Story location: http://archive.pressthink.org/2005/02/05/jdn_note.html
More Pressthink: Eason Jordan’s Job is the Political Job in TV News. (Feb. 6)and Richard Sambrook of the BBC: What Eason Jordan Said in Davos (Feb. 7).
Hugh Hewitt has had me on his radio show twice, and the last time was specifically to discuss the Eason Jordan story. But before I delve into something like that (did CNN’s chief news executive say in Davos that U.S. troops had deliberately targeted journalists?) I want to know what happened. That’s what I told Hugh Hewitt.
On Feb. 2, he asked at his blog, “What does Howard Kurtz or Jay Rosen have to say about this?” Now he writes, in a Memo to Jeff Jarvis and Jay Rosen, “You can’t cover the press if you don’t press the coverage.”
… both appeared on my show this week and announced tentative dismay with Eason Jordan’s alleged remarks. They can reserve judgment until they see the transcript, of course, but can anyone hold up MSM’s Orwellian treatment of this story as acceptable?
Thanks, Hugh. I think I will reserve judgment. PressThink reader Tim, who now blogs as Sisyphus, scored a coup in securing the promised delivery of a tape next week that will at least tell us what Eason Jordan said at the World Economic Forum about United States soldiers shooting journalists.
The original account was too ambiguous for me. It had him saying United States soldiers targeted journalists, and then claiming that’s not what he meant. He later explained it as: the soldiers were trying to kill these people, but did not know they were shooting at journalists. Not much of a scandal in that.
These reservations are reflected in a summary by the National Review’s Jay Nordlinger, who was in Davos but not at the Jordan event. He found people who were there and pieced the following together: (Feb. 3)
Apparently, Eason Jordan states ? or implies (on this, I am not quite clear) ? that the U.S. military is targeting journalists for murder in Iraq. Yes, you read that right. Barney Frank ? as it is told to me ? goes nuts: What? Whoa, whoa, whoa. You’ve reported this story, right? It is a momentous deal. Jordan starts to backpedal, realizing that he has gone too far, with this audience… Afterward ? again, as it is reported to me ? Jordan is surrounded by Arab attendees, who congratulate him on having the “courage” to speak the hard truth. Jordan accepts those congratulations.
Apparently. States? or implies. On this, I am not quite clear. When I say: I want to know what happened, this is what I mean. Only the tape can tell us. Until then I don’t have too much to say in the category of “how outrageous was this?” To review the controversy for yourself—which PressThink readers should do—see these first hand reports:
That’s the original account of Eason’s remarks. Abovitz, a vice president of a medical technology firm and a participant in the Forum but not a reporter, followed that up with:
Which was after he had returned to the United States. Then see:
UPDATE: Albovitz expresses some reservations about the blog “swarm” and gives advice to Jordan:
Rebecca MacKinnon—journalist, blogger and Berkman Center fellow—was also in Davos: “I was in the room and Rony’s account is consistent with what I heard,” she writes.
MacKinnon is a former correspondent for CNN: Eason Jordan was her boss then. She writes to him for an explanation and gets one:
She later responded to questions from Hewitt:
Another statement from Jordan came to blogger Carol Platt Liebau:
UPDATE: I solicted this statement from Richard Sambrook of the BBC, who was there:
And here is the official WEF account of the panel, which makes no mention of Jordan’s comments on targeting journalists. There are a few things I can say now:
Rebecca MacKinnon decides to track “Easongate” posts and resources. See this (del.icio.us tag for easongate) “So far, most of the activity is on the right-hand side of the political spectrum, with center and left blogs plus non-rightwing MSM largely silent.”
LaShawn Barber is also keeping a collection of links. See her update too.
Mickey Kaus at Slate: “Kurtz Stays Silent in Eason Jordan Controversy! Day 7. …Seriously, isn’t this something you’d expect WaPo’s media reporter to cover, one way or another?”
See Captain’s Quarters, MSM Silence On Eason Jordan, for the absence of coverage in the major media.
Prematurely, I think, there is now a blog, Easongate. Washington Times editorial.
Journalist and blogger Joe Gandelman: “The allegations he makes are so grave that it seems unlikely this story will die away until either he produces more proof or CNN has to eat political crow and do some damage control.”
I was a guest on NPR’s On the Media this week, talking with host Brooke Gladstone about the rise of the term “MSM,” or mainstream media. Listen here. (It’s 3-4 minutes.)