Tuesday, February 15, 2005

CNN and the Eason Jordan thing

I don't like to see anyone lose their jobs (OK. There are some exceptions.) But this Eason Jordan thing over at CNN is really too much. I know I'm supposed to defend him because he was the victim of a right-wing vigilante blogger mob. But it is hard to defend someone who won't properly defend himself. So first I'll defend what he had to say, then I'll attack him.

Jordan got in trouble for suggesting (what he actually said is a matter of dispute) during an "off the record" session at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the US military intentionally or perhaps without due care, targeted journalists in Iraq. What a gaffe. Imagine. Except that you can make a pretty good case it's true in some instances (see here and here). What he said had some foundation and he should have pushed it for all it was worth. He didn't. Instead he resigned:
I have decided to resign in an effort to prevent CNN from being unfairly tarnished by the controversy over conflicting accounts of my recent remarks regarding the alarming number of journalists killed in Iraq. I have devoted my professional life to helping make CNN the most trusted and respected news outlet in the world, and I would never do anything to compromise my work or that of the thousands of talented people it is my honor to work alongside.”
– Eason Jordan LINK-ABC News via The American Street.
My main reaction: "Give me a fucking break!" CNN, the most trusted and respected name in news? In their dreams. Everyone else knows this is a bunch of low wattage hacks (think Wolf Blitzer and Kelli Arena). Here's an example of recent CNN "journalism," via CJR:
Last week, The Brad Blog informs us, the good folks at CNN.com posted a photo of a nuclear plant in North Korea. Also last week, CNN.com posted a photo of a nuclear plant in Iran. A Brad Blog tipster with an eagle eye took a good look at the photos and noticed that they seem to depict the same facility. (You can see for yourself here) [EM: Do take a look. It is pretty unbelievable] An exasperated Brad wants to know where the photos came from -- perhaps, he writes, someone who "may have an interest in ginning-up fears over the two so-far unconquered players in Bush's 'Axis of Evil'" was responsible -- and asks: "Are there simply no national media organizations left who know how to do the job of reporting accurately, responsibly and in such a way that doesn't send us to war again due to their utter failure to do their jobs correctly?!"
Hey, CNN. Thanks for that twit Tucker Carlson. Thanks for Bob Novak. We can rely on you, all right. And so can the Bush Administration.

I agree with Eason Jordan about one thing. It's a shame to see CNN unfairly tarnished for something they should have been proud of (but of course, weren't). Let's see some fair tarnishing about all the other stuff they have to answer for.