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 media can’t just cover up the truth and expect to get away with it — and journalists can’t just toss around allegations without substantiation and expect people to believe them anymore.
I’ll post more later.
UPDATE: I want to thank everyone who sent me e-mails and comments congratulating me and the many other bloggers who helped bring the truth to light about Eason Jordan. Bloggers like La Shawn Barber and the entire gang at Easongate, Slublog, Dinocrat, and all the others that I know I’m forgetting, as well as journalists like the incredibly courageous and intrepid Michelle Malkin, Jim Geraghty, and Roderick Boyd made all the difference in bringing accountability to the mainstream media. More importantly than that, they gave justice to our fine young men and women serving America and the cause of liberty and freedom in Iraq and around the world. Never forget that they were the target of Eason Jordan’s lies and slanders.
Even to the end, Eason Jordan couldn’t be honest about the entire incident:
“While my CNN colleagues and my friends in the U.S. military know me well enough to know I have never stated, believed, or suspected that U.S. military forces intended to kill people they knew to be journalists, my comments on this subject in a World Economic Forum panel discussion were not as clear as they should have been.”
Jordan never addressed his comments in Lisbon last November, where the Guardian quoted him saying this:
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.
Jordan’s track record, extensively detailed in my CNN category, shows that his performance at Davos was no fluke or simple misstatement. Jordan has a long track record of unsubstantiated allegations of atrocities by the US military (and Israel’s) that only became an issue after the blogosphere finally caught up to it. His dishonesty reflects the increasing awareness of CNN as a seriously flawed news organization.
Why resign now? I believe that CNN saw the issue gaining momentum, not losing it, as many members of Congress called for an answer and the release of the videotape. CNN’s executives must have pressed Jordan for a clearer answer or to produce the videotape. After all, Eason Jordan sat on the World Economic Forum’s board, and presumably his request for its release would get serious attention. When Jordan failed to get it or even ask for it, I think CNN saw the writing on the wall.
Some of you asked where I was and why I hadn’t yet blogged it. Well, ironically I was attending a live Hugh Hewitt event in Burnsville when we found out about the resignation. Hugh had me on the air earlier in the show to talk about Eason’s Fables, and I went on briefly again for a reaction. Needless to say, the audience erupted in delight and disbelief, and Hugh told them to watch the news coverage of Jordan’s resignation. The man who probably was the most responsible for the blogswarm of Eason’s Fables pointed out that the networks, which had yet to address the issue, now needed to report the resignation of the head of a news organization for a scandal they never reported to their viewers.
How credible will their audience find them after that?
CNN isn’t the only organization damaged by Eason’s Fables. Unlike Memogate, most major news outlets ignored this story for two weeks while it gathered steam in the blogosphere and finally broke out through the punditry. The MSM may have taken a mortal blow, and the age of limited information availability has died along with it.
And thank you, my readers, for all of your encouragement and assistance. I always say that CQ isn’t one blogger but a community, and a blogger without readers is a diarist. I think we all can take some justified satisfaction with our small part in changing the world tonight.