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February 10, 2005

Comments

If I say "Eason CNN Scandal", do you know what I'm talking about?

Sure. Eason is a CNN editor/executive/whatever who claimed that journalists are being intentionally targeted by the US military. Read about it on Orcinus. They had Ann Coulter's take on it (looking it up now):

Kudlow: I've got a couple of seconds before the break, when you guys are all going to come back -- Ann, I just wanted to give you first whack at this: Eason Jordan, top news executive at CNN -- I mean, to me, this is absolutely incredible, this guy says, at a big conference in Davos, that the U.S. military is deliberately targeting and assassinating American journalists? Huh?! He still has a job? Huh?! You got a take on that?

Coulter: Would that it were so.

Kudlow: That what were so?

Coulter: That the American military were targeting journalists.

Yeah I know what you are talking about. I'm not sure it's a scandal, but I know of which you speak.

Do you know what I'm talking about when I talk about "false claims of WMD leading the US into war and occupation of another country?"

And, which is worse?

Also, let's shed a tear for the journalists who have actually died in the war, and maybe investigate those issues, and not just play political ping-pong.

riffle

I know about about it because I try to check instapundit every couple of days, mostly for the purpose of finding out what the conservative blogs are mad about right now.

I don't watch CNN, FNC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC.
I don't read Times, Post, Newsweek, or Time
I don't listen to Rush, Savage, or Air America
I do read my conservative Dallas Morning News, in order of close reading, Sports,Business,Local,National,Entertainment,Editorial
I do follow links of Yahoo, personalized, which are mostly AP and Reuters
I do follow blogs as aggregators and filters, and sometimes follow links, especially to technical or professional papers. However link to the Times or Post or Nation or Standard and I will likely skip it. Link to the Economist. maybe.

I am very tired of hearing about which side the press is mistreating;whatever filthy malevolent bias may exist, it is far outweighed by the incompetence, slack, irresponsibilty and general worthlessness of MSM.

This is like watching the players argue with the refs at an NBA game. Boring and irrelevant. No offense.

Fire the dude I had never heard of. Or whatever.

To answer your questions - no, I don't know who Easton Jordan is, nor do I care.

Why? Let me bastardize your four questions, if I may:

Premise: SecDef Rumsfeld said on national TV (Meet the Press, IIRC) that Iraq had WMDs and we knew where thay were.

A. Rumsfeld is head of the most powerful military in the world. He says that another nation is violating numerous UN resolutions as well as the Gulf War I treaty. If it is true, it is a huge story.

B. If true, there are numbers of inspectors in the country with unlimited access that can verify his claims. Why has he not told them about his information so that they can verify it?

C. If the charge is false, what the hell is he doing making it? A large part of this war is the propaganda game. (Actually, I think I answered my own question)

D. The controversy about what he actually said is easily resolveable. Indeed.

So to be frank, I don't care what a CNN employee said about whatever. And if my senario does not call for an internal investigation I don't see why some remarks by Easton Jordan at some place I've never heard of should either.

Have I heard about Easongate? You bet. The secret transcript is right here. What happens in Davos, stays at Davos.

If I say "Eason Jordan CNN Scandal", do you know what I'm talking about?

Yes: but I know because I read about it on Body and Soul.

The "scandal" of Eason Jordon pointing out that US forces have killed 12 journalists, and the right-wing blogosphere leaping on it and twisting his words to manufacture outrage, is very reminiscent of the "scandal" manufactured when Eason Jordan said in an interview that CNN had sometimes had (very responsibly) to keep quiet about atrocities they'd witnessed under Saddam Hussein's regime, in order to protect the Iraqis who would have suffered had CNN reported them.

It would appear that the right-wing blogosphere really doesn't like CNN. While I've never watched it, this makes me suspect that CNN is far too accurate, honest, and responsible, about reporting for regular FoxNews devotees to be able to enjoy their nightly news.


Is this piece of research concerned with Americans only? If not, then please note that I never heard of this particular Jordan or his speech.

The comparison Fledermaus makes with Rumsfeld is interesting. Why the disparity in levels of outrage? My guess is that Rumsfeld’s unfounded claim is seen as an attempt to promote American interests, like the story Bismarck told in order to get the Franco-Prussian war underway.

So the gripe is not that the media are dishonest, but that their dishonesty is not always patriotic, as the Bismarcks and Rumsfelds of this world understand patriotism. (Of course that charge cannot be directed at the likes of Judith Miller.)

Is that what is bothering Instahack and the like?

Should I be embarrassed to say that I haven't followed this story at all?

Doug M.

Should I be embarrassed to say that I haven't followed this story at all?

Only 12 journalists have been killed so far.

The "scandal" of Eason Jordon pointing out that US forces have killed 12 journalists, and the right-wing blogosphere leaping on it and twisting his words to manufacture outrage, is very reminiscent of the "scandal" manufactured when Eason Jordan said in an interview that CNN had sometimes had (very responsibly) to keep quiet about atrocities they'd witnessed under Saddam Hussein's regime, in order to protect the Iraqis who would have suffered had CNN reported them.

Distortions abound, Jes. A reporter, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and David Gergen confirmed that Jordan accused the U.S. military of deliberately killing journalists. CNN didn't hush up Saddam's atrocities to protect Iraqis, they did it because they wanted to keep their Baghdad bureau.

For extra added fun, who else has heard of the softball-tossing White House Press Corps reporter who recently quit his job after being discovered faking his credentials, and who might, among other things, actually be a pr0n webmaster?

Geez, I was wondering what on God's green earth you were bringing up that old scandal for. I reject Chas assertion here. Here is what the WaPo says about David Gergen's quote

Two other panelists backed Jordan's account. David Gergen, editor at large at U.S. News & World Report, said he "sort of gasped" when Jordan spoke of journalists being "deliberately killed," but that Jordan "realized, as soon as he said it, he'd gone too far" and "walked it back." Jordan then expressed "a very deep concern about whether our soldiers on the ground level are using as much care as they should" when journalists are involved, said Gergen, who moderated the discussion.

It also points out the following:

Gergen said Jordan had just returned from Baghdad and was still "deeply distraught" over the journalists who have died in Iraq. "This was a guy caught up in the tension of the moment," Gergen said. "He deserves the benefit of the doubt."

Hugh Hewitt and Michelle Malkin (sorry, no linking, I'm not going to give them any bloglove, no sirree). Is that who you (generic you) want to keep company with?


Ironic really, crackpot liberal newshead attempts to start ridiculous rumor results in feeding frenzy amidst the blogosphere to bring the big dog down. Woof!

I just watch Control Room a couple of days ago, and there does not seem to be to many doubts in Al-Jazzera's mind about the fact that their employees were targetted by the military.

LJ, you have two Democratic Senators who were flabbergasted by what Jordan said, a reporter (MacKinnon) with ties to CNN who confirmed it and you have a Wall Street Journal member who was in the audience:

I'll leave it others to draw their own verdicts, but here's mine: Whether with malice aforethought or not, Mr. Jordan made a defamatory innuendo. Defamatory innuendo--rather than outright allegation--is the vehicle of mainstream media bias. Had Mr. Jordan's innuendo gone unchallenged, it would have served as further proof to the Davos elite of the depths of American perfidy. Mr. Jordan deserves some credit for retracting the substance of his remark, and some forgiveness for trying to weasel his way out of a bad situation of his own making. Whether CNN wants its news division led by a man who can't be trusted to sit on a panel and field softball questions is another matter.
Of course, Jordan could clear the whole up by getting the videotape. As for Jordan's history of CNN in Iraq, John Burns is no slouch:
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.

Bird Dog: Distortions abound, Jes.

Indeed they do, don't they? Especially when it's the right-wing blogosphere reporting on Eason Jordan. Odd, that, isn't it?

Had I heard of it? Of course. I try to keep up with the right side of the blogosphere as much as I can stomach. A lot of it I find to be ridiculous, but sometimes I completely agree with them. On this? Seems irresponsible, but I never watch CNN, so I don't have much of a stake. General incompetence and cowardice seems to be a far greater factor affecting news coverage than ideology, though, so I'm far more interested in on-air output than someone saying something stupid in conversation and then retracting it, because we all know H.H. and M.M. have never done that. Well, at least the retracting it part.

I think the E. Jordan thing is such a cause celebre because many responsible right-wingers just can't bear to look at the dishonest, anti-conservative ruin of a budget that Bush has just squeezed out onto Congress' desk,or the bizarrely expensive and ineffectual social security "reform" Bush has been mealy-mouthing* (to say nothing of the increasingly disturbing Gitmo allegations noted by Hilzoy below). Nobody who claims to be a small-government conservative can honestly defend what Bush is currently pushing, so they look for things like this to get excited about.

Not that Sebastian is in any way wrong in his observations - if Jordan has proof that U.S. troops are intentionally targeting journalists, he should break the story RIGHT NOW, and not just use it to wow the international liberal clique at Davos. If he can't prove it, then he should probably be fired, if it turns out he explicitly made the charge (and it sounds from the witness accounts like he did).

But I think current zone-flooding on the starboard side is due to the fact that there is not a lot to be proud of Bush for right now. But I'm just a stupid liberal and I hate America, so who cares what I think.

*no comment on whether or not SS reform in general is a good idea; just that Bush's trillion-dollar half-plan that won't even address the long-term solvency issue ain't the right plan from any perspective.

Al Jazeera makes the same claim in Control Room regarding the death of Tariq Ayoub. Have any of the righty blogs been successful in debunking Al Jazeera's claims? Here's what Ayoub's home newspaper said about the matter.

Sorry, but I did not hear that story. But will check it out.

LJ, you have two Democratic Senators who were flabbergasted by what Jordan said, a reporter (MacKinnon) with ties to CNN who confirmed it and you have a Wall Street Journal member who was in the audience:

OK, Chas, enjoy Hewitt and Malkin's company. I would say you guys deserve each other, but that would really be uncalled for.

Sorry, but this was unscripted. Gergen was the moderator and I quoted what he said. Also, the WaPo article has the following

BBC World Services Director Richard Sambrook, in a note to New York University journalism professor and blogger Jay Rosen, said Jordan was objecting to the phrase "collateral damage."

"He clarified this comment to say he did not believe they were targeted because they were journalists, although there are others in the media community who do hold that view (personally, I don't)," Sambrook wrote. "They had been deliberately killed as individuals -- perhaps because they were mistaken for insurgents, we don't know. However the distinction he was seeking to make is that being shot by a sniper, or fired at directly is very different from being, for example, accidentally killed by an explosion."

link

I love the way you invoke the Wall Street Journal without noting that it is the op-ed page (which, in Salon's words is a "a cauldron of unethical journalism") or that the piece was by WSJ member Bret Stephens, who was editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post when the newspaper chose Paul Wolfowitz as Man of the Year. But he was there, I'm sure that he would be truthful, right?

Also, thanks for the 2003 John Burns article. Nothing like up to the minute news. (yeah, I know, you are 'presenting a pattern' and giving some 'historical background' showing the 'systematic bias'. Fortunately, no one could complain about Hewitt and Malkin in that regard, eh?)

nope. never heard of him.

but, i assume that he speaks for me and everyone else who disagrees with anything W has ever done, and that he is a perfect reflection of our opinions and attitudes. so please, feel free to repudiate him and all he says, thereby crushing the Wicked Left once and for all.

'Grieving Journalist Accuses US Forces; RW Blogosphere Goes Insane with Rage'

'Fake Journalist Was Given Classified Documents by White House to Expose CIA Operative; RW Blogosphere Leaps to His Defense''

A lot of posters here have a problem, for some reason, taking the RW blogs seriously on matters of law, professional ethics and national security. Gosh, I wonder why?

Oh, yeah -

RW Blogosphere Declares Iraqis Insufficiently Grateful for US Invasion; Suggests 'Kill Them All''

'Abuse, Torture and Murder at Abu Ghraib: RW Blogosphere Says 'No There Wasn't, But If There Was, Who Cares?''

That's why.

I hadn't heard about it; but then this is the only blog I read at all regularly anymore, and I don't consume much other news apart from scanning headlines, so AFAIC, if you folks don't mention it, it hasn't happened.

I knew about it but was glad to read [i]Body and Soul[/i]s comprehensive review. My impression is that Jordan got angry about the term "collateral damage" and went too far the other way to counter what he felt was a callous disregard for the journalists' deaths.

Like some others on this thread, I think the more important issue regarding the MSM is how its corporate mindset, ratings lust, and personality-driven drivel is hurting all of us, across the political spectrum.

It's probably impossible, when moderates and liberals I support haven't been in power since I started blogging, to assure someone like Charles that if "my guys" were in charge I would be just as frustrated and angry - and vocal about it - if they had done any of the things for which I criticize the Bush administration.

But I would be -- and I'm increasingly confused by smart, decent people who seem (at least to me) to be pointing accusingly at the dog pooping on the front lawn while simultaneously ignoring the abuse going on inside the house; either because they don't want to face the abuse or -- worse -- because they just want to "win" and they need everyone else to be distracted.

That's why Sebastian's post was so refreshing and heartening. He and I don't agree on many, many things -- but he is willing to criticize those he supports if he feels it's important to do so -- and he picks the big issues, rather than getting waylaid (or choosing to be) by lesser stories.

No, don't know what you're talking about.
Oh, the thing where one journalist said Coalition forces were targetting journalists, then retracted it. Read about it on Suburban Guerila, but the name didn't stick in my mind.
War sucks. When you get hit by a bullet you generally don't care which army shot at you, just that it hurts. Did I mention that war sucks?

Seb: yes, I have. I haven't tried to follow it, but that's mostly because I ran across first the accusations, then some of the more detailed accounts listed above, and filed it under 'person just back from war zone loses it'. It probably helps that my opinion of CNN is such that neither a "gasp, someone from CNN said something idiotic!" nor "CNN must have a liberal bias!" was in the cards. (I.e., I think they're equal opportunity bad.)

Did you know about this memo? "Message guru and former MSNBC contributor Frank Luntz says in a confidential memo to Hill leaders that Williams has emerged as the "go-to network anchor" because of his brains and "lack of detectable ideological bias." Luntz credits NBC Executive Producer Steve Capus for "a flawless transition to a new generation of news anchor." Still, Fox and CNN lead the nets when it comes to GOP loyalty."

Of course, Jordan could clear the whole up by getting the videotape.

I've said this before but I'll say it again: that's charmingly naive of you, Chas.

[Not that I disagree with you that that should clear things up... but I'll bet you dollars to donuts it wouldn't.]

I'd heard about it -- can't say that I think it's all that huge a deal. During the initial month or two of the war, I remember thinking that the death-toll among journalists was stunning: while I haven't, and didn't then, done the math to see if this was actually true, it seemed to me that the death rate among journalists, per journalist in the war zone, had to have been higher than among US soldiers. This kind of thing would naturally tend to disturb and upset other journalists, and to the extent that the journalist death-toll was unusually high compared to other wars, would invite theories about what had changed -- perhaps there was, in fact, more aiming at journalists than has historically been the norm.

Whatever accusation Jordan made, you've divided the possibilities into true, so we should have seen it published with proof, or false, so Jordan should not have said whatever he said because it's a lie. Aren't you leaving out the possibility of tue but insufficiently proven to publish? Or false but supported by persuasive evidence? Whatever it was he said, he said it to a small, expert skeptical audience -- I can't get all that excited about this.

had heard the basic outlines. filed it under people say stupid stuff, then retract. given the discussions about the fog of war on this blog, it seems odd that SH finds this to be a binary issue.

Francis

Yes, I pick up this stuff from either conservative blogs (Redstate) or from liberal blogs responding to conservative outrage over same.

I'm exhausted, too.

Sebastian, I am curious as to your conclusion about this thread and its answer(s) to your test question.

No. Never heard of it before.

So Ward Churchill and Jordan Eason are the big deals on right-wing blogs? Good sense of proportion there.

This is a fun game. ;)

Pop over to Atrios and read his 8:53 a.m post about the estimable Marian Kester Coombs.

Who knew what and when?

I'll trade you one Ward Churchill and a player to be named later for the Washington Times and Ann Coulter. I think I'll get the best of the deal -- I get two very effective, full-time, every day position haters for a low minor leaguer who may be coaching third base in Pougkeepsie soon.

This is a test.

This is only a test.

Had there been any point to be made other than that CNN is clearly biased against America, you would have been provided with further instructions.

This concludes the test of the Conservative Blogosphere Information Feed.

Well, if the question is whether liberals had heard about the 'scandal', I think the clear answer is that most had.

Coulter: Would that it were so.

Kudlow: That what were so?

Coulter: That the American military were targeting journalists.

Not even in jest, Ann. I've been probably more tolerant of Coulter's antics than I ought to have been, because I'd been of the mindset that it was counter-invective. But stuff like this just has no place in the world of journalism. No publisher ought to continue paying writers who say this sort of thing in public. And if you're of the opinion that invective doesn't really serve any sort of useful purpose (other than stoking some sort of primal fist-pumping need), then counter-invective doesn't have a place, either.

So, this: I haven't read Coulter since she was dismissed by National Review (which, by the way, was fairly close to the point where I stopped reading National Review on a regular basis), and have never really cared for that kind of journalism to begin with. I don't normally bother to comment on what she says, but when things like this are brought to my attention, I feel like I've got to underscore it with: she doesn't represent me in any way. Hopefully she doesn't represent ANYONE, in any way.

"Well, if the question is whether liberals had heard about the 'scandal', I think the clear answer is that most had."

I had only heard about it because of vague references in lefty sites leading to a direct "Here's all the righty blogs are talking about and there's nothing there there currently" remark somewhere. I sort of assumed the guy behind CNN must be on the other side and that I'd hear about it if passed the "person says what sounds like a dumb thing" stage or hit the NYT.

Incidentally, I thought there was a well-publicized instance of a hotel full of journalists getting mortared by us in what seemed at the time likely to be a case in point...

It sounds like most of you have heard of it, though an odd version of it. So I guess that is good.

But just to clarify, Barney Franks (a liberal Democrat senator) was shocked by the assertion that journalists were being targeted for death by the US military. NOT that they were subject to being among those in who die accidentaly in war.

I find it important because Eason Jordan is the head of CNN's international news reporting and he made the statement at the Davos conference where many of the most important European leaders gather. The statement feeds directly into anti-American sentiment among some of the highest leaders.

SH, my question is, So is there any evidence of truth in the claim? Is he a righty? Is he getting booted? Is CNN covering the story?

yeah, my questions are.

OK, Sebastian: to answer your main question first: No, I did not know about "Easongate" until I read it here at ObWi.

Now that I have followed the story via the various links provided, I am more familiar with the issue, and, to put it plainly, underwhelmed. As I see it, the whole "scandal" boils down to:

1. Eason Jordan, at Davos, makes a dumb statement about "Coalition forces targeting journalists".
2. Barney Frank calls him on it, Jordan retracts and clarifies to say he did not mean "deliberately target"
3. Right-wings bloggers work themselves up into a frenzy of self-righteous indidgnation; instant "scandal" (complete with idiotic "-gate" suffix) results.
4. Issue of journalist casualties in Iraq gets buried under blog-blizzard of accusations, defenses, counter-accusations, and overblown rhetoric.
Just another day in the blogosphere.

FWIW, Seb: I agree with you, if there are records of Eason Jordan's comments which would clear this matter up, they should be released: but otherwise I will second st's recommendation in his 8:26 post.

I know it sounds stupid, but I'm a bit emotionally exhausted from my last post and the responses to it in the four places I've posted it.

I meant to say: I don't think this sounds stupid at all. I read the comments to this on RedState, and here, and I'm unsurprised that you're emotionally exhausted: you're entitled.

Perhaps I should wait a few days and ask if the folks across the aisle have heard about the views of a journalist at the Washington Times.

I remember hearing something about the premise and I think I saw a Day by Day cartoon about it yesterday, but Muir didn't even mention a name.

More importantly, Slarti, that's exactly right. Coulter is a &(*$&#(*#(&$(*#&$(*#@&(@&#(*$ that speaks for noone I know.

Read about it on various blogs. At this point (see the prior post from hilzoy) I'm finding myself unable to reject claims like Eason's out of hand. I'm just sayin'.

Minor point, Sebastian: Barney Frank is a liberal Democratic Congressman, not a Senator. And rilkefan, the link in your 11:37 post was bum (for me anyway, AOL-slave).

rilkefan, my reaction to that link is "what an insecure imperialist rabid bitca". May she be forever afflicted with recalcitrant, steroid-immune eczema. Or maybe psoriasis.

Slart: your sentiments on Coulter. Ditto mine on Ward Churchill. But you should know that I, for one, never believe Coulter and ilk represent any conservative blogger at Obsidian Wings.

The questions are: She does represent. As do the founders of the Washington Times. Who do they represent and why does the representation continue to occur?

One quibble. What Coulter does is not journalism, just as what Churchill does is not scholarship.

One other question. Why does Kudlow (again, no journalism in sight) interview Coulter? Why does he not interview Von or Sebastian on their largely faulty but civil views on Social Security reform, or Katherine on the legal spaghetti regarding torture?

As usual, that's more than one question.

Quite right on Frank. Not a Senator. Still quite liberal.

Eason didn't retract. He said he couldn't offer evidence on any specific case.

"So is there any evidence of truth in the claim? Is he a righty? Is he getting booted? Is CNN covering the story?"

I think the question of evidence of the truth of the claim is exactly the point. If there is, CNN should be reporting it. If there isn't, Jordan shouldn't be making such assertions at the freaking Davos conference.

rilkefan, my reaction to that link is "what an insecure imperialist rabid bitca".

Bitca! Buffy fans, unite!

Fearnot, though, Sebastian -- if Thomas Sowell gets his way, we won't have the perfidious, traitorous likes of Eason Jordan to contend with anymore.

Sebastian,

First, thank you for the Extraordinary Rendition thread, and my thanks to Katherine for her long and excellent work.

To answer your question directly, yes, I had read it. I'm not sure where I first saw it, possibly following a link from a comment thread on Political Animal.

I have no opinion as to whether either Eason Jordan's comments or the reaction to them is justified. I saw Control Room so I was familiar with the case of Tariq Ayoub as presented by al-Jazeera.

I have to say, though, that the possibility that we might target journalists is at least plausible. After all, if we are willing ourselves to torture, and abet torture via extraordinary rendition, why not? This is a war for hearts and minds, so controlling the coverage could be thought vital to success.

I hope it is not true. I fear it may be based on what we have already learned about torture.

Jay C: "And rilkefan, the link in your 11:37 post was bum (for me anyway, AOL-slave)."

AOL doesn't allow access to the Southern Poverty Law Center???

Anyway, I stole the link from Atrios if you want to read the gist, which is that the wife of the editor of the WaTimes is a vile bigot who broadcasts her poison in the newspaper.

"I have no opinion as to whether either Eason Jordan's comments or the reaction to them is justified. "

I don't really have an opinion on whether or not his comments were justified either, because they won't release the tape so I can't judge the comments. But I'm pretty sure that Barney Frank isn't going around looking for liberal bias at CNN, so if he was shocked I suspect that there may be something to it. But I find the idea that the tapes aren't being released amazing considering that CNN makes requests for such things all the time and like all news media get very huffy when people won't comply with their requests.

How about the neocon voice at the NYT saying on air that we're picking the cabinet of the new Iraqi govt.? Is there a scandal about that beyond Okrent and Atrios et al?

Do I know what you're talking about when you say 'Eason Jordan scandal'? Sure. But only because I have too much time on my hands at the moment and I'm spending too much of it reading these type of blogs.

If I had relied on only the TV news I've been watching lately I wouldn't have a clue. (I suspect if I tuned into Fox more often I would have heard how CNN is accusing our troups of assasinating reporters)

I would suspect that a man in the street survey would yield less than a 10% recognition rate. Probably about the same as 'Ward Churchill' and a order of magnitude more than 'Jeff Gannon'. Ironic considering Gannon had a TV audience of millions while Ward and Jordan had a audience of ... what... a couple hundred?

Sebastian: But I find the idea that the tapes aren't being released amazing considering that CNN makes requests for such things all the time...

I am not by nature a cynical person, but I am past the point of finding anything amazing, especially including hypocrisy.

I certainly agree that the tape should be made public.

rilkefan:
Apparently, AOL, or someone does have a problem with the SPLC, since I have gotten a "500 Servelet Error" message every time I have tried to get in, your link, Google, or directly.
Anyway, I'll take your word for that

"...the wife of the editor of the WaTimes is a vile bigot who broadcasts her poison in the newspaper."

Gee, the Washington Times... who'd 'a thunk it!!


she doesn't represent me in any way. Hopefully she doesn't represent ANYONE, in any way.

I don't think your hopes are justified. She clearly has a substantial following - probably at least four orders of magnitude greater than Ward Churchill's.

Never heard of it. Belgravia, Outside the Beltway, & Volokh are the only rightie blogs I can stomach any more.

OK, Chas, enjoy Hewitt and Malkin's company. I would say you guys deserve each other, but that would really be uncalled for.

Where again did I link to Hewitt and Malkin? Oh yeah, I didn't. As for my using the Bret Stephens link, it was an eyewitness account and it was consistent with the others made. Ad hominems don't apply here, LJ. I included the link to the 2003 Burns piece because it shows that Jordan has exercised seriously questionable judgment more than once as an executive of one of the largest cable news networks on the planet.

re rilkefan's link, the Southern Poverty Law center doesn't seem to have a lot of bandwidth, so you may have to retry a few times.

Look, this may seem like spinning coming from a guy with my handle, but Dodd and Franks were in the _audience_, listening to unscripted comments. I don't know about y'all, but I've never been at a conference where I've been attentive to everyone's words, and fully parsed and analyzed them in real time so that I had a perfect idea of exactly what was said. The notion that because they are *Democrats* so therefore if they condemn this, obviously, this is what Jordan said makes no sense. It may be hard to believe, but politicians can summon outrage, regardless whether they are Republicans or Democrats. (reason #1435 that I will never be a politician) If I were Franks or Dodd and I thought I heard someone say something like that, I would complain about it too, and I see no reason why Franks or Dodd feels a need to protect CNN.

As for releasing the tapes, Davos has always had a very strong policy of keeping everything off the record to allow unfettered discussions

Now I can’t tell you what she said specifically, because here at Davos they have an off-the-record policy, where no-one is allowed to be quoted unless they insist on it, and not too many people insist on it, so there can be a good off-the-record discussion.
link

Could Eason just release the clip of what he said? Probably, but this notion that it's just a question of Eason saying ok seems to be misguided.

Look, maybe he said it. Maybe he believes it. Maybe he believes that there are specially trained hit squads who are targetting journalists specifically. But leaping on this given the evidence that you have, compared with the reams and reams of evidence we have in regards to torture and extraordinary rendition really seems unbalanced.

What Coulter does is not journalism

You know, I made exactly this argument (although not as compactly stated) a while back, and was jumped on by JadeGold, who insisted that she was, in fact, a journalist. Odd, I thought. But I agree with you 100%, John.

Bernard: you're certainly correct from a standpoint of name recognition (prior to the last week or two), but I wouldn't care to speculate as to what fraction of the populace their respective viewpoints represents. I'd hope that Coulter doesn't in fact wish that journalists in Iraq ought to be killed, and I'd guess that Churchill actually believes the WTC victims were in any way responsible for their own deaths. Which makes him the viler of the two, IMO, by quite a stretch.

YMMV, though.

Where again did I link to Hewitt and Malkin? Oh yeah, I didn't.

Chas
I specifically mentioned Hewitt and Malkin in my post. You answered my post, so I assumed you read it. My bad.

You also flogged a WSJ op-ed by Bret Stephens whose previous work is a little lacking. I'm sorry you think that is ad hom, but 'oh, he was an eyewitness' doesn't automatically prove someone's veracity.

I included the link to the 2003 Burns piece because it shows that Jordan has exercised seriously questionable judgment more than once as an executive of one of the largest cable news networks on the planet.

I included that selection of links to Stephen's work because it shows that [insert name] has exercised seriously questionable judgment more than once as an [insert position here]. Why is it ok when you do it, but not when I do it?

Sebastian -- you say that Jordan didn't retract.

from the WaPo article (I'm quoting at length because it all applies):

Jordan denied that last night, saying he had been responding to Frank's comment that the 63 journalists who have been killed in Iraq were "collateral damage" in the war. "I was trying to make a distinction between 'collateral damage' and people who got killed in other ways," Jordan said last night. "I have never once in my life thought anyone from the U.S. military tried to kill a journalist. Never meant to suggest that. Obviously I wasn't as clear as I should have been on that panel."

In some of the cases, "with the benefit of hindsight, had more care been taken, maybe this could have been avoided," Jordan said, referring to shootings that involved mistaken identity. But, he said, "it's a war zone. Terrible things happen."

Two other panelists backed Jordan's account. David Gergen, editor at large at U.S. News & World Report, said he "sort of gasped" when Jordan spoke of journalists being "deliberately killed," but that Jordan "realized, as soon as he said it, he'd gone too far" and "walked it back." Jordan then expressed "a very deep concern about whether our soldiers on the ground level are using as much care as they should" when journalists are involved, said Gergen, who moderated the discussion.

BBC World Services Director Richard Sambrook, in a note to New York University journalism professor and blogger Jay Rosen, said Jordan was objecting to the phrase "collateral damage."

"He clarified this comment to say he did not believe they were targeted because they were journalists, although there are others in the media community who do hold that view (personally, I don't)," Sambrook wrote. "They had been deliberately killed as individuals -- perhaps because they were mistaken for insurgents, we don't know. However the distinction he was seeking to make is that being shot by a sniper, or fired at directly is very different from being, for example, accidentally killed by an explosion."

Just a suggestion, Jay C: ditch the AOL. Welcome to the twenty-first century.

"I'd hope that Coulter doesn't in fact wish that journalists in Iraq ought to be killed"

I suspect your hopes are misplaced. This is a person (term used loosely) who stated she wished September 11 happened to the NY Times building, and who claimed all liberals are guilty of treason, after all. At the very least, she has a history of making such vile comments.

The more I think about it, the more this irritates me. The WaPo article I quoted seems to ratchet this whole thing down from "scandal" to "poor choice of words." So once again, we're back to "John Kerry Said Mary Cheney Was A Lesbian!! (sshh -- don't mention our candidate's mistakes and poor debate performance)."

And for those who are screaming for the Davos tape or transcript, I'll take you much more seriously when you give equal space and time to screaming for the names and information from Cheney's Energy Policy meetings way back at the start of the first term.

Slarti
I'd hope that Coulter doesn't in fact wish that journalists in Iraq ought to be killed, and I'd guess that Churchill actually believes the WTC victims were in any way responsible for their own deaths.

This is not a point scoring thing, I really want to know. Why does Ann get the benefit of the doubt but Churchill doesn't? I suspect that the answer might be in the shape of this

felix - I saw that little spot on its first airing.

She was ENTIRELY tongue in cheek.

It was actually kind of funny. Im pretty sure that she made a follow up joke saying that the only network that would have to worry would be Fox too... you know - fox having the only real journalists.

Allot of what Anne says (actually pretty much all of it) reads TERRIBLY, but if you see the delivery its kind of comical.

if someone can lexis/nexis the actual transcript - I believe this happened right at the end of the show (and for the life of me I cant remember which day it was)

Id love to see if my memory about this quote being slightly out of context is true.

I find it important because Eason Jordan is the head of CNN's international news reporting and he made the statement at the Davos conference where many of the most important European leaders gather. The statement feeds directly into anti-American sentiment among some of the highest leaders.

Sebastian-

You know, this is related, I think, to something that you and all the liberal commenters arguing with you (me amongst them) were getting stuck on back in the Useful Distinctions thread. (I'm going to characterize your reaction, here -- I don't mean to be offensive or presumptuous, I'm just trying to check and see if I understand your thinking. If I've got hold of the wrong end of the stick, please correct me.)

This seems like no big deal to me: Jordan made his accusations that US soldiers targeted journalists, however exactly they were phrased, to a private gathering; Frank spoke up and made it clear that Jordan had no hard evidence supporting the allegations; the audience could take them for what they were worth. At the end of the exchange, everyone knew what Jordan thought, and that his basis for his beliefs was factually no better than sketchy. No one is misled.

You (and I'm guessing all the other right-wing bloggers who are excited about this) think that Jordan's statements are important, and importantly wrongful, because saying bad things about the US increases anti-Americanism, which is a very bad thing. Bad things should only be said about the US or those acting for it when they are impeccably factually supported and important enough that they really must be said. If people don't make damaging allegations against the US, then the world climate of opinion will be more favorable to the US, and this will have significant good effects. Generally, anyone who says anything against the US should be perfectly certain of their facts and careful to phrase their remarks in the fashion least damaging to the US, or you will consider them (illegitimate? an enemy of the US? outside the realm of decent discourse?).

This covers your feelings about AI as well -- while you don't generally disagree with their facts (as far as I can tell), you think that their delivery, media emphasis, etc. lends support to anti-Americanism, and that this effect is strong enough to render AI generally a bad thing, and not a respectable source of information.

If I've characterized your feelings correctly (or close enough to be recognizable), I disagree. I want the US to be loved and respected overseas, but I don't think message discipline is a practical or well advised route to that end. We do some bad things, and many good ones, and we can't possibly or effectively keep people from talking about the bad things we've done, or speculating about bad things we may have done -- in the end, world opinion of the US will rest on our behavior, not on Eason Jordan's speculations about what US troops may have done. Further, I don't think that Jordan's willingness to believe that US troops did something very bad means that he is in any way generally opposed to the best interests of the US.

Ah, the always-popular "I was just kidding" defense. Something tells me its applicability is not universal, and that one's propensity to cut people slack under the IWJK defense corresponds with the overlap between political sensibilities. Usually, though, it's just a post hoc justification after being called on outrageous and offensive crap.

Opus -- It's too late. The meme is out there. And once people do start seeing what Jordan actually said, he'll then be accused of using "weasel words" without specifically "denouncing" or "retracting." The opinion is expressed, and it is decreed by the Outrageosphere that Jordan must own it no matter what he actually said.

At the very least, she has a history of making such vile comments.

I don't dispute that at all.

Allot of what Anne says (actually pretty much all of it) reads TERRIBLY, but if you see the delivery its kind of comical.

Some things can't be made funny by anything, including witty delivery.

LJ: possibly. But neither of them gets the benefit of a doubt, just to be clear.

Lizardbreath, calling the Davos conference 'a private gathering' is really dismissive.

"The WaPo article I quoted seems to ratchet this whole thing down from "scandal" to 'poor choice of words.'"

Hey, the fact that Jordan has now retracted is great. He apparently didn't retract at the meeting which is important (I say apparently because of course he won't release the tape so I can't be sure). And if there hadn't been the current publicity, a large part of his audience would still have the impression that one of the head honchos at one of the main international new sources believed that the US was targeting journalists. So mission accomplished.

But see Kaus on the subject which includes:

Gergen said he asked Jordan point blank whether he believed the policy of the U.S. military was to sanction the targeting of journalists. Gergen said Jordan answered no, but then proceeded to speculate about a few incidents involving journalists killed in the Middle East--a discussion which Gergen decided to close down because "the military and the government weren't there to defend themselves."

It appears to me (once again appears because of the lack of a released tape) that what happened is this:

A) Jordan said that the US military was targeting journalists in front of a mostly European audience which includes some of the most powerful men in the world.

B) Some Americans objected and asked why he thought that.

C) Jordan backpedaled slightly by suggesting that targeting journalists was not official US military policy--phrasing which of course suggests that it might be unofficial policy. That interpretation of the phrasing is bolstered by the speculation which follows.

D) Apparently it was quite possible to leave the meeting believing that Jordan thought there was evidence that US soldiers were targeting journalists.

E) There was a lot of pressure from the blogosphere regarding the issue.

F) Two weeks later Jordan finally clarified that he didn't mean it--a good clarification though one which many of the Europeans in the audience will probably never see, so we must certainly hope that they didn't recieve the message the way some of the liberal Americans who attended did.

She was ENTIRELY tongue in cheek.

It was actually kind of funny

I don't see the humor in advocating the killing of journalists. Perhaps you could explain the joke to me?

BTW, I was inartful when I called this post "This is a Test". It isn't a test in the sense of "do you stupid liberals know when something important is going on" it was a test of how divided the left and right halves of the blogosphere are. On the right this story is EVERYWHERE. I think if you read even two major to moderately influential right-oriented blogs you would have come across it. On the left boards I normally read, it was nowhere. So I wanted to see if my impression of it being nowhere was correct. Apparently it isn't nowhere on the left, though it seems to have been rather scarce. No insult intended.

Would "non-public" be better? I didn't mean to suggest that Davos was unimportant, but that it was literally out of the public eye. Davos has rules about proceedings remaining off the record for this exact reason -- to encourage uncensored, untrammeled expression of the participants' thoughts.

On the right this story is EVERYWHERE.

And on the left, or at least on the left- and left-leaning blogs I read, the main stories are Social Security and extraordinary rendition. Hey, nice to know where the right's priorities are!

. . . he said, tongue only partially in cheek.

Not to belabor an already well-beaten point, but...I've not seen mediaresearch.org issue a CyberAlert on Coulter's latest. Searching MRC's website, it seems the only times Coulter's mentioned is when someone is criticising her, not when she's engaging in over-the-top rhetoric.

I know, big surprise. But it seems to me that we on the Right ought to be reigning in and disavowing the Coulters; many of us have berated those on the Left for failure to do likewise. I know: mote, beam, etc.

"Davos has rules about proceedings remaining off the record for this exact reason -- to encourage uncensored, untrammeled expression of the participants' thoughts."

That is the official reason why they won't release the tape. But you have to understand that it doesn't make things better. If 'off the record' a CNN International head is willing to make a statement to a group which includes some of the most powerful European decision-makers that quite a few non-conservatives interpret as strongly suggesting that journalists are being targeted by the US military, that isn't a good thing at all. If the uncensored thought of Jordan is that he should share that with people that isn't good at all. He is now retracting, which is good. But apparently it was quite possible to leave that meeting and have the impression that the head of one of the most prominent international news services believed that the US military was targeting journalists.

Note that my interpretation is supported even by Kurtz's very friendly article:

[US Rep. (D)]Frank said he found Jordan's remarks "troubling" and in a later phone conversation asked him for specifics about the journalistic casualties so he could make inquiries at the Pentagon. Jordan said Frank was responding to a note from him and that there had been a "misunderstanding" if the congressman expected a further response.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who was in the audience, "was outraged by the comments," said his spokesman, Marvin Fast. "Senator Dodd is tremendously proud of the sacrifice and service of our American military personnel."

Both of these comments were made by Democratic Congressmen AFTER the alleged back-pedaling in the conference.

I didn't recognise the name when I saw it, but recognised the story when described.

On Coulter, she didn't actually say she wished the 9/11 attackers had targeted the NYT building, but Timothy McVeigh. More chillingly, she suggested that his choice of target was her "one regret" about his bombing in Oklahoma City.

As for the "It was a joke!" defense, I am normally very open to this, but jokes are required to be funny. Coulter's liberal-killing "jokes" are about as funny as nigger and paki killing jokes, to my mind. And I'd feel the same way if the target were folks on the right too, yes.

If 'off the record' a CNN International head is willing to make a statement to a group which includes some of the most powerful European decision-makers that quite a few non-conservatives interpret as strongly suggesting that journalists are being targeted by the US military, that isn't a good thing at all. If the uncensored thought of Jordan is that he should share that with people that isn't good at all.

This goes back to my earlier post -- what makes you think that's an important bad thing? Do you think that Jordan's belief that (based on whatever evidence he has, clearly not enough to publish) that US troops targeted journalists (to whatever extent he actually said that) shows that he is an enemy of the US, and is working to injure America, and as such he should be removed from any position of power? If so, I disagree, I don't think it shows anything of the kind.

Do you think that expressing this belief before an audience of world leaders is likely to have damaged their opinion of the US significantly enough that it should not have been said? I very much doubt it -- there is reliable evidence that the US has done worse things than target journalists (i.e., torturing prisoners); I can't see this allegation shifting world opinion of the US significantly.

I'm not just trying to be combative here -- I genuinely have trouble understanding what about this is, in any important sense "not a good thing at all". I know it seems self-evident to you, but believe me when I say that what's bothering you about it does not clearly cross ideological lines: is there any way you can explain, on a very elementary level, what was so wrong about Jordan's statement or what ill-effects you expect to come from it?

"Do you think that expressing this belief before an audience of world leaders is likely to have damaged their opinion of the US significantly enough that it should not have been said?"

Yes. Because it reinforces all sorts of things bad opinions about America and if you don't strongly suspect it is true you shouldn't say something like that.

"I can't see this allegation shifting world opinion of the US significantly."

Change the word "shifting" to "soldifying" and you have the problem.

I'm working under the assumption that he did strongly suspect that it's true (with 'it', again, being poorly defined in that we don't know exactly what he said), in fact, that he believed what he said to be true. The levels of proof necessary to create belief in an allegation and to support publication of that allegation on CNN are very different. Not having all the information available to Jordan, I don't find the allegation (whatever it was, but at any level from "Some journalists were killed by misdirected sniper fire, not by explosions" to "There were occasions in which soldiers took action that killed journalists, knowing that the death of journalists would be a likely result") incredible on its face.

It's an allegation that's been made before: other commenters mentioned that it was made in the documentary about Al-Jazeera. I'd heard it before. I'm sure the world leaders had heard it before. If there's a problem with world opinion of the US, the problem is not that leaders know that Jordan believes the allegation, but that our conduct has made the allegation believable. Better control of what Jordan says, or what other figures vulnerable to US public opinion say, will not change what the rest of the world thinks about us -- they'll hear the same things from people out of our control.

One more thing -- obviously, no one should say bad things about the US without believing that they're true. If you are convinced that Jordan was lying (saying something he knew to be false), while I don't see your basis for it I do clearly understand why the lie upsets you. If he believed it to be true, even in the absence of enough evidence to publish it, I don't think he was wrong to state that belief.

"If 'off the record' a CNN International head is willing to make a statement to a group which includes some of the most powerful European decision-makers that quite a few non-conservatives interpret as strongly suggesting that journalists are being targeted by the US military, that isn't a good thing at all."

If the warblogosphere has even a trace of regard for the opinions of Europeans something remarkable has happened since I last looked at its output. Admittedly it's been a while. The usual line was that Euros are appeasers, wimps and weenies; the expression "powerful European decision-makers" would have been greeted with hoots of derision as a double oxymoron, Euros being both feeble and incapable of making decisions.

"It's an allegation that's been made before: other commenters mentioned that it was made in the documentary about Al-Jazeera. I'd heard it before. I'm sure the world leaders had heard it before."

The problem is that there is a HUGE difference between saying that world leaders had heard it from Al-Jazeera and saying that they heard it from one of the heads of CNN International.

Considering that he now doesn't want to back up the statement at all, it lends the impression that he was just currying to anti-American sentiment in a crowd where he knew it would be welcome. And for someone who works at CNN International to make such a statement is a huge deal. CNN does not equal Al Jazeera.

In my opinion, saying something like that at a place like Davos is at least as bad as reporting it publically with no backup. At a meeting like Davos, you lend the impression that you are sharing confidences or secrets known to you by your position. That is every bit as damaging from a CNN chief as a public announcement. Perhaps more so in terms of actually having an effect on leader's minds.

Considering that he now doesn't want to back up the statement at all, it lends the impression that he was just currying to anti-American sentiment in a crowd where he knew it would be welcome.

Got it -- if I understand you correctly, you believe he was lying. You wouldn't be equivalently disturbed by the statement (again, whatever, exactly, it was) if you thought that he believed it.

I can't say as I think your basis for that belief is sufficient, but I can certainly see why you would be upset if you thought Jordan was baselessly slandering the US for commercial gain. If you're confused by the lack of reaction on the left to the incident, I think it comes down to the fact that most of us see know reason in the facts that have come out to believe that Jordan's statements were knowingly false.

LizardBreath: Better control of what Jordan says, or what other figures vulnerable to US public opinion say, will not change what the rest of the world thinks about us

Nope. Furthermore, journalists have been killed by US soldiers, under circumstances where it was not "collateral damage". From most accounts, what Eason said was that the soldiers who killed the journalists were deliberately killing individuals, not that they were deliberately targetting journalists. The circumstances have varied widely, from the two bombings of al-Jazeera broadcasting stations, to the attack on Terry Lloyd. An attack on an al-Jazeera broadcasting station may be the result of carelessness or malice in the upper echelons: a double attack on a British journalist may be the result of carelessness or malice among those on the front line. We don't know.

What we do know is that no one took public responsibility for the mistakes - let's assume they were all mistakes - that led to the killing of Terry Lloyd, and Hussein Othman, and Tareq Ayyoub, and Taras Protsyuk, and José Couso, and Mazen Dana, and Ali Abdel Aziz, and Ali al-Khatib, and Asaad Kadhim, and Hussein Saleh, and Hamid Rashid Wali.

(And Salem Ureibi, Ahmad Mohammad Hussein al-Badrani and Sattar Jabar al-Badrani, who were abused by US soldiers: no independent investigation carried out, but the US military found itself innocent.)

Yet all the outrage is being expended on Jordan Eason, for mentioning that something very, very wrong is going on here. Kind of like blaming Joseph Derby for Abu Ghraib. Or John Kerry for Vietnam.

Jeez. Trouble with homonyms, much? That should be "see no reason in the facts that have come out".

Wonderful. You condemn a man (and please, don't disingenuously deny that) whose words you do not even know, because if he did say what some people think he said, he should actually have checked his facts before he said them. No double standards there, no sir!

Rob, he is the head of fricking CNN International talking about the interaction between the US and reporters. He isn't just 'a man'.

Sebastian: Rob, he is the head of fricking CNN International talking about the interaction between the US and reporters. He isn't just 'a man'.

What is he, a robot? With a permanent broadband connection to Google? Is he wired for sound with a Bush backpack to feed him the right answers?

Unless you're asserting any of the above, yes, Sebastian, Eason is "just a man": if he misspoke himself, he seems to have corrected his mistake very rapidly. There's sufficient evidence to say that the US military have deliberately killed journalists - that is, soldiers have deliberately shot at and killed people who were journalists: the people whose names I listed did not die as a result of "collateral damage", but because of an intentional attack. If that's what Eason meant to say, he spoke within the facts, and it appears that when he realised what he said had been interpreted by the audience to mean "The US deliberately targets journalists" he retracted it and said it more clearly.

Given that the right-wing blogosphere has already targetted Eason Jordan and distorted his words once, it's hard for me to see this as anything but another manufactured outrage whipped up by misinterpreting something Jordan said: whether because the right-wing blogosphere doesn't like CNN, or doesn't like Eason Jordan, I don't know.

On Imus, Chris Dodd said that "Davos ought to release the tape".

I know where you're coming from, Sebastian, and I've no doubt that if Jordan had a similar position working for Fox had made a claim that similarly antagonized the left - about the press stabbing soldiers in the back, for instance - the lefty commentariat would be all over him. And with good cause - as the right would, if he really made those comments.

Before I jump on him, though, I want to know what exactly he said - was it a misstatement, was it sloppy emotionalism, was it a precise communication of his views? The Davos conference was closed, and no recording or accurate transcript of Jordan's words have come out, to my knowledge.

Jordan claims he was trying to make another point entirely, and the point he was trying to make - that the military has been careless with regards to target selection and targets' proximity to journalists - is a valid one (see the Palestine Hotel). At present I don't have any reason to believe that Jordan is guilty of anything more than the crime of sloppy communication. He should be roundly criticized for this, he should be rhetorically smacked up the head, he should be pressed to correct and clarify, which he has done. His head doesn't need to be served on a platter.

Felixrayman, re: Coulter - I used to do satire of this sort of thing. I think I'm giving up. I can't keep up with these people.

Outside of America it's not considered controversial to believe Americans deliberately targeted journalists. I watched the live coverage of the tanks crossing the bridge, the attack on the hotel and Al jazeera seemed coldly deliberate, especially considering the constant nasty propaganda directed against them and the fact their office was attacked in Kabul.

It doesn't surprise me, anymore than the torture and abuse of prisoners surprised me. Everyone knew what the sight of those hooded,goggled chained gitmo detainees meant, their dehumanization along with the rhetoric that they were the worst of the worst and capable of chewing through the hydraulic lines meant bad things were going to happen to them and the Americans seemed proud of it. They were portrayed as evil doers who had killed thousands and were planning on killing more, why the surprise on what happened to them? Journalists from Al Jazeera are also portrayed as terrorist sympathisers, is that to pave the way for attacking them?

There seems little in the way of cold hard facts from the Bush admin, just a constant flow of rhetoric, hateful stuff for the bad guys and glowing unreal claims about their own goodness. This is backed up by Bush friendly media and bloggers. How do you stand up against this constant barrage of propaganda from all directions, it weighs you down, smothers you.

Criticism against the admin is deflected by pointing to major threats to world peace from people like Jordan and Churchill. I don't even know who they are and care even less. How can anyone worry about the effect of Jordon being critical of America in public when you have the Bush admin representing you!

I find this discussion very wierd. Would any reasonable person be surprised to find that soldiers were deliberately targetting journalists? Especially Al Jazeera ones? Im a lefty, but if I were a soldier over there and I felt that a reporter was putting me at risk, I doubt I would hesitate. I didn't claim to be the best troop in the world when I was in the air force, but I feel sure that many of the people I knew in the service would do the same.

Ann Coulter is an interesting case, she says what Republicans really think. As a Democrat I think thats a valuable service. Her statement certainly suggests that many on the right would think it a good thing to target journos.

I guess Im saying your article has all but convinced that american soldiers are deliberately killing 'troublesome' journalists.

Just a short test for Sebastian: There have been various posts in this thread that assert that there is a solid body of incidents, which do at least suggest that Eason Jordan said is not completely off the mark.

Postulating for a moment that EJ is not completely wrong, should he be censured for making that remark, even if circumstantial evidence points toward it being right?
Should he be censured if it were provably true?

In other words, is the "crime" not the accusation, but making that accusation specifically in davos?

Because with all respect, that's how your comments read so far.

Oh dear me. Man makes inflammatory comment in a forum. Man immediately backpedals, claiming he phrased it poorly. Man corrects -- even according to his detractors -- statement to one that is not disputable (journalists were targetted and killed, but not because of their job. Because they were thought to be an insurgent, armed, etc. The usual fog of war).

This is news?

No, seriously. This is news? Why?

I mean, let's face it, there's only so much time a day, and as far as "journalistic outrages" go, a man who instantly corrects an inflammatory statement to something much blander is really low on the "Things to be pissed over". Had he defended it enough to make it clear it's what he really believed, then capitulated, yeah...you'd have a point.

But I'm not jumping on a man -- left or right -- for misspeaking. Not without some serious evidence that he meant it the way the right-wing blogs are claiming.

Speaking as a lefty, and for scientific purposes, I had heard about it, but only sort of. From Julian Sanchez' blog a couple days ago, I think, and I'm still a little unclear on what happened. Jordan claimed knowledge of something like a dozen deliberate killings, right, then immediately backed off the claim to a dozen cases where 'insufficient care' was taken and admitted that in some of the cases the soldiers would have know way of knowing that those being targeted were journalists. Something like that? I'll have to go back and read this post and comments to see how close I came I guess.

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