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.