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Judging Jordan

Posted on 02/16/2005 3:16:10 PM PST by Pikamax

Judging Jordan

Eason Jordan's resignation from the top ranks of CNN is another sign of the positive changes being experienced by the international media.

Israel need not regret his departure. During his tenure as a chief news executive, Jordan was responsible for the anti-Israeli feelings frequently expressed, particularly in earlier years, in CNN International reports about Israel's struggle against Palestinian terrorism. I should state at this juncture that I am associated with Fox News, whose declared policy is to be "fair and balanced."

Jordan has now resigned from his position as executive vice president and chief news executive because he said in the World Economic Forum in Davos that American troops had deliberately targeted several journalists who were killed in the war in Iraq.

Jordan, who had worked for CNN for 23 years, hurriedly attempted to soften the terrible charge he had leveled against his countrymen. He squirmed and tried to deny it, but his blood libel spread from the snow-covered mountains of Davos and seemed about to become a scandal that would further undermine CNN, which is already on shaky ground. Consequently, Jordan was forced to resign.

How could Eason Jordan make such a grave accusation against American troops when it was obvious that the journalists were killed by accident?

THE ANSWER lies primarily in his arrogance. Apparently some world media news executives feel they can say and do whatever they like, and that no one will dare to challenge them. Jordan himself, in an article published in 2003 in The New York Times, admitted that CNN had not publicized reliable information about Saddam Hussein's acts of cruelty over the years because it feared for the lives of network employees in Baghdad. I suspect that Jordan wrote the article as an insurance policy, because he feared that after Saddam's downfall journalists would uncover the real nature of the special relations between Jordan and the Iraqi dictator.

Jordan was also responsible for CNN's relations with Fidel Castro in Cuba, and with the crazy North Korean regime. Thus the network was able to work easily in these dictatorships, just as in Saddam's Baghdad. On certain occasions CNN was awarded sole rights to cover the hajj to Mecca at a time when the Royal Palace did not permit any other network, including Arab ones, to do so.

Shall we now expect that Jordan will publish an article in The New York Times explaining what he promised in Havana, in North Korea and to the Saudi Arabian Royal Palace in return for the rights awarded to CNN? Will this be as frank an article as the one describing his meeting with Saddam Hussein?

Everyone who has watched CNN International over the years was aware that the network had adopted not only an anti-American stance but also an anti-Israeli one. CNN's reports caused tremendous, ongoing damage to Israel's image. It's therefore not surprising that Jordan was welcomed to the Mukata as a guest of honor by Yasser Arafat. He was a member of the delegation that visited Jerusalem, at the beginning of Arafat's war of terrorism, to hear Israel's complaints, but did nothing. Only after Operation Defensive Shield to eliminate the suicide bombers, in April 2002, did Jordan visit Jerusalem again to finally publish a few stories about the Jewish victims of the terrorist attacks.

JORDAN APPARENTLY became intoxicated by his sense of power. He isn't the only one in the media who has fallen into this trap and thought that he could play prosecutor, judge and executioner.

This happened to the BBC in a scandal of unfounded charges leveled against Prime Minister Tony Blair. As a result the British network had to put its house in order. This also happened to The New York Times, where senior executives were dismissed after editors permitted one of their correspondents to publish an unending stream of false reports. This even happened to such a veteran, reliable journalist as Dan Rather, who was forced to resign after publicizing forged documents against US President Bush at a critical stage in his recent election campaign.

One can draw several conclusions from all this. First, the media people involved were so strong and arrogant, and so full of self-importance, that only they themselves could prick the balloon of their conceit and lies. They thought that everything was permissible for them, because in the mainstream media in democratic countries it frequently happens that the media turn a blind eye to deliberate distortion of facts by their colleagues, in the spirit of "don't attack me and I won't attack you."

Secondly, the Internet plays an important role in the exposure of scandals by the media barons. Were it not for on-line news, it is doubtful whether the Jordan scandal in Davos would have acquired sufficient momentum to force his resignation. In the other cases, the Internet also, at long last, provided a forum of judges and critics of the media giants, such as the BBC, CNN and The New York Times.

The final conclusion is that the first rule that a young journalist should learn is that if you've made a mistaken report, correct it immediately and apologize.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections

1 posted on 02/16/2005 3:16:10 PM PST by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax

The amazing part of this whole story is the MSM's woefully short coverage of Jordan's remarks, the refusal to release the tape and his past similar remarks.
The whole thing was just weird, the blogs did all the reporting, all the hard work, tracking down sources, interviews, digging up past comments. Can you imagine if say an anchor on Fox had said something similarly disgusting about a left wing group...FRONT PAGE

2 posted on 02/16/2005 3:51:53 PM PST by MrBlogster (The Daily Blogster)
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To: Pikamax

Some people's natural reaction to thugs is to keep the peace with them. A little sucking-up is the natural response. As long as the thug doesn't bother him.

3 posted on 02/16/2005 4:09:08 PM PST by jolie560
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
4 posted on 02/17/2005 5:16:56 AM PST by SJackson ( Bush is as free as a bird, He is only accountable to history and God, Ra'anan Gissin)
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To: MrBlogster
The whole thing was just weird

Yes, it was. Welcome to FR.

5 posted on 02/17/2005 5:40:39 AM PST by Bahbah
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