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February 17, 2005

Comments

Pretending there's no point of fact at issue here won't make it go away. Apologies if Galt thinks "women workers [are] out to sue for sexual harassment in order to enrich themselves".

Perhaps there should be a "Ten Commandments" of journalism. In addition to "Thou shalt not protect each other from the consequences of foolish statements," another commandment should be: "Thou shalt not connive with government officials to 'out' undercover intelligence agents." Make journalism respectable again.

"When prominent people working for high-profile companies make stupid remarks in public, and the public finds out about it, the general result is that they are quickly shown the door by their employers."
Erm, what? This is not the world I live in.

Many people have written better stuff about the Eason Jordan issue than Jane Galt. Let me cite just one of them, Avedon Carol:

See, the same right-wingers who are able to justify invading the wrong country because thousands of people were killed on 9/11 nevertheless think no one else's dead are supposed to matter. In fact, only the right-wing can claim the dead at all, and only as an excuse for more war, more killing, and more and more excuses for the disaster that infests the White House. But God forbid that Eason Jordan should mourn his dead, or have questions about how they died. Remember, any questions about the conduct of this war are "an attack on the troops". cite
I don't suppose Eason Jordan is surprised that his off-the-cuff remark has been gleefully twisted into "he said the US military is deliberately shooting unfriendly journalists" - after all, he's already had the experience of seeing the right-wing blogosphere deliberately twist and distort what he said.

But it's sad to see it happen, for those outside the process.

Galt's remarks are on target with regard to media excusing itself for its own bad behaviors, but it assumes that Jordan actually did what the right have subsequently accused him of. Some who witnessed it said that his remarks were more in the nature of speculation.

There is anecdotal evidence to support the notion of threatening behavior toward journalists (including pointing weapons or discharging them in the general direction with knowledge that journalists are down range), though "targeting" (if he said that) suggests a pretty high level of intent, and is out of line. Also, the consequences of a leading news executive saying nutty things as "fact" are a lot more serious than other types of executives simply because what they say is their product.

There is a huge double standard at work here -- right wing journalism floats, or worse invents, bogus facts at will, without much consequence, but pillories those outside the fold for much more minor transgressions. Judith Miller's behavior was far worse than anything Jordan did, but she remains defiant and ensconced in her position. Hume's recent conduct re FDR and Social Security was historical fraud presented as news on his broadcast, but he stands by his lies without consequence.

On the other hand, it may not be good for us, but it's undoubtedly good for society.

So when can we fire Coulter, Rush, Hannity & Company in that they are not good journalism or media and are bad for society.


Don: So when can we fire Coulter, Rush, Hannity & Company in that they are not good journalism or media and are bad for society.

Don't be silly, Don. The right-wing blogosphere will never form a mob and demand that its own people shall be forced to own up to the evil things they say. That kind of behavior happens only when people are saying things the right-wing blogosphere don't like - and that doesn't apply to Coulter, Rush, or Hannity.

Individual members of the right-wing blogosphere may admit that they don't actually approve of Coulter calling for Muslims to be massacred, or for foreign journalists to be shot, but that kind of talk doesn't trigger the mob effect in the same way as... well, as pointing out facts in a way that makes clear you don't go along with the right-wing world view does.

Eason's been is a loose cannon that misjudged the tolerance of his audience. He handed his own head to CNN who dropped him like a rock. The blogoshere is allowing itself to take far too much credit for this one, desperately seeking legitimacy. Of course the loose fringes can use this for fodder to promote whatever message soothes their weary minds.

Let's go to the video tape, eh what happened to the tape.

So when can we fire Coulter, Rush, Hannity & Company in that they are not good journalism or media and are bad for society.

Don't be silly, Don. "We" didn't fire Jordan, nor did "we" as a group even suggest he ought to be fired.

"Don: So when can we fire Coulter, Rush, Hannity & Company in that they are not good journalism or media and are bad for society."

Coulter WAS fired. By the National Review of all places. For a similar thing.

Once again, Jesurgislac, you think it has to somehow be about Bush, so you find a quote thats better because it targets Bush. Not everything in life is political.

Which quote is being more honest:

"But God forbid that Eason Jordan should mourn his dead, or have questions about how they died. Remember, any questions about the conduct of this war are 'an attack on the troops'. "

or

"But on the other hand, Mr Jordan wasn't speaking to other journalists; he was speaking to a large number of strangers, many of whom were almost guaranteed to leave the room and tell sympathetic audiences that yes, it really is true that the US military is deliberately shooting unfriendly journalists; I heard the head of CNN's news division say so. "


this might be before many peoples political windows though - but heres a link about her firing:

http://www.leftwatch.com/archives/years/2001/000133.html

And as further proof that maybe we can leave Bush out of the Eason Jordan affair - read what the "Right" had to say about Anne when they fired her.

http://www.nationalreview.com/nr_comment/nr_comment100301.shtml

Apparently she was fired because she was an embarrassment to Bush?

Hi Bender, if you want to know how to put links in your comments, go to the 'view source' and you can see how to make them clickable links. If you use the preview, you can see if you did it right, which is a good way of teaching yourself. Not saying that you have to, but it does make it easier to keep the conversation going. Here's the Goldberg link about the Coulter firing/resigning with some additional comments and here is the Leftwatch link that describes her rehiring by Frontpage.

I'm not really sure how you think this is comparable to Eason resigning and apologizing (though I understand that you might not think that he 'apologized' for his remarks, but that is how I would characterize them)

What publication on earth would continue a relationship with a writer who would refuse to discuss her work with her editors? What publication would continue to publish a writer who attacked it on TV? What publication would continue to publish a writer who lied about it -- on TV and to a Washington Post reporter?

And, finally, what CONSERVATIVE publication would continue to publish a writer who doesn't even know the meaning of the word "censorship"?

So let me be clear: We did not "fire" Ann for what she wrote, even though it was poorly written and sloppy. We ended the relationship because she behaved with a total lack of professionalism, friendship, and loyalty.

Comparing how Coulter left and how Eason left is like comparing, well, words fail me.

Factory's world is mine. A senior person who made such a slip of the tongue and then walked it back would never be fired for it in business. Even if he did not walk it back, he would rarely be fired.

It wasn't at the tip of my fingers, but I did a bit of looking up to see how to show non-visible characters, so here is how to make a hyper link

<A HREF="target">anchor text</A>
'target' is the url that you want to use and whatever you have in 'anchor text' be the link. You don't have to use capital letters.

The most common mistakes are to leave off the quotation marks, or leave off one of the square brackets. Remember, preview is your bestest friend!

Agreed. Nobody gets fired for making a remark like that unless, well, unless it becomes a huge brouhaha that threatens to get played again and again in the mainstream media, thus tarnishing the reputation of the company.

No way Jordan is fired if the wingnuts don't go all mob-like on his ass.

bender: Once again, Jesurgislac, you think it has to somehow be about Bush, so you find a quote thats better because it targets Bush.

Uh, bender, in case you missed it: the war in Iraq was Bush & Co's idea. The military force occupying Iraq is under Rumsfeld, then Bush. What part of "the buck stops here" don't you understand?

I hadn't actually thought of that quote from Avedon Carol being "better" because it targetted Bush. I thought it was better because it didn't ignore, as Jane Galt does, the fact that the reason Eason Jordan is upset over journalists being killed by US soldiers is because journalists are being killed by US soldiers - and neither the Pentagon, nor the US public at large, seems to care very much.

The great feature of the blogosphere and its older sister, talk radio and T.V., is that they cause folks to be fired or censored for making stupid comments in the elite (like the word "ilk", the word "elite" has been emptied of all prior meaning and refilled with Luntzian custard)professions, who then migrate to the blogosphere, thus increasing its generous fund of stupidity and its considerable self-regard.

Who fires stupid bloggers? The blogosphere is where stupidity find its natural home. Until the next form of media comes along and declares its stupidity to be less elitist and thus smarter than what preceded it.

These comments are, of course, unwisely bipartisan and ignorantly self-directed.

I think an interesting comparison is with Al Campanis, former LA Dodgers GM. If you recall, he said on Nightline that "(Blacks) may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager." This generated a shitstorm that led to him being fired. Here was his defense:

"When I said blacks lack the 'necessities' to be managers or general managers, what I meant was the lack of necessary experience, not things like inherent intelligence or ability. I was dead-tired after traveling when I went on the show. I got confused. It was like a telegram—you try to say it in a few words, and it's implied differently."

So, do people here think that it was appropriate for him to be fired?

bender,

I think both quotes are equally honest in that both Jane Galt and jes sincerely meant what they wrote and it reflects the world as they see it. Do you have reason to suspect otherwise? Or is there some other meaning to "honest" here?

Speaking of firing stupid bloggers...I stopped reading Jane Galt when she endorsed Bush. It wasn't the endorsement that bothered me--although she maintained the pretense that she was undecided, her choice was always a foregone conclusion--it was the reasons she gave that disgusted me so much that I decided to waste no more time on her site.
She said that she knew Bush misled the public about the reasons for the war and that he didn't have to be truthful about his foreign policy goals. He didn't owe the people or the soldiers an honest statement of his goals and intentions. She really did say that.
In small "d" democracies the elected officals DO owe the voters an honest explanation of their plans and goals. How else can the voters make an informed choice? To condon the deliberate deceptions carried out by this administration on a life and death issue is to renounce small 'd" values.
. I don't care what she thinks about the reporter.

do people here think that it was appropriate for him to be fired?

kenb,
I think that overlooks the actual exchange between Campanis and Koppel. Koppel tried multiple times to get Campanis to retract and Campanis kept digging himself in deeper. Also, his defense that you quote was in 88, a year after the interview.

When I saw it, I saw an old man who really didn't know where he was or what he was saying and I remember thinking 'please, show some self-awareness'. But he didn't.

Also, there was some discussion that Campanis had had a few, which some said that this meant that he was 1)telling his true feelings, 2)should be cut some slack, or 3)Koppel knew it and just wanted a scalp.

Ironically, in googling this up, I see that Jane Galt commented obliquely on this

Back when I could stay up that late I was Nightline fanatic. I've watched Koppel hand a generous length of rope to blowhards of all persuasions, including the famous Al Campanis and Jimmy the Greek interviews. I'm not, therefore, predisposed to view him as a Media Bias problem.

So I guess she's consistent, though I imagine she must be disappointed that Gergen didn't have Eason dancing on the end of a rope.

Um, Judith Miller, anyone?

right wing journalism floats, or worse invents, bogus facts at will, without much consequence, but pillories those outside the fold for much more minor transgressions. Judith Miller's behavior was far worse than anything Jordan did, but she remains defiant and ensconced in her position.

Judith Miller and the NYT are "right wing journalism"? Huh.

No way Jordan is fired if the wingnuts don't go all mob-like on his ass.

Are you saying that somehow bloggers had anything at all to do with his firing? Was there much in the way of MSM coverage of this at all? Since when does CNN answer to the blogosphere? And just how much of the blogosphere was screaming for his head on a platter?

I was a little shocked that CNN fired him. I can't think of any good reason for them to have done so. It only makes it appear more as if he said something highly irresponsible.

"Judith Miller and the NYT are "right wing journalism"?"

Judith "I am Chalabi's mouthpiece" Miller is certainly right-wing journalism.

Are you saying that somehow bloggers had anything at all to do with his firing?

At the moment I'd say that there's as much evidence for this proposition as there is any other. Which isn't saying a whole lot, I grant you, but I'm somewhat taken aback by its blithe dismissal in certain quarters.

Gentlemen (and ladies)
In my world, Eason Jordan resigned. While one could ask if he jumped or was he pushed, describing this as a firing really muddies up the water. Not that the discussion is crystal clear in the best of times.

Ok - I guess this is all about Bush - since hes responsible for us being in Iraq.

If we wernt in Iraq, then Jordan would never have had the opportunity to make the statements attributed to him, and it would never have been about Bush.

Of course, if Jordan had taken his position more seriously, he would have known that his comments would be repeated by members of his little group, including members of the United States congress, and that his comments would embarrass his employer. He should also have known that once his alleged comments were "public" to some degree, that his employer would be extremely unhappy with him, and ask for his resignation.

So, in the end, somehow, this is all CNN bowing to pressure from the Bush Whitehouse - not at all the fault of Eason Jordan for being a dipstick while wearing a CNN badge.

"Comparing how Coulter left and how Eason left is like comparing, well, words fail me."

Is that because Eason got to leave under 'resignation'?

"In my world, Eason Jordan resigned. While one could ask if he jumped or was he pushed, describing this as a firing really muddies up the water." Ah. Gotcha.
Do you believe that the Non-Proliferation Treaty stopped nuclear proliferation in North Korea too?

I'm just not seeing the causal connection here, Anarch. Unless the BOD of CNN is packed with right-wing bloggers, that is.

Oh. He resigned. Fuhgeddaboudit.

So, in the end, somehow, this is all CNN bowing to pressure from the Bush Whitehouse

Of course it is; it'd be downright boring if there weren't some black-helicopter explanation for it. Now, where's that bullpoop operator when I need it?

Scratch that last sentence...not sure if anyone's actually made that claim in earnest, and I'm afraid to go look.

BTW, I don't think the whole thing was a firing offense--from what I know about the case. Which is not to say that it is impossible that the tape would have revealed something worse than what we know so far.

If nobody had gone all mob-like on Jordan's ass, then yes, he would not have been fired / forced to resign / whatever. That is what I'm saying.

I know this is a counterfactual statement and therefore difficult to prove. But c'mon. Please live in the real world. If there's no controversy, there's no firing. Why fire the guy for saying something -- whatever it is -- if nobody cares he said it?

And there was no controversy until the wingnuts got hold of it and started demanding his scalp.

Yes, it's true, the controversy hadn't heated up much beyond the blogosphere when Jordan resigned/was forced out. But it had all the markings of doing so. The wingnuts have a history with this sort of thing -- they got Dan Rather, and embarrassed the crap out of CBS. So CNN got out in front of the situation before it could burn them as badly as CBS got burned.

And, amazingly, once again, what we're debating is about whether he should have said what he said -- not whether it's true or not!!! *Are* American soldiers targeting journalists? Is it intentional? Well, we don't know, and nobody is EVER going to ask again. Because just bringing up the issue can get you fired. Scary stuff.

OK, yes, there was more to the Jordan story than just bringing it up. But let me make a prediction: the issue of the targeting of journalists by U.S. forces in Iraq will not be brought up again in any major public forum during the next four years. It's now an out-of-bounds issue.

Ms. Galt is full of crap, Sebastian. First, she presumes the worst case (and, per our previous discussion, you seem to have a blind spot on this point). Second, she actually distorts the worst-case interpretation to make it sound even more damning. Is there any evidence whatsoever that Jordan said the U.S. was deliberately shooting unfriendly journalists? This is like the mendacious righty blogger telephone game. What will the next version of the story be? Or perhaps she considers all journalists to be unfriendly to the U.S. Either way, it's a load of crap.

Third Ms. Galt fails to take into account that intimidation of the press is an affront to the core values and interests of our republic. This is not to obliquely justify a CEO losing his job for what could be a misstatement (not that that is even what her flawed analogy represented). Nor is this to say that the press should be protected from actual breaches of ethics or standards. This is simply to say that the injustice of losing your job over an off-the-record misstatement is magnified when the press is the target, for the simple reason that the press is such a vital organ of democracy. Oops! I just said the press was being targeted! Guess I'm screwed.

And there was no controversy until the wingnuts got hold of it and started demanding his scalp.

Who demanded his scalp, exactly?

they got Dan Rather, and embarrassed the crap out of CBS

Justly so. Or are you saying that CBS didn't publish an obviously fabricated memo as the real thing?

what we're debating is about whether he should have said what he said

You haven't been paying attention, Kent. There's a thread that's over 300 comments long that's largely devoted to this very topic.

Well, we don't know, and nobody is EVER going to ask again.

When someone asks to begin with, maybe something will happen. Certainly a well-researched news item by CNN would have had a great deal more impact toward finding answers than something tossed off by Jordan and then promptly effectively nullified by his resigning over it.

I'm more concerned about the shoulder she must have sprained patting herself on the back.

Oh, and Gromit? I notice that you're conspicuous in your absence from her comments section. I urge you (indeed, all of you who have some disagreement with Ms. Galt) to go over there and discuss it with her, where it'll at least have a chance of doing some good.

Feel free to inquire about that, too st. Let us know what she says.

Slart, SH did exerpt the whole post here, presumably to be discussed...

Sebastian Holsclaw: BTW, I don't think the whole thing was a firing offense--from what I know about the case.

That's very nice of you, but it is also a rather convenient position to take when surely a guy as bright as you must know full well that the logical consequence of this issue getting onto broadcast TV would be Jordan losing his job and CNN taking a PR hit, regardless of what the truth of the matter is.

Which is not to say that it is impossible that the tape would have revealed something worse than what we know so far.

Are you really contemplating following Ms. Galt off the deep end into the realm of speculative fiction? I would strongly urge you against it.

Yes, but dishing on JG here is more gossip than actual discussion. Plus, it smacks of cowardice; after all, criticisms of her thoughts (not to mention the various estimates of her intelligence) are most effectively presented to the source. If you want to dish, there's other places where this is encouraged to the point where it actually replaces discussion of the topic.

Are you really contemplating following Ms. Galt off the deep end into the realm of speculative fiction?

And your assumption that Jordan resigned due to blogger pressure...that's not speculation?

"Comparing how Coulter left and how Eason left is like comparing, well, words fail me."

Is that because Eason got to leave under 'resignation'?

Seb
Please read the Goldberg quote about what happened to Coulter. If you have evidence that Jordan "refuse[d] to discuss [his] work with [his] editors", "attacked [CNN] on TV", and "lied about it -- on TV and to a Washington Post reporter", please share it with us.

"In my world, Eason Jordan resigned. While one could ask if he jumped or was he pushed, describing this as a firing really muddies up the water." Ah. Gotcha.
Do you believe that the Non-Proliferation Treaty stopped nuclear proliferation in North Korea too?

I think you should stop channeling Timmy or Gary Farber is going come back and school you again...

"Ms. Galt is full of crap, Sebastian. First, she presumes the worst case (and, per our previous discussion, you seem to have a blind spot on this point)."

So what? This is a resolveable factual issue which is being stonewalled. Asking for the tape to resolve the factual issue is 100% legitimate.

"Second, she actually distorts the worst-case interpretation to make it sound even more damning. Is there any evidence whatsoever that Jordan said the U.S. was deliberately shooting unfriendly journalists?"

You are misreading it. That is actually her taking a speculative softening of the statement. Jordan's alleged statement was that we were targetting even American journalists. Galt is suggesting that he might have been merely repeating Al Jazeera's claims that we were targetting them.

"Third Ms. Galt fails to take into account that intimidation of the press is an affront to the core values and interests of our republic."

Asking for a tape isn't intimidation. And if it is, the media practices intimidation all the time.

"Nor is this to say that the press should be protected from actual breaches of ethics or standards."

Are you sure? It sounds like you only what to protect the press from being forced to reveal evidence its breaches by allowing it to stonewall.

"This is simply to say that the injustice of losing your job over an off-the-record misstatement is magnified when the press is the target, for the simple reason that the press is such a vital organ of democracy."

Are you admitting that he was fired? If so, please name the party that you think fired him. I agree that given the limited knowledge of his statement that we have at the moment he should not have been forced to resign. Of course, we don't know how bad the tape is. CNN probably does.

He was not fired for 'asking a question'. CNN International is one of the few organizations in the world well placed to investigate such a question. Asking a question is one thing. He was fired for making a really bad accusation that he couldn't back up. Making accusations is different from asking questions.

Question: Are you defending Jordan because you like it when he makes America look bad without evidence?

Baseless Accusation: You defend Jordan because you are in league with the jihadists.

In this example, even the question is loaded--and arguably unfair. But at least it can be answered. The baseless accusation is just wrong. Coming from the head of CNN International, in front of an audience which is likely to be against the US foreign policy, such baseless accusations can be very damaging.

Liberal Japonicus, you are living in a fantasy world if you think Jordan just happened to resign at this time.

Is it your contention that the only reason to fire someone in journalism are the reasons that Coulter was fired? Because unless that is your contention, you aren't making any logical sense in your question to me.

maybe he should hire a male whore to write him up some favorable press coverage, you know, like the president did.

Which, as we all know, did a fat lot of good as far as effectiveness goes.

"Which, as we all know, did a fat lot of good as far as effectiveness goes."

How do we know one way or the other? One suspects they expected it to be effective, given the operation was a bit risky (if they did due diligence), and given that it was continued for so long.

Seb
Note that I didn't address anyone. People on both sides are using the term 'fired' and one side is arguing that RW bloggers got Jordan fired and the other side is that he got fired because he didn't apologize and CNN had to punish him. I also said that the comparison between Coulter and Jordan was inappropriate because Goldberg is on the record as to stating why Coulter was fired and it doesn't look like anything that you are suggesting. Let me put the quote in front of you

So let me be clear: We did not "fire" Ann for what she wrote, even though it was poorly written and sloppy. We ended the relationship because she behaved with a total lack of professionalism, friendship, and loyalty.

Again, if you have a comparable statement from CNN accusing Jordan of "total lack of professionalism, friendship, and loyalty", serve it up. This suggestion that I am contending that there is only one reason to fire someone convinces me that you are channelling TtWD.

That you swim back in and drop some snark because I think that cooling down the conversation a bit might be an appropriate goal speaks more to your prejudices and your desire to pick a fight than to my grasp of reality.

One suspects they expected it to be effective
given the wide distribution that Talon enjoyed, or was ever going to?
How do we know one way or the other?

Well, we don't. But this just serves to further discount any drawing-of-conclusions, don't you agree?

""One suspects they expected it to be effective""

"given the wide distribution that Talon enjoyed, or was ever going to?"

This was never about Talon - afaict Talon is a Potemkin operation designed to give Gannon the necessary shred of apparent legitimacy. This seems to be (at least) about Bush getting a lifeline when the real press corps asks him policy questions.

"But this just serves to further discount any drawing-of-conclusions, don't you agree?"

The conclusion-reaching on this matter seems to be on your shoulders here - see 12.02 PM.

Slartibartfast: Yes, but dishing on JG here is more gossip than actual discussion. Plus, it smacks of cowardice; after all, criticisms of her thoughts (not to mention the various estimates of her intelligence) are most effectively presented to the source. If you want to dish, there's other places where this is encouraged to the point where it actually replaces discussion of the topic.

Critiquing her reasoning is "dishing on JG"? Why are we even discussion Jordan's comments here, then, when doing so is mere gossip (a point I would have conceded before the e-lynching made it a truly alarming story)? If Sebastian didn't want discussion here, I imagine he would have turned off comments. And I'll comment on Jane Galt's blog thread when I feel it will serve some purpose other than riling the yes-men who already represent 100% of the comments there, and not because you tell me that criticizing an opinion piece on a blog thread ABOUT THAT PIECE is cowardly.

"Again, if you have a comparable statement from CNN accusing Jordan of "total lack of professionalism, friendship, and loyalty", serve it up. This suggestion that I am contending that there is only one reason to fire someone convinces me that you are channelling TtWD."

Ok, I'm assuming from your comments that you don't understand what happened in the Coulter case. It initially pissed me off because I thought you were distorting, but perhaps you are missing some knowledge.

Coulter wrote a piece to the effect that(and I'm so not looking it up for an exact quote) we should take over the entire Middle East and Christianize it, and kill everyone who resisted. The National Review chose not run the piece, presumeably because it was ridiculously inflammatory. Then Coulter went on TV whining that she was being censored and badmouthed the National Review. They then fired her. So it is true that she was technically not fired for writing what she did. She was fired for writing it, having it rejected, and then badmouthing the editors about it in front of an outside audience. And that is all from memory, but I strongly suspect if you poke around, you will find it is essentially correct.

Of course, this is much more transparent than the Jordan issue, where the forced resignation is not being justified in public. Coulter of course isn't likely to have been fired MERELY for writing it--but that is because it was refused publication.

"This seems to be (at least) about Bush getting a lifeline when the real press corps asks him policy questions."

Ah, ok. So is it your contention that Presidents since let us say Kennedy, haven't been able to find lifeline reporters? (BTW I didn't choose Kennedy at random).

Sebastian Holsclaw: So what? This is a resolveable factual issue which is being stonewalled. Asking for the tape to resolve the factual issue is 100% legitimate.

You are changing the subject. It is resolvabe, perhaps, but not resolved. Does the absence of evidence constitute a license to just make stuff up?

You are misreading it. That is actually her taking a speculative softening of the statement. Jordan's alleged statement was that we were targetting even American journalists. Galt is suggesting that he might have been merely repeating Al Jazeera's claims that we were targetting them.

You mean this:

But on the other hand, Mr Jordan wasn't speaking to other journalists; he was speaking to a large number of strangers, many of whom were almost guaranteed to leave the room and tell sympathetic audiences that yes, it really is true that the US military is deliberately shooting unfriendly journalists; I heard the head of CNN's news division say so. CJR and the Times are curiously uninterested in these violations of the Chatham House Rules.

is supposed to mean that Jordan might have merely been saying that Al Jazeera made such a claim? If so, I certainly am misreading it, and continue to do so. Because I read her as saying that Mr. Jordan was positively confirming that allegation. And none of the accounts I have read so far suggest that Jordan was attributing any political motive to the killings (which would dramatically undercut any benign interpretations of his comments, a fact of which I'm sure Ms. Galt must be cognizant).

Asking for a tape isn't intimidation. And if it is, the media practices intimidation all the time.

Neither is asking someone to "name names" intimidation, per se. It is the larger pattern that must be taken into account.

Are you admitting that he was fired?

No. He lost his job. That is all I know, and hence all I said.

Gromit, Barney and Dodd came away with exactly that impression, didn't they?

"So is it your contention that Presidents since let us say Kennedy, haven't been able to find lifeline reporters?"

My contention is that they were reporters. If previous WHs imported ringers to ask softball questions, bad on them. Of course all presidents in my lifetime before Bush II have been better informed, reality-based, and coherent, hence less in need of help - except to the extent that they have been faced with difficult questions, whereas any actual question to Bush II is a difficult question.

And they aren't even unfriendly to America.

The National Review chose not run the piece, presumeably because it was ridiculously inflammatory.

As to missing knowledge, one piece was run and a second one making the same points was canned. But it now seems to be your "contention" (since you like that word so much) that the two are not comparable, which was exactly my point. (it would actually be an interesting comparison if NRO had canned the article and refused to run it, and people were demanding that the article be released. But since you can remember the quote, logic would suggest that's not what happened)

Perhaps you didn't notice that you hadn't posted anything but the main post before I made my comments. Or perhaps you didn't notice that I said 'Gentlemen (and ladies)'. Since I'm off the bed, I'll leave you to it (I leave the definition of 'it' to your imagination) though I would point that if you don't like being ganged up on, you might consider not acting like such a berk.

Why does no one look into the statement Jordan made? Read what he had to say for himself.

Most importantly, I do not believe the U.S. is trying to kill journalists in Iraq. To the contrary, the U.S. military has worked hard to protect journalists in Iraq. Nevertheless, there have been several tragic episodes in which U.S. forces killed journalists in what turned out to be cases not of collateral damage but of mistaken identity
All he's saying is that once in a while, guys in tanks mistake a camera for an RPG launcher. Soldiers make mistakes. Where's the controversy?

In the context he was speaking, he was trying to draw a distinction between "collateral damage" in which a journalist is in the blast radius of a bomb meant for someone else and "mistaken identity" in which a journalist is thought to be a threat and targetted on that basis. Some might say he still has to go, and that opinion is fine, but it irritates me that few even question whether what he said had merit.

I think the thing that bothers me the most about the white house male whore was that the white house sidestepped security procedures (which he'd already been rejected by), letting someone not properly vetted have access to the president on a regular basis. Need I further mention he got the daily passes under an assumed name. Now I can't stand Bush personallly, but I'd hate for anything to happene to any president, and in this day and age of heightened security something like this should not be happening.

Someone needs to tell Osama that all he needs to do is round up a few white guys to pose as republican hacks and they can get away with anything.

Gromit, Barney and Dodd came away with exactly that impression, didn't they?

That isn't what I've read. I have read that they came away with the impression that Jordan claimed the U.S. was deliberately targeting journalists, not that the U.S. was deliberately targeting unfriendly journalists.

Now, you might say this is a distinction without a difference, but if Jordan had used words to the effect of "unfriendly" then this would have strongly implied political motive, and would erase much possibility that his use of the word targeted was meant simply to distinguish reporters who were shot at (even erroneously) from reporters who simply got hit by stray bombs or bullets, which is his claim as Kyle reminds us above.

Have Frank and Dodd made such claims?

"full of crap" is dishing, Gromit.

And I'll comment on Jane Galt's blog thread when I feel it will serve some purpose other than riling the yes-men who already represent 100% of the comments there

When do you suppose that will be? I suspect you haven't visited there all that much, because she regularly catches opposition from a decent percentage of her readership.

and not because you tell me that criticizing an opinion piece on a blog thread ABOUT THAT PIECE is cowardly.

I actually don't care what your motivations are. It's just my opinion that when you're not engaging the source, and you're speculating about attributes of the source, you're engaging in gossip. You may have another opinion; either way it's fine with me. I merely suggest that you might get a great deal more mileage from engaging the source (who, in this case, happens to be quite accessible) rather than talking about her here. Again, your choice.

"That isn't what I've read. I have read that they came away with the impression that Jordan claimed the U.S. was deliberately targeting journalists, not that the U.S. was deliberately targeting unfriendly journalists.

Now, you might say this is a distinction without a difference, but if Jordan had used words to the effect of "unfriendly" then this would have strongly implied political motive, and would erase much possibility that his use of the word targeted was meant simply to distinguish reporters who were shot at (even erroneously) from reporters who simply got hit by stray bombs or bullets, which is his claim as Kyle reminds us above."

Wow, accusing me of word games and then you buy into that one?

Sorry, that is a ridiculous game to play. Especially considering that his alleged backtrack is back away from it being an 'official policy'. It doesn't make sense to talk about targetting journalists in the sense of 'finding them in your target scope' and talk about policy. That isn't what the phrase means, that isn't what the concept means, and there are a vast number of ways to make that clear.

Frank and Dodd came away from the meeting AFTER THE ALLEGED BACKTRACK with the impression that Jordan claimed the US was deliberately killing journalists, which is of course the logical and normal understanding of 'deliberately targeting and killing journalists'.

The friendly/unfriendly distinction is a logical extension of the normal meaning of his words. Accusing Jane Galt of being ridiculous about it is itself ridiculous not to mention an interesting case of attributing bad motives to Jane Galt on the same type of evidence that you refuse to do so for Jordan.

I actually don't care what your motivations are. It's just my opinion that when you're not engaging the source, and you're speculating about attributes of the source, you're engaging in gossip. You may have another opinion; either way it's fine with me. I merely suggest that you might get a great deal more mileage from engaging the source (who, in this case, happens to be quite accessible) rather than talking about her here. Again, your choice.

I'm talking about her "attributes" only insofar as I am talking about an opinion she published on her blog and which Sebastian quoted almost in its entirety here in the interest of dialogue. The only attributes I am attributing to her is that she has made flatly counterfactual claims that change the meaning of the story in a significant way. Granted, I used an indelicate turn of phrase, and if that is what offends you, say so and I will do my best to be more polite in the future. But there is nothing in the idea I've expressed that makes it gossip.

Again, is all this far more speculative talk about stuff Jordan said not gossip, while my critique of Ms. Galt's assertions is?

"flatly counterfactual claims"

Which flatly counterfactual claims? Just because she doesn't immediately and wholly accept Jordan's after the fact and hugely strained explanation of 'targeting journalists' you say she is engaged in counterfactual claims? Her claim is well in line with the Barney and Dodd understanding of the discussion. We don't have access to the tape. Why do you say "flatly counterfactual"? It fits well with the eyewitness accounts of two prominent Democratic Congressmen.

The only attributes I am attributing to her is that she has made flatly counterfactual claims that change the meaning of the story in a significant way.

Which counterfactual claims did she make, again? This didn't seem to be the thrust of your comments, in any case, but certainly coming out with specific claims she made that were counterfactual would have looked quite a bit different than Ms. Galt is full of crap. And, for at least the third time, taking it up with the source is the best policy, if you're interested in correcting her. Why is this such a difficult concept to deal with?

Wow, accusing me of word games and then you buy into that one?

I'm not "buying into" anything. I wasn't there. All I know is there are varying accounts from credible people, and Ms. Galt's assessment isn't consistent with any of the ones I've seen.

And, reading Malkin's piece, which is where I get the impression the "official policy" bit originates, you will notice that that is an embellishment of what Frank actually recounted:

Rep. Frank said Eason Jordan did assert that there was deliberate targeting of journalists by the U.S. military. After Jordan made the statement, Rep. Frank said he immediately "expressed deep skepticism." Jordan backed off (slightly), Rep. Frank said, "explaining that he wasn't saying it was the policy of the American military to target journalists, but that there may have been individual cases where they were targeted by younger personnel who were not properly disciplined." cite

This is dramatically different from saying it wasn't the official policy, don't you think? "Official" is Malkin's word, her interpretation of Frank's interpretation of Jordan's comment. Again, this looks an awful lot like the telephone game.

If you have any more direct attribution of the "official policy" bit, I'd be glad to read it.

Which flatly counterfactual claims?

he was speaking to a large number of strangers, many of whom were almost guaranteed to leave the room and tell sympathetic audiences that yes, it really is true that the US military is deliberately shooting unfriendly journalists;

Frank's claim was that Jordan accused U.S. troops of targeting journalists. Not targeting "unfriendly" journalists. If Jordan had allegedly imputed a political motive to the killings, this would dramatically limit the possible ways in which Frank could have simply misunderstood Jordan. And I don't think a claim THAT bold would simply slip through the cracks while folks are arguing so passionately over the meaning of "targeted". Do you?

I'd love to see if it appears on the tape. But I can't now can I?

So where is the flatly untrue statement again?

"Rep. Frank said Eason Jordan did assert that there was deliberate targeting of journalists by the U.S. military."

"explaining that he wasn't saying it was the policy of the American military to target journalists, but that there may have been individual cases where they were targeted by younger personnel who were not properly disciplined."

Notice he does not "accidentaly shooting journalists". Even with the backtrack you have the intentional targeting. Targeting jounalists. Not aiming at people who happen to be journalists. Not aiming at people, thinking that they were hostile and shooting them only to find out later they were journalists. Targeting journalists. The normal, everyday, English meaning of "targeting journalists" implies knowledge that they are journalists. 'Targeting Hiroshima' doesn't mean throwing a nuclear bomb at any old city. 'Targeting drug dealers' doesn't mean arresting people and finding out later they are drug dealers. 'Targeting fraudulent claims' doesn't mean that an insurance company is just going along processing things normally. Targeting implies knowing what you are going after.

And you keep ignoring the fact that even after the alleged backtrack, Frank and Dodd both believed that Jordan meant targeting in the normal sense of the word, not in this crazy after-the-fact justification Jordan is offering. Even if he did mean 'targeting' in this ridiculously strained way, that was not conveyed to the audience properly. That can be seen by the fact that Frank and Dodd both came away from the conference believing that he meant 'targeting journalists' in the totally normal, completely typical, non-strained sense of the phrase.

Unfriendly is implied by the the normal understanding of the phrase 'targeted journalists'. Honestly, I am fairly non-awful with the English language and I would never in a million years have interpreted 'targeted journalists' in the sense that Jordan is peddling. It just isn't credible. While Marines end up shooting and killing each other quite often one would never say that a Marine targeted another Marine unless the speaker intended to convey that the shooter knew the person was a Marine and shot him anyway. That isn't how you use the phrase 'targeting X'.

I'd love to see if it appears on the tape. But I can't now can I?

Again, changing the subject from what we know to what we could know.

While Marines end up shooting and killing each other quite often one would never say that a Marine targeted another Marine unless the speaker intended to convey that the shooter knew the person was a Marine and shot him anyway. That isn't how you use the phrase 'targeting X'.

So the if I say a solider "targeted friendly units and fired", the only reasonable interpretation of that is that he knew they were friendlies and fired anyway? (And I'm not saying this is the correct interpretation of Jordan's comments, just that it isn't an unreasonable interpretation, based on all accounts.)

"So the if I say a solider "targeted friendly units and fired", the only reasonable interpretation of that is that he knew they were friendlies and fired anyway? (And I'm not saying this is the correct interpretation of Jordan's comments, just that it isn't an unreasonable interpretation, based on all accounts.)"

That is the reasonable assumption if you refuse to employ the word 'incorrectly' ahead of 'targeted'. Jordan was given ample opportunity due to direct challege to insert the concept of mistake. He apparently did not do so at the conference.

Based on many accounts that is indeed an unreasonable interpretation. There is a very serious conflict in the accounts. But one deals with a normal understanding of a phrase and one deals with a highly abnormal understanding of a phrase. That is a factual issue IN DISPUTE. That dispute could be easily resolved by looking at the tape. That resolution is denied to us. Considering that Frank and Dodd are not reflexively pro-Bush or anti-Jordan, I don't see any reason to think they are out of their minds in their understanding. Which is why Jane Galt's piece is not only not 'flaty untrue' but in fact a very normal interpretation of the events given the fact that we are being denied the direct evidence that ought to be available.

I gather that conservatives think it unlikely that the US targeted Al Jazeera. I don't. I don't know that they did and would like reporters to examine the issue seriously. One possible motivation for a reporter to do this would be if the reporter thought there was some chance it might be true and wanted to find out one way or another. But if you hold such an opinion and express it off the record, you get fired.

Funny how that works.

I gather that conservatives think it unlikely that the US targeted Al Jazeera.

You could be right. Unlike you, I have no idea what conservatives think. Who knows, some conservatives might think one thing while others think the exact opposite. Speaking for myself, I'm in waiting and seeing mode.

"But if you hold such an opinion and express it off the record, you get fired."

I'm sorry but sweeping statements made by a panel member at Davos into the 'off the record' category as if no possible off the record statement could be objectionable is taking things too far. He was on a panel and expecting to be believed by a group of world leaders. The official press reporting status is irrelevant.

Which is why Jane Galt's piece is not only not 'flaty untrue' but in fact a very normal interpretation of the events given the fact that we are being denied the direct evidence that ought to be available.

So someone, anyone, present did characterize Jordan as saying the killings were politically motivated?

You don't target and kill friendly units. If you say that US soldiers are targeting journalists and killing them, the clear implication is unfriendly. Unless you think he was saying that the US was targeting journalists just for the fun of it.

I should have done this earlier. Before this controversy, if someone said 'X is targeting and killing Y' would you personally have interpreted that as a suggestion of murder?

Sebastian:

What is your take on the Malkin quote of Frank's remarks, posted above by Gromit, with regard to "targeting?"

It seems like a reasonable retelling of what allegedly occurred, and coming from Malkin, it can hardly be spun as pro-Eason. Eason first speaks in a careless generalized fashion, and then in response to Frank, clarifies that he is talking about individual incidents of soldiers shooting at journalists (i.e., pot shots), rather than the military in general adopting such a policy. And Eason's point seems to be that no one is then disciplining the soldiers who take pot shots -- as opposed to a general policy of deliberately killing journalists.

At least, that is the plain meaning of Malkin's characterization of Frank's recollection.

It is entirely plausible that some tiny fraction of US soldiers have deliberately targeted foreign journalists, since it is so common to characterize them as the "enemy." And US soldiers in the field are known to murder people on ocassion -- the Iraq war is no exception.

Eason's primary sin seems to be airing an inflammatory speculation as something approaching fact, and adding to that speculation the further charge that nothing was being done about it. But the speculation that indivudal soldiers may on ocassion have targeted journalists is not something wildly impossible. I would think it likely that there were a few such incidents, and would want to know how they were handled.

But apparently Eason has no information on such incidents -- he's just passing on the speculation. Rather a bad thing to be doing in his position.

So, is that a "no"?

I should have done this earlier. Before this controversy, if someone said 'X is targeting and killing Y' would you personally have interpreted that as a suggestion of murder?

That depends. First, for it to be murder it has to be unjustifiable. Second, it depends on the use of the word "target". Target can be used in a strategic sense, as in "our troops are targeting insurgents." Or it can be used in a tactical sense, as in "one of our fighters targeted an unidentified aircraft," "a sniper targeted an individual holding what appeared to be a weapon," or "a tank targeted the Palestine Hotel and fired a shell." Is there any dispute that that tank targeted the Palestine before firing? Not that I am aware of. Does that necessarily imply that they targeted it BECAUSE it was a hotel full of journalists? Nope. It can imply full knowledge of the nature of the target, but that doesn't mean it has to imply that. That is merely one connotation.

The crux of the factual dispute is the differences among these meanings, and whether words could be intended to have one meaning, but be widely interpreted to have another. This point bears emphasis: if he meant one thing but worded his comment poorly, it could be nearly universally interpreted to mean something different. Can you honestly say this has never happened to you?

And the account in Malkin's piece lends support to this idea, despite her later spinning to the contrary. If Jordan said he wasn't claiming it was policy to target journalists (i.e. the strategic sense) but that there were individual soldiers targeting journalists (i.e. the tactical sense) then, I would find that a reasonable clarification. Of course, I read "not properly disciplined" to say "lacking in the discipline necessary to adequately check their targets," not the way dmbeaster reads it. But that just goes to show how two intelligent people can reasonably interpret a few words in dramatically different ways, doesn't it?

So, whether or not I would have interpreted his comments the way it seems most of those present initially did, I still find his story completely plausible, and therefore not to be discounted.

"So, whether or not I would have interpreted his comments the way it seems most of those present initially did, I still find his story completely plausible, and therefore not to be discounted."

And since there are two plausible stories (though you should admit that his 'plausible' story is far more of a stretch than the plain meaning of the words) we asked to see the tape. Which is all the scary right wing people did. Which somehow freaks you out.

All they did was ask for the tape? Never been to Easongate.com, I take it:

The purpose of this blog is as follows:

· Act as a clearinghouse for information related to Mr. Jordan's recent and past statement concerning the United States military.
· Provide analysis and commentary on the developing situation.
· Advocate CNN to take real and meaningful disciplinary action against Mr. Jordan.
· Create a petition expressing the public's displeasure with Mr. Jordan's statements.
· Gather information on CNN's advertisers and make this information available to the public.

And the sentiments on this site are reflected on many, many sites across the right of the blogosphere.

All they did was ask for the tape. If you won't take off the blinders, at least spare me the condescension, please.

Slarti: I'm just not seeing the causal connection here, Anarch.

I'm not saying that one has been proven to exist. I'm saying a) it's consistent that such a connection exists -- post hoc ergo propter hoc is a logical fallacy, true, but that's because it confuses evidence with proof -- and b) there are no alternative hypotheses that I find a reason to privilege over this one.

Actually, Sebastian, I apologize for the that last snipe. As condescending remarks go, yours was barely a pinprick by blogging standards, and I can be quite snotty myself when I'm feeling particularly self-righteous. I'll try to do better.

Gromit said: Can you honestly say this has never happened to you?

I would be interested to have Sebastian's answer to this question, too.

Also, I'd be interested to know if in fact Sebastian hadn't been to Easongate.com.

there are no alternative hypotheses that I find a reason to privilege over this one

Ah, but there are alternative hypotheses that have equal basis in fact, Anarch. You can't dismiss the alternatives because they're in a multpiple-way tie for first/last place in terms of factual basis. I could make up any number of scenarios that have no factual basis (other than the outcome), that don't implicate the bloggers. The supposition that bloggers caused it has a very limited set of facts that support it that could also, as I pointed out, support multiple other interpretations.

As far as the blogger's interaction, the response to CBS' public pooch-screwing was much, much more vocal and widespread, and the result was much, much longer in coming.

Ah, but there are alternative hypotheses that have equal basis in fact, Anarch.

And? I don't believe I've ever argued otherwise.

You can't dismiss the alternatives because they're in a multpiple-way tie for first/last place in terms of factual basis.

Well, yes. Nor have I argued otherwise.

The supposition that bloggers caused it has a very limited set of facts that support it that could also, as I pointed out, support multiple other interpretations.

And, well, yes; that's why I said "consistent" rather than "proven" or whatever. My point, since I was apparently unclear, was that because our facts are limited and because there are multiple intepretations, I'm surprised that people are so quick to dismiss one particular hypothesis for no reason that I can see (or at least, none I find compelling).

Crap, postus interruptus. Anyway, this:

As far as the blogger's interaction, the response to CBS' public pooch-screwing was much, much more vocal and widespread, and the result was much, much longer in coming.

is true, but omits the key fact that Jordan's resignation happened after this very pooch-screwing of which you speak. IOW, it's possible that CBS thought they could stonewall while CNN felt it had been proven they could not.

David Gergen certainly sounds convinced that it was the bloggers:

[I]n this particular instance there were not only those who were pressing I think not unfairly for a release but there were those who were out for his scalp. And there was a vigilante justice kind of quality here of people who were going after Eason Jordan not because of what he said but because of what he represented, and that is he represented CNN. And there are those who wish to paint CNN as this liberal media outlet in contrast to Fox and they want to beat up on him for that reason. Frankly I think that there has been a quality of vigilante justice here which has gone -- has been excessive. I think it's very -- it's been a cruel fate for Eason Jordan to be caught in effect in the culture wars that are going on in the country.

I haven't heard any credible alternative hypotheses that are supported by the known facts. What are yours, Slartibartfast?

"Also, I'd be interested to know if in fact Sebastian hadn't been to Easongate.com."

I was unaware of the existance of Easongate.com until you pointed it out.

"I'm surprised that people are so quick to dismiss one particular hypothesis for no reason that I can see (or at least, none I find compelling)."

It isn't no reason. People who have little interest in protecting the media, but who are also not pro-Bush, heard the discussion and came away from it believing that Jordan used 'targeted journalists' in the way that most of the English world uses the word. The reasons to be skeptical of Jordan's defense are

A) witnesses like Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd. It wasn't just one person who took 'targeted' in its normal usage
B) the defence is not in line with normal English usage.
C) the defence is self-interested.
D) the defence ought to be unnecessary, there is a tape which would resolve the issue one way or the other.
E) that tape or even a partial transcript is not being released
F) he resigned (or was forced to resign) before the story even really hit the main stream media
G) he knew what the tape would reveal, and CNN almost certainly did too. The people with knowledge of what was actually said were also involved in the resignation.
H) Last but very important, Jordan has made similar unbacked allegations before.

For the defence there is Gergen whose interview can be found here. I note that he agrees that Jordan 'walked back' to "official policy", so it wasn't just a Malkin interpretation. In my view that isn't walk-back enough. My interpretation of the Gergen interview is that he isn't interpreting Jordan's words so much as his mental state. He talks a lot about things that had happened to Jordan, and much less about even the final impression that Jordan left the audience with. Gergen also admits that it is not inappropriate to ask for the tape and says that he would have had no objection to publishing it.

On the balance it seems clear that Jordan did not back away very far from his original assertion. There is a severe factual conflict about the final impression left. It is resolveable, but will not actually be resolved because of stonewalling.

I don't think it was ever inappropriate to ask for the tape, which is exactly what the high profile blogs did. (It is also what I did). Jordan's further backtrack almost 2 weeks later is good, but would never have happened without blog pressure and was not targeted (word choice intentional) to the same audience. Without the tape, and considering Jordan's past allegations, this can lead to the impression that he gives one set of stories to one audience and another to another audience.

Lol we just crosslinked the same interview.

Gromit what hypotheses are you looking for? There are two very credible accounts of what Jordan said, unfortunately they are in considerable tension. The largest blogs on the issue (Hugh Hewitt and Instapundit with Captain's Quarters a distant third) were clearly out for disclosure of the tape.

If calling for disclosure is a lynch mob, the media in general, and CNN as well, is a lynch mob every day.

I haven't heard any credible alternative hypotheses that are supported by the known facts. What are yours, Slartibartfast?

A) I've noticed you have a fertile imagination; exercise it a bit. It's fun!

B) I decline to engage in the very sort of speculation I've already pointed out as silly.

Gromit what hypotheses are you looking for? There are two very credible accounts of what Jordan said, unfortunately they are in considerable tension. The largest blogs on the issue (Hugh Hewitt and Instapundit with Captain's Quarters a distant third) were clearly out for disclosure of the tape.

Sorry I didn't include a quote in that one. The question was directed toward Slarti re: whether we can attribute Jordan's resignation to the blogswarm.

I've already covered in detail why I think calling for disclosure of the tape is fine on its face (though silly, given the lack of gravity of the actual charge), but when viewed in context represents more than the simple pursuit of truth. I am not, and never have, argued that releasing the tape would be somehow wrong. That is for those who are subject to the confidentiality agreements to decide. But I have argued that drawing conclusions from the fact that it has not been released is a pretty serious logical error. Anyway, I see no reason to continue to rehash my arguments again and again, when I am not likely to do a better job articulating them the nth time around.

Also, my objection wasn't to the way Malkin used "official policy" but to the way you drew from that (or wherever you originally read it) that a distinction was being drawn on "official", when the distinction was clearly between policy and unchecked individual behavior. I see that I wasn't clear on that point, sorry.

RedState's Mike Krempasky just gave himself and fellow bloggers collective credit for Jordan's resignation in an interview on NPR. Robin Burk from Winds of Change called it "mob-blogging".

Don't you think there is a bit of "look over here" distraction going on here? Even if the worst possible constrution is put on the reporter's remarks, it still isn't a story anywhere near as noteworthy as the Jim/Jeff Gannon story. The Jordan thing isn't worth all the flapdoodle. And, in resounding contrast, not a peep out of the right about Gannon.

Sebastian: D) the defence ought to be unnecessary, there is a tape which would resolve the issue one way or the other.
E) that tape or even a partial transcript is not being released
F) he resigned (or was forced to resign) before the story even really hit the main stream media
G) he knew what the tape would reveal, and CNN almost certainly did too. The people with knowledge of what was actually said were also involved in the resignation.

You keep using these as if they're somehow supportive of your contention. Insofar as I'm aware, though, you have failed to address the possibility that CNN simply decided, at a pragmatic, business level, that -- irrespective of the contents of the tape -- the firestorm that would ensue upon its release would be too great for them to weather.

[Which I alluded to already when I said that it's possible that the CNN honchos are a bunch of chickensh**s, although here I'm being nice.]

Until you acknowledge the very real possibility that releasing the tape could result in real, tangible damage to CNN and/or Jordan's career even if there is nothing bad on it (or, worse yet, even if it exonerates him) your arguments are predicated on a series of unsupported claims and are thus fatally flawed. Ignoring this problem won't make it go away; you need to address, and hopefully resolve, this issue.

I, on behalf of the entire left, concede that Eason Jordan is a poopyhead and a meaniepie and deserved to be fired and go on to do whatever high-paying media job he inevitably ends up with next.

Now, let's talk about getting access to information on the Valerie Plame case under a false name, and the security risks that seems to indicate. That seems to be an issue of far greater importance. Did someone let him into the White House without [i]checking[/i] to see if he had, say, used his real name? Does it mean that I could get access to the White House on whatever made-up credentials I chose, too?

And, in addition, what were they smoking at the White House that means nobody pointed out that Guckert was at the very least a [i]political[/i] liability, let alone a security one. If somebody in the two (or was it three?) years Guckert was there ever found out he was there under a false name, a) why was his access under this name still allowed and b) why could nobody find out that the guy was the biggest political liability in the world? I mean, come on, a Gay Prostitute getting access to the president? Seriously, who was he "topping" to get that job?

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