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Read about Jay Rosen's book, What Are Journalists For?

Excerpt from Chapter One of What Are Journalists For? "As Democracy Goes, So Goes the Press."

Essay in Columbia Journalism Review on the changing terms of authority in the press, brought on in part by the blog's individual--and interactive--style of journalism. It argues that, after Jayson Blair, authority is not the same at the New York Times, either.

"Web Users Open the Gates." My take on ten years of Internet journalism, at

Read: Q & As

Jay Rosen, interviewed about his work and ideas by journalist Richard Poynder

Achtung! Interview in German with a leading German newspaper about the future of newspapers and the Net.

Audio: Have a Listen

Listen to an audio interview with Jay Rosen conducted by journalist Christopher Lydon, October 2003. It's about the transformation of the journalism world by the Web.

Five years later, Chris Lydon interviews Jay Rosen again on "the transformation." (March 2008, 71 minutes.)

Interview with host Brooke Gladstone on NPR's "On the Media." (Dec. 2003) Listen here.

Presentation to the Berkman Center at Harvard University on open source journalism and NewAssignment.Net. Downloadable mp3, 70 minutes, with Q and A. Nov. 2006.

Video: Have A Look

Half hour video interview with Robert Mills of the American Microphone series. On blogging, journalism, NewAssignment.Net and distributed reporting.

Jay Rosen explains the Web's "ethic of the link" in this four-minute YouTube clip.

"The Web is people." Jay Rosen speaking on the origins of the World Wide Web. (2:38)

One hour video Q & A on why the press is "between business models" (June 2008)

Recommended by PressThink:

Town square for press critics, industry observers, and participants in the news machine: Romenesko, published by the Poynter Institute.

Town square for weblogs: InstaPundit from Glenn Reynolds, who is an original. Very busy. Very good. To the Right, but not in all things. A good place to find voices in diaolgue with each other and the news.

Town square for the online Left. The Daily Kos. Huge traffic. The comments section can be highly informative. One of the most successful communities on the Net.

Rants, links, blog news, and breaking wisdom from Jeff Jarvis, former editor, magazine launcher, TV critic, now a J-professor at CUNY. Always on top of new media things. Prolific, fast, frequently dead on, and a pal of mine.

Eschaton by Atrios (pen name of Duncan B;ack) is one of the most well established political weblogs, with big traffic and very active comment threads. Left-liberal.

Terry Teachout is a cultural critic coming from the Right at his weblog, About Last Night. Elegantly written and designed. Plus he has lots to say about art and culture today.

Dave Winer is the software wiz who wrote the program that created the modern weblog. He's also one of the best practicioners of the form. Scripting News is said to be the oldest living weblog. Read it over time and find out why it's one of the best.

If someone were to ask me, "what's the right way to do a weblog?" I would point them to Doc Searls, a tech writer and sage who has been doing it right for a long time.

Ed Cone writes one of the most useful weblogs by a journalist. He keeps track of the Internet's influence on politics, as well developments in his native North Carolina. Always on top of things.

Rebecca's Pocket by Rebecca Blood is a weblog by an exemplary practitioner of the form, who has also written some critically important essays on its history and development, and a handbook on how to blog.

Dan Gillmor used to be the tech columnist and blogger for the San Jose Mercury News. He now heads a center for citizen media. This is his blog about it.

A former senior editor at Pantheon, Tom Englehardt solicits and edits commentary pieces that he publishes in blog form at TomDispatches. High-quality political writing and cultural analysis.

Chris Nolan's Spot On is political writing at a high level from Nolan and her band of left-to-right contributors. Her notion of blogger as a "stand alone journalist" is a key concept; and Nolan is an exemplar of it.

Barista of Bloomfield Avenue is journalist Debbie Galant's nifty experiment in hyper-local blogging in several New Jersey towns. Hers is one to watch if there's to be a future for the weblog as news medium.

The Editor's Log, by John Robinson, is the only real life honest-to-goodness weblog by a newspaper's top editor. Robinson is the blogging boss of the Greensboro News-Record and he knows what he's doing.

Fishbowl DC is about the world of Washington journalism. Gossip, controversies, rituals, personalities-- and criticism. Good way to keep track of the press tribe in DC

PJ Net Today is written by Leonard Witt and colleagues. It's the weblog of the Public Journalisn Network (I am a founding member of that group) and it follows developments in citizen-centered journalism.

Here's Simon Waldman's blog. He's the Director of Digital Publishing for The Guardian in the UK, the world's most Web-savvy newspaper. What he says counts.

Novelist, columnist, NPR commentator, Iraq War vet, Colonel in the Army Reserve, with a PhD in literature. How many bloggers are there like that? One: Austin Bay.

Betsy Newmark's weblog she describes as "comments and Links from a history and civics teacher in Raleigh, NC." An intelligent and newsy guide to blogs on the Right side of the sphere. I go there to get links and comment, like the teacher said.

Rhetoric is language working to persuade. Professor Andrew Cline's Rhetorica shows what a good lens this is on politics and the press.

Davos Newbies is a "year-round Davos of the mind," written from London by Lance Knobel. He has a cosmopolitan sensibility and a sharp eye for things on the Web that are just... interesting. This is the hardest kind of weblog to do well. Knobel does it well.

Susan Crawford, a law professor, writes about democracy, technology, intellectual property and the law. She has an elegant weblog about those themes.

Kevin Roderick's LA Observed is everything a weblog about the local scene should be. And there's a lot to observe in Los Angeles.

Joe Gandelman's The Moderate Voice is by a political independent with an irrevant style and great journalistic instincts. A link-filled and consistently interesting group blog.

Ryan Sholin's Invisible Inkling is about the future of newspapers, online news and journalism education. He's the founder of and a self-taught Web developer and designer.

H20town by Lisa Williams is about the life and times of Watertown, Massachusetts, and it covers that town better than any local newspaper. Williams is funny, she has style, and she loves her town.

Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing at is a daily review of the best reporting and commentary on the presidency. Read it daily and you'll be extremely well informed.

Rebecca MacKinnon, former correspondent for CNN, has immersed herself in the world of new media and she's seen the light (great linker too.)

Micro Persuasion is Steve Rubel's weblog. It's about how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the business of persuasion. Rubel always has the latest study or article.

Susan Mernit's blog is "writing and news about digital media, ecommerce, social networks, blogs, search, online classifieds, publishing and pop culture from a consultant, writer, and sometime entrepeneur." Connected.

Group Blogs

CJR Daily is Columbia Journalism Review's weblog about the press and its problems, edited by Steve Lovelady, formerly of the Philadelpia Inquirer.

Lost Remote is a very newsy weblog about television and its future, founded by Cory Bergman, executive producer at KING-TV in Seattle. Truly on top of things, with many short posts a day that take an inside look at the industry.

Editors Weblog is from the World Editors Fourm, an international group of newspaper editors. It's about trends and challenges facing editors worldwide. keeps track of developments from the British side of the Atlantic. Very strong on online journalism.

Digests & Round-ups:

Memeorandum: Single best way I know of to keep track of both the news and the political blogosphere. Top news stories and posts that people are blogging about, automatically updated.

Daily Briefing: A categorized digest of press news from the Project on Excellence in Journalism.

Press Notes is a round-up of today's top press stories from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Richard Prince does a link-rich thrice-weekly digest called "Journalisms" (plural), sponsored by the Maynard Institute, which believes in pluralism in the press.

Newsblog is a daily digest from Online Journalism Review.

E-Media Tidbits from the Poynter Institute is group blog by some of the sharper writers about online journalism and publishing. A good way to keep up

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February 14, 2005

Closing Thoughts on the Resignation of Eason Jordan

"Bloggers, journalists, news executives and everyone else: For any of this--blogging, journalism, citizens media, a free press, transparency--to work, the solution when you mis-communicate has to be more communication, not ex-communication."

I don’t think he should have resigned. I don’t know why he did. Neither the public overlooking this sad event, nor the participants in it know why Eason Jordan quit. No reasons have been given, beyond saving CNN the trouble of a controversy.

That’s not a reason. If CNN is a real news network, why shouldn’t it have the trouble of a controversy now and then? I think anyone interested in serious journalism would agree that what are called news values come out during times when the network is criticized, called to defend itself, attacked by political interests, or otherwise under pressure. No executive can succeed in news who is not nimble in public controversy. Eason Jordan knows that. And yet:

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.

“Prevent CNN from being unfairly tarnished…” I’m sorry. The phrase is meaningless to me. The act stands unexplained. The New York Times account from today is light on cause-and-effect too: “Eason Jordan, the chief news executive at CNN, abruptly resigned after being besieged by the online community.” After, yes, but because of?

To me, a resignation or firing is totally out of proportion to any offense given in Davos (that I know of.) And in that sense it seems like an overly drastic measure Jordan took. But even more than that; it is an outcome unjust on its face, based on what I know. I am aware that many in the blogging fraternity dispute that.

So be it. I agree with the Wall Street Journal in an editorial today: “The worst that can reasonably be said about his performance is that he made an indefensible remark from which he ineptly tried to climb down at first prompting. This may have been dumb but it wasn’t a journalistic felony.”

Not a felony. I say not a crime. But here is what it was: An occasion when a news executive, a senior statesman at the network, miscommunicated about a matter of life and death, not to say a “story” of considerable (to the point of shocking) news value. And not in front of just anyone, but “representatives of the world,” an international elite, which is part of the ruling fiction at Davos.

Bloggers, journalists, news executives and everyone else: For any of this—blogging, journalism, citizens media, a free press, transparency—to work, the solution when you mis-communicate has to be more communication, not ex-communication. (And non-communication, as with spin, only makes things worse.) Our motto ought to be: “read the rest,” not “you’ll pay for this.”

I say again: The solution to miscommunication has to be more communication. But that is not the route CNN and Jordan chose. Bad move. Grant some interviews, and make some of them with bloggers. Instead of making no statements, consider making lots of statements. I’ll give you an academic word for it: when in trouble, go dialogic.

But even if you don’t open the gates and communicate more, as prudence would recommend, you shouldn’t lose your job for whatever it was you and someone else said during a heated discussion about the media and the military in Davos.

That is a bad and a troubling outcome for journalism, for CNN, for free speech, for Davos, for blogging, and for uncoerced thought. (And it’s an outcome still unexplained, reporters on the media beat.) I am with Bertrand Pecquerie of EditorsWeblog when he says: “Indeed the Eason Jordan case is much more than the question of a videotape! It’s about freedom of expression and the right to raise disturbing questions.”

But then I don’t know why Jordan quit. (Neither do you, unless someone does some more journalism.) And I don’t know what was said at the Forum, really. It’s not in the public record.

However I do understand the atmosphere at Davos since I was at last year’s World Economic Forum (Jan. 2004), and joined in the proceedings, as a speaker and audience member. I also wrote about it at PressThink. To me speaking there is in every meaningful sense a public occasion; and I would never think for a moment that with a microphone on I was truly “off” the record. See this photo, which shows what I mean. Or read Davos Newbies on the same point.

The Forum had its own idea: if people knew they weren’t going to be quoted in the press or “held” to positions stated for purposes of discussion, they might be more open. If as a consequence of trying to be more open Jordan said something he would not have said if he were trying merely to give no offense, then this is part of what I mean by an unjust and troubling outcome.

But the rules of Davos helped lead to that place. They are dangerously out of date, especially when combined with uncoerced blogging and the powers of the World Wide Web. “You have to ask, whose idea was it to introduce a weblog?” wrote Rebecca Blood today. “Off-the-record debate mixed with off-the-cuff publication is a recipe for disaster.” Precisely. Let’s see why:

In a Feb. 13 e-mail to bloggers who had asked about the tape, Mark Adams, Head of Media for the World Economic Forum, said, “All participants take part in those sessions on the understanding that their comments are ‘non-attributable.’” Got that? It means you can’t attach what Smith said to Smith.

On Feb. 7th, Mark Adams told blogger Tim Schmoyer that the discussion was held under the Chatham House Rule. It says: “Participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.” No affiliations. The means you can’t say, “a BBC official on the panel claimed…”

Those were the rules, says the WEF. But the original report from the panel discussion in Davos—which did attribute comments to participants, identifying Jordan and others—appeared on a Forum sanctioned site, the exact title of which is: “ - The World Economic Forum Weblog.” It was a place where participants in the meeting could post reports and reflections. Rony Abovitz did that:

During one of the discussions about the number of journalists killed in the Iraq War, Eason Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by US troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted.

We could say, “that’s one of the dangers of having amateurs who think they’re journalists, they get the rules wrong,” but for two things. First, the Wall Street Journal, in its Political Diary newsletter, got the rules even more wrong. Bret Stephens of the Journal’s editorial page quoted people at the meeting; Rony Abovitz of Forumblog did not. This went unmentioned in today’s piece from the Journal Editorial Page, which was partly about being a grown-up. (They’re not that grown up, I guess. But see this.)

Second, Rony Abovitz was obeying rules: the “rules” of blogging, which I put in quotes not because there are none, but because they aren’t codified. Someone says something interesting and newsworthy—juicy, debatable—and you are there, a participant in the event. If you have a blog, you post about it. “You can’t believe what happened, here’s what I think.”

Say your post catches fire, meaning: other people talk about it. If you’re a blogger, you keep blogging about the thing they’re talking about. In such a manner blog “storms” can happen. They can also happen because people will them to happen for political reasons, or react opportunistically to events in hopes of gaining from the whirlwind that follows.

Overlooking the larger scene, Michael Barone of US News writes: “The focus of hatred in the right blogosphere is not Kerry or the Democrats but what these bloggers call Mainstream Media, or MSM. They argue, correctly in my view, that the New York Times, CBS News, and others distorted the news in an attempt to defeat Bush in 2004.”

Barone, a friend to blogosphere right, is correct— and he’s being candid. The focus of hatred in the right blogosphere is the Mainstream Media. (For the Left it’s Bush, he says.) I want to know what the right says back. Not to me, although that’s fine too, but specifically to Michael Barone.

In an effort to go dialogic, I asked Will Collier of Vodka Pundit (who got into it with Steve Lovelady of CJR Daily) a question that I hope is both pointed and open ended: Is the point to have a dialogue with the MSM or help cause its destruction? (Or is there a third and fourth alternative we should be discussing?) This is something the blogging world should take a moment for and reflect upon.

Collier said he is thinking about it, and writing a reply that (he tells me) will be out in a day or so. Excellent news, that. I can’t wait to read what he says.

UPDATE, Feb. 16: read what he says. “MSM, Heal Thyself.”

What I’m interested in is not destruction, but rather disclosure, transparency, reform. You can boil all of the above down to one term that ought to be the watchword for everybody in all of journalism’s myriad forms: honesty. I don’t mind a biased press (more on this later), but I do mind a dishonest press.

See Lovelady’s reply at Vodka Pundit. Plus: CNN reports on PressThink’s exchange with Collier.

After Matter: Notes, reactions & links…

Here’s the transcript of the PBS Newshour from tonight (Feb. 14) with me, Jim Geraghty of National Review Online and David Gergen of Harvard’s Kennedy School and several White Houses. Host is Terence Smith.

The Newshour gig—my first time on that show—went well, but it was not as inspired as this rant from Chicago Tribune senior correspondent Charlie Madigan:

Shut up with your whining and appreciate the fact that after generations of stagnation, something new has arrived. And like all new things, it’s going to take awhile for it to work itself out.

Conventional journalism seems aghast that a whole collection of independent voices from all sides of the political spectrum are popping up now to pick and smear and slander and point accusing fingers, wreck careers, cast aspersions and introduce something besides a century-old sense of entitled hierarchy to the formula for news presentation.

The title: Bloggers from hell —or heavensent?

Striking a different note is Corey Pein, at Romenesko’s Letters (2/14/2005 12:59:27 PM).

Arguing that we need to pay more attention to certain blogs and get on top of non-scandals like “Easongate” is a weasely way of saying that journalists should pander to reactionary sentiment. But more time spent in front of computers will not save journalism. Nor will looking to Fox News as a model of integrity and audience relations. What journalists do need to understand is why so many people prefer Pravda.

Captains Quarters: “I’m not a newspaper.”

(That’s style of blogging I learned from Scripting News.)

Mike Moran at MSNBC’s Hardblogger: “Was it wise for CNN to provide the enemies of free expression, critical thinking and The First Amendment with a victory on this count? Are they so lost as a network that they abandon basic principles? Is the main stream really now just a trickling tributary that can be diverted with just a few well thrown stones?”

Scott Rosenberg on Eason Jordan: “His story is now a routine one — that of the media pro who does not realize that the world has changed around him, that there is a new activist sphere of journalistic review and criticism happening collectively in real time, and that no gaffe, error or deception is likely to remain hidden. Until media people fully and deeply learn that they are responsible for their words and their work, and that this scrutiny is a good thing for their profession, careers will continue to fall casualty.”

“Transparency requires forgiveness.” David Weinberger.

Jack Shafer: “I Would Have Fired Eason Jordan.”

Dan Gillmor: “Thin Skins in the Blog World, Too.”

“And about Eason Jordan: More myopic blogger triumphalism.” Anil Dash talks to political bloggers:

This is inside-baseball cliquishness at its worst. I’m not saying these guys didn’t screw up, I’m saying that you didn’t win. It won’t temper we liberals who control the media to be more moderate, and it won’t keep the White House from trying to spin the media. Net effect? Lots of negatives, few positives. Not to put too fine a point on it, but you’re hurting us. You’re hurting all weblogs.

Rony Albovitz: “I am unnerved by what has happened, at the ferocity of the blog swarm, of Eason’s fumbled retreats, evasive maneuvers, and an inexplicable refusal to have his own words played back to the world on a videotape (which does exist). The head of the largest news organization in the world, afraid of himself.”

The Guardian weighs in: “Jordan’s demise may be much more significant than it first appears.”

The Guardian piece has Steve Lovelady’s remarks about “salivating morons” originating in what he told the New York Times, but of course the Times got them from PressThink, a blog that it failed to name. It’s happened before: the Times will say “online” rather than “PressThink,” as it did Feb. 14: “The salivating morons who make up the lynch mob prevail,” he lamented online after Mr. Jordan’s resignation. (Another example.) Next time I quote the New York Times I think I will do it this way: “As Paul Krugman said in newsprint last week…”

Steve Lovelady at CJR Daily: “The Captain Eds, Jay Rosens and Jeff Jarvises of this world have always celebrated the blogosphere as a self-correcting perfect democracy where the participants supply accountability and oversight. The other side of that coin is to say that the mob is headless, and that neither the best efforts of the deacons, nor those of anyone else, can mediate the wrath when the headhunters smell blood.”

Perfect democracy? When did I say anything like that? Sheesh.

(Jeff Jarvis replies to Lovelady: The Mob Times.)

Howard Kurtz in his Tuesday (Feb. 15) Media Notes: “I lean toward the view that the rise of blogs is a healthy development and is forcing the MSM [to] become more accountable, rather than display their old we-stand-by-our-story arrogance. There is, to be sure, plenty of partisan noise and mean-spirited attacks out there, but also a lot of thoughtful and ground-breaking posting on stories, or angles, either missed or minimized by the MSM types… The power of the blogosphere, I’d suggest, is not in raw numbers but in ideas that garner attention. And now, for the first time since Gutenberg, you don’t need access to a printing press (or radio mike or TV tower) to reach an audience.”

James Lileks: “I think the Eason Jordon case is less important than the Dan Rather case, for obvious reasons. But it seems to have produced the same amount of enthusiasm. At some point this amount of glee is going to be applied towards someone who might actually turn out to be innocent. What then? Well, it’ll kill the credibilty of those who led the charge, and help the reps of those who turn it away. It’ll be a big self-correcting moment, but the self-correcting won’t be the story; the story will be the mistake.”

The BBC’s Kevin Anderson, American media vs the blogs: “One thing both bloggers and some journalists can agree on is that business as usual is over in the American media.”

CNN finally covers the Jordan story (“Inside Politics” transcript.)

Jeff Jarvis writes a letter to the editor:

Mr. Keller: I propose that we hold a one-day meeting of webloggers and Times editors and reporters to discover how the interests of both groups are aligned and how we can work together to improve news.

“Dear Jeff: It’s hopless,” says Dave Winer. “Just remember when Times reporters say they’re superior, objective, and independent, that they actually write about blogs like French monarchs, with an axe to grind, and a huge undisclosed conflict of interest. We don’t need these guys anymore, and the smart ones are getting a clue about that. That’s certainly what I saw in North Carolina. My guess is that the news will take a bit longer to reach NYC. They ought to be helping us expose their incompetence, much the way a good software vendor seeks out bug reports.”

Michael at Reading A1 called me an “enabler” of the Hugh Hewitt agenda last week because I gave attention to the Eason Jordan episode. This week: “Not so much an enabler, perhaps, more like a fellow traveller.”

Sean Hackbarth at The American Mind. It’s not conservative to destroy what you cannot replace:

Those webloggers seeking another MSM head have yet to offer a replacement to mainstream media. They destroy but don’t build. That’s not conservative. Edmund Burke in his Reflections on the Revolution in France writes about tearing down the state:

“[W]e have consecrated the state, that no man should approach to look into its defects or corruptions but with due caution; that he should never dream of beginning its reformation by its subversion; that he should approach to the faults of the state as to the wounds of a father, with pious awe and trembling solicitude.”

Replace “state” with “media” and you’ll see Burke’s wisdom still applies today.

Michael Wolff in a speech to media executives: “At some point in the ’50s Truman Capote was asked about Jack Kerouac, and he said, ‘That’s not writing, that’s typing,’ which is to some degree how I feel about blogs. I even hate saying the word blog. I hate being forced to say the word blog. When I look at that particular blog piece of software I react viscerally. I said, ‘Oh, I don’t want this. I don’t want to be part of this.’… By all rights, 18 months from now we should be looking back at this and all kind of embarrassed to say the word blog — I hope.”

Posted by Jay Rosen at February 14, 2005 5:27 PM   Print


Good post and lots of good questions!!!

Posted by: PXLated at February 14, 2005 6:27 PM | Permalink


Is this what they teach at journalism school ?

It's not the right bloggers that are doing the hating. It is guys like this professor. Or that foolish kneejerk stuff from Steve Lovelady at the CJR, slagging everyone off.

We are not "hating" the legacy media. Not in the sense that left-wing sites parrot "Bush=Hitler" That is hate. We are CRITICISING specific examples of bad, unverified, incomplete or grossly biased journalism. Jordan was not being criticised ad hominem - he was being criticised for what he was reported to have said, at Davos and elsewhere.

How you or Michael Barone make a jump from that sort of fierce criticism to "hatred" is wierd. Very sloppy use of the word "hate", IMHO.

Posted by: JohninLondon at February 14, 2005 6:41 PM | Permalink

The enemy of the right is not the MSM, but what the MSM does - it claims objectivity while advancing the left's causes. And, in spite of the growing power of the blogosphere, MSM has OVERWHELMING influence on public opinion. That is what infuriates the right, and that is why the right loves the blogosphere - finally, a chance to read intelligent responses to MSM nonsense.

Posted by: rockin' ron at February 14, 2005 6:44 PM | Permalink

I hate that the blogosphere is now being "managed" into red/blue, left/right, modernist pigeonholes. It does the whole phenomenon a disservice.

I wrote today that the lust for power is the blogosphere's Achilles' Heel, which Jeff and others will dispute. "What's wrong with 'the people' having power?" they ask, but the Jordan thing is showing me that it's not 'the people' at all but another group of individuals lusting for power (not all, but many). When the blogosphere resorts to the same methods as the MSM, what's the difference?

That said, Jay, I think you're spot on about the whole thing. I ask the same questions about the resignation, and I reject the idea that the blogosphere "caused" it. If that's true, then we've just handed the discussion a martyr, and that'll cloud the matter for years to come.

I've bet my life on the notion that the blogosphere, aka citizens media, is a different animal -- that the quest for the 'gotcha' isn't what drives it, but rather a quest for truth. Let's get off all the self-congratulatory pedestal dwelling before we hurt somebody.

Namely us.

Posted by: Terry Heaton at February 14, 2005 7:02 PM | Permalink

The solution to miscommunication has to be more communication.

AMEN. Release the tape. Investigate the charges and help the public, and Rep. Frank, Sen. Dodd and the rest of our representatives, to DISPOSE OF the issue via a thorough, objective, airing of the facts and arguments.

Posted by: thibaud at February 14, 2005 7:25 PM | Permalink

I dislike the term "right blogosphere" and "left blogosphere". Most bloggers write about their beleifs, and most of them have beliefs that do not fall entirely into one camp or the other.

The current perception by many of a "left" and "right" is driven I think by feelings for and against George Bush and his Iraq policy. To many people (such as those who frequent, support of or opposition to Bush is the sole criteria for determining one side or the other. However, many people supported the war while oppsoing the rest of Bush's agenda, while others oppsed the war by supported his domestic agenda.

The current "left" and "right" sides of the blogsphere are temporary, and will blur once other issues become more important to the blog readers.

Posted by: Siergen at February 14, 2005 7:45 PM | Permalink

The Barone quote itself is disingenuous. It contradicts itself.

"Michael Barone of US News writes: 'The focus of hatred in the right blogosphere is not Kerry or the Democrats but what these bloggers call Mainstream Media, or MSM. They argue, correctly in my view, that the New York Times, CBS News, and others distorted the news in an attempt to defeat Bush in 2004.'"

The right wing blogosphere openly hates the so-called mainstream media (who have been jumping to the defense of payola journalist Jeff "Gannon" Guckert), but Barone claims no personal animosity for Kerry or Democrats.

If the imaginary media support for Kerry is why regressive Republicans hate the media, than this hatred of the media is by Barone's own logic fueled by hatred for Democrats. Indeed, journalists are hated AS democrats.

That is the standard charge, 80% of them are Democrats, so journalists' claims to objectivity are a sham.

Well, Barone's claim that he and his storm troopers don't hate Democrats, just the media, is a sham. They are telling us loud and clear, they don't hate the media as opposed to Democrats, they hate the media AS a collection of the Democrats they hate. This means that hating the media for the reasons Barone gives is itself an act of hating Democrats. While denying it.

It is a tall order to imagine attempting communication with the hypocrisy of regressive Republican hatred of this kind. It is unembarassed in its hatred. It is unapologetic. It is periodically hypocritical, but it is nothing if not full-throated.

There is a dKos diary today that performs the thought experiment of putting the routine libel and slander coming from Limbaugh, O'Reilly and company into the mouths of Democrats with Republican targets. It is stunning, the routine disrespect and contempt (for human dignity and the truth) that is produced by this crew.

"I've got something to say.
What we need are Democratic strongmen who will walk up to those conservatives in favor of the war and punch them in the face.
We need Janet Reno to find these hawks, have ATF agents with automatic weapons arrest them, and place them in an offshore prison where we can hold them without charges and declare them enemy combatants.
Maybe this is all too elaborate. Perhaps we should just drop bombs on their homes.
We do this because they are enraged at the prospect of being tolerant."

Guess what? This ventriloquism of the regressive right echo chamber makes Eason Jordan sound like Step n' Fetch It. Compared to this crew, he should be considered as a mediator.

It would take a less rabid and regressive right for communication to occur. The current regressive right's model of communication is enforced daily in the Congress: Agree with us or shut up. That's not a very promising place for communication to occur.

My point is, whether right-bloggers agree with Barone or not, if the statement is self-contradictory and false to begin with, what have we learned?

Yes, they agree with the hypocrisy or no they refuse to be hypocritical in that way. It seems to leave us with no more than a test of regressive rightist sincerity or lack thereof.

In other words, what we are really asking is: "Do you really hate us? Or do you just pretend to hate us?" Is communication really the first order of business in addressing hatred, whether real or feigned?

Posted by: Mark Anderson at February 14, 2005 7:48 PM | Permalink

I repeat, from the comments to the post just below and from yesterday:

" Let me ask you something, serious question, Will: Is the point to have a dialogue with the MSM or cause its destruction?"

The point could also be to merge with or supplant.

Merging is already happening and so, some would argue, is supplanting.

These two things are distinct and different from "going dialogic" with the media or seeking the destruction of the media.

Posted by: Van der Leun at February 14, 2005 7:48 PM | Permalink

Some -- like one of the posts this piece linked to -- suggest that blog writers were blameworthy because they lost sight of what should be the "real issue," which is the fate of reporters in Iraq.

I'm not buying.

Look, either Jordan did, or did not, say words to the effect that American soldiers were deliberately targeting reporters. That, as people have pointed out, is verifiable by going to tape. If he did say it, either there is, or there is not, some evidence that he or someone else could present to support the claim. If there is such evidence, then he and CNN should present it in the pursuit of their professional obligations.

If there is no such evidence -- if he was, to be blunt, talking out of his ass -- then why should people not use that information to evaluate his credibility, and by extension the credibility of any organization that he manages or that promotes his views? If I go out in public and make an incendiary claim and am forced to admit that I cannot back it up, then people will conclude that I am a fool or a blowhard or a zealot. I will suffer the consequences of my mouth writing checks that my brain can't cash. But under what rational version of freedom of thought should I not suffer those consequences?

What journalist, reporting on a public figure and helping the public evaluate the wits, positions, and suitability of that public figure, would fail to report that the figure made claims without support -- especially claims that group X wants to kill group Y?

Posted by: Ken at February 14, 2005 7:49 PM | Permalink

JohninLondon wrote:

>Is this what they teach at journalism school ?


>It's not the right bloggers that are doing the >hating. It is guys like this professor. Or that >foolish kneejerk stuff from Steve Lovelady at the >CJR, slagging everyone off.

>We are not "hating" the legacy media. Not in the >sense that left-wing sites parrot "Bush=Hitler" >That is hate. We are CRITICISING specific >examples of bad, unverified, incomplete or >grossly biased journalism."

I'm all for specific criticism - the more specific, the better.

But if you are criticizing specific examples, then by your example above you have strayed from that philosophy. Posting an essay by a single journalism professor - and who knows how long he has been a professor - and then asking if all journalism schools teach that is itself a generalization and is not specific at all. What you've done is take a specific instance and then make a general accusation. I think you had a point with the rest of your comment and there was no need for the intro.

We should be able to have this discussion without using words like "hate" and without generically placing negative labels on each other.


Posted by: Derek Willis at February 14, 2005 8:18 PM | Permalink

Unfortunately, as is the case in much of what is being written about Eason Jordan, Jay either misses or elides the reason for the reaction of the blogosphere. It wasn't what Jordan said this one time, taken in isolation, that caused the reaction from so many on "the right". Instead, it was the verifiable fact, as pointed out on Ed Morrissey's blog Captain's Quarters among other places, that Jordan has made these assertions or raised the questions before without ever offering any evidence for his claims coupled with what he is alleged to have said at Davos that fueled the outrage.

Despite what you and Bertrand Pecquerie argue in saying "It's about freedom of expression and the right to raise disturbing questions," that's not the true issue that should be raised. Very few rational people will condemn you for asking unpopular or disturbing questions if they are legit questions. The true issue here is when can, or should, we, the audience, condemn or castigate those who ask disturbing questions whose sole purpose is to impugn those whom the questioner does not like and which the questioner either knows to be false or cannot offer even the slightest shred of evidence to support the question. In this case, Eason Jordan demonstrated a pattern of behavior that flaunted journalistic ethics, was caught, and eventually punished.

Just as the journalist has the right to ask disturbing questions and expect answers, the audience also has the right to ask disturbing questions of the questioner and expect answers. When those answers aren't forthcoming, as they weren't in this case, why should one disturbing questioner be praised and defended while another castigated?

Posted by: bash91 at February 14, 2005 8:33 PM | Permalink

I'm stationed overseas and regrettably have to sometimes rely on CNN and the BBC for english language coverage. The vehement overt and (more sickeningly) covert anti-americanism displayed by these two organizations that purportedly are harbingers of TRUTH in journalism is more indicative of the liberal bias they are rooted in then anything I could demonstrate with the multiple dozens of examples that have finally started coming to light in this internet age.

From Easons admittance of CNN lying about Iraqs atrocities before the war to CNN's demonstrated inequity of coverage (postitive stories vs. negative stories) during the last two elections to this current CNN foul... the list goes on.

I have been watching CNN almost continuously since the news on Eason broke nearly 16 hours ago. I have yet to see one single report on this story. Amazing, isn't it?

There have been 2 different stories on a Marine accused of illegally killing an Iraqi, 2 stories on how much the American people are against President Bush and his Social Security plan, 3 stories on Howard Dean being elected as chairman of the DNC. There has even been 10 minutes devouted to tomorrows Grammy awards. There has not, however, been one single sentence about the Eason Jordan story. Again.. simply astounding.

Oh how I wish for a little more fair and balanced coverage from CNN. It looks like this may never happen until the top two or three tiers of the organization is replaced. It's not just the on-air talent at fault for their biasness, it's rooted at the very highest levels. Maybe driving them to the brink of bankruptcy is one way of bringing about this change. Sign me up for that method. I'll do my part by contacting their advertisers, and more importantly boycotting those advertisers products.

Posted by: A. Patriot at February 14, 2005 9:03 PM | Permalink

Mark Anderson insists that the blogswarm about Jordan is a manifestation of right wing hatred.

There certainly is a bunch of that out there. I generally find Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh to be destructive and yes, sometimes hateful.

And I warned the blogosphere, over at Winds of Change, against being manipulated for political aims. I said things like "mob action is a lousy way to run a society".

But you know what, Mark? I've been a registered Democrat for over 30 years now and I have a lot of sympathy for bloggers who went after Jordan and CNN. The gap between what I saw *reported* by a variety of people on the ground in Iraq and what I saw *reported* by the mainstream media was persistent and too large to ignore. I don't have a huge number of personal friends who've been in Iraq the last 2 years, but the half-dozen I've talked with in depth brought back reports, photos and analyses that make the press reports look like amateur hour. And unfortunately, where the press fell down, it did so in a pretty consistently anti-Coalition direction. That's damning in the eyes of many intelligent, thoughtful people.

I also have a lot of sympathy for journalists. Their industry is being fundamentally restructured out from underneath them, and not just by the Net. Long before the first blogger, consolidation of media ownership meant less money for foreign bureaus, less time to dig for facts, more emphasis on short-term ratings -- in other words, a lot of pressures that lead to many of the errors bloggers jump on.

It doesn't help that Watergate and Vietnam *did* lead to a totally unwarranted arrogance on the part of journalists and a huge increase in gotcha journalism. Watergate was unfortunate, because it caused many in the field to overestimate their own importance, just at the time when forces were building that would have challenged them even if they were on firmer ground.

So here we are in a perfect storm of changes and Jordan and Rather are just the surface symptoms. What *IS* the role of professional journalists when they work for an international organization and don't necessarily perceive themselve to have any allegiance or direct responsibility to a particular electorate? And what *IS* the responsibility of bloggers? We'd better find out soon, because bloggers are venturing into uncharted waters and journalists are increasingly under fire, literally and figuratively.

There are bloggers who want constructive dialogue with journalists on these issues. I'm one of them. But that has to go both ways -- if journalists try to dismiss the events of the last 3 weeks as the work of right-wing hatred, they are missing a dwindling window of opportunity to regain credibility with an articulate, educated and increasingly active audience. Industries and organizations that ignore their markets usually lose them. And protected groups that abuse their protections may find themselves increasingly stripped of them.

Posted by: Robin Burk at February 14, 2005 9:07 PM | Permalink

Chris Bowers' dKos Diary I referenced above:
"Yea, You Heard Me Right"

Posted by: Mark Anderson at February 14, 2005 9:16 PM | Permalink


What a treat to watch you, Geraghty and Gergen on NewsHour. Well done. My only disappointment was that you didn't get a chance to challenge the premise that we know why Jordan resigned, and it was because of blogs. I think you tried once to challenge Gergen on that.

bash91: "... why should one disturbing questioner be praised and defended while another castigated?"

That's a good question. Nik Gowan has been credited in the NYT with originating disturbing questions about the military targeting journalists. Chris Cramer praises Nik Gowan's theories from the INSI podium. Eason Jordan allegedly brings it up the World Economic Forum.

Now, it seems to me that there was a good opportunity "to go dialogic" with Nik, Chris and Eason. But that didn't really happen, did it?

Instead, Richard Sambrook, who I'm guessing knows Nik Gowan pretty well, was harrassed off PressThink. Eason Jordan resigned, dialogue never happened and is not likely.

I personally think Nik Gowan's theories about the US military wrong and paranoid. I think they border on what you describe as "disturbing questions whose sole purpose is to impugn those whom the questioner does not like and which the questioner either knows to be false or cannot offer even the slightest shred of evidence to support the question."

Do you think it would be worth having a dialogue with Nik and Chris (and whoever else) about it.

Is that realistic? Or would they be shouted down between right and left hyperbolic comments?

Posted by: Sisyphus [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 14, 2005 9:23 PM | Permalink

I have serious problems with the argument that Mr. Jordan's comments were off the record, and under journalistic standards would not be published.

When George W. Bush was running for president the first time, he made an off the record remark to Dick Cheney at a campaign rally. Bush did not realize that his microphone was on, and he was overheard calling a New York Times reporter "a real asshole."

It was apparent from the circumstances that this was a private aside and not meant to be broadcast, yet every media outlet covered the incident at great length.

For the press now to have scruples because an off the record comment was broadcast stinks of rank hypocrisy.

Posted by: SRSD at February 14, 2005 9:34 PM | Permalink

Robin Burk,

I also have sympathy for journalists. Their industry's being fundamentally restructured.... Long before the first blogger, consolidation of media ownership meant less money for foreign bureaus, less time to dig for facts, more emphasis on short-term ratings -- in other words, a lot of pressures that lead to many of the errors bloggers jump on.

I agree. I feel sorry for a consummate pro like Bill Keller. But before anyone reaches for a hankie let's remember that disintermediation's happening all around us, and has been happening for decades. Brokers used to make fixed commissions; now they need to hustle for the business. Financial advisers find that their clients can do their own financial analysis online and execute trades for a fraction of what the pros charge. Doctors used to have a monopoly on medical knowledge; now their patients can research their own maladies and communicate with and consult histories of hundreds of patients who've suffered the same malady.

Why should journalists maintain a monopoly on information flows in their business when nearly every other profession is or has its own informational monopoly?

Posted by: thibaud at February 14, 2005 9:39 PM | Permalink

change above to "when nearly every other profession is losing or has lost its own informational monopoly?"

Bloggers aren't the point. There will come a time when the reader/news consumer, not the blogger or the editor, is the one who selects, arranges and shapes news reportage.

Posted by: thibaud at February 14, 2005 9:41 PM | Permalink

So let's see, a big media executive says something controversial into a microphone, with a whole bunch bigwigs watching, and someone publishes what he said. And now those of us out here talking about it are salivating morons?

It's hilarious. These guys with their enormous salaries thought that, because of their jobs, they were bulletproof. They're not. They thought since they owned the printing presses and broadcast hardware, they were untouchable.

Not anymore.

It's not the politics of the MSM that has everyone riled up--it's the arrogance.

Posted by: JennyD at February 14, 2005 10:04 PM | Permalink

Why should journalists maintain a monopoly on information flows in their business when nearly every other profession is losing or has lost its own informational monopoly

They shouldn't -- and more to the point, they can't.

That said, I do think we need to consider carefully the impact of information on our democracy. If professional journalists are no long the Fourth Estate of society/government - or if they are no longer alone in that role - what should we do about the legal privileges and protections we extend to them? I'm unwilling to discard those lightly and it's not clear to me that they should be extended easily to bloggers - at least not to bloggers as a group under all circumstances. And yet, as Jordan's interview last Fall notes, CNNi is not an American company. Expecting him and his company to have loyalty to the American electorate is probably a futile effort -- and that means that we can hold him only to the barest standard of factuality in his comments. Anything beyond that is likely to depend to a good degree on values and those tend to differ from culture to culture.

In other words, assuming Jordan said what people believe he said (and that he meant it, per his comments in Portugal), we shouldn't be surprised. The question is, what are the legal and other implications of delinking the press from a specific country and culture?

There will come a time when the reader/news consumer, not the blogger or the editor, is the one who selects, arranges and shapes news reportage.

Maybe. But there's a whole lot of data out there to sift through. We're not yet at the point where, say, your personal software agent can sift through thousands of direct information feeds for you, sum up the important trends and present it with analysis. Believe me -- my academic research is in these areas and it will be a while. A long while, probably.

But even if your own personal adaptive software agent could do that for you, it's not likely to go out investigating possible news in the real world. At least, the robotics I'm familiar with are a long way from doing that any time soon. (smile)

Do bloggers or other readers/consumers have useful inputs that might bring insights to other readers? Sure, as we've seen with the Iraqi bloggers. How, or if, that can play with professional journalists remains to be seen. We're all shaping one another in ways we don't fully understand and which have just begun to play out, I suspect.

Posted by: Robin Burk at February 14, 2005 10:04 PM | Permalink

I should have said, "The question is, what are the legal and other implications of delinking some of the press from a specific country and culture?"

There certainly journalists who identify with their communities, cultures and electorate, in this country and elsewhere. But increasingly the major news media seem to be corporations which are not anchored to any one place and people. One would think that might make for more evenhanded news but in practice it seems simply to loosen accountability instead.

Posted by: Robin Burk at February 14, 2005 10:09 PM | Permalink

Blair - Raines - Rather - Jordan

All since the sordid reaffirmation of the Duranty Pulitzer last year?

Sounds like Bad Karma to me!

Its Not Nice to Toe Dance on the Graves of 10Million Holodomor Victims.

Posted by: blackminorcapullets at February 14, 2005 10:12 PM | Permalink

Blair - Raines - Rather - Jordan

All since the sordid reaffirmation of the Duranty Pulitzer last year?

Sounds like Bad Karma to me!

Its Not Nice to Toe Dance on the Graves of 10Million Holodomor Victims.

The industry needs to grasp with its Selfish Past as did Ebenezer Scrooge.

Posted by: blackminorcapullets at February 14, 2005 10:14 PM | Permalink

Frankly, while I found Jordan's comment appalling, as well as his attempted defense extremely lame and unconvincing (particularly in light of his previous gaffes), I find it disturbing that he quit so easily.

A little pressure and he just ups and quits? If that is what journalists do when the fire is on, that really worries me.

Posted by: Roy Waggoner at February 14, 2005 10:17 PM | Permalink

One would think that might make for more evenhanded news but in practice it seems simply to loosen accountability instead.

I'm assuming that "loosen accountability" means "reduce accuracy".

in which case -
Interesting assertion. How would you test it? Compare accuracy (measured retrospectively) of "home team" press vs. international press?

I suspect if we did so, the home team would lose.

Posted by: Anna at February 14, 2005 10:18 PM | Permalink

"Very sloppy use of the word hate, IMHO."

Oh, we hate the MSM, believe me, as fair as we may be in how we go about acting on that hatred. It would not have been possible to put up with journalists for a couple of decades of adult life without developing a thick, dark hatred of them for their ignorance, vanity, lies, and shameless intrusiveness.

Posted by: Doug at February 14, 2005 10:29 PM | Permalink

"I suspect if we did so, the home team would lose." - Anna

I'm surprised to see you write that. Do you now advocate the supra-national press? The "View from Nowhere" press?

Reactions to "What if Everything Changed for American Journalists on September 11th?" (Giving new life to a free society)

And we participated in the life and civic causes of our town – Greenville, Mississippi – with avocational fervor. We saw ourselves as citizens as well as journalists. We saw ourselves not simply as a mirror reflecting what was happening in the community, or as its critics, but as indivisible from it, a piece of the community’s fabric.
Big Wigs Confer, Part Three
Community is the key. Whoever embraces and empowers community will have a far better chance of succeeding, no matter what form of media you work on.
Undercurrent: Nation, Region, Weblog, Home

Posted by: Sisyphus [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 14, 2005 10:30 PM | Permalink

thibaud, and Van der Leun say respectively (paraphrased from above): the News consumer will shape the selection of the news; and the old and new medias will merge. These thoughts seem connected and to me at least, likely.

The originating issue seems likely to die out, but the reaction is curious. From outrage to mild rebuke: most focused on the bloggers, not on the originating event. A curious mirror we are examining.

Posted by: John Lynch at February 14, 2005 10:40 PM | Permalink


Agree with you here-- much more with you than the folks who usually cc me on their letters to you. Perhaps you did earn a little "political capital" here, but it would be nicely spent in a bipartisan fashion by banishing -Gate from all future scandals (maybe that's your hidden agenda with the book title Gatekeepers without Gates). I thought if the issue was bigger than Eason Jordan, a more clever name could have been inspired.

Great questions pointed at the right-wingers. As I've responded before, few people on the wings have been heeding the call to end the conflict, and drop the fists. I still think that they pick up cues from the so-called A-list. A seemingly innocuous discussion on Gillmor about wikipedia can't help but ripping up the old guard. Everytime I read a post that starts "the MSM isn't covering this!" my winger warning light goes off and I move on.

My interest at Civilities is the pub/journ emphasis in using these exercises to try and understand one another across divides; and I wondered here if it wasn't purely left vs. right politics but left vs. right brain as well. See more at Shoot the Press.


Posted by: Jon Garfunkel at February 14, 2005 10:42 PM | Permalink

I do wonder if Jordan's comments were worse than what is even being reported though.

Look at what he said last year.

"Actions speak louder than words. The reality is that at least 10 journalists have been killed by the US military, and according to reports I believe to be true journalists have been arrested and tortured by US forces."


Posted by: Roy Waggoner at February 14, 2005 10:45 PM | Permalink

I thought one of the tasks of journalists was to be especially precise and knowledgeable about words. But first we have Jordan and his "misspeaking" about "targeted." And now we read that the MSM is a focus of "hate" for the right-wing side of the blogosphere.

It is certainly true that some on the right-wing side of the blogosphere do in fact hate the MSM. But most simply are calling the MSM on possible lies, misstatements, sloppiness, bias, and/or purposeful omissions. How does this translate to "hate?" Wouldn't the word "criticism" be more appropritate? Most of what I have read in the blogosphere criticizing Jordan's remarks merely calls for an explanation and an airing of the videotape, analyzing the situation in a pretty judicious and calm manner. Many have bent over backwards to withhold judgment until the evidence is in.

And as for the blogosphere being responsible for Jordan's resignation, I just don't see it. Last time I checked, Jordan was a grown man with a host of choices on how to deal with this. He chose resignation, for reasons best known only to himself.

Posted by: neo-neocon [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 14, 2005 11:52 PM | Permalink

Along similar lines
Jim Geraghty from the Macneil/Lehrer thing:

But I can't say I really buy into this argument that this is one mistake or one slip in the tongue because at a conference in Portugal last fall, Eason Jordan said that several journalists were taken to the Abu Ghraib Prison complex and been tortured there.

I'm wondering why I didn't see that on CNN. If he's got these kinds of evidence behind these stories, he should come out and show it.

This was not an isolated incident. The guy was obviously nutty, and his nuttiness had the odd habit of expressing itself in the same way every time.

It's interesting how media types think all of their mistakes should be looked at in complete isolation, whereas politicians, soldiers etc. should be held to account for all of their misdeeds in the lead for every story ever written about them.

Never forget. Never forgive.

Posted by: Eric Deamer at February 14, 2005 11:58 PM | Permalink

I agree that something doesn't smell right about Jordan's resignation. Clearly the allegations he's made have resonated with many of his peers. It's equally clear that prominent execs, even those who are supposed to weigh their words carefully, make mistakes, misspeak, screw up from time to time.

But senior execs at Jordan's level resign only when they have caused great harm to either the company's brand image or some other driver of financial performance. Is it really true that CNN's financial value to its TW parent was really diminished by Jordan's remarks?

My BS detector, along with my experience of corporate intrigue, tells me that something else was at work here. Jordan resigning over this mini-scandal would be like Carly Fiorina resigning because she had dissed a few old-timer Hewlett-Packard engineers. Boards don't work that way. 25-year high-powered execs aren't treated that way.

Was the real issue Jordan's extramarital affair with a murdered journalist's widow?

Posted by: thibaud at February 15, 2005 12:04 AM | Permalink

Let me be clear: Jordan's weaseling touches on a deeper issue which we've all discussed here at great length. But the decision to force out a senior exec in disgrace is ultimately a financial decision that is hard to justify based on his clumsy repeating of what appears to be viewed as gospel by many journalists. There must be a skeleton or two in this closet. The Davos stuff is a tibia or a femur at best.

Posted by: thibaud at February 15, 2005 12:08 AM | Permalink

So why does Davos videotape the conference?

Posted by: Brian at February 15, 2005 12:46 AM | Permalink


What I find curious, and very to the point of all this, is that you fail to mention the single truly wronged party.

The American military.

Eason Jordan's comments, unsubstantiated as they are, would be reprehensible under any circumstance beyond that of the private dinner table. If journalists wish to be treated as if they had credibility, then they must actively assure that very same credibility is justified. Eason Jorden repeatedly showed that he didn't deserve any credibility at all, and so his firing was long overdue.

Another point to be made is that there are currently 140,000+ American soldiers in Iraq, fighting for their lives and the success of their mission. Eason Jordan's comments could *possibly* be ignored if it weren't for this singular fact. By playing to the predisposed bias of many other participants at Davos, Eason Jordan's words could have been used as ammunition against American forces. This is beyond the pale in every way and at this point, firing is too damn good for the man.

The simple fact is that Eason Jordan and CNN could have solved this Gordian Knot by simply apologising and releasing the video. They chose not to.

Eason Jordan is not a victim. Neither is CNN.

Posted by: ed at February 15, 2005 12:58 AM | Permalink

So why does Davos videotape the conference?

Blackmail? Sorry, couldn't resist...

Posted by: ToddG at February 15, 2005 12:59 AM | Permalink


"So why does Davos videotape the conference?"

Curious isn't it? The point of contact at WEF originally promised to mail a copy of the video tape with no prior reference to any off-the-record nonsense. After a few days he backtracked and claimed it was off-the-record.

I am clearly unconvinced that it was in fact off-the-record and that it was probably made that way retroactively.

Posted by: ed at February 15, 2005 1:00 AM | Permalink


"Was the real issue Jordan's extramarital affair with a murdered journalist's widow?"

Actually the best theory I've read so far is that Eason Jordan resigned to prevent any further investigation. The basic reasoning is that many of the participants at Davos are the power people with great influence over the world. At this specific meeting the discussion was, I believe, about the interaction between Democracies and Journalism. As you could expect the vast majority of those in attendance were probably journalists. As vast majority of the America's journalists are largely liberal Democrats, any video would have shown many familiar faces in the audience.

Now imagine all those liberal journalists jumping up and applauding Eason Jordan as he makes his unsubstantiated charges. And being videotaped doing so.

Frankly this is the only scenario that really makes any sense. The only other possibility is that Eason Jordan's actual quotes were so incredibly bad that spontaneous masses of Americans would rise up with burning torches and pitchforks bent on cornering the FrankenCNN in an abandoned windmill.

Posted by: ed at February 15, 2005 1:10 AM | Permalink

More questions--this article from the LATimes on Clinton at Davos (prepare yourself for a worshipful puff piece) would seem to indicate that at least some of the proceedings are not so "off the record":

So maybe Jordan was at some specific gathering that was super-secret in nature, or maybe the off the record rules are rather murky...but whatever. They say it was off the record and I'm willing to believe why videotape it?

I'll tell you one thing, if I have to speak in front of a microphone and camera recording my every word and gesture, my tendency would be to assume I'm not off the record. But that's just me.

Posted by: Brian at February 15, 2005 1:11 AM | Permalink

A discussion about Democracies and Journalism--behind closed doors, off the record. Funny, that.

I've thought along the same lines...releasing the tapes might worry a number of people who didn't think their remarks or reactions would get aired either. Which is fine, but as the Larry Summers case showed "off the record" only means "off the record" until someone present gets ticked off and leaks what you said.

It isn't entirely fair, but then when I have something impolitic to say to a co-worker, I don't rip off an email, which would be the office equivalent to speaking before a camera.

Posted by: Brian at February 15, 2005 1:22 AM | Permalink

Great job on McNeil News Hour. It's refreshing to see someone on television who is living in the same world I do.

Posted by: Mark Anderson at February 15, 2005 2:18 AM | Permalink

Interesting links, Sisyphus. There is something a bit strange about the mighty getting together to speak off the record on matters of public import.

Posted by: Brian at February 15, 2005 2:20 AM | Permalink

Ed writes:

Another point to be made is that there are currently 140,000+ American soldiers in Iraq, fighting for their lives and the success of their mission. Eason Jordan's comments could *possibly* be ignored if it weren't for this singular fact. By playing to the predisposed bias of many other participants at Davos, Eason Jordan's words could have been used as ammunition against American forces. This is beyond the pale in every way and at this point, firing is too damn good for the man.

You're right that our presence in Iraq is the important context for Jordan's remarks. It's not clear to me, however, that Jordan identifies with the American public on this issue, however, or that he would mind the impact of those remarks on US troops.

Instead, I think (based on his own words) that he identified with his company as an international player. Jordan himself was a college drop-out whose only media employment, so far as I can tell, was at CNN beginning in its early days. He was promoted quickly because he focused on first the technical and then the operational details of getting reporters out in the field and then streaming in their reports from the field.

While there are many fine journalists who have received a solid training on the job (as opposed to J-school), it's not at all clear to me that CNN in its early days was an established shop which could pass on the ethics, skills and mindset of responsible journalism. Jordan's professional career was shaped early on by CNN's dominant voice in Baghdad during the first Gulf war.

Is it surprising, then, that he identifies most with his journalists - a concern he should have, in his role - and with his growing international audience, first and foremost?

It's pretty common in the business world, where I spent over 25+ years before moving to academia, to have executives who had risen to roles that demanded broader skills and mindset than they really had. Executives who are promoted too far this way usually over-reach, often are blatant about their use of money and power and are often pushed out by Boards as a result.

I suspect that Jordan had become a liability for Time Warner for a while, but this was the firing offense. I've read accounts that he had given up most operational management of the news for CNNi and was mostly "doing deals" for access and partnerships, although I don't have details and that might not be true.

What interests me more than Jordan himself is the broader issue of a group of academics, press and others who identify with trans-national groups first and foremost. I suspect that describes many in the broadcast industry and at major newspapers, as well as many academics.

I won't debate whether they are right or wrong on that (at least not here). But I will raise the question of what that implies for this country's treatment of the press.

And I think it has direct impact on journalism on the battlefield - how it is done and what the results are in terms of journalist deaths. When wars are fought on a non-linear battlefield, as in Iraq, there are no clear "front lines" and "behind the lines" demarcations. That is why the US military wants to embed reporters - apart from any intention on the part of the politicians to control viewpoint, the reality is that that is the only way the military can protect journalists.

There have been reports of attacks on troops by insurgents driving cars with press markings, for instance. There have been videotapes of insurgent attacks on troops by correspondents who appear to have been rather closely embedded with the insurgents. In these circumstances, what is the right balance between protecting troop lives and those of journalists who are perceived, in some cases correctly I think, as being hostile to the troops and their mission?

Not easy questions to answer, but I think Jordan and others need to be careful in pushing the issue of journalist deaths because they will find that many do not agree with their unstated premise about whose lives should come first in these situations. I myself think that most troops try to protect journalists and many journalists are responsible and prudent. Beyond that, it's a murky grey area.

Posted by: Robin Burk at February 15, 2005 5:47 AM | Permalink

One clarification: I am very sure that it is the policy of the US military to protect journalists in accordance with our international agreements. I have no way of knowing whether individual soldiers violated that policy, as Jordan suggested when he backtracked.

What is clear to me, however, is that many Americans believe many in the media to start from an anti-military mindset. I suspect there is mistrust on both sides, but if Jordan is claiming (or if others in the business believe) that the US military is automatically anti-media, they are misreading the situation IMO. The US military are pretty non-ideological, by and large (although officers and soldier do have political opinions). Emphasis on civilian control of the military is a deep part of the culture that is strongly reinforced by bans on partisan activity during elections, etc.

What the military are is mission-oriented. And where the media are perceived as undermining that mission unfairly, the result may indeed be a deepening mistrust. But my experience of US military is that there's a well of professionalism (especially in the active duty force) that counterbalances that. Officers are taught to do "after action reports" that are as objective and fact based as possible. AARs get at what happened and generally are not a CYA exercise -- because that is counterproductive to the mission.

What the military wants from journalists, I believe, is a corresponding professionalism and evenhandedness. Report the facts, good and bad, and do so in a balanced way.

Posted by: Robin Burk at February 15, 2005 6:07 AM | Permalink

Butter wouldn't melt in Rosen's mouth here.

He tries to pretend that he was not a major player in forcing Jordan to resign, but without Rosen's legitimizing of this witch hunt, it would never have gone anywhere.

Now, Rosen tries to pretend as if there the wingnuts want "dialogue" and a more responsible mainstream media.


Get your head out of your refined academic ass for once, and make an effort to understand what happened here without involving your own massive ego.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at February 15, 2005 6:23 AM | Permalink

and of course there is still not one single word on "Jeff Gannon". We now know that he lied about those gay hustler websites --- he wasn't acting as a consultant for someone else, in fact, we now have the person who designed the websites whose purpose was to promote "JD Guckert"'s career as a sex worker.

yet Jay remains silent....while the far right wing press pretends that this is an "invasion of privacy", or represents some kind of "double standard" because Kos got press credentials to DNC events.

HOW ABOUT TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS FIASCO, JAY, rather than trying to justify your participation in the destruction of Eason Jordan?

Posted by: p.lukasiak at February 15, 2005 6:29 AM | Permalink

Here's a link for you, Paul.

Posted by: Jay Rosen at February 15, 2005 7:26 AM | Permalink

Jay, you say

Not a felony. I say not a crime. But here is what it was: An occasion when a news executive, a senior statesman at the network, miscommunicated about a matter of life and death, not to say a "story" of considerable (to the point of shocking) news value. And not in front of just anyone, but "representatives of the world," an international elite, which is part of the ruling fiction at Davos.

He "miscommunicated"? Jay, he has quoted been on this topic before.

"Actions speak louder than words. The reality is that at least 10 journalists have been killed by the US military, and according to reports I believe to be true journalists have been arrested and tortured by US forces," Mr Jordan told an audience of news executives at the News Xchange conference in Portugal.

From the Guardian-Nov 2004

Posted by: Engineer [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2005 7:35 AM | Permalink

My considered thoughts:

Seven points worth remembering about the Eason Jordan Episode.

Posted by: sbw at February 15, 2005 7:54 AM | Permalink

As a right wing nut who "hates" the MSM I'd just like to make a couple of points.
The MSM has held an unchallenged perch of "authority" for decades. Other than writting letters to the editor (and hoping they'd be published)no meaningful avenue of "dissent" existed for those who held a different (usually conservative) point of view.
Finally individuals have a way of bypassing the MSM to broadly publish contrary opinions and to raise questions of logic and fact about contemporary MSM "conventional wisdom". These new voices have only three weapons; truth, logic and fact to persuade others or question MSM "authority".
The lamentations of some about the right wing "hate" of the MSM is silly. Either one can support their arguments in the blogosphere or they can't. Feeble reasoning and fraudulent use of "facts" get eaten alive.
Yeah, its a Darwinian process that forces individuals to think through their ideas and hone their positions. However, the result is better (if not the best) analysis.
Yeah, some right wing nuts vent "hate" but they are rarely persuasive to most on the right wing.
All I want to know are all the relevant facts. I'll make my own decision based on the best reasoning I can find.
Blogs that promote vile statements will, ultimately, be shunned. Those that attract the best ideas will be embraced by reasonable, independent, people who want the best, most well supported, analysis.
Most of the left's response to fiascoes like the Rather and Jordan debacles simply devolve into absurd rationalizations or questioning the motivation of the messengers. When the left decides it wants to participate with fact and logic they will elevate the outcome for everyone and gain respect. If they don't want to bother, if they want to continue only using self-righteous "Nazi", "racist" and "regressive" smears as the only support of their opinions they will only hasten their descent into abject obscurity.

Posted by: jjag at February 15, 2005 9:15 AM | Permalink

It's not conservative to destroy what you cannot replace:

That would be, like, a totally fascinating and brilliant insight: a) If anyone actually wanted or even had the power to destroy anything (Like those writers about blogs you so often decry, you attribute points of view to bloggers that don't exist), and b) If opposition to "MSM" (stupid acronym, but you're using it) was inherently a "conservative" or "right" phenomenon. That's right! Maybe not everyone who has an oppositional attitude towards MSM is a "conservative" or a member of "the right"? Maybe the MSM improvement project is not inherently a conservative project at all? I know. You're head's, like, totally exploding right?

Posted by: Eric Deamer at February 15, 2005 9:35 AM | Permalink

jjjag -- YES. Robin Burk, you're fantastic.

Jordan HAS long been a CNN problem -- in losing ratings to Fox in the US market; meaning also US advertisers. (Like General Mills, whom I complained to.)

Jay, you should have been calling for Jordan to resign after his April 2003 confession of sucking up to Saddam ... for access ... for (often exclusive) stories ... for cash. A newsman willing to overlook torture by Saddam in order to get special goodies. The Saddam - CNN relationship is FAR worse than Bush-Haliburton -- which one has been more covered in the MSM?

I hate the Killing Fields in Cambodia; and am deeply, permanently ashamed at the failure of the USA to successfully promote democracy in S. Vietnam. I blame LBJ, and Nixon, and Ho Chi Minh, and the Press ... among others.

The "Unreal Perfection" critique against America, which so many Bush-haters seem to have, is one of my pet peeves. The media needs to look at advantages and disadvantages of different policies. I hate simplistic critiques against folk trying to promote freedom, imperfectly, in Iraq.

Or Sudan -- where I also hate the genocide occuring.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at February 15, 2005 10:18 AM | Permalink

"Is the point to have a dialogue with the MSM or help cause its destruction?"

To turn it into a GOP propaganda machine.

Posted by: praktike at February 15, 2005 11:15 AM | Permalink


I found it most illuminating to watch "journalists" like Steve Lovelady and Bertrand Pecquerie acting more like defense attorneys for one of their own than seekers of truth.

Please, Jay, were Steve and Bertrand trying to have a dialogue or defend it at all costs?

Posted by: Sisyphus [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2005 11:35 AM | Permalink

Not on the part of this centrist, neo-libertarian (or whatever I am politically, including still a registered Democrat).

But then, we have this discussion over at Winds of Change too, where I value your contribution Praktike. And where I have been known to say that a very few comments from strongly right wing posters have come awfully close to hate speech. And where I've deleted two comments from strongly conservative readers on that basis in the last 6 months or so -- a step we very rarely take at WoC no matter what the views involved.

I'm not alone in having concerns about the state of the media right now while also not wanting to turn the media into a GOP propaganda machine (or to have only one political party dominate, for that matter).

My concern is to have fact-based news reports and diverse analyses that are even-handed, fair and address important trends and events. Without that we will NOT do well as a democratic republic, no matter which party is in power. A persistent bias is pernicious no matter which party it favors. And here's the rub:

Insofar as many people do not currently trust the media to be evenhanded and insightful about current events, that distrust makes it hard for conscientious journalists to actually communicate important information those people would benefit from hearing.

Posted by: Robin Burk at February 15, 2005 11:43 AM | Permalink

More Jay Rosen guest appearances on television!

Posted by: The Liberal Avenger at February 15, 2005 11:55 AM | Permalink

Praktike's missing the point, which has zip to do with right-left. Left-of-center bloggers like Brad DeLong are also holding MSM journos accountable by making available, to a candid world, their own expertise and insights. For a good laugh, read Brad's hilarious take-downs of incompetent economics journalists.

Taken as a whole, the blogosphere allows a vastly more accurate, and more useful, information flow to intelligent people who are capable of filtering out noise and crap.

The point, Horatio, is that there is vastly more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in the MSM philosophy. Especially when they're shutting down overseas bureaus left and right, starving their staffs of investigative budgets, and focusing their resources on Jacko instead of Yushchenko or Yukos.

None of the above was due to right-wing pressure. The greatest pressure on newsroom budgets comes from Craigslist and their ilk.

Posted by: thibaud at February 15, 2005 12:04 PM | Permalink

here is one for you, jay...

Posted by: p.lukasiak at February 15, 2005 12:05 PM | Permalink

I think the economics of the business, specifically the disappearance of a mass audience seeking coverage that's a mile wide and an inch deep, will drive the large news organizations toward the logic of tailoring their content toward highly loyal niche reades/viewers. Bill Keller has described the NYT's strategy as not seeking to broaden its appeal but to focus on the views and demands of their most loyal readers and give them more of what they value.

So I think we can expect the larger news organizations to increasingly leave comprehensive reporting to thw wire services and recast themselves in smaller, niche-focused entities that have either

1) a distinct left- or right-of-center angle (PRI, NPR) featuring opinion and investigative reporting above all; or else

2) a focus on a particular trade or line of activity in which their reporters truly do have some expertise (and more important, their readers demand extremely high quality reporting).

This makes excellent business sense. Look at the NYT's "most e-mailed articles" on any given day: at least 4 out of 5 are opinion or reviews. This is where you'll find the Times' appeal, its real source of value. The Times as Paper of Record is a losing business proposition. The Times as Lifestyle Guide for Blue Urbanites is a sure winner.

Posted by: thibaud at February 15, 2005 12:18 PM | Permalink

Interesting post, though a little late in the game...

This "gee whiz, why'd he go and quit when it was just getting interesting" (largely faux) expression of concern is nice, but late, and missing the point. You put together an internet lynch mob and then when the body is swinging you go "oops, we just meant to ask him questions" - nice try, but no, you didn't.

It's rewriting much of what happened over the past few weeks to say that the blood in the water wasn't visible in this mess. If this "controversy" wasn't meant to bring down Jordan, that certainly eluded many people watching it, me included.

Look, the worst and most damning assessment to be made (which the WSJ underlined in that pretty brilliant editorial) about the "Jordan at Davos" brouhaha is that it wasn't news. It may say something about the dissonance between "mainstream media" and "the blogosphere" that there was tension over that assessment, but it's also possible, despite the mewlings of Jarvis et al, that the MSM were right - there just wasn't much of a story in some tossed off remarks that weren't thought through and misstated a (possibly useful) point badly.

I like blogs - and I get some news and information from blogs, mostly those that compile news reports by other, legitimate newsgathering organizations. I like Jay, I like reading this blog on journalism's changes, but conflating what blogs do with what journalism does is turning out to be stupid, and dangerous. This time it's just the high paying job of a (generally referred to as) nice man who probably didn't deserve to what he got. What's next? Who's developeing a taste for this? And who thinks anything, really, will put them off from the next spectacular "gotcha" moment?

There is such a thing as too much information, and there is a time when communication in and of itself is not the answer. And maybe what I'd posit is this - the blogosphere needs editors - the traffic cops of language and content who do the hard work of codifying things, saying enough is enough, or that's interesting and needs more exploration. Blogs, maybe, are reportage unmoored from the editing function, showing both virtues (in new, additional information) and flaws (in unsubtantiated gossip, innuendo, and overkill). I'd say the flaws are starting to overrun the good. And there's no sign that anyone knows how to rein the bad stuff in. That can't be a good thing long term.

Posted by: weboy at February 15, 2005 1:08 PM | Permalink

Blah blah blah, internet lynch mob, blah blah blah, blood in the water, blah blah blah...

One day we're chatting about this on a web site, the next, Eason Jordan is swinging from a lamp post. But there's something missing, and it isn't more turgid cliches. How does talking here translate into Eason Jordan getting fired? Many people commented on Jordan, not all of them, perhaps not even most of them, said he should be fired. But simple minds have turned this into a weblog version of The Lottery, with weblogs and their readers cast as slavering mutants who escaped their cellar cages and loped across the countryside looking for a media exec to destroy.

Jordan got a miniscule amount of heat compared to what politicians routinely get. There is crazed stuff out there everyday, in this comments section alone, ranting about BushCo, fascists, etc. Why is that beneath notice but Jordan getting rebuked for some statement is an act of baby-eating savagery?

Blogosphere needs editors--weblogs work because they don't have editors. Talk about missing the point.

Posted by: Brian at February 15, 2005 1:39 PM | Permalink

Jordan at Davos repeated allegations he's made earlier, allegations of the utmost seriousness that imply the need for Congressional investigation of what may well be war crimes.

Further, these continuing allegations are widely believed among Jordan's peers in Europe and the middle east, two markets that Jordan's employer considers crucial to its future.

And what is the result of these allegations? No solid investigation of them has been done by Jordan's organization. The story still hangs "out there" in the public mind, and yet CNN's prime responsibility to investigate and help the public (and Congress) to make dispositive conclusions has gone unexercised. Finally, those who hate the US military now believe a) that CNN has confirmed the allegations and that b) the mob will punish anyone who wishes to pursue other allegations against the US military.

Are bloggers to blame for this shitty state of affairs? Wouldn't it be more accurate to blame the news executive who repeatedly made such allegations, then backed away from them, all the while failing to support or debunk them through the use of evidence and logic?

One need not be a conservative or a blogger to be disgusted at Jordan and his employer. Barney Frank certainly found them offensive.

Posted by: thibaud at February 15, 2005 1:46 PM | Permalink

To turn it into a GOP propaganda machine.

Yes, be a Republican shill or be unemployed. The K Street Project as applied to the media.

Ho hum. Rosen and Cone et al assure us it's healthy. They couldn't be wrong, could they?

Posted by: Mithras at February 15, 2005 2:20 PM | Permalink


Posted by: Jay Rosen at February 15, 2005 2:28 PM | Permalink

"Is the point to have a dialogue with the MSM or help cause its destruction? (Or is there a third and fourth alternative we should be discussing?)"

I will go with "alternative three", Mr. Rosen.

I do not blog to have a dialog with the MSM. For the vast majority of bloggers, it would be a fruitless exercise to want to have a dialog with the MSM. There are way too many bloggers for the MSM to dialog with. The MSM is going to never hear what the vast majority of us have to say.

I also do not blog to bring about the destruction of the MSM. I rely on the media every day. I am unhappy with certain aspects of it, and would love to pressure the MSM to reform these aspects. However, just because I would like to see that happen does not mean that is why I blog. I wanted to do that before blogs existed. I wanted to do that after blogs existed but before I started to blog. It is a desire, but not a desire that drives me to blog.

I blog for three reasons. The first is primal. I blog because I enjoy expressing my opinions, debating them, and occasionally having them recognized by some others.

The second is intellectual. I blog because in doing so I learn and I hopefully help others learn. I do the latter by bringing up something someone who reads my site might not know. I do the former by doing research for my posts, and by engaging in the debates in the comments. There are plenty of smart people out there who can, and do, teach me things as a direct result of posts I have made.

I think those two reasons are general for a lot of bloggers besides me. The third reason is more specific to me. I have a certain skill regarding polling analysis and political race analysis that I would like to somehow turn into something more than just a hobby. I watch Larry Sabato and Charlie Cook and similar others ply their craft and know that not only can I do that, I can do it oftentimes better. Blogging has let me get my foot in the door in this regards. It provided a forum for me to prove my skills.

I think that those who blog looking for a dialog with the MSM, or hoping for the destruction of the MSM, are few and far between.


Posted by: Gerry at February 15, 2005 2:29 PM | Permalink

Jay, I disagree with you. Jordan should have resigned. The shooting of journalists by American soldiers is a noteworthy story that should have been reported on CNN or in any medium if someone has that kind of information. Since no story is forthcoming, a man in his position should not be talking like he supposedly did. After all this came out, I looked for information on journalist killed in Iraq and I saw no clear or obvious incident indicating deliberate targeting by Americans. I realize that is a superficial review, but is it any worst than when in doubt decide against the American and say so in public.

Besides, Jordan is certainly more honorable than those Necon whores in the Pentagon who got us into Iraq for a reason that proved to be totally wrong. They should have resigned in honor too, but did not.

Posted by: scout29c at February 15, 2005 2:33 PM | Permalink

Please, Jay, were Steve and Bertrand trying to have a dialogue or defend it at all costs?

I would not call either one of their responses dialogic.

Posted by: Jay Rosen at February 15, 2005 2:38 PM | Permalink

The US Court of Appeals, DC District, has just ruled that the NY Times and Time magazine must disclose their sources in the Valerie Plame story -- and the justices specifically raise the issue of blogs in their decision.

Tectonic shifts happening, folks.

Posted by: Robin Burk at February 15, 2005 3:43 PM | Permalink

And maybe what I'd posit is this - the blogosphere needs editors - the traffic cops of language and content who do the hard work of codifying things, saying enough is enough, or that's interesting and needs more exploration.

previously, I had thought that people like Rosen could fulfill that function---people who were tuned into both the media and the blogosphere, and could discriminate between a genuine story, and a witch hunt. And I think that a lot of people also turned to Rosen to perform that function.

But as it turns out, Rosen is not an appropriate choice. For whatever reason, Rosen chose not to fulfill his "editorial" function, but simply to allow wingnuts like Hewitt to set his agenda.

What I find most amusing are those who pretend that Jordan's comments should be investigated in case the US is committing "war crimes." You can tell that these people are lying, because the US commits war crimes nearly every day in Iraq (hint -- when you are an occupation army, you can't just go around blasting cars off the road with women and children inside them because of the small possibility that they might be suicide bombers. That is a war crime. Its also a war crime for an occupying army to bomb the homes of civilians. In other words, there are more than enough war crimes to investigate.....and its pretty damned obvious that the wingnuts aren't interested in pursuing allegations of "war crimes."

Posted by: p.lukasiak at February 15, 2005 4:33 PM | Permalink

More communication?
There are only two things on the tape (If it exists). One is what Jordan said, and the tone he used when he said it. The other is the reaction of the crowd/audience. We have an idea what was said, or at least the testimony of witnesses. We need to see the reaction of the audience. Release the tape!

Posted by: Vagrant at February 15, 2005 4:47 PM | Permalink

Robin Burke

Your link doesn't work, and looks interesting. Argh!'!

Posted by: John Lynch at February 15, 2005 4:54 PM | Permalink

I posted the following before reading your post:

The claim that bloggers "brought down" a number of prominent figures is itself overstated. If bloggers are so ignorant, such salivating morons and such a lynch mob of Lilliputians, why did anybody pay attention to them? Where's the courage, if Jordan thought he was right? He tried to back away from his remarks, but he had too much of a history of saying stupid things. His problem was that too many people familiar with his previous remarks saw this "targeting journalists" assertion as less a misstatement than a Freudian slip, exposing his true feelings.

Bloggers only have the power that comes from being read. The complaints of Jordan's friends about him being lynched, don't make sense. The credibility of certain bloggers and the loss of credibility of the MSM aren't due to some vast right wing conspiracy. They're due to the fact that the former (but not all bloggers) have a track record of making sense and the fact that the latter are reacting to criticism like other powerful people before them.

After reading today's post, I added: I tend to agree with Jay Rosen, with a quote of the first two paragraphs.

Posted by: AST [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2005 5:06 PM | Permalink

Hello my friends from

Posted by: at February 15, 2005 5:07 PM | Permalink

Here is the url:

Posted by: Robin Burk at February 15, 2005 5:08 PM | Permalink

Not more editors but better software. Specifically, a different UI that better approximates the way people actually do interact to share info, discuss, form opinions, and collaboratively, iteratively strive toward truth.

Top-down news dissemination via static web pages doesn't cut it. But unfiltered unidirectional comment threads also suck. The problem's the web/windows format, not the social processes behind it.

Posted by: thibaud at February 15, 2005 5:19 PM | Permalink

Thanks, Robin Burk - appreciate your reasoned, calm, insightful posts here.

Posted by: thibaud at February 15, 2005 5:20 PM | Permalink

And maybe what I'd posit is this - the blogosphere needs editors - the traffic cops of language and content who do the hard work of codifying things, saying enough is enough, or that's interesting and needs more exploration.


I'm through having other people decide for me what is and isn't fit for discussion. I am an adult, I can make those decisions for myself.

Who the hell are you to tell me what I can or can't read and discuss?

Posted by: rosignol at February 15, 2005 5:26 PM | Permalink

Rosignol: I'm through having other people decide for me what is and isn't fit for discussion. I am an adult, I can make those decisions for myself.

Don't be so quick to say no. Yours is still the choice to select and reselect editors. And to have several different ones at that. Fifteen years ago I predicted that people will choose their editors. It will happen yet. Sippin' water through a firehose ain't easy. And you have other things to do with your day... I think. ;-)

Posted by: sbw at February 15, 2005 5:41 PM | Permalink


I missed you on PBS the other night. I have a question. The other comments make by Jordan when he was on the record about the US military killing journalists. Did anyone on your panel bring those up? If not why not? If so how was it addressed?

Finally if it was not brought up, then why do you think these previous comments were not and do you think they were important?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Joe at February 15, 2005 8:43 PM | Permalink

Yes, the cure for miscommunication is more communication if that additonal communication is expositive.

But, please, given Jordan's experience as journalist, it simply does not wash that he miscommunicated at Davos. That he did not attempt to respin what he said until he was challenged indicates that he meant what he said initially.

Jordan's journalistic felony is that he made an unsubstantiated statement which he floated in front of an international gathering--for what purpose of what discussion, other than advancing his bias and fantasy, or embarrassing the U.S. and endangering it's troops in Iraq?--and then fell quickly on his sword to avoid having to face the music of further public discussion.

He and CNN behave like cowards in that they short-circuited any further discussion, rather than taking a stand. He and they are afraid of what he said being aired? At least he and they should have the collective testicularity to take responsibility for that.

So if what he did was not worthy of firing or resignation, then (a) why did he tender his resignation, and (b) why did CNN accept it? Don't most people, at least adults, understand what "resigning for the good of the service" means? It would appear that he and CNN do.

Did free speech suffer? I don't think so. It's one thing to stand at dais and say what he did, as the executive of a broadcast network, versus mentioning this while at a table or cocktail gathering of the attendees.

If, however, he were speaking as a private individual, then, yes, free speech did suffer.

Still, in all the millions of keystrokes committed to this, has anyone suggested what his motive might be for having said what he did, when and where he did?

Posted by: CK Amos at February 15, 2005 9:59 PM | Permalink

Schonfeld's Follies

Posted by: Sisyphus at February 15, 2005 10:30 PM | Permalink

The engineer criticizes Eason for saying that he believed that reporters have been arrested and tortured by US forces.

In fact last weekend's Guardian had an article that stated that an al Jazeera reporter was being held and tortured at Guantanamo Bay.

You in the mainstream media are hyperventilating over Eason because you are afraid to confront and investigate the truth in what Eason has said. Thus you change the subject to overstate a trivial story to divert attention from the more horrifying story that no one will report. Even Rosen chose to flog the Eason story. The Eason story is a trivial story, hellooooo?

Read and Weep,6903,1406987,00.html

Posted by: Phredd at February 15, 2005 11:27 PM | Permalink

Dahr Jamail reports a story that might be described as Eason Jordan on its head:

"'This is not simply an exercise to denounce the mainstream media for their bias and incompetence,' said Dr. Tony Alessandrini, a human rights activist who has published several articles on the U.S. colonisation of Iraq...Alessandrini, who helped organised the WTI added, 'What we are being asked to consider is not simply media bias, but rather the active complicity of media in crimes that have been committed and are being committed on a daily basis against the people in Iraq.'"

The beauty of this story is first, that it is true, but second, that it blows out of the water the psychotic premise that CNN and major US media are somehow opponents of this administration's insanity in the Middle East.

Posted by: Mark Anderson at February 16, 2005 12:51 AM | Permalink

But, please, given Jordan's experience as journalist, it simply does not wash that he miscommunicated at Davos.

translation: Jordan was guilty of ThoughtCrimes.

If bloggers are so ignorant, such salivating morons and such a lynch mob of Lilliputians, why did anybody pay attention to them?

there is a coterie of "salivating morons" lead by people like Malkin, Hewitt, Hindrocket, etc. Generally, they are ignored. The problem here was that Hewitt asked Rosen to cover the Jordan non-story, and for some unknown reason (liberal guilt perhaps?) Rosen did so. Because Rosen is part of the "blogerati", the non-story became "legitimate", and the salivating morons were provided with access to the rest of the media to spew their bile.

Jordan was in an untenable position. It really didn't matter what he had said and then immediately retracted, he was "guilty of ThoughtCrimes against the US military." He would be crucified for noting that journalists have been killed by the US, and that other journalists have been detained, abused, and tortured by the US. He had seen what had happened with the Killian memo story----the facts that supported the story were ignored by the salivating morons, and a relatively minor journalistic error was blown up into a massive scandal by the representatives of the salivating morons in the "mainstream media."

So Jordan did the smart thing, and resigned -- and hopefully (supposedly) responsible people like Rosen will hesitate before opening the gates to the rightloon mobs.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at February 16, 2005 5:59 AM | Permalink

"The most trusted name in news" has reached parity with "Fair and Balanced".

Posted by: A Fish at February 16, 2005 6:27 AM | Permalink

This reminds me of all the Brady kids bickering at the dinner table, because they all think each other is guilty, except CNN aka Peter Brady is silently eating his dinner, because he's really the guilty one.

The blogs' fault? This is still not resolved, resignation or no resignation. Until someone from the MSM investigates Jordan's claims (whether that's what he really said in Davos or not) this will stay out there. The blogs can do it, Barry Schector's done it, but until the MSM puts it to bed it lives. And CNN erodes into a cartoon channel. Not to mention Kurtz, WaPo, NYTimes...

Posted by: A Fish at February 16, 2005 7:14 AM | Permalink

Weboy: And maybe what I'd posit is this - the blogosphere needs editors - the traffic cops of language and content who do the hard work of codifying things, saying enough is enough, or that's interesting and needs more exploration.

Weboy, Blogs ARE editors editing. There just happen to be more blue pencils than ever before. Really, our job is to work on the quality of their underlying skills. The tough task is to convince them they'd be better for it, and so would we.

Posted by: sbw at February 16, 2005 7:42 AM | Permalink

Via Instapundit, TOM MAGUIRE on the left, the media, and influence. "How The Lefty Blogs Can Win The Blogosphere, Revive Their Party, And Save Our Country (And Why They Won't)."

Posted by: sbw at February 16, 2005 9:21 AM | Permalink

It's interesting to watch some of the MSM reactions to blogs as being reactionary, thoughtless attack machines (on behalf of what I'm not sure...Bush, fascism, Iago-like empty hatred?). What's really going on is new voices and new paradigms are arriving to the party and, as each arrives, the people already there--the traditional MSM--feel compelled to denounce the newcomers as non-people, as "the enemy." First, talk radio, then cable (ie., Fox) and now blogs. None of them share the MSM's paradigm and so all must viewed not as an expansion of the national consciousness into myriad more modes of thinking but as an enemy of thought. This does not bode well for the MSM.

Posted by: Lee Kane at February 16, 2005 11:01 AM | Permalink

Sunday I asked Will Collier of Vodka Pundit (who got into it with Steve Lovelady of CJR Daily) a question via blog: Is the point to have a dialogue with Big Media or cause its destruction? Here's his answer. "MSM, Heal Thyself."

Posted by: Jay Rosen at February 16, 2005 11:14 AM | Permalink

You know, given all that is happening with Choicepoint and the data mining industry. I think it is about time to add a new entry into the bill of rights. The right to privacy. Wouldn't that be a great grass roots constitutional amendment, and stop BIG BROTHER and his minions in their tracks. Too bad no politician has the guts to broach such a subject. Too many kickbacks form insurance, telemarketers, data miners, and identity thieves I suppose. Oh I wish.
Josh Bowers
Summerhill, PA

Posted by: at February 16, 2005 12:15 PM | Permalink

I'll tell you exactly what the right side of the blogosphere wants - the crushing of anti-Bush voices. And by "anti-Bush" I mean "any voice that potentially questions or somehow threatens the institution of right-wing hegemony in this nation."

They don't care about Dan Rather - they care that he was asking the wrong questions about the Texas Air National Guard. They don't care about Eason Jordan - they care that he was talking about the targeting of journalists as being part of U.S. policy in Iraq.

Yes, in some ways, the mainstream media is necessary for the right-wing blogosphere. Because otherwise, where would their faux anger be directed? But don't pretend that "both entities gain" by this little game. There's no desire to see accuracy - just an intimidation into silence against different voices. Why isn't the TANG story still live -after all, no questions have been satisfactorily answered. Why is the idea that the U.S. is targeting journalists not explored by media outlets - after all, the accusations have been made and there's at least some supporting evidence that this indeed happened, at least in March 2003.

Anyway, if it were just the blogs, this would have gone nowhere. Bill O'Reilly, et al., had as much or more to do with Jordan's leaving.

Whatever, dudes, it's a power struggle in which "right" and "wrong" have gone out the window.

Posted by: jakester at February 16, 2005 3:09 PM | Permalink

Exactly. Don't ask the questions that's the crime in the minds of these shills here. So transparent.

Posted by: marky48 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 16, 2005 4:49 PM | Permalink

jakester and marky48,

You "know" what motivates other people and you condemn them based on that "knowledge."

That's Orwellian, really.

Posted by: Bostonian at February 16, 2005 9:15 PM | Permalink

Jakester, et al. illustrate the point I'm trying to make--although I don't think they work for an MSM organization. Let's debate whether it was inappropriate of Jordan to say what he said and apparently to block release of the tape that would have settled the matter of, exactly, what he said. What we have instead is an attempt to deny anyone who isn't on one side of a political divide (apparently) the right to say their speech as having nothing to do with "right" and "wrong" and instead attribute it to a dark moronic force that seeks to destroy reason. Jakester, and Steve Lovelady, etc., aren't talking about people here, they are talking about mythic forces, mythic evil, subhumans... and they place anyone with a differing point of view into that mythology to de-legitimize not only their point of view but their right to have one. I think this rhetorical style is not bound to win the day in the long run. If the US military is targetting journalists what is the evidence, other than that journalists standing in the middle of a free-fire war zone have been hit by fire? Has someone come forward who was given or gave an order to target journalists?

Posted by: Lee Kane at February 16, 2005 11:12 PM | Permalink

See Lovelady's reply to Will Collier at Vodka Pundit. Plus: CNN reports on PressThink's exchange with Collier. CNN's "Inside Politics" is paying attention to blogs all week long with their "blog reporter" talking about what's new. In itself an interesting development.

Posted by: Jay Rosen at February 16, 2005 11:35 PM | Permalink

What we have instead is an attempt to deny anyone who isn't on one side of a political divide (apparently) the right to say their speech as having nothing to do with "right" and "wrong" and instead attribute it to a dark moronic force that seeks to destroy reason.

jeezus! talk about irony. Face the fact that wingnuts like yourself succeeded in shutting down Jordan's right to speak.

Jordan misspoke. He retracted. And still the rightloons went after him for being guilty of ThoughtCrimes.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at February 17, 2005 6:03 AM | Permalink

No, pluka, he did not misspeak. He CLAIMS to have misspoken. Lots of us do not believe him because 1) eyewitnesses contradict him, and 2) he said the same kind of thing last November in Portugal.

I do not care what he thinks. I care a great deal what he says in a public forum to world leaders.

Jordan still has a right to speech like anyone else. He is not immune to criticism, nor should anyone be.

Posted by: Bostonian at February 17, 2005 9:38 AM | Permalink

Believe me, I don't exempt the left from my criticisms. And I'm the last person to defend Eason Jordan, who seems to be something of a milquetoast corporatist with concern for only his image on the cocktail circuit.

But I try to deduce motive from behavior - from whom O'Reilly as well as certain bloggers target, their tactics - and I don't think it's wrong to do that. In fact, I believe it's dangerously naive to pretend otherwise, to continuously give these folks the benefit of the doubt.

Do I think participants in the variouis witchhunts are subhuman? Of course not! I think they're VERY human - and that it's a human tendency to try to stifle opposition and criticism.

Posted by: jakester at February 17, 2005 10:12 AM | Permalink

But, please, given Jordan's experience as journalist, it simply does not wash that he miscommunicated at Davos.

translation (offered by p.lukasiak) : Jordan was guilty of ThoughtCrimes.

Bull puckies.

If he'd kept his thoughts in his mind, there would be no issue. It's when he opened up his ego spout and tried to curry favor with the anti-Americans and others of his ilk by his calumny at Davos that he put himself in an untenable position.

And nobody's shut down Jordan's right to speak. He chose to say what he did. It appears he also chose, along with CNN, to accept the responsibility for his remarks. He's also chosen to be silent for days now, too. Nothing has been forced on him; he volunteered his words and actions, something apparently his defenders cannot or will not acknowledge.

Perhaps, someday, the advocacy media and its abettors and defenders will awaken to this: You're responsible and can be held accountable for what you say publicly.

Too, perhaps when they stop hyperventilating and run out of hyperbolic invective, they'll see that no one's trying to shut them down or kill them, just hold them to some unbiased standard of reliability and professionalism which they seem to have either lost or jettisoned.

Perhaps, too, they'll recall, or learn for the first time, that journalists should seek the truth and report it accurately, as well as be accountable and be respectful of sources and subjects.

Posted by: CK Amos at February 17, 2005 11:30 AM | Permalink

The Easongate After...: What have we learned?

* 5/6 of the journalists/media workers killed in Iraq have been killed by - what the press euphemistically labels - insurgents, militants or guerrillas.

* There is ample evidence that some of these journalists WERE targeted and executed by the "insurgents/militants/guerrillas", taken hostage, threatened, etc.

* Journalists have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with these "insurgents/militants/guerrillas" when they fired on a civilian DHL aircraft. Journalists were "invited" to record and distribute the public execution of election workers in the streets of Iraq - and did.

* There seems to have been a "whispering campaign" among the House of Journalists that journalists are being deliberately targeted by the U.S. military. This has been advanced in Nik Gowan's writings, Chris Cramer praised Nik's theories at INSI, and allegedly Eason Jordan implied it at WEF.

* This "whispering campaign" includes rumors and falsehoods being passed on by journalists who should be custodians of fact. For example, the falsehoods include Schonfeld's recent assertion that "The US Army has never completed its investigation into that incident." This is not to pick on Schonfeld, but demonstrate the misinformation fueling this campaign.

* The 1/6 of the journalists allegedly killed by U.S. fire seems to have garnered 90% of the journalistic outrage.

* There is a moral disparity being displayed by journalists who are dispassionate about obvious war crimes by insurgents/militants/guerrillas but quick to - as Jules Crittenden describes it - "willing to think the worst of the US military, and ascribe malicious intent to accidents of war."

* The political response by the Left and PressThink upon Eason Jordan's resignation has been that either Eason Jordan was wrongfully censored by a Vast Right-Wing Blog-spiracy or that the punishment didn't fit the crime. Both of which are assumptions - leaps of faith to a politically favorable conclusion - without the facts to back either up.

I think Will Collier is correct to say, "MSM, Heal Thyself." I think the American Mainstream Media Party, increasingly driven by supra-national media globalization and 24/7 headlines-by-the-minute news cycles needs to reflect on what it means during modern human conflicts.

Posted by: Sisyphus [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 17, 2005 12:14 PM | Permalink

Correction: Nik Gowing, not Nik Gowan.

Posted by: Sisyphus [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 17, 2005 12:20 PM | Permalink

Re: "wing-nut" ... anyone who plays the ad-hominem game is out of the debate as far as I'm concerned.

Re: Jordan having misspoke and retracted. In fact, no one on this list knows what Jordan said and whether or not it was truly mis-speaking. There's credible evidence that he did not just mis-speak and that he only retracted to save his butt. But, of course, we'll never truly know because Jordan stands between us and the tape of what he said. I suspect, as others do, that it's pretty bad or the tape would be out.

Now, why would Jordan resign even if it was pretty bad? Surely, the right-wing blog conspiracy doesn't represent enough of CNN's viewers to truly affect the network. Perhaps then this head of a major news network would be forced to resign because issuing inflammatory false-hoods, or at least unsubstantiated anti-military accustations, makes that network look pretty un-credible to just about everyone. It is Jordan's own words that caused his resignation. At best, bloggers were resonsible for repeating the words--or the alleged words since again Jordan seems to be blocking our access to what he actually said.

Posted by: Lee Kane at February 17, 2005 1:42 PM | Permalink

Re: "wing-nut" ... anyone who plays the ad-hominem game is out of the debate as far as I'm concerned.

we are talking about wingnuts here---the people who pepetuated a witch hunt against Eason Jordan for remarks that he immediately retracted upon being challenged.

none of the wingnuts is really interested in finding out if journalists are being targeted for detention, abuse, and torture in Iraq. The only thing they are interested in is whether or not Jordan can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US military is targeting journalists for death.

A year ago, if someone had said "The US military is targeting Iraqi prisoners for abuse, torture, and murder" the wingnuts would have been out in force, demanding a retraction.

The facts don't matter to the wingnuts----they never have. FoxNews types lie every day, yet the wingnuts have no problem with lies coming from the right.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at February 17, 2005 1:55 PM | Permalink

Well, jakester, I'm one of the people clamoring to see that tape, so I am in your category of people with suspect motives. You've concluded I have an agenda and have condemned me for it. That is Orwellian, as I said.


pluka, JORDAN DID NOT RETRACT HIS REMARKS. This is why people are angry. He claimed he was misunderstood and he apologized for that "misunderstanding." As for what he actually said, 1) eyewitnesses contradict him, and 2) he said the same kind of thing last November in Portugal ((,2763,1355027,00.html)).

All you guys: If you think Jordan was telling the truth, get the list of 12 journalists whom the US military assassinated. Or if Jordan won't cough it up, do your own research. Don't just sit there and fantasize.

Posted by: Bostonian at February 17, 2005 4:20 PM | Permalink

pluka, JORDAN DID NOT RETRACT HIS REMARKS. This is why people are angry. He claimed he was misunderstood and he apologized for that "misunderstanding." As for what he actually said, 1) eyewitnesses contradict him, and 2) he said the same kind of thing last November in Portugal ((,2763,1355027,00.html)).

If someone says something that is misunderstood or ambiguous, and that person makes the effort to clarify what he meant, that is considered a retraction. Live with it.

And he did not say that the US was targetting journalists for killing in Portugal. Read what he said, not what you want him to have said.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at February 17, 2005 6:17 PM | Permalink

Here’s a transcript from a less reported upon Davos conference...

EJ (speaking at the podium): It’s well known that members of the mainstream media are, with orders from their corporate honchos, actually spying on the US military and passing secrets to Islamic terrorists. A number of journalists have even taken up arms and fired weapons at US soldiers before quickly dropping the weapons and picking up their pencils and microphones as U.S. troops, advanced.

Q. What? That’s outrageous have you any evidence of that?

EJ No, jot direct evidence. What I should have said is that “It is believed all this is true…”

Q. Do you believe it is true?

EJ. That is beside the point. Perhaps I intended to say that some journalists may sympathize with Al Qaeda and hope that they win and that rogue journalists on their own may have spied and shot guns for Al Qaeda.

Q. Still outrageous. Evidence?

EJ. I don’t think I’m being clear. I should have prefaced that by saying “Some people believe…”

[Later after the remarks hit the Internet]

EJ: Let me explain. I was trying to say that a lot of journalists are trying to report on Al Qaeda, which is their job. They are just trying to get the news the most honorable way that they can. I’m sorry if my remarks were misunderstood. I never meant them any other way.

Q. Can we get a tape of your original remarks?

EJ: No…

Posted by: Lee Kane at February 17, 2005 6:33 PM | Permalink

Whatever. The remarks were stated and remodelled. It seems clear to me, but then I'm not scotch-hobbled by right-wing bias either.

Posted by: marky48 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 17, 2005 7:35 PM | Permalink

pluka, first you misunderstand why I said he did not retract his remarks.

He (very likely) lied about what he actually said. He made it sound better than it was, and he apologized for the nicer version.

He flat out DENIED that he had ever claimed our troops were assassinating journalists.

This is where you misunderstand why I mentioned the Portugal incident. In Portugal, he said something different but even more vicious than in Davos. This makes it VERY hard to believe that his remarks in Davos were "misunderstood."

The troops aren't ever going to like him, but he still ought to apologize like a real man.

Posted by: Bostonian at February 17, 2005 7:44 PM | Permalink

He (very likely) lied about what he actually "said"

This why listening to a WN is hopeless. That's a leap of faith. Even with the transcript in hand it would then revert to between the lines interpretation. Nothing but pure opinion and no reporting. Where have I seen that before?

On blogs!

Posted by: marky48 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 17, 2005 8:15 PM | Permalink

I've no proof, and no means to prove it, but the thought came to mind that perhaps Jordan resigned not because of what got blogged, but because of something that has yet to be blogged.

Just a thought.

Posted by: Billy The Blogging Poet at February 17, 2005 8:15 PM | Permalink

I've read what he said in November, and there is nothing outrageous about it.

By ALL accounts, the discussion revolved around the threat to journalists in Iraq. Someone suggested that all the journalists killed by Americans were "collateral damage." (Barney Frank denies using the words "collateral damage", but others have claimed he did so.) Jordan wanted to make it clear that these deaths were not "accidental" in the sense of "collateral damage", which implies that a bomb goes off, kill its target, and kills innocent bystanders as well. Thus, it appears that Jordan said that "the US has targeted journalists" in the sense that their deaths were no accident--- e.g. a sniper aimed at, and killed, a cameraman, a tank aimed at, and killed, journalists at the Palestine Hotel, etc.

When the implications of what Jordan said became clear, he retracted them immediately.

There is not one single account that quotes Jordan saying that the US targeted journalists AS journalists. That is the conclusion drawn by a number of people, but from Jordan's perspective it is easy to see how, in his concerns for the safety of the reporters he supervises, the reckless disregard shown by US forces toward those it is targeting was the point.

There is little question that the US kills innocents with abandon in Iraq at this point -- in violation of the Geneva conventions. As an occupying force the US does not have the right to kill drivers who get too close to a convoy, for instance, yet it does so.

There is also little question that the US engages in abuse and torture and killing of prisoners in Iraq----and that some journalists have been detained and subjected to abuse and torture.

This is the real outrage on what is happening in Iraq, and it is an outrage that the WNs don't even recognize as outrageous. They literally approve of whatever methods are necessary to maintain the safety and good reputation of its occupying forces---going so far as to close down the last hospital in Fallujah to prevent the truth of how many innocent people were being killed in the assault on that city.

The WNs are the real enemies of America, because while the rest of the world is exposed to the truth of what the US is doing in Iraq, the vast majority of Americans remain wholly ignorant, and are then surprised when the rest of the world hates the US. We are creating whole new generations of potential terrorists who are willing to do whatever is necessary to hurt the USA, and these terrorists will form their own small networks to achieve their ends.

But keep on pretending that Eason Jordan is the enemy, if it makes you feel good about the killing that is being done in your name.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at February 18, 2005 6:18 AM | Permalink

A large part of your post was a change of subject, so I will ignore that.

Clearly you think that Jordan never claimed the troops targeted journalists as journalists. I would have to see the tape to know for sure. (There are many eyewitness accounts, despite your claims. Rebecca McKinnon ( is one. Barney Frank is another. I sent him email asking him about it and he does corroborate the story, as Michelle Malkin says. But hey, suit yourself.)

Jordan did say in November that the troops had arrested and tortured ten journalists, which you don't think that is an outrageous claim.

So where's the corroboration for that one? Start out by getting the list of ten journalists, and where and when they were arrested. If Jordan HAD that knowledge, why is there no newstory on it?

Is nobody tempted to get the details (if they exist!) and expose that scandal?

There's a Pulitzer just waiting for whoever blows that one open. WHERE IS THE STORY?

Posted by: Bostonian at February 18, 2005 9:47 AM | Permalink

From the Intro