Saturday, February 12, 2005

Media Caves Again

The truth again was just too strong for the right wingers, who are celebrating at forcing CNN executive Eason Jordan out of his post for saying something their tiny minds just couldn't handle:

Eason Jordan, a senior executive at CNN who was responsible for coordinating the cable network's Iraq coverage, resigned abruptly last night, citing a journalistic tempest he touched off during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, late last month in which he appeared to suggest that United States troops had deliberately aimed at journalists, killing some.

I think that there's good evidence that in a few cases American troops have deliberately killed journalists, and in other cases they have accidentally killed journalists. Also, you're not telling me that bombing al Jazeera offices in Afghanistan and Baghdad were both "accidents." But even when Jordan backpedaled, that wasn't good enough for the war lovers:

Though no transcript of Mr. Jordan's remarks at Davos on Jan. 27 has been released, the panel's moderator, David Gergen, editor at large of U.S. News & World Report, said in an interview last night that Mr. Jordan had initially spoken of soldiers, "on both sides," who he believed had been "targeting" some of the more than four dozen journalists killed in Iraq.

Almost immediately after making that assertion, Mr. Jordan, whose title at CNN had been executive vice president and chief news executive, "quickly walked that back to make it clear that there was no policy on the part of the U.S. government to target or injure journalists," Mr. Gergen said.

Mr. Jordan was then challenged by Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who was in the audience. Mr. Jordan then said that he had intended to say only that some journalists had been killed by American troops who did not know they were aiming their weapons at journalists.

Nonetheless, accounts of Mr. Jordan's remarks were soon being reported on Web logs as well as in an article on Feb. 3 on National Review's Web site. Ann Cooper, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said that 54 journalists were killed in 2003 and 2004 . At least nine died as a result of American fire, she said.

Among Mr. Jordan's responsibilities at CNN was be an advocate - often a forceful one - in discussions with the Pentagon on issues concerning the security of journalists in Iraq.

In other words, the righties have forced Jordan out for doing his job. But that's par for the course. One thing the righties may not have bargained with is that Jordan is now free to say whatever he wants - and one suspects he knows a lot more than he said at Davos.

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