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 November in the News Xchange forum in Portugal:

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.

They could also check out this quote about the Israeli military, from an Eason Jordan interview at the News Xchange forum in October 2002 (NG is Nik Gowing):

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 truth hurts sometimes and it hurts both sides but it’s a mistake to target the news media. We’ve had enormous frustrations in having access to occupied areas of the West Bank and Israeli forces on a number of occasions have shot at CNN personnel and in fact did shoot one CNN correspondent, he was badly wounded. The Israelis say they’re actually trying to restrict our access to these areas and they say it’s too dangerous for you to be there and my response to that is that it wouldn’t be nearly as dangerous if you didn’t shoot at us when we’re clearly labelled as CNN crews and journalists. And so this must stop, this targeting of the news media both literally and figuratively must come to an end immediately.

For Gergen and Kurtz to continue their deathgrip on the fallacy that Davos represents a single slip of the tongue on Jordan’s part only demonstrates either their complete inability to research the topic, or their complete disinclination to do so. Jordan has made several thinly-veiled references to US and Israeli assassination policies towards journalists, apparently buying completely into Nik Gowing’s unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. Jordan’s mistake this time was to get too blunt about his hostility towards the American military and his failure to substantiate his charges.
Kurtz does a better job of reporting the lack of media coverage of the issue, making Jordan’s resignation a bit difficult to explain to media consumers:

Blogs operated by National Review Online, radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt and commentator Michelle Malkin were among those that began slamming Jordan last week after a Davos attendee posted an online account, but the establishment press was slow to pick up on the controversy. The Washington Post and Boston Globe published stories Tuesday and the Miami Herald ran one Thursday. Also on Thursday, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Bret Stephens, who was at Davos, published an account accusing Jordan of “defamatory innuendo,” and the Associated Press moved a story. As of yesterday, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and USA Today had not carried a staff-written story, and the CBS, NBC and ABC nightly news programs had not reported the matter. It was discussed on several talk shows on Fox News, MSNBC and CNBC.

One supposes that the editors of all the silent outlets have some tapdancing to do with their viewers and/or readers to explain how the chief operations executive of CNN had to resign over remarks about which they know nothing, thanks to their favorite news shows and papers. At least Kurtz reported on the subject … once.
UPDATE: Matt Margolis has the internal CNN memo announcing Jordan’s departure.
UPDATE II: The Anchoress also takes Gergen to task, as always, in excellent form.

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 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.

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 freight ($3.95 a month.) …
Apparently, Boyd of the Sun says Stephens of the Journal broke the story because most of the major facts are in there. But I think a story breaks when it becomes public knowledge, when it is subject to public discussion. An e-mail newsletter like Political Diary (which is not archived on the web, and cannot be linked to) circulates news among a limited group, not the public-at-large. That’s the whole point. Such products are often sold as “inside knowledge,” valuable because the material is not broadly known.

I agree. The Political Diary is basically a fancy listserv, and as such qualifies as publication in a strict sense. However, breaking a story strongly implies an element of broadcasting in some form, not just passing it along a select group of colleagues or clients. Think of it in terms of a stock broker who does a clever analysis of several mutual funds and finds a blockbuster formula for maximum investment. If he just tells his clients and goes no farther, has he broken the story, or merely shared some mutually beneficial background information?
Jay also wonders about the reasons why the Wall Street Journal sat on this story in terms of broadcast publication for two weeks, and uses my post from yesterday on Stephens’ conflict of interest and lack of disclosure as an implied explanation. Several people wrote and commented on that post to scold me for attacking a conservative writer. I don’t know if that characterization accurately represents Bret Stephens or not, and quite frankly, I don’t care. The WSJ has a mix of reporters, editors, and op-ed columnists — Al Frum, for one — who don’t necessarily match up with their overall conservative bent. What I do know is that Stephens had a conflict of interest on this subject that he should have disclosed.
After I first commented on his article, two friends and I engaged in a series of e-mails about the article in an off-the-record conversation. At issue was the strange, unnecessary accusation of bloggers like Easongate and columnist Michelle Malkin as being somehow mentally unbalanced for continuing to criticize Eason Jordan. I wrote them to say that I literally couldn’t believe what Stephens had wrote, and speculated that he might have some connection to Jordan. Coincidentally, Jack at Dinocrat sent me the link to his discovery of Stephens’ connections to WEF and Jordan less than an hour later, although it took me longer to post on it.
Stephens should have disclosed it himself, and failing that, the WSJ should have done so. The omission rightly undermines Stephens’ eyewitness accounts, and we should demand better, not worse, of the WSJ on the basis of conservative values. After all, we’re not the ones arguing moral relativity; conservatives believe in objective morality. The WSJ should issue a retraction and an apology, and Stephens should learn a lesson from it.
UPDATE: More in the comments section. La Shawn Barber also adds to Jay’s discussion at Easongate.

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 said. He deeply regrets that he left the wrong impression, she said.
Jordan would not speak about the issue to The Associated Press, but issued a statement: “I never in my life thought or meant to suggest that the military was trying to deliberately kill journalists.”

Christa Robinson then tells the AP that the issue is “moot” since the tape cannot be released under Davos’ rules for that forum.
Well, that’s what CNN certainly wants to believe.
The AP and the New York Times never bothered to report about Eason’s Fables in November 2004, when he told a Portugal conference about how the US military captured and tortured ten journalists in Iraq, statements quoted by the Guardian. Nor did they inform their readers of similar allegations made by Jordan about the Israelis in October 2002, nor of a string of similar anti-military comments by Jordan’s CNNi chief, Chris Cramer. Just like Howard Kurtz, the Times and the AP fail to trust their readers by giving them the full context of the story.
However, at least the Gray Lady’s readers know about the comments now. Leaving the actual reporting to the AP says something about how the Times editors view the story, but they know they can no longer ignore it.

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 and accusing the US military of murder and torture, and yet Jordan seems rather unconcerned about the ethos of full disclosure in this case. CNN so far has declined to demand publication of the Davos tape, hiding behind WEF’s characterization of the forum rules that they insist require all parties to agree to its release. Yet Jordan and CNN released relevant parts of the Osama tape without ever getting AJ’s specific authorization to do so.
The irony continues, as an anonymous reporter with al-Jazeera explained why they didn’t want to air the tape (emphasis mine):

A journalist with Al-Jazeera told Reuters that the tape was shelved because the satellite station did not want to appear to be too close to bin Laden.
“We decided under the circumstances at that time that airing the interview would have strengthened the belief that we are a mouthpiece for bin Laden. We decided against airing it,” the journalist said.
“The interview was not that newsworthy. It was full of preaching and looked like a (Muslim) Friday sermon,” added the journalist, who asked to remain anonymous.

Doesn’t that sound exactly like what Jordan did in Davos — deliver a sermon to the presumed faithful of the anti-American religion? Only when Rep. Frank stood up to challenge Jordan did he realize that he finally pushed his luck once too often. Now Jordan wants us to believe that he has been misunderstood, and that people like Frank, Senator Chris Dodd, Rony Arbovitz, Justin Vaisse, Rebecca MacKinnon, and even Bret Stephens are too dense to comprehend his meaning — but he wants the videotape that would prove his assertion to remain private.
The final irony is that instead of teaching al-Jazeera a lesson in journalistic practice in 2002, the Arabs taught Jordan how to dissemble instead. As long as CNN remains silent on the videotape, we assume that Jordan’s elastic ethics are also CNN’s policy, and we judge their credibility accordingly.

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, interjected: Had American troops actually targeted journalists? And had CNN done a story about it? Well no, Mr. Jordan replied, CNN hadn’t done a story on this, specifically. And no, he didn’t believe the Bush administration had a policy of targeting journalists. Besides, he said, “the [American] generals and colonels have their heart in the right place.”
By this point, one could almost see the wheels of Mr. Jordan’s mind spinning, slowly: “How am I going to get out of this one?” But Mr. Frank and others kept demanding specifics. Mr. Jordan replied that “there are people who believe there are people in the military” who have it out for journalists. He also recounted a story of a reporter who’d been sent to the back of the line at a checkpoint outside of Baghdad’s Green Zone, apparently because the soldier had been unhappy with the reporter’s dispatches.
And that was it–the discussion moved on.

That was it? Stephens makes no mention whatsover of moderator David Gergen’s reaction, nor that of Senator Chris Dodd. Moreover, he then chalks the whole issue up as “defamatory innuendo,” and claims that this is the main vehicle of media bias and not unsubstantiated allegations. Stephens seems almost as eager as Howard Kurtz to sweep the entire affair under the rug and to get back to business as usual. He even takes swipes at a couple of people to start his piece, notably Easongate and Michelle Malkin:

There is an Easongate.com Web site, on which more than 1,000 petitioners demand that Mr. Jordan release a transcript of his remarks–made recently in Davos–by Feb. 15 or, in the manner of Saddam Hussein, face serious consequences. Sean Hannity and the usual Internet suspects have all weighed in. So has Michelle Malkin, who sits suspended somewhere between meltdown and release.

Perhaps Stephens is nonplussed by Malkin and Easongate because they have actually shown some journalistic enterprise, while Stephens sat on this story for two weeks. Stephens witnessed the chief operations executive of CNN get up and accuse the US military of deliberately killing journalists and conducting torture on an al-Jazeera reporter — and Stephens waited two weeks to write about it? Two liberal US politicians dressed down Eason Jordan in front of a global forum for making unsubstantiated allegations about our military, and Stephens never considered this news until now?
This column beggars belief. In the two weeks since Davos, Stephens has done no research into Eason Jordan and his track record of making wild allegations in the past, unlike Malkin, Easongate, and myself. He makes no mention of Jordan’s right-hand man for CNN International, Chris Cramer, who has made similar allegations. Stephens Googled for “Easongate”, found the resources, and instead of actually reading the material and the links back to solid sources on these issues, writes a facile and completely insulting piece that only advances the story to the extent that it confirms what everyone already knows about Davos.
And Stephens is a member of the WSJ editorial board. That makes me feel confident in their ability to react to news. Doesn’t the Wall Street Journal pay its editors to keep up with trends and breaking news, not just in financial institutions and the marketplace, but in all areas of the news? It’s reporters and editors like Bret Stephens that cause bloggers and columnists like Michelle Malkin to create public demand for accountability, because these journalists routinely abdicate their responsibility to keep us informed. Stephens wants us to simply accept that and move on, a disappointing message indeed from the Wall Street Journal, of all places.
UPDATE and BUMP: Bret Stephens actually first noted the Davos commentary and Rep. Frank’s reaction to it in WSJ’s subscription-only Political Diary; CQ apologizes for the misstatement that this was the WSJ’s first foray into Eason’s Fables. However, putting in a short blurb in a subscription-only e-mail listserv two weeks ago doesn’t excuse Stephens from researching the topic now, especially since the people he disparages in this post have done excellent work in developing the story and unveiling Jordan’s pattern of slanderous accusations against the US military.

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 misinterpreted — were not reported in the mainstream media until hundreds of blogs had been buzzing about them for a week and demanding explanations from CNN.
”When thinking people, especially journalism professionals, say something like that — that U.S. troops might be war criminals — and can’t substantiate it, you’ve got to follow it up,” said Jack Shafer, media critic for the influential website slate.com. “Blogs always seem to ask much tougher questions of a powerful media figure than Time magazine or The New York Times or Newsweek do.”

The Herald does an adequate job of explaining the Davos part of the Eason Jordan story, but perhaps more importantly, treats the blogs that covered it with respect. That kind of endorsement gives the blogosphere more credibility with the Herald’s readers, which may increase the pressure on CNN to get that tape released. Jack Shaefer gets quoted again later in the article explaining how blogswarms may get bad press, but the reason is that blogswarm pressure the media to respond — and that’s not a bad thing at all.
Slowly, despite the efforts of Bret Stephens and Howard Kurtz, this story is making its way to the mainstream American audiences that Eason Jordan and CNN wanted to keep ignorant. Having a major daily cover the story as news rather than opinion will introduce competitive pressure for others to keep up — and the media blackout will completely collapse, Davos videotape or no. All we need to do is maintain our determination and energy.

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 is beating CNN in the United States, but CNN is No. 1 around the world and wants to stay that way. What better way than to kiss up to Europeans and Middle Easterners than by telling them what they want to believe about those awful Americans?

Olasky gives too much credit to Armstrong Williams, in my opinion; Williams actually sold his column out for propaganda purposes, and I have no desire to see him return to commentary. That unfortunately dilutes his defense of Maggie Gallagher, who just did some ghost-writing and pamphlet development for HHS, not at all the same. I’m less familiar with McManus’ work, but his supposed sins wound up amounting to the same thing as Gallagher.
But Olasky hits the nail on the head with Eason Jordan, and so far as I’ve seen, uniquely so in any media treatment of the story. Jordan routinely makes these allegations overseas (as does Chris Cramer), where their global audiences have much more of a taste for anti-American rhetoric. Jordan understands that CNN needs to compete with the BBC for market share, and he’s willing to sell out the US and our military to prop up CNNi’s global credentials to keep the money flowing back to CNN and Time Warner. Unlike Armstrong Williams, Jordan is even willing to make slanderous allegations without even attempting to show any proof in order to suck up and perpetuate the virulent America-hatred in the international marketplace.
Mark Tapscott contributes to Townhall’s C-Log, their own blog, and he stays on top of the story (Mark also reads CQ and comments frequently here). Yesterday, Mark noted several developments in the story, and promised to keep on top of breaking news. Keep C-Log in your list of resources as Eason’s Fables gathers steam.

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 of the show. Here are some of the highlights:

MORT KONDRACKE [ROLL CALL]: Eason Jordan doesn’t have tenure, the way our friend from the University of Colorado does. Why this is–he’s the news director of CNN. If he knows of 12 journalists who have been specifically targeted by coalition forces, that is one whale of a story that ought to be on CNN. And the people, his higher ups on CNN, ought to be demanding to know why this, why he’s revealing this off the record in public. …
LIASSON: Yeah, but I agree with Mort. If he has evidence of this he should come forward. I mean, this is an explosive charge.

The best was Charles Krauthammer. I can clearly imagine him delivering this with his normal gravitas, and I suspect it came across as a devastating critique:

KRAUTHAMMER: And that’s why everybody gave him a pass. And they wouldn’t have a reason to lie about this. And that they were, obviously, genuinely shocked. And what was shocking was this accusation. So when I, the crime here I think is intellectual cowardice on the part of Eason Jordan. I mean, if he said this and then he tried to walk it back, he wasn’t trying to explain it, he was trying to undo it. But then he says in a statement that has been released, he never has believed that American troops have deliberately attacked journalists. Well, if he doesn’t, why is he spreading a rumor that he believes is false, malicious, libelous, and will endanger American troops? I mean, you don’t truck in rumors like that. He essentially says, now he was just reporting what others are saying. If he thinks it’s a falsehood, why is he repeating it? So I think that is the real problem here, and I think as Mort indicated, he did, he’s admitted that in the past he’s sort of covered up and suppressed news in Iraq because he didn’t want to, say, endanger his employees. Well, if you’re going to give our news shaded by Saddam Hussein and essentially censored, you ought to either get out of Iraq, or say it openly on the air: the news you are now hearing is approved by this regime, so everybody will know it’s not honest news. There’s dishonesty here which I think is the real problem.

Joe Scarborough is also talking Eason’s Fables tonight, according to CQ reader Sheri T. He called for Jordan to come forward with the facts supporting his allegations of deliberate assassination policies or for Time Warner to fire him.