February 11, 2005,
This week on CNBC’s Kudlow & Cramer I asked three influential U.S. senators about the CNN scandal regarding news executive Eason Jordan. To recap, at last month’s economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jordan publicly accused the U.S. military of deliberately targeting journalists in order to assassinate them. Senators George Allen, Jeffrey Sessions, and Norman Coleman all agreed with columnist Michelle Malkin’s characterization that Jordan and his CNN defenders have “slimed the military.”
The senators were simply furious at the story, with each expressing anger at Jordan’s liberal anti-U.S.-military bias. Sessions pointed out that episodes like this show why the mainstream media has lost so much credibility in recent years. Coleman was not ready to open up an investigation, but he indicated the matter was worth looking into. Allen was strong in the defense of both the moral character and visionary mission of our troops in Iraq.
Importantly, each was aware of the story.
This tawdry tale has been reported, for the most part, only on the blogosphere, again pointing out just how strong this alternative Internet medium has become. The blogosphere is relentless: It rightfully hammered Eason Jordan and CNN from day one and refuses to stop. We’ve seen this before, of course. Easongate comes only a few months after Rathergate, the blogosphere-led campaign that ensured the dismissal of producer Mary Mapes from CBS and Dan Rather’s hasty departure.
The blogosphere has gained near immediate influence and credibility with its ability to widely disseminate alternative media coverage. (These days, “alternative” more often than not means “true.”) Powerhouse bloggers such as John Hinderaker, Glenn Reynolds, and Hugh Hewitt, among many others, have flexed their muscles and badly bruised CNN on this story.
Besides the obvious anti-military bias, Jordan’s comments were incredibly arrogant and cynical. And, yes, I believe his remarks border on wartime treason, since they so clearly give aid and comfort to our terrorist enemies as well as anti-American Arab militants throughout the Middle East. Remember, this is the same Eason Jordan of CNN who made a deal with Saddam Hussein and his regime to not report atrocities in Iraq in exchange for keeping a CNN news base in Baghdad.
As Easongate heats up on the web, the story’s central figure is now attempting to back off his remarks. Without denying he said them, Jordan is suggesting that he didn’t mean to say them. Huh? On-the-scene eyewitnesses like liberal House member Barney Frank and equally liberal Sen. Christopher Dodd have corroborated Jordan’s scandalous remarks. But the Davos conference organizers refuse to release the tape that would so clearly indict Jordan.
This is reprehensible. However, as blogger Jim Geraghty has written, we can only get at the facts if this tape is released. So, why won’t the Davos people release it? What exactly are they hiding?
Equally reprehensible are the non-actions of CNN, which refuses to take ownership of the anti-American behavior of its top news executive. So far, the network has said only that “Unfortunately, [Jordan] was not clear enough in explaining his assertion.” Well, what exactly does that mean? Either he said it, or he didn’t say it. And if he did say it, then both CNN and Jordan have a big problem now, don’t they?
The obvious fact is that CNN is trying desperately to make the story go away. This episode merely confirms the institutional anti-military bias of that news organization. If CNN had any patriotic backbone, or even good professional journalistic common sense, it would have, at the very least, suspended Jordan pending a thorough investigation.
Seeing as the blogosphere’s reporting has moved into the upper reaches of the U.S. Senate, it is unlikely that CNN will succeed in its attempted cover-up. Freedom of the press is the best disinfectant for public corruption. Bloggers are doing their duty.