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Last updated on June 10th, 2017 at 05:06 am

The New York Times didn’t mention the Eason Jordan controversy until Jordan quit—but now the sad old broadsheet has finally found an angle: unedited bloggers are hurting good people!

With the resignation Friday of a top news executive from CNN, bloggers have laid claim to a prominent media career for the second time in five months.

Two careers have ended? Last I heard, Dan Rather still had a job—hosting 60 Minutes II.

In September, conservative bloggers exposed flaws in a report by Dan Rather; he subsequently announced that on March 9 he would step down as anchor of the “CBS Evening News.” On Friday, after nearly two weeks of intensifying pressure on the Internet, Eason Jordan, the chief news executive at CNN, abruptly resigned after being besieged by the online community. Morever, last week liberal bloggers forced a sketchily credentialed White House reporter to quit his post.

This story could have been written at any time in the past forty years. Simply change a few words and you’d have a piece about politicians/builders/executives/whoever “abruptly resigning�? after “being besieged by the journalistic community.�? Certain footwear now resides on an alternate pedal extremity, and journalists don’t like it.

Some of those most familiar with Mr. Jordan’s situation emphasized, in interviews over the weekend, that his resignation should not be read solely as a function of the heat that CNN had been receiving on the Internet, where thousands of messages, many of them from conservatives, had been posted.

“Many of them from conservatives�?. Scary. Does the NYT ever visit Democratic Underground? Lots of heat there about Fox News; but heat alone, as the NYT concedes, isn’t enough.

Nonetheless, within days of his purported statement, many blog sites were swamped with outraged assertions that he was slandering American troops.

Well, he did accuse them of killing journalists.

But while the bloggers are feeling empowered, some in their ranks are openly questioning where they are headed. One was Jeff Jarvis, the head of the Internet arm of Advance Publications, who publishes a blog at buzzmachine.com. Mr. Jarvis said bloggers should keep their real target in mind. “I wish our goal were not taking off heads but digging up truth,” he cautioned.

That seemed to be the aim all along; bloggers repeatedly called for the video of Jordan’s speech to be released. (UPDATE. Jarvis points out that this quote is highly selective and misrepresents him.)

At the same time, some in the traditional media are growing alarmed as they watch careers being destroyed by what they see as the growing power of rampant, unedited dialogue.

“Rampant, unedited dialogue�?—again, I refer you to Democratic Underground—has absolutely no effect unless it’s supported by evidence (for example, a faked-up National Guard memo or a bogus quote). How often have posters at DU called for the head of, say, Sean Hannity? Yet their rampant, unedited dialogue has had no impact at all.

Steve Lovelady, a former editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Wall Street Journal and now managing editor of CJR Daily, the Web site of The Columbia Journalism Review, has been among the most outspoken.

“The salivating morons who make up the lynch mob prevail,” he lamented online after Mr. Jordan’s resignation. He said that Mr. Jordan cared deeply about the reporters he had sent into battle and was “haunted by the fact that not all of them came back.”

Bloggers make “outraged assertions�?. Lovelady is “outspoken�?.

It was a businessman attending the forum in Davos who put Mr. Jordan’s comments on the map with a Jan. 28 posting. Rony Abovitz, 34, of Hollywood, Fla., the co-founder of a medical technology company, was invited to Davos and was asked to write for the forum’s first-ever blog, his first blogging effort. In an interview yesterday, he said that he had challenged Mr. Jordan’s assertion that the United States was taking aim at journalists and asked for evidence.

Mr. Abovitz asked some of the journalists at the event if they were going to write about Mr. Jordan’s comments and concluded that they were not because journalists wanted to protect their own. There was also some confusion about whether they could, because the session was officially “off the record.”

Mr. Abovitz said the remarks bothered him, and at 2:21 a.m. local time, he posted his write-up on the forum’s official blog under the headline “Do U.S. Troops Target Journalists in Iraq?”

He did not think it would get much attention. But Mr. Jordan’s comments zipped around the Web and fired up the conservative bloggers, who saw the remarks attributed to Mr. Jordan as evidence of a liberal bias of the big American news media.

Very occasionally—perhaps every couple of decades or so—such evidence appears, yes.

“I think he was attacked because of what he represented as much as what he said,” said David Gergen, who moderated the panel at Davos and who has served in the White House for administrations of both parties. He said he was troubled by the attacks on Mr. Jordan and said that his resignation was a mark of the increasing degree to which the news media were being drawn into the nation’s culture wars.

Drawn into the nation’s culture wars�??

While over the years Mr. Jordan had helped vault CNN to some of its most celebrated triumphs – it was largely through his diplomatic efforts that CNN was able to broadcast the first live footage from the first Gulf War, in 1991 – he also drew criticism. In one case, he wrote an article for the Op-Ed page of The New York Times in April 2003, saying that CNN had essentially suppressed news of brutalities so the network could maintain access and protect its people in Iraq.

Why the qualifier? Jordan stated outright that CNN had suppressed news of brutalities. There’s a clue in the headline: The News We Kept to Ourselves.

Through the latest uproar, the substance of Mr. Jordan’s initial assertion about the military targeting journalists was largely lost.

No, it was never released.

… the notion that journalists are “targeted” by the military did not first emerge with Mr. Jordan at Davos. Nik Gowing, a presenter, or anchor, for the BBC, has advanced the theory in writings and speeches that because the media can now convey instantaneously what is happening in a war zone, military commanders may find journalists a hindrance. The Pentagon has dismissed such theories.

So have journalists.

Ms. Robinson of CNN said that the network had no transcript of the session or a videotape because the conference organizers said that they considered the session off the record.

Oh, please. Does anyone think that CNN would respect an “off the record�? plea if this story were about George W. Bush instead of Eason Jordan? (A videotape does apparently exist, by the way.)

She said that the content of Mr. Jordan’s remarks was not in dispute, but that assertion has not satisfied those critics on the Internet who contend Mr. Jordan and CNN have something to hide.

Easy way to answer that criticism: release the tape. (Interesting, too, that the content is now “not in dispute.�?)

The online attack of Mr. Jordan, particularly among conservative commentators, appeared to gain momentum when they were seized on by other conservative outlets. A report on the National Review Web site was followed by editorials in The Washington Times and The Wall Street Journal, as well as by a column in The New York Post by Michelle Malkin (a contributor for Fox News, CNN’s rival).

It’s a conspiracy, is what it is!

Mr. Abovitz, who started it all, said he hoped bloggers could develop loftier goals than destroying people’s careers. “If you’re going to do this open-source journalism, it should have a higher purpose,” he said. “At times it did seem like an angry mob, and an angry mob using high technology, that’s not good.”

Unlike in the past, when the highest technology was only available to companies like CNN. And what did they do with it? They didn’t use it; for example, they deliberately concealed stories of brutality in Iraq.

Welcome to now, babies. Some call it “the information age�?.

UPDATE. Here’s an Eason Jordan speech from 1999:

I thank you very much for being here tonight. Let me also thank Fidel Castro. In the earliest days of CNN, when CNN was meant to be seen only in the United States, the enterprising Fidel Castro was pirating and watching CNN in Cuba. Fidel was intrigued by CNN. He wanted to meet the person responsible. So Ted Turner, who at that point had never traveled to a Communist country or knowingly met a Communist, [went to Havana]. It was big deal for Ted and during the discussions Castro suggested that CNN be made available to the entire world. In fact it was that seed, that idea that grew into CNN International, which is now seen in every country and territory on the planet …

The triumphalism exhibited throughout is remarkable (this was prior to Fox News gaining market share), as is this stunning lie in response to an audience member asking about “access 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.

It took him six years, but Eason finally discovered himself pulling punches and fired himself.

(Previously noted at Captain’s Quarters)

Posted by Tim B. on 02/14/2005 at 03:26 AM
    1. Yeah.  Accountability for their actions, as applied through the INTERNET.  A new concept to the MSM dinosaurs.  At least, as applied to their own actions, instead of anyone else.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 02 14 at 04:49 AM • permalink


    1. And of course MSM isn’t biassed either.

      Posted by Louis on 2005 02 14 at 04:57 AM • permalink


    1. Translation of the entire article:

      “How dare these upstarts violate our longstanding tradition of rampant bias and unaccountability?!”

      Posted by david on 2005 02 14 at 05:08 AM • permalink


    1. if that davos session was ‘off the record’ why was it videotaped?

      Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2005 02 14 at 05:09 AM • permalink


    1. Rampant unedited diologue – sounds like public media to me.I feel some Senophobes warming to an Enquiry into blogs headed by afficionado Margo….supported by Chief Inquisitor patchy Adams.

      Posted by crash on 2005 02 14 at 05:10 AM • permalink


    1. I’ve seen a couple of sites call this:

      “Revenge of the MSM”.

      This time it’s ‘salivating morons’. I think that’s an improvement over ‘pajama wearing bathroom bloggers’. ‘Salivating Morons’ is much more malicious (and funnier).

      I can’t imagine another industry that would allow its insults towards its customers to be published so widely. Expressing disdain around the water-cooler is one thing, but publishing it for all to see is quite another.

      I guess some of them DO think they live in some special world apart from the ‘great unwashed’.

      Posted by CJosephson on 2005 02 14 at 05:11 AM • permalink


    1. Ah yes, the New York Times, whose former slogan “All The News That’s Fit to Print” has been replaced by “Fake, But Accurate” of course they’d go to bat for Jordan.

      Then again, Eason’s little lies pale in comparison against the real pros, Fisk and Pilger.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2005 02 14 at 05:14 AM • permalink


    1. At the risk of appearing rabid, and having read Lovelady Man’s comments at Vodkapundit, I’ve decided to summarize him as an elemental “leadite”. He’s so dense he shouldn’t be allowed on ocean liners. He might soon convert to a black hole instead of being merely a gassing a-hole.

      Also the Leftist mantra now is that free thought and speech, including the demand for fact and evidence, is defined as a “conspiracy” and “McCarthyism”, to say nothing of “Little Brotherism” since now every “little” person can see, even take pictures with their little cameras, and speak on blogs with their little voices.

      They are even saying the little bloggers are in fact Lilliputians. I wonder what they dream about.

      It’s getting late here. Maybe I am the one dreaming.

      Posted by J. Peden on 2005 02 14 at 05:17 AM • permalink


    1. J. Peden

      He’s so dense he shouldn’t be allowed on ocean liners. He might soon convert to a black hole instead of being merely a gassing a-hole.

      So dense even sense cannot escape.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2005 02 14 at 05:19 AM • permalink


    1. Truth doesn’t do all that well with editing.  “That’s the plain, unedited truth’’ is thought to be positive.

      The NYT has to market to their target audience, or they disappear.  It’s just not a worldwide audience, is all.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2005 02 14 at 05:57 AM • permalink


    1. ..he hoped bloggers could develop loftier goals than destroying people’s careers.
      Now there’s a novel thought. As Tim said, the old paradigms they are a’changin. Power games by those blessed with a job in the MSM have been commonplace.
      That cosy position is being undermined, and they do not like it.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 02 14 at 06:04 AM • permalink


    1. I don’t know if I came across the link to this article here or not but it’s worth remembering that jordan had made this exact same claim before but wasn’t challenged to provide any corrobating evidence.

      US military ‘still failing to protect journalists in Iraq’

      Claire Cozens, press and publishing correspondent
      Friday November 19, 2004

      Iraq: dozens of journalists and media workers have died during the conflict
      Independent journalists operating in Iraq face arrest and even torture at the hands of the US military and the authorities are failing to act on promises to do more to protect them, news organisations have warned.

      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.

      Posted by zefal on 2005 02 14 at 06:12 AM • permalink


    1. I’m just a salivating moron, part of an angry mob

      Makes me want to grab a flaming faggot and march to the nearest offending MSM office and, and, salivate all over them.

      Posted by gubbaboy on 2005 02 14 at 06:57 AM • permalink


    1. Bugger it! It’s so easy to do news media. Report the facts and nothing else in your news columns and give both sides of the issue in your opinion pages. The supposed dunces in the sports pages do it every day.

      Posted by slatts on 2005 02 14 at 07:22 AM • permalink


    1. So why would a journalist go to Iraq and risk their life when they dont have to. Answer:  Because they are morons.

      Posted by raider580 on 2005 02 14 at 07:25 AM • permalink


    1. If there is nothing to this story but the growsing of salivating morons, why not release the video? Why would Mr. Jordan resign because some guys in pajamas didn’t like his comments? The NYT doth protesteth too much.

      Posted by Abu Qa’Qa on 2005 02 14 at 07:36 AM • permalink


    1. “Little Brotherism?”  That’s excellent.
      A good many of us have to answer to Little Brothers in our jobs.  We normally call them “The Public.”

      Posted by Donnah on 2005 02 14 at 08:53 AM • permalink


    1. Sports/ Weather- contemplate this ABC type scenario.‘The weather bureau today ALLEGED that the temperature had soared to 38 degrees.The SO-CALLED meteorologist on duty SAID that WEATHER BUREAU thermometers APPEARED to reach the stated 38 degrees BUT we are waiting for INDEPENDENT MONITORS to CONFIRM this….SOME SAY that the Weather Bureau does not have THERMOMETERS at ALL. The INDEPENDENT GROUP, METEOROLOGISTS SANS FRONTIERES said they had evidence that ALL THERMOMETERS at the weather bureau had been DESTROYED in the 1980s after sanctions were imposed.We spoke today with Professor PYREXIA from the INSTITUTE OF FINGERING LYING METEOROLOGISTS himself a FORMER THERMOMETER INSPECTOR about the claim …

      Posted by crash on 2005 02 14 at 09:20 AM • permalink


    1. #13—Gubbaboy… er, I think you’re grabbing the wrong kind of flaming fagot.  Then again, I don’t know what neighborhood you live in…

      And we do have a goal higher than destroying careers. To put it in garbled leftease, we speak truth to the powerful speaking untruths…

      There is, by the way, a videotape.  According to Captain’s Quarters, some fromage-mangeur from the WEF told him it will never be released.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 02 14 at 09:35 AM • permalink


    1. Temperature is actually controversial.  It’s in fact the derivative of energy with respect to entropy, and entroyp (might as well stupidly leave it typed as entroyp) is itself controversial, and non-physical.  THERE ARE NO ENTROPY METERS!  That’s why it rains on your picnic.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2005 02 14 at 09:50 AM • permalink


    1. Tim – here’s a first-ABC’s Edmund Roy seeks advice from editor of the normally much despised Women’s Day on Royal nuptials?Nobly sacrificing his principles on the altar of republicanism.

      Posted by crash on 2005 02 14 at 09:57 AM • permalink


    1. “…conservative bloggers exposed flaws in a report by Dan Rather.”

      First, it wasn’t all ‘conservative’ bloggers. And if it was, that’s a pretty damning statement about liberal ones.

      Second…flaws?  They exposed flaws in the report?  What they exposed was outright fraud.

      That’s OK.  The longer these guys wait as their position is eaten away, the greater the chance it will topple entirely when it goes.

      Posted by Ken Begg on 2005 02 14 at 10:57 AM • permalink


    1. If that story was any more brittle and transparent, you could use it to make windows.

      Posted by Jim Treacher on 2005 02 14 at 11:42 AM • permalink


    1. “Ted Turner, who at that point had never traveled to a Communist country or knowingly met a Communist, [went to Havana].”

      Well, other than his ex-wife.

      Posted by Blue on 2005 02 14 at 12:03 PM • permalink


    1. I’m a former reporter. I was trained by people who would have tossed Jordan et al out on their pompous asses for even thinking like that.

      Jordan had a job to do. He failed miserably. The NYT opted to cover for him, and all the sycophants climb aboard. That’s not how this used to be. Back when reporters had a better reputation than TV repairmen, they would have been all over this story just to purge the profession of people like that.

      This is why I mostly read the blogs now.

      Posted by Gary from Jersey on 2005 02 14 at 03:19 PM • permalink


    1. Our bloodlust is not yet slaked! Now bring us the head of Peter Jennings! Drool! Goomba Goom!

      Posted by Paul Zrimsek on 2005 02 14 at 03:57 PM • permalink


    1. They really don’t get it.

      Good Bloggers have only one source of fame and readers, credibility. Without it, no-one will read you.

      Only when credible people make plausible claims backed by reasonable evidence, can someone be forced to resign. All of us could claim that Howard Dean is actually Lucifer, and blog about nothing else for the next six months. What impact would it have? Zero.

      If MSM learn this simple truth, they have absolutely nothing to fear from the Pyjamahdin

      Posted by EU Serf on 2005 02 14 at 04:17 PM • permalink


    1. Oh please, the remarks were “off the record.” I do not recall MSM giving Lawrence Summers much slack for his off the record comments.  What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

      Posted by Ben Stanwright on 2005 02 14 at 04:24 PM • permalink


    1. Here’s a handy pack of articles from 2002 and 2003 INCLUDING Eason Jordan’s NYT article admitting CNN’s complicity with Saddam’s regime available gratis at the International Herald Tribune.

      CNN’s Access of Evil�? by Franklin Foer, April 14, 2003, Opinion Journal, Wall Street Journal
      The awful news CNN had to keep to itself�?
      by Eason Jordan, April 12, 2003, International Herald Tribune,
      first published as “The News We Kept to Ourselves,�? April 11, 2003, New York Times
      Bob Garfields’s Interview with Eason Jordan�?
      (Relevant to Foer’s “CNN’s Access of Evil�? above) October 25, 2002, WNYC Radio
      Air War – How Saddam Manipulates the U.S. Media�?
      by Franklin Foer, Posted Oct. 16, 2002, Issue: Oct. 28, 2002, The New Republic
      And as to Eason Jordan’s having “owned up�? about CNN’s propaganda complicity with Saddam and his regime, check out the NYT’s Iraq reporter John F. Burns—
      John Burns: ‘There Is Corruption in Our Business’�? (Interview) Sept. 15, 2003, Editor & Publisher

      Burns: “…. CNN’s Eason Jordan’s op-ed piece in The New York Times missed that point completely. The point is not whether we protect the people who work for us by not disclosing the terrible things they tell us. Of course we do. But the people who work for us are only one thousandth of one percent of the people of Iraq. So why not tell the story of the other people of Iraq? It doesn’t preclude you from telling about terror. Of murder on a mass scale just because you won’t talk about how your driver’s brother was murdered.�?

      Eason Jordan clouded the issue by using CNN foreign employees’ and employees’ relatives’ murders to help justify CNN’s complicity in despots’ propaganda.

      Eason Jordan is said to have been acting increasingly embarassingly to CNN in VARIOUS ways during the past year. Was this just an excuse to dump him? A last chance to dump him, too. What else is on that tape? Is it a videotape? Various faces nodding, showing agreement? Voices saying yes? Barney Frank and Chris Dodd knew better. Barney Frank challenged Eason Jordan on the spot about evidence. Who is Eason Jordan and/or CNN trying to protect by trying to bring the matter to a peremptory close?

      Posted by ForNow on 2005 02 14 at 04:32 PM • permalink


    1. Meanwhile, Drudge has reported that, in a nearby circus ring, the FEC (the US Federal Elections Commission) is looking into how Internet political communications, when “coordinated�? with political campaigns, fit into the definition of “political activity.�? They are looking into this with an eye to tightening the restrictions.

      Who will side with Hillary Clinton that there needs to be a governmental “gatekeeper�? of the Internet? Will the NYT jump aboard because of all this? Will the WSJ “concede�? that there’s a problem that the US government “needs to address�?? Bartlett passed away, diffident Paul Gigot is in charge at the WSJ’s Opinion Journal.

      Posted by ForNow on 2005 02 14 at 04:48 PM • permalink


    1. Yeah, there we go again, us unregulated, unedited, media-consuming public.

      Nobody is giving Jordan credit for the one thing he’s done right in all of this – he fell on his own sword.  He didn’t duct-tape himself to his desk and wait until someone came to drag him out to pasture.  He owned up to his crapulence.

      Meanwhile, Gunga Dan is still an employee of CBS, The NYT still brags about Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer Prize, and end-of-the-world enviros still write government-funded studies ‘proving’ what was conclusively disproven the last time they published a paper.

      Can’t say Mr. Jordan’s departure is a big loss, but he’s had the best exit.

      Posted by Nightfly on 2005 02 14 at 05:03 PM • permalink


    1. Until and unless Eason Jordan gets the tape released, his exit paves the way for his eventually redux into the MSM.

      That’s pointed out in a comment on the thread of a blogger who beat me to it in speculating about others’ reactions that might have been caught on the videotape and how protection of them may help account for CNN’s and Eason Jordan’s attempt to bring a peremptory close to matters.

      Posted by ForNow on 2005 02 14 at 05:58 PM • permalink


    1. REad today’s age for another old leftie, gawenda, getting his knickers in a knot over the changing face of media, MSM in particular; they hate it now they dont run it any more and now you can look elsewhere for news instead of the tedious Age for example. Gawenda does however make some good points re the undesirability of the white house paying bloggers to run the party line on their blogs

      Posted by arnienelly on 2005 02 14 at 06:35 PM • permalink


    1. Those untrained brownshirt monkeys with their goddamn rampant unedited dialog! Where will it end? I demand that the authorities immediately suspend their Free Speech Licenses.

      Posted by Bryan C on 2005 02 14 at 09:47 PM • permalink


    1. Where will it end?

      cats and dogs living together!


      Posted by guinsPen on 2005 02 15 at 12:19 AM • permalink


    1. Tim, congratulations on what may be your longest posting.  And thanks for bringing us the name ‘Mr. Lovelady’.  What happens when he meets Flex Plexico?  And Arnienelly is right: I can now read ‘The Age’ – even on Saturday – in about three minutes.  I just skip the Kyoto scare pieces, the Beazley-boosting, the Habib-excusing, and the demands for Howard to apologize for [insert issue here].

      Posted by cuckoo on 2005 02 15 at 02:06 AM • permalink


  1. Chris Muir has a good poke at Lovelady (15 Feb 04 cartoon)!


    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 02 15 at 06:17 AM • permalink