DATE: 2/02/2005 10:04:00 AM
Jordan's Libel - This is a troubling story. The chief news executive of a major network has accused U.S. soldiers of targeting journalists in Iraq. His remarks were made at the Davos World Economic Forum, so they have gone largely unreported in the major media of this country. Hugh Hewitt is asking why?
This is the same Eason Jordan who admitted in the pages of the New York Times that CNN didn't report stories about Saddam's atrocities. It was a stunning admission - CNN had abdicated its responsibility as a teller of truth to guarantee access to a murderous regime. Despite overwhelming evidence that people were being tortured, raped and murdered by agents of Hussein and his sons, CNN kept silent for fear of offending a madman and losing their ability to report from Iraq.
Now, Jordan is making terrible accusations against American troops with no evidence to back up his claims. What does it say about this man that he is willing to lie by omission about actual atrocities while making up others? Can we attach any significance to the fact that he lies about his own country while protecting a regime like Hussein's? On the surface, it looks like he thinks the administration of George W. Bush is more dangerous than the regime of Saddam Hussein's. Under his administration, CNN gave the story of Abu Gharib more airtime than the torture and murder that took place under Saddam.
A 1999 talk by Jordan to students at Harvard shows just how much Jordan lied about CNN's reporting in Iraq:
CNN has had tremendous difficulties with the Iraqi government, a government that's accused me during my own trips to Baghdad of being a CIA station chief for Iraq. I feel lucky to have emerged alive from that. But it's very difficult working from Baghdad. It was during the war, and it continues to be today.
Our view is, first of all, we will not consciously pull punches. If I ever find anybody doing it, then those people will be history at this network, as well as with our Iraq coverage.This of course begs the question of why Jordan didn't offer his own resignation, since he was the one who pulled the punches. In that same speech, he offers a glimpse of his worldview and his view of why CNN exists:
We are a global network, and we take global interest first, not U.S. interests first.The lecture also reminds readers of the fact that this isn't the first time Eason Jordan has been involved with a false slander of U.S. troops:
CNN's biggest mistake came just a year ago with a story about a clandestine U.S. military effort called Operation Tailwind...CNN's Operation Tailwind reporting fell short, way short. It most certainly failed the fairness test.I would submit that Jordan has himself failed the fairness test and it's time for him either offer more evidence for his outrageous claims or retract them completely.
UPDATE - Welcome, Hugh Hewitt readers. Feel free to look around.
UPDATE II - Captain's Quarters finds evidence of past statements of this sort from Jordan. Expect more as the swarm intensifies.
UPDATE III (11:34 a.m.) - Here's another case of Jordan accusing troops (Israeli in this case) of targeting journalists. The question he was asked, and his answer:
NG: Eason, why do you think you've been targeted specifically, I mean there are Israeli bumper stickers that say 'CNN lies,' the Israeli communications minister talked about CNN as being 'evil, biased and unbalanced' you'll be familiar with all these quotes?
EJ: Absolutely, well the Israeli government is making a mistake if it considers CNN the enemy, CNN is just trying to tell the story of Israel, the story of Palestinian areas in a straightforward way. We're not trying to favour one side over the other we're not going to pull any punches in our reporting but the truth hurts sometimes and it hurts both sides but it's a mistake to target the news media. We've had enormous frustrations in having access to occupied areas of the West Bank and Israeli forces on a number of occasions have shot at CNN personnel and in fact did shoot one CNN correspondent, he was badly wounded. The Israelis say they're actually trying to restrict our access to these areas and they say it's too dangerous for you to be there and my response to that is that it wouldn't be nearly as dangerous if you didn't shoot at us when we're clearly labelled as CNN crews and journalists. And so this must stop, this targeting of the news media both literally and figuratively must come to an end immediately. That was five minutes with Google. I'm sure more will be found.
UPDATE IV (11:51 a.m.) - Yes, it is a boring day at work. Anyway, found another one.
We're working two very, very big stories right now that have a couple of things in common. One is they're enormously costly, but more importantly or more worrying is that they're both exceptionally dangerous, because we've seen something in both places that I thank God happens very rarely, and that is that in both places journalists are not only being killed but they're being targeted. There are combatants in both of these conflicts who are trying to kill journalists, and that is unusual and a very nightmarish situation.Note he doesn't identify the combatants who are targeting journalists. A sign of libels to come, perhaps?
UPDATE V (12:28 p.m.) - It's going to be a busy day. Welcome, Captain's Quarters visitors. Thanks for stopping by.
UPDATE VI (1:39 p.m.) - Yup. Another one.
Eason Jordan, chief news executive at CNN, said there had been only a "limited amount of progress", despite repeated meetings between news organisations and the US authorities.
"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.He offers one example of torture, but doesn't talk about those who were allegedly killed by the military. This guy has a problem.
UPDATE VII (4:15 p.m.) - It's a blogstorm and LaShawn Barber is tracking it.