Jordan said he was quitting to avoid CNN being “unfairly tarnished” by the controversy.
“I never meant to imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent when U.S. forces accidentally killed journalists, and I apologize to anyone who thought I said or believed otherwise,” Jordan said in a memo to fellow staff members at CNN.
The AP can’t resist getting this part of the story wrong:
But the damage had been done, compounded by the fact that no transcript of his actual remarks has turned up.
Actually, of course, the videotape “turned up,” but the Davos folks decided to keep it under wraps, apparently in an effort to help Jordan. Jordan’s problem wasn’t confusion about what he said; his problem was CNN’s inability to create confusion about what he said.
You may not have heard it here first, but you did hear it here. On February 7, I wrote: “This story is playing out in excruciatingly slow motion, but the ending has already been written: Eason Jordan is finished.”
ONE MORE THING: I don’t know, of course, what tipped the balance, but I wonder whether it might have been this: Larry Kudlow’s interview with three influential Senators, George Allen, Jeffrey Sessions and Norm Coleman, all of whom knew about the story, in contrast with many “mainstream” reporters who have been asked about it in recent days, and were incensed by it. This detail may have been telling:
Senator Coleman was not ready to open up an investigation, but he indicated it was worth looking at.
Senator Coleman is, of course, the Chairman of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Larry notes that these and other Senators had to get their awareness of the Jordan affair through blogs.