There has been a lot of buzz about absurd comments made by Eason Jordan, the number one guy at CNN, at the “World Economic Forum” in Davos, Switzerland. Here is how the forum’s blog tells the story:
During one of the discussions about the number of journalists killed in the Iraq War, Eason Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by US troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted. He repeated the assertion a few times, which seemed to win favor in parts of the audience (the anti-US crowd) and cause great strain on others.
Due to the nature of the forum, I was able to directly challenge Eason, asking if he had any objective and clear evidence to backup these claims, because if what he said was true, it would make Abu Ghraib look like a walk in the park. David Gergen was also clearly disturbed and shocked by the allegation that the U.S. would target journalists, foreign or U.S. He had always seen the U.S. military as the providers of safety and rescue for all reporters.
Eason seemed to backpedal quickly, but his initial statements were backed by other members of the audience (one in particular who represented a worldwide journalist group). The ensuing debate was (for lack of better words) a real “sh–storm”. What intensified the problem was the fact that the session was a public forum being taped on camera, in front of an international crowd. The other looming shadow on what was going on was the presence of a U.S. Congressman and a U.S. Senator in the middle of some very serious accusations about the U.S. military.
I suppose a short refutation of Jordan’s theory would be that if the U.S. military really set out to “target” journalists in Iraq, there wouldn’t be anywhere near so many journalists swarming over that country. I don’t have much to add to what has already been said by others about Jordan’s wacko claim; Hugh Hewitt has a good roundup. Jordan is the same guy who admitted that CNN sucked up to Saddam Hussein and didn’t report what they knew about his regime. So he’s a really, really credible source.
Could someone please put CNN out of its misery?
UPDATE: CNN has sent out an email to several bloggers, including us, that says:
Many blogs have taken Mr. Jordan