet on Eason's Fables so far, the Washington Times called CNN's silence on Eason Jordan's Davos commentary unacceptable. The Times calls for CNN to demand the release of the forum's videotape and stop stonewalling: There's also the unfortunate fact that Mr. Jordan has already changed his story. Initially, he said he was taken out of context. But when several accounts of his comments, including Mr. Frank's, suggested otherwise, Mr. Jordan said he hadn't been clear and that his subsequent retreat was in fact a clarification. As blogger Jim Geraghty has observed, these conflicting accounts suggest that someone here is being untruthful. Without a transcript of the discussion, it's a matter of "he said, she said." There is a video, however, which the World Economic Forum has refused to release. It's interesting to note, then, who's calling for the video's release: among...

The Moral Of Eason's Fables (Updated!)

CNN announced the resignation of Eason Jordan this evening as CNN's chief news executive, sending "shock waves" through the news organization as the blogosphere has imposed accountability on the mainstream media: CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan resigned Friday, saying the controversy over his remarks about the deaths of journalists in Iraq threatened to tarnish the network he helped build. Jordan conceded that his remarks at the January 27 World Economic Forum were "not as clear as they should have been." Several participants at the event said Jordan told the audience U.S. forces had deliberately targeted journalists -- a charge he denied. ... The resignation sent shock waves through CNN -- with Jordan long admired by his peers, from executives to the rank-and-file. Jordan joined CNN as an assistant assignment editor in 1982 and rose through the ranks to become CNN's chief news executive. The moral of the story: the...

Crossing The Jordan: What Comes Next After Eason Gets Eased Out?

Now that CNN has solved its Eason Jordan problem, at least for the moment, the next question we must ask is who takes his place. One of the candidates for Jordan's job, especially considering the importance of its international service, has to be Chris Cramer, currently president of CNN International. Jordan lured Cramer away from the BBC several years ago, and judging from Cramer's public statements, a shared revulsion of Western militaries formed part of the mutual attraction. Cramer may receive less scrutiny than Jordan, but his track record looks remarkably similar. Several instances appear in my CNN category. For instance, Cramer gave this speech to the International News Safety Institute in November 2003, recommending in emotional terms a book by Nik Gowing called Dying To Tell The Story, a book which alleges a deliberate policy of assassinating journalists by the US military as a means of removing accountability from...

Kurtz Still Doesn't Cover The Whole Story

Not even the resignation of Eason Jordan will deter Howard Kurtz from minimizing the importance of his Davos remarks and ignoring Jordan's earlier slanders altogether. Kurtz reacts to Jordan's exit with yet another "misunderstanding" over the Davos forum effort, this time enlisting David Gergen to carry his water (via Michelle Malkin and La Shawn Barber): Gergen said last night that Jordan's resignation was "really sad" since he had quickly backed off his original comments. "This is too high a price to pay for someone who has given so much of himself over 20 years. And he's brought down over a single mistake because people beat up on him in the blogosphere? They went after him because he is a symbol of a network seen as too liberal by some. They saw blood in the water." Note to Kurtz and Gergen -- please review these remarks, made by Eason Jordan last...

When We Know We've Changed The World

Chris Muir defines victory for the blogosphere: In the words of Michael Ledeen -- faster, please! And don't forget to read Day By Day every day -- Chris never has an off "Day"....

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...

Big Three Network Coverage Of Eason Jordan's Resignation (Cue Crickets)

More than fourteen hours after the resignation of CNN's chief news executive Eason Jordan for his unsubstantiated allegations of deliberate murder and torture against journalists by the US military, I decided to check if the Big Three broadcast networks had finally decided to cover the story. The result disappoints but does not surprise me at all. At MS-NBC, the only reporting of Jordan's resignation is provided by the same Associated Press report first published thirteen hours ago. MS-NBC does give the link a prominent spot on its home page, however, while at ABC a reader has to do a search to find another, later AP report by David Bauder. Both reports omit any mention of Jordan's earlier comments in Portugal in 2004, or the comments made about Israel in 2002, or even Jordan's own admission that he had sold out to Saddam, an admission made in 2003 only after Saddam...

February 13, 2005

CQ Correction: Jordan Not WEF Board Member

I received two e-mails this morning in response to my characterization of Eason Jordan as a board member of the World Economic Forum, from CQ readers Alan Speakman and Gerry Ashley. Both questioned the post after double-checking my sources and expressing support for my work, so I took that quite seriously -- and found out that I had indeed mixed up the bio provided by the World Economic Forum for Eason Jordan. Here's what the bio reads: Personal Profile: Studies in Journalism, Georgia State Univ. Formerly, Assignment Editor, WXIA-TV, Atlanta; Radio News Correspondent, WGIG and WSBI, Brunswick. 1982, joined CNN: Asst Assignment Editor, national desk and later international assignment desk helping oversee CNN's coverage of the Falklands War and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon; 1989, appointed to direct CNN's international news coverage; 1995 took on the added responsibility of overseeing the CNNI television network; 1995-1997, Exec. VP, Newsgathering and International...

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...

Howard Kurtz Continues Kurtzing Eason's Fables

As the harbinger of the mainstream media treatment of the Eason Jordan scandal, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz continues to wear blinders to the overall context of Jordan's slanderous accusations. In his review of three blogosphere-related oustings over the past week, Kurtz again reports on Eason's Fables only in the narrowest sense, ignoring the other similar incidents that infuriated the blogosphere: In the case of Jordan, a 23-year CNN veteran, it was a single online posting by technology executive Rony Abovitz, after Jordan's ill-fated comments at an off-the-record forum Jan. 27 in Davos, Switzerland, that led to his downfall. The lesson, say media analysts: In the digital age, anyone can be a journalist. After Jordan told the forum that the U.S. military had targeted journalists -- and then backed away from the charge, though to what degree is very much in dispute -- he granted an interview only to...

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...

WEF: The Tapes Will Never Be Released

A CQ reader, Bekarach, contacted the World Economic Forum's Mark Adams about releasing the Davos forum videotape of Eason Jordan. Adams, head of media at the WEF, responded that Jordan's resignation effectively closes the issue of releasing the video: Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 7:45 AM Subject: Re: Query - Will WEF release videotape/transcript Eason Jordan? Firstly, apologies for not getting back to you earlier - I rather unwisely took a holiday after Davos, so havent been in the office 100 percent. As you can appreciate we have to operate too under very strict rules regarding the Annual Meeting, and such a situation has never before arisen in 35 years of successful meetings at Davos. More than half of the sessions that take place at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos are 'workshops' and interactive sessions, as was the case for the session attended by Mr Jordan. All...

NYT: What Drove The Eason's Fables Blogswarm?

Yesterday afternoon, I spoke with New York Times reporter David Gallagher about the blogswarm surrounding the remarks made by Eason Jordan at the World Economic Forum in Davos. We spent the better part of an hour discussing the controversy itself and the blogosphere's reaction, and Gallagher asked some tough but fair questions about my response. The interview forms part of the NYT's look at the implications of the blogswarm coming out in tomorrow's edition: With the resignation Friday of a top news executive from CNN, bloggers have laid claim to a prominent media career for the second time in five months. In September, conservative bloggers exposed flaws in a report by Dan Rather; he subsequently announced that on March 9 he would step down as anchor of the "CBS Evening News." On Friday, after nearly two weeks of intensifying pressure on the Internet, Eason Jordan, the chief news executive at...

February 14, 2005

Michelle Malkin Takes On The Lynch-Mob Meme

Michelle Malkin, who is a CQ favorite as most of you know for many reasons, takes on the weekend's "lynch-mob" meme that the mainstream media is using for its Eason Jordan coverage. In today's New York Post, Michelle pulls no punches in telling the media elite that they have lost their monopoly on information, and that they fail to recognize real journalism when they see it: The resignation of CNN executive Eason Jordan last Friday night caused near-fainting spells in the journalism world. And now the backlash against the blogosphere the legions of Internet citizen journalists who pressured Jordan to come clean about controversial remarks he made at a World Economic Forum panel in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 27 has begun. Take Bertrand Pecquerie, director of the World Editors Forum, the organization for editors within the World Association of Newspapers, please. Mourning Jordan's decision to step down, Pecquerie...

The WSJ Disappoints (Update: More Conflicts?)

Normally, I read the OpinionJournal every day, although I rarely link to it; I agree with most of what they write and don't have much to add. Imagine my surprise, then, this morning when they not only clearly demonstrate that they learned nothing from the Eason Jordan debacle, but also attack the bloggers who participated in holding him accountable for his actions. In their unsigned editorial, the WSJ lashes out at CQ and the rest of the blogosphere for driving Jordan out of his job: By now, everyone on the Good Ship Earth knows that this particular story ended Friday with Mr. Jordan's abrupt resignation from CNN. This has certain pundits chirping delightedly. It has been a particular satisfaction to the right wing of the so-called "blogosphere," the community of writers on the Web that has pushed the Eason story relentlessly and sees it as the natural sequel to the...

Geraghty Points Out Portugal On PBS

Thanks to a phone tip I received from a family member, I found out that Jim Geraghty of the National Review's TKS blog appeared on Jim Lehrer's NewsHour on PBS. While an official transcript has not been made available, the new Google video service has this from the closed-captioning of NewsHour (emphasis mine): at 52 minutes Are there bloggers whose motivation is really to attract attention to themselvess? >> [Jim Geraghty:] Like I said there are a lot of bloggers out there. I wouldn't doubt that there are some who thought this is a great way to attention to get traffic to my blog. I can't buy into this argument that this is one slip of the Tongue. At a conference in Portugal last fall he said that several journalists were taken to the Abu ghraib prison complex and tortured there. If he's got this kind of evidence for these...

February 15, 2005

A Closer Look At Bret Stephens

After the revelation that Bret Stephens used the Wall Street Journal's unsigned-editorial slot to issue an institutional (and anonymous) defense of his own work yesterday -- one that raised a firestorm of opposition among OpinionJournal.com readers -- CQ reader Dianne sent me some background on Stephens that may explain some of the issues at the WSJ. Joel Leyden wrote a valediction for Stephens for the Israel News Agency on the announcement of his departure from the Jerusalem Post (emphases mine): I have also heard the adage: "don't kiss and tell" and my father once told me "don't ever bad mouth anyone you ever worked with." And we all know that cops don't rat on cops and journalists don't bash journalists. It's a standing rule for which I am now breaking. As a "disgruntled former employee" I can talk, my colleagues at the Post cannot - due to fear. Fear of...

Washington Times: Salivating Morons Trump Media Elites -- Again

The Washington Times runs two opinion pieces in today's edition on the media reaction to Eason's Fables and the bloggers who pushed the story to the surface. First, in its unsigned editorial, the Times scolds the Wall Street Journal for its reaction to bloggers and their role: Add "salivating morons" to the mainstream media's growing canon of stupid things to say about the ever-vigilant bloggers. Steve Lovelady, managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, the self-styled flagship of journalism, said this in the fallout of CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan's resignation on Friday: "The salivating morons who make up the lynch mob prevail." Add also, as loath as we are to do so, the Wall Street Journal's editorial comment from yesterday that professional journalism, of which it proclaims membership, is much better than "the enthusiasms and vendettas of amateurs." ... Throughout the "kerfuffle," we have attempted to keep our...

February 16, 2005

Brent Bozell Slams The "Lynch-Mob" Meme

L. Brent Bozell writes about the blogswarm surrounding Eason's Fables in today's National Ledger, and he slams Eason Jordan for his unprofessionalism and compares CNN to Richard Nixon's White House. Bozell also castigates the media that ignores the central facts up to the present day, and cites CQ and myself as an authority: If these charges were true, they would make Abu Ghraib's naked pyramids pale by comparison. But they were wild and reckless accusations, which explains Jordan's subsequent, furious backpedaling and denials. Still, it begs the question: Why would a man whose profession and expertise was "newsgathering" make such wild charges without evidence? ... But then Jordan and CNN added to the outrage by refusing any attempts to release a transcript or videotape of the off-the-record panel discussion. What a spectacle: a news outlet always championing the public's "right to know" and crusading for "full disclosure" clamping down like...

Democracy In Action Clueless About CNN's Operations?

I just received a hilarious e-mail from Danny Schechter at Democracy in Action, which wants to alert me to the vast conspiracy by Fox News to discredit CNN by attacking Eason Jordan. This mass e-mail has so many holes and fallacies in its arguments that it's hard to know where to begin -- but I'll just start at the top: Dear Media for Democracy Member, Er, no. Not that I mind seeing what they produce, but I'm not a member, nor have I subscribed to any of their services. CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan quit late last week amid a furor over remarks he allegedly made about American soldiers intentionally killing journalists in Iraq. Allegedly? Even Jordan admitted making the remarks; he just claimed that people in attendance misinterpreted them. Eight different witnesses verified Rony Arbovitz, including Rep. Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd, hardly members of the Vast...

February 17, 2005

Eason's Fable At The Weekly Standard

The Weekly Standard has published my column on the mass-media response to the Eason Jordan controversy, titled "Eason's Fable", on their Daily Standard website. Jonathan Last asked me to write a brief look at the media (non)reaction to the blogswarm that resulted in Jordan's resignation, and I wound up writing something on the order of War and Peace -- you've seen my posts, you know what I mean. Jonathan expertly trimmed it to readable length, and I'm quite grateful for his confidence in me and his editorial expertise. I've used my own notes to reconstruct the timeline of events showing the almost-total abdication of news organizations from the story and how Jordan's abrupt exit left them panicking for an explanation: FOR TWO WEEKS Eason Jordan has been engulfed in a blogswarm. During remarks at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the now-former CNN executive accused the U.S. military of deliberately...

February 18, 2005

Jack Kelly: Bloggers Aren't The McCarthyites In Eason's Fables

Jack Kelly wrote an impressive column three days ago for the Jewish World Review that I missed. He addressed the mass-media spin on Eason's Fables as a McCarthyite witch hunt perpetrated by a bunch of overzealous wannabes. Kelly points out that the real McCarthyite lost his job as a result of the journalism he once represented: Web loggers who criticized Jordan are "sons of Sen. McCarthy," said Bertrand Pecquerie, director of the World Editors Forum. "It is very worrying to see this marriage between self-proclaimed citizens' media and mainstream journalists' scalp hunters," he said. ... Pecquerie and Lovelady have their allegations of "McCarthyism" backward. Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis) became famous in the 1950s for making hysterical and (mostly) unfounded accusations that individuals in the State department and the Army were secret communists. It was Jordan who made hysterical and unfounded accusations against the U.S. military, and it is "mainstream" journalists...

February 26, 2005

CQ In The News

I received a few e-mails from CQ readers informing me that NBC Nightly News showed a couple of screen shots of my blog tonight. In a story called "Blog Power," Jonathan Alter notes that blogs have developed substantial power to change and shape the political and media environment. He pointed to three people who have lost their jobs due to blogs -- Trent Lott (showing Eschaton), Dan Rather (showing Power Line), and Eason Jordan, with Captain's Quarters in the background. If you're watching the news on the West Coast, you'll see this at 6 pm PT. If you've missed it like I did, you can watch the segment at The Political Teen, who captured it and now hosts the clip. (In fact, check out his entire blog.) It's not a bad segment, even if it contains the ubiquitous hands-typing-on-keyboard shot. Since they show my URL as the entry, I won't...

April 1, 2005

AJR Post-Mortem On Eason's Fables: Exempt Media Blew It

Tapscott's Copy Desk points readers to a new article in the American Journalism Review which combines an in-depth interview of Rony Arbovitz with an analysis of the firestorm he touched off at Davos by reporting the comments made by Eason Jordan to the blogosphere. Arbovitz fires his guns at the mainstream media that ignored the story far too long for mere coincidence: When Jordan dropped his bombshell, contending that 12 journalists had been targeted and killed by U.S. forces in Iraq, Abovitz felt compelled to challenge the CNN executive to back up the charges. "My reaction wasn't that he was lying; my reaction was that he was telling the truth," Abovitz recalls. "I thought what he was saying was going to be blown open wide by CNN in some major expos, that he was letting us in on some huge Abu Ghraib-type scandal, but much, much bigger." And so, Abovitz...