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February 11, 2005


Larry in Michigan

We'll never know how many other invideous lies Jordan may have planted planted on CNN. It's good riddance.

Captain Ed

Excellent post, Rebecca, and I wholeheartedly agree. I think embedding helped resolve some of these tensions, but at some price to independence. Doing both might be the best way to balance the coverage, and large organizations like CNN and other networks can afford it. They need to start by hiring executives that don't bring pre-existing antagonism to the military like with Eason Jordan and Chris Cramer.


You have worked on the INSIDE.To say that the MAINSTREAM media doesn't have it in for the military is absurd.You know better.WE know better! The public has eyes and ears, and they are attached to our brains.The crime is not in the cover-up.The CRIMINALITY is in SLANDERING the virtuous being that is the American fighting man.So when "Mr. jordan" slithers off into the slimeset without so much as a slap on the wrist for his treason speak,know that millions will be outraged at his NOT getting his comeuppance.That is if they ever get all of the facts.Israel knows and thanks to Michelle Malkin,Hugh Hewitt and so many others,hopefully everyone will.The fact that the MSM refuses to report this straight(damn you howie)is clear proof of their colusion against our brave servicemen & women who deserve better,considering we'd ALL be speaking German or wearing a burkha without their,not known by any of us civilians,COURAGEOUS BLOODSHED.


It is funny how the wind blows. A lot of righteous indignation against ONE Eason Jordan but none for a lot of dead journalists (collateral, targeted or otherwise). They shouldn't be D-E-A-D. Are we missing something here?


I'm curious, Rebecca, whether you will be so sanguine and detached when the right-wing decides to target you.

When us lefties accused you of being a "kitten eating cyborg" we all knew it was a joke. But when they come after you with some ridiculous allegation equivalent to "Eason Jordan hates the US military" the right-wing won't be playing games, and everything that you have ever said or written will be torn apart for evidence of apostasy.

And while those of us on the left decry the witch hunt to which you are being subjected, there will doubtless be "detached" academics like yourself and Jay Rosen willing to play the same role that you played in this tragedy. And when you try to provide a nuanced explanation of your actual position, no one will hear you about the cacophany of the right-wing lynch mob calling for your hide.

You are kidding yourself if you think that there would have been any "full airing of the issues." Absent absolute proof that every word uttered by Eason Jordan was accurate, the witch hunt would have continued, and the substance behind the allegations would be ignored. (Case in point, the "Killian memos" controversy.)

Subsequent stories that confirm the substance of Jordan's words would be ignored by the media attack dogs (one of the primary "problems" with the Killian memos was proportionate spacing, which it was consistently alleged would not have been available to the Texas Air National Guard. Four days after CBS was forced to withdraw its story, the White House finally released 10 pages of additional Bush documents, including one dated February 1971 that was proportionately spaced. This news got so little attention that Thornburgh/Boccardi actually claimed in their report that there was no evidence that TXANG could produce proportionately spaced documents).

And if other reporters later concluded that Jordan was correct in the overall substance of his allegations, those stories would be ignored as well. (see what happened to the various accounts of Bush's National Guard service that appeared in publications like the LA Times and US News and World Reports after the "Killian memos" fiasco.)

This was a witch hunt, and you played a very significant role in it. Don't pretend to yourself that any good might have come out of your participation "if only" the tape had been released.

And when the right-wing attack machine comes after you, I will be there to defend you....but will your "friends" like Jay Rosen and Jeff Jarvis? If I were you, I wouldn't count on it.

Mrs. Davis

You point out that the release of the tape would have probably made things worse. I agree; that's why he's gone and p.lukasiak's wrong. Unfortunately, things have to get worse before they get better. This conflict is just a microcosm of the conflict that is being played out all over society and in our last election. Shifts of power such as this are seldom comfortable for all, especially the losers.

CNN will probably replace Jordan with Jordan Lite, Cramer. When this happens, we will go through the same thing down the road. If CNN really believes the rumor, innuendo and lies it tells, it should prove them. Let the chips fall where they may. But if CNN wants to continue to supply news with an agenda, it should expect to be treated like a soccer ball by those it wantonly attacks.

And Jordan was not fired for Davos alone. There was his acting like a shill for Saddam. And if this is what he said in Davos, what did he say in the comfort and security of his corporate offices? I suspect TimeWarner personnel had seen worse from Jordan, got the Davos tape and concluded they could not afford to have his rants blemish their reputation.


You point out that the release of the tape would have probably made things worse. I agree; that's why he's gone and p.lukasiak's wrong.

if you read all of the accounts of what Jordan said at Davros, it is abundantly clear that he retracted a statement that was either inaccurate, or ambiguous enough to give people the wrong impression about what he meant.

And that should have been sufficient, because people misspeak all the time, and as long as they retract what they said/implied when challenged, all is forgiven.

The fact that wingnuts like yourself continued to make an issue of whatever Jordan said, rather than accept the fact that he did not intend to say that it was US policy to target journalists, shows that regardless of what was on the tape, it would be used as part of your witch hunt.

Pondscum like yourself are not interested in the truth. You are only interested in pursuing a far-right wing agenda.

(PS Rebecca: if Jarvis can use "Pondscum" to describe Juan Cole without your making an issue of it, I'm sure you'd agree that its acceptable to describe this particular miscreant with that word.)

Brian O'Connell

Absent absolute proof that every word uttered by Eason Jordan was accurate, the witch hunt would have continued, and the substance behind the allegations would be ignored.

Absent absolute proof that every word he uttered was accurate, Eason Jodan shouldn't be saying them in an international forum. As with the Killian memos, it's not up to anybody else to prove beyond doubt that they're false (though with the memos that did happen).

Fake but accurate isn't a standard we can accept, despite Dan Rather's go at it. This seems to be the standard some are accepting here. Jordan can't prove the allegations, and he immediately backed off of them. Yet some are sure that they're accurate, so what's the big deal?

This is why Rather, and now Eason, are seen by some as victims of the right-wing attack machine or blog swarms, rather than as fools who got caught making bold statements that they couldn't back up. When speaking "truth to power", fake but accurate will get you burned.


Thanks Rebecca for a wonderful post.

If you look historically, the Press's biggest victory was causing the withdrawal in Viet Nam. J school lectures from professors of that era hold the Viet Nam era up as an example of the strength and power of an active press.

For the military, Viet Nam has been the lode stone around their necks. Perpetually reminded of the failure, every training manual was designed or modified with avoiding a reoccurance of the errors of the period, along with the senior most officers recounting the horror stories of how they were portrayed.

So we have 2 forces, the press and the military, who have split since 1973 on how to cover and manage wartime. The reporters are trained to look for the worst occurances in the field and report them, because they will gain high recognition by their peer group for ferreting out any inconsistancies by the military.

The Military, conversely, are trying to wage a war (which are always messy) in the cleanest way possible, but always looking over their shoulder in case a reporter may see anything done that is either wrong or can be perceived as wrong.

This is a very awkward situation and you are correct, needs to be clarified. And I have no idea how to do it.



"bad feeling between U.S. servicepeople and journalists in Iraq is coloring news coverage."

Er,could the persistent coloring of the news coverage in Iraq be causing some of the bad feeling? CNN shows a sliver of what happens in Iraq, usually the worst news. Offers no perspective on life pre-Saddam and post. Never mentions the good things the military does, certainly no word about their sacrifices or burdens to keep organized crime from regaining control of a country. Just more dead Americans (there's _always_ a total) and more "insurgents".

Any chance American soldiers might have some bad feelings when they see this?

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