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.” I have a call in to Sen. Dodd’s office and sent an e-mail inquiry to Gergen.
I asked Rep. Frank again if his recollection was that Jordan initially maintained that the military had a deliberate policy of targeting journalists. Rep. Frank affirmed that, noting that Jordan subsequently backed away orally and in e-mail that it was official policy, but “left open the question” of whether there were individual cases in which American troops targeted journalists.
After the panel was over and he returned to the U.S., Rep. Frank said he called Jordan and expressed willingness to pursue specific cases if there was any credible evidence that any American troops targeted journalists. “Give me specifics,” Rep. Frank said he told Jordan.
Rep. Frank has not yet heard back yet from Jordan.

Neither have we, Congressman Frank. Kudos to you for speaking out. Can the media ignore Barney Frank — and will Barney Frank let them?

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 individuals– perhaps because they were mistaken for insurgents, we don’t know. However the distinction he was seeking to make is that being shot by a sniper, or fired at directly is very different from being, for example, accidentally killed by an explosion.
Some in the audience, and Barney Frank on the panel, took him to mean US troops had deliberately set out to kill journalists. That is not what he meant or, in my view, said; and he clarified his comment a number of times to ensure people did not misunderstand him. However, they seem to have done so.

As I replied to Jay after his e-mail alerting me to this post, it’s good to get people who attended the conference on the record so we can determine what was said, in absence of the videotape and/or a transcript. Sambrook is, as far as I know, only the third such person to speak up. His recollection contradicts that of Rony Arbovitz and Rebecca MacKinnon, the latter of which spoke against her interests in confirming the thrust of Jordan’s remarks as reported by Arbovitz. Does that mean Sambrook is wrong, or lying? No, but it does put him in the minority of those speaking out, an admittedly very small pool of the witnesses. One would think that Rep. Barney Frank or Sen. Chris Dodd would have defended Jordan by this time, had his remarks more accurately reflected Sambrook’s recollection than those of Arbovitz and MacKinnon, however.
Not only that, but the singular focus on Davos ignores a track record by Jordan that tends to support Arbovitz and MacKinnon. In November 2004, remember, he told a News Xchange forum in Portugal that the US military captured and tortured journalists, again without any substantiation:

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.

Let’s also recall that CNN has never reported on this allegation, a strange development for a news agency whose chief executive alleges crimes which would constitute a blockbuster story. Jordan, apparently, saves up accusations about the US military for his overseas audiences. He does the same thing with accusations against the Israeli military, too, as I noted earlier.
Taken in full context, it’s hard to see how Jordan’s claims that the US military “targeted” journalists does not imply deliberation and purposeful action, rather than mistaken identity. In the first place, mistaken identity qualifies as collateral damage, the term to which Jordan objected, which Jordan should know full well. Second, if the US did kill journalists with rifle or explosive fire, it’s almost beyond doubt that the victims were “targeted” in the generic sense, as the Army and Marines don’t usually hit what they don’t aim at. To claim that Jordan just meant that Marines and soldiers were damned fine marksman is laughable.
However, at least Sambrook spoke up, something so many others appear loathe to do. Sambrook has plenty more to say, so be sure to read Jay’s full post and decide for yourselves. For my part, Jordan has many more answers to provide outside of his Davos commentary, and nothing I’ve seen so far even begins to explain any of it.

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 Record” managed to avoid recording anything on this story. The Los Angeles Times provides nothing on its West Coast pages.
What about CNN’s competitors? MS-NBC gives us a goose egg. Ditto for CBS News, although that may well be a case of professional courtesy. ABC News gives Eason a pass. Even Fox carries nothing on the controversy.
Here we have the man running a major news organization who has accused the US military, on at least two separate occasions in the last three months, of atrocities specifically aimed at journalists — and the news media remains completely silent about it? Does that make any sense to you, other than a deliberate media blackout? Hell, even Eason Jordan responded, if completely inadequately — doesn’t that make the newspaper or the web sites?
The MSM has circled the wagons. Don’t let them get away with it.
UPDATE: Fox did have one mention on this from Monday night, when Brit Hume included it in The Grapevine, his blog, after apparently mentioning it on air. However, Fox has not mentioned it since, nor has it picked up on the pattern of Eason Jordan’s allegations. I’m not sure why they decided to just drop it, but it looks like they have.
UPDATE II, 2:57 PM CT: Still nothing on all of the broadcast web sites. The newspapers won’t have anything until tonight at the earliest, if they cover it at all.
UPDATE III and BUMP, 11:00 PM CT: None of the links to searches on the MSM sites still come up with any stories containing Eason Jordan and Davos in them. I suggest that we link to these searches every day and ask the mainstream news media why we find nothing on allegations by Eason Jordan of the American military torturing and murdering journalists.
UPDATE IV: Welcome, Lucianne readers! Good to have you on board.
UPDATE V, 2/4 12:25 PM CT: Every single search listed above still comes back empty. Every single major media outlet has ignored this story. How much longer can they hold out?
UPDATE VI, 2/4 16:48 CT: Still nothing on from searches on all sites linked above. The American media outlets don’t seem to care about allegations of assassination plots against their own employees. Does that tell you anything about Eason Jordan’s credibility amongst his peers?
UPDATE VII, 20:40 PM: Nothing but silence on all fronts …
UPDATE VIII, 2/5 07:45 AM: Still not a word from these leading lights of the media.
UPDATE IX, 22:30: The media blackout continues. Let the blogs continue to demand an explanation of Eason’s Fables, as well as the MSM’s protection of Jordan and his slanders.
UPDATE X, 2/7 06:39: Still nothing on any of the search engines. They continue to ignore the story … and us. We should be expanding our demands past CNN to all news agencies now, asking for answers for the dearth of honest reporting on Eason Jordan.

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 with these sites as well.
We need to keep the pressure on CNN and the mainstream media to take responsibility for their biases and their editorial decisions on coverage. Jordan has created yet another excuse for anti-American sentiment and slandered our men and women fighting overseas — stuffing money in his pocket off the blood of our soldiers and Marines while denigrating them. I can’t think of anything more disgusting. After you read through the material presented here and on other sites, I’m sure you will agree.
UPDATE: A new blog has been launched — Easongate promises to stay on top of all developments on the story. Be sure to check it out.
UPDATE II: Dread Pundit Bluto also has been working on Eason’s Fables, but has run afoul of Blogger’s inability to support trackback pings.

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.
Jordan’s words matter because CNN is, in the eyes of much of the world, the “voice of America.” If its news chief is reporting fabrications to global leaders at elite summits, it’s another blow to media credibility at home, and to the United States’ reputation abroad.
Officially, CNN says, “Mr. Jordan emphatically does not believe that the U.S. military intended to kill journalists and believes these accidents to be cases of ‘mistaken identity.'”
Nice try, but that’s not what he said in Davos, according to multiple news accounts, including one from a former CNN reporter who was there.

Three cheers for the Press-Enterprise, which shows that it pays attention to the blogosphere. Its readers in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties get to be well-informed; I wonder why other customers served by larger media outlets won’t get that opportunity. I also wonder how the Los Angeles Times, which publishes in that area, feels about getting scooped by a regional broadsheet. The editorial notes this obliquely, commenting at the end that if CNN wants to continue billing itself as “the world’s most respected news network,” it needs to replace the slanderer who runs it.
The editorial requires a free registration, a minimal hurdle to support a newspaper that listens to its readership and actually reports the news. (hat tip: Richard H. and Free Republic)

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 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 caught in a crossfire and no one could tell who shot him.
My question — why isn’t the American media covering Eason Jordan’s accusations? If they are true, surely this would be a blockbuster story. If they are false, then the head of a major American news organization is spreading lies overseas about our military, contributing to anti-American sentiment. That calls into question CNN’s credibility, even more so since Jordan has already admitted to slanting the news in the past to curry favor with Saddam Hussein.
Not one news organization has covered this story, except for a brief mention by Brit Hume. Why?

I would encourage people to write their own questions — if you cut and paste this, they’ll consider it spam — but submit something on Eason’s Fables. Even if they screen the questions out, the Post will understand just how many of their readers have become disgusted by this media blackout. At some point, the silence will become unsustainable, and the last ones to cover the story will lose credibility along with CNN.
Keep the pressure on — it’s only a matter of days now.

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 …

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 either particularly helpful or all that damaging. Most of the reports I’ve read today have only quoted the first paragraph, while the second gives some important missing context. I don’t think that Mattis materially damaged our war efforts by playing into a stereotype of American bloodlust that foreigners have of our soldiers, because those who believe that will do so whether a Marine general makes undisciplined remarks or not. The notion that the sky has fallen, as some media pundits declared today, is nothing more than concealed glee at having their own deepest suspicions about the US military supposedly confirmed. More on that in a minute.
Frankly, I don’t want my military leadership to get all weepy about killing people who want to kill me. I’d rather they just stay serious about doing unto them before they do unto me. However, generals know that they also perform public service, and making comments like this in a public forum shows some poor judgment and/or rhetorical discipline. I think a personal reprimand with an apology should suffice.
My point in covering this isn’t to weigh in on Mattis for what I think amounts to a tempest in a teapot. I’m posting this to note that the news organization covering this story is none other than CNN, which apparently considers an off-hand comment by a Marine general about his job satisfaction to be extremely newsworthy. CNN, you recall, is run by Eason Jordan, and not coincidentally they consider Jordan’s comments about how Mattis and the entire US military chain of command target journalists for assassination and torture to have no news value whatsover.
Nor is CNN alone. Look at the news agencies that have covered the Mattis remarks:

NBC San Diego
San Diego Union-Tribune
Washington Post
New York Times
Los Angeles Times
Fox News
Now, other than one brief mention on Fox, how many of these same outlets are covering the continuing series of allegations by Eason Jordan that their own employees have been targeted for death or torture by the US military? None. Zero. Nada.
Which of the statements cause the most problems for Americans — the one that has a Marine general taking great satisfaction in killing the enemy, or the one that has the executive of a major news organization making unsubstantiated and repeated allegations of atrocities by the military against reporters?
Now ask yourself why every major news organization bleated Mattis’ statements all over the airwaves, if they truly cared about the reception they would get overseas by the millions Mattis and others like him set free through killing the enemy. Does it make sense that the media would replay the clip over and over again if that was the issue, or does it make more sense that the intemperate remarks gave the MSM an opportunity to damage our military’s reputation?
And given that Eason Jordan tried to do much the same thing … does the difference in coverage make a lot more sense and give an indication of the bias in our mainstream media?
You bet it does. (Inspired by Hugh’s post.)

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.