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USA: No opinions allowed?

<![CDATA[editorsweblog.org: CNN executive obliged to resign over remarks against US army: Sad conclusion in the Eason Jordan affair, sad day for the freedom of expression in America and sad day again for the future of blogging: the defense of the US army honor seemed more important to some bloggers that the defense of reporters’ work! […]

<![CDATA[editorsweblog.org: CNN executive obliged to resign over remarks against US army:

Sad conclusion in the Eason Jordan affair, sad day for the freedom of expression in America and sad day again for the future of blogging: the defense of the US army honor seemed more important to some bloggers that the defense of reporters’ work! According to the New York Times, “Eason Jordan, a senior executive at CNN who was responsible for coordinating the cable network’s Iraq coverage, resigned abruptly Friday 11 February, citing a journalistic tempest he touched off during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, late last month in which he appeared to suggest that United States troops had deliberately aimed at journalists, killing some.

What’s troubling about this, especially given the prominent role of bloggers in calling for Jordan’s head, is that the civic media has taken to jihad as its primary form of communication. It’s not a crime, nor is it even unAmerican to have an opinion about the role of troops in the death of noncombatants.]]>

72 replies on “USA: No opinions allowed?”

You’re not even worth 1 minute of my time so I’ll make it short and bitter(for you).
It wasn’t freedom of expression you dolt…
it was a lying statement of made-up facts !
Now crawl back into your hole !

The point you are missing is first of all, he stated this as facts. Journalist, responsible ones at least doing their job, are to report facts. Secondly, it is not the civic media taking a jihad, it is the civic media is asking the professional media to stop bullshitting us and report the facts, pure, simple and unbiased. Seems the reporter’s are just pissed they may get questioned and now have to actually report the truth.

Sorry, Staci, but the point you are missing is the journalism is not just facts and nothing but facts. It interprets the world for us and now civic journalism is involved in a debate about the meaning of events. In this case, the journalist is your ally, because he made a personal observation during a panel discussion, he did not publish a news story.
It is a jihad when a group of conservative-leaning bloggers attack a journalist who allegedly expressed an opinion about the conservative government of the United States’ complicity in the death of dozens of journalists call for his head rather than deliver the facts about what was said. The fact was, it was said in a discussion and not a news report, making it an act of personal opinion, not journalism. Had he made that allegation in a news report without any substantiation, then, yes, he’d have been bullshitting us. The fact that the tapes of the event haven’t even been made available only underscores the fact that it was personal opinion; if that standard were applied to everyone, it would be a very dangerous world.
You’re saying, in essence, that there is no freedom of speech, which I think is missing a much greater point.

Btw, anonymous, who steals the name of a great American truth-teller, to launch unsubstantiated attack on freedom of speech, only makes my point.
Fuck you, anonymous. Come on over to my place any time and we’ll have a talk and see if you have the courage to speak to a fellow American in that way….

I didn’t know Chistopher Dodd and Barney Frank were “conservative.” You convienantly left out that Jordan made similar statements in November of 2004. He also amde similar statements against the Israeli army back in 2002. If your going to make these accusations you had better have proof of which Jordan did not. The “Jihad” was perpetrated by Jordan against our troops.
The news media is not to “interpret” facts, their job is to report facts, our job as news consumers are to interpret those facts.

I was referring to bloggers, not politicians. I think it’s unfortunate that the pols jump so quickly in response to reactionary criticism of a news executive. In more mindful eras in U.S. history, these kinds of allegations are investigated, which no one has suggested.
The media’s job is to report events based on facts. However, again, Jordan has made these statements not in news stories, but in panel discussions where the safety of journalists is the subject. Now, do you disagree that the military is not trying so hard to protect journalists as in the past? There is definitely an approach to journalists covering the war that if they don’t follow the strict rules of the embedded reporter (if they can gain approval for that status), you’re taking your life in your own hands. The military has traditionally, at least during the 20th century, followed protocols that protected anyone identifying themselves as journalists.
If in the guerilla war we are fighting, that protection of journalists no longer fits because of the risk to our troops, then Jordan’s raising a valid point: Journalists are considered potential targets. I want our troops to be safe, they should be at home, frankly, because right now their lives are being wasted in a growing conflict that promises absolutely nothing for domestic security, so if their safety requires journalistss be warned that they are in greater danger than ever before, what’s the problem with raising that question?
This is a reasonable question, whether you want to acknowledge it or not. Not once has Jordan “reported” this as a fact in a news story, he has raised the question in relation to his reporters’ safety and the safety of other journalists. So, keep your lectures about the role of journalists for situations where they apply.
Would you like to explain how your statement that the press’ responsibility is to report facts relates to statements made outside the context of a news report by an executive raising a question about the risks of his profession? No one who has commented here seems willing to address that question.

I think this so eloquently states what I am trying to say here and the point you are missing.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3395977/
Let me also use your words against you too:
It’s not a crime, nor is it even unsupportive of journalists to have an opinion about the role of journalists have in responsibly ‘opining’ in the death of noncombatants.
And as for bloggers, you’re saying, in essence, that there is no freedom of speech, which I think is missing a much greater point.
Oh, and silly me for criticizing your use of the word jihad, when looking up the word jihad, it said this: jihad
n 1: a holy war waged by Muslims against infidels [syn: jehad, international jihad] 2: a holy struggle or striving by a Muslim for a moral or spiritual or political goal
There was no jihad in asking the guy to publish what he said. He wasn’t at a tea party, but a panel. It was irresponsible what he said, period. In that capacity, he has the right of free speech, but that does not excuse him from being held accountable. If his story was true, don’t you think the MSM would be all over it?
And isn’t your criticism of bloggers the same thing that bloggers are doing to main stream journalists?

First lets state that neither Jordan or CNN has asked the Davos tape to be released.
From the accounts I’ve read from democrat Dodd and democrat Frank Jordan did not raise this issue as a “question.” It was brought up as fact. Just like he did in November of 2004. If you are going to accuse our soldiers of “targeting journalists” you had better have proof. Do you believe that proof is unimprotant?
You really need to divorce yourself from your far left ideology and attempt to look at this objectively, without emotion.
Since Jordan had no proof what consequence do you believe the he should endure for his fatwa against the United States Armed Forces? Libel and slander should be taken seriously.

Sorry, Staci, but you still don’t get it…. I am a blogger and I am trying to contribute to the dialogue about what this medium will become. You’re using dictionary definitions of words that are now used generically to describe ideological attacks to try to avoid the real question, that there is no reason for damning someone for raising questions about the safety of journalists in war zones.
Whether you get it or not, that issue also affects bloggers in war zones. If everyone is a target and more so because they write something that a government dislikes, then there is no freedom of expression, no freedom of speech and no freedom of thought, lest our neighbors report what we say.
Eason did not report his concerns in a news story, he said them in a forum so private that tapes of the event haven’t actually been released. He did not write anything, publish anything or even blog anything; he said something in a virtually private venue.
I am raising this question about blogging not out of ideological reasons and it has nothing to do with the question of whether journalists are being targeted. It has to do with the nature of freedom of speech and tolerance of people who raise questions. If you can’t get it through your skull that journalists are not always the enemy because they are not “bloggers” then you are doomed to build your own prison cell.
I have to laugh at the way all of you “use my words against me” because, so far, you all have used them to make my points. If he didn’t publish, he didn’t commit the kind of abuse of journalistic responsibility each of you has pointed out as the only role of journalism, to “report facts.” If he raises a question about the safety of journalists, it’s not a crime for which he needs to be held accountable—in free and tolerant society. Surely, you’d not want to be fired for saying something stupid? You’d say it was unfair, especially if you said it in a place and a way that was dedicated to the spirit of open discussion, as the Davos summit is.
If his story was true…. See here, here and here. The reason the U.S. media doesn’t pursue any of this with particular vigor is that it is politically unpopular and precisely because of people like you, who reflexively hate and distrust journalists (or “MSM”) and the conservative jihadists who attack anyone who questions U.S. policy.

CJ—Why should Eason or CNN ask for the tape made by a third party of a closed session at Davos be released? What obligation do they have to do that? Are you obliged to release tapes of your telephone calls? For crying out loud, are you not aware of the Bill of Rights?
You can point to pols, but we’re talking about the people who influence them.
Prove that I am “far left” in my ideology. Please, follow the rules you’ve laid down for me before introducing additional nonsensical issues into the discussion. I would wager that on a case by case basis, I am more conservative in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt than you are. That’s a populist conservatism, where Bushian conservatism is dangerously elitist.
Finally, please review libel and slander before you say it needs to be taken seriously, because you obviously don’t know anything about them. I wrote this primer for bloggers a while back, maybe you will find it useful.
Eason’s comments couldn’t be libel, because they weren’t published. His comments are not slander because, while it was a spoken accusation, if in fact it was an accusation, the subject of a slander has to show they suffered an actual loss due to the statement. Now, this is the law, not my interpretation. What loss did the U.S. military suffer due to the statement Eason made? Did it increase the risk that journalists would kill U.S. soldiers? Of course not. Will U.S. soldiers be regarded as less honorable? Maybe, but you have to prove that Eason’s comments are actually responsible for that or that he has that much power to affect public sentiment, which is impossible to do since the man has acted to keep his comments in the context they were made, confidential.
You impute a great deal of influence to Mr. Eason and the only reason he has any noteriety is this particular issue. Otherwise, it seems, he would be almost invisible to the world, like most folks.

“If you can’t get it through your skull that journalists are not always the enemy because they are not “bloggers” then you are doomed to build your own prison cell.”
You need to get through your skull is that he did NOT raise the question. And it is awfully arrogant of you to assume that I believe that journalists are the enemy or that I hate or distrust them. There is such thing as being unemotionally skeptical when hearing new news or evening allegations coming from journalists, maybe because I assume this person knows what they are talking about. If he was opining, and innocent, why not release the tape? I just want them to be truthful and factual.
You cannot seem to get through your skull the implications of him tossing what you either call an opinion. A logical, non partisan criticism would call it an allegation. You automatically assume I am partisan bent, I just want the factual news from journalists. And I guess I should expect a little more from someone of Jordon’s position at CNN.
“You’re using dictionary definitions of words that are now used generically to describe ideological attacks to try to avoid the real question, that there is no reason for damning someone for raising questions about the safety of journalists in war zones.”
Most educated people use dictionaries there Mitch, and personally, I don’t use popular manipulations of hard core words so loosely, but hey, it is your right to free speeach. And I find no reason for you damning someone or blog sites for raising questions about the accuracy of journalists at news panels during war either, concerning our troops. Fortunately, there are many contributing to blogs, not just you.
And since you have brought politics into this, it is people precisely like you which is why conservatives have gained ground. I consider myself pretty tolerant of all, but when I see you accusing me, who you have no clue of who I am or what I am about, of hating and distrusting, it is a huge turnoff. I know many Democrats in my family that went the other way precisely for this reason. You, pal, need to stop making assumptions of people like that.
On a last note, I would get fired in a heartbeat for implying or alleging something so damning so irresponsibly about someone or a group that can hurt their reputation or worse, put them in harm’s way. It is called having respect for others before you run your mouth without having facts to call it up… being held accountable. And if his allegations were true, I would want to be the first to know about it based on FACTS, because that would be quite a story and would need to be addressed with a quickness from the government.
I came here to debate, but find you awfully condescending. You’ve made some pretty negative assumptions of me, so it is no surprise you are supporting this guy to run off on the mouth. Are you going to tell me to f*ck off and “Come on over to my place any time and we’ll have a talk and see if you have the courage to speak to a fellow American in that way….

Interesting to read the bantering back and forth between you and others on this. However I must question your description of Jordan’s comments as opinion. I believe the statements he made were that “he knew of journalists” that were eitehr killed or targeted by our troops. Stating personal knowledge of such a practice is not having an opion of or simply believing that such a practice is taking place, but rather presenting it as fact. If I am mistaken in this please explain to me how.

Staci—I was saying that I would welcome a face-to-face confrontation to Mr. Clemems (anonymous), but you’re grasping for anything to throw at this point. You haven’t debated, you’ve accused. You’ve turned everything I say back on me as though I am too ignorant to see your view. I think I have been clear why I don’t see your view, but that isn’t condescending, it’s an honest difference of opinion. You’re not addressing any of the reasonable questions I have posed, only insisted I am wrong, repeatedly.
I’m not making any assumptions. I brought politics into my response to response to CJ, because he brought it in, accusing me of being a liberal. I addressed you as reflexively hating journalists, which your posts clearly indicate—if you don’t want to be judged by your words, don’t write. I’ve been writing for 25 years and can handle the fact people make judgments about me based on what I write. I’ve been clear here about my arguments, taking a lot of time to reiterate and clarify in the face of slowly degrading accusation.
I referred to the conservative jihadists in the last graf of my reply to you because you made an issue of the use of the word.
Dictionary: As I said, the word is now used in a more general way, not just in relation to Islam. I’m sorry if you can’t ackowledge that language is a living thing in the midst of constant change.
Would you be fired for sharing your opinion of a politician around the water cooler at work? I doubt it, in fact it is frowned on to fire people for their beliefs. You still haven’t addressed the fact that Eason made these comments virtually in private, as the conference hasn’t released the tapes because of the agreed confidentiality of the event.
Finally, the problems with Democrats are manifest and certainly not my fault. I’ll let you deal with your family on your own—that’s something I am not responsible for. Good luck with all that.

Rob—The point is not what he said, but where and how he said it. We’re all free to discuss controversial issues.
First the how: He didn’t publish that statement as a news story, which would be a very different thing. He was saying he “knew of journalists,” which is like saying “people say” on Fox News, yet the irresponsible statements made there are seldom fodder for firing, are they?
Then, there’s the issue of where he said it: It was during a conversation in a closed forum at the Davos conference, which is very different than, for example, saying something like he did on the air. The conversations at these conferences or in business meetings or around the water cooler are not public in the same sense that, for example, calling the press together to make a statement in front of the cameras.
Put them together, and we’re seeing a severe curtailment of freedom of expression in the guise of a patriotism. Bad news for all of us.

Mr. Ratcliffe,

The relative merit of your points above notwithstanding, you may want to reconsider your use of the “law” in your arguments, and double-check your sources and your understandings. Among exceptions to the requirement for actual damages are slanderous utterings which impute the commission of a crime. Mr. Eason’s words, regardless of your policitcal bend, appear to impute a criminal act on the part of U.S. Troops (i.e., targeting of civilian “reporters”). His words also probably fall into a trade or profession exception to the general requirement for proof of damages.

Furthermore, you may do well to acknowledge that the distinction between libel and slander is becoming blurred in today’s world of instant and total media. Mr. Eason’s comment at Davos were going to be published, and I’m sure he was aware of that fact. The fact that he did not publish them in an article that he authored himself is somewhat of shallow argument.

Now, if I may, anticipate your next argument. The “constitutional privilege” that exempts “journalists” from defamatory liability against public officials is also inapplicable when the defamatory “statements” made were knowingly false.

In short, I think that you’d be better off not arguing law unless you decide to go to law school. If you have gone to law school, I’d request a refund.

Mitch, I see your point, however you open up exactly the problem we are dealing with here. During at time of war making a statement such as that is pretty good grounds for termination. Perhaps he was just making a “people say” comment but if you’re going to drop a bomb like that (i.e. accusing/suggesting our military is targeting journalists) be prepared for some serious backlash, whethe it is in private or not, that will get back to the military and they won’t take kindly to that, especially since our enemies have fun with that kind of irresponsibility. In the world of “instant information” privacy isn’t what it used to be and while it may not be able to be used in a court of law, it will be used in the court of public opinion. Moral of the story here, “Statements such as those Joran made, whether in public or private had better be pretty dang perfectly worded if you don’t want them to come back and bite you!”

Mr. Ratcliffe,

Regarding the content of your posts, I reject the premise of your argument. I don’t think that anybody is experiencing a curtailment of freedom of expression. What is being experienced, by those who previously popped off without expecting any response or challenge, is a questioning of the content of their expression and a growing public desire to hold such individuals accountable for their expressions. Eason’s still free to say whatever the hell he pleases, but that doesn’t mean that others can’t boycott CNN or its sponsors, or petition for his removal, etc. What individuals in the MSM can’t deal with is freedom of expression for everyone, not just those that wasted their money on a journalism degree.

Disappointed to see you go dark. Would have thought you wanted a civil conversation based on your previous replies to Staci. Oh, well, off to find someone who wants to genuinely debate issues.

A. He did not get fired. He resigned
B. I don’t clearly see how this statement applies to Jordan’s opined faux paus.
“Would you be fired for sharing your opinion of a politician around the water cooler at work?”
Soldiers are not politicians.
C. Obviously, someone there thought something was very wrong with what he said so it got leaked. Again, I never said that Jordan can not say what he wants. He did and was held responsible for it. Freedom of expression is not being violated in any way here as everyone can see. Jordan said what he wanted. Someone there freely passed on this information. And blog sites said what they wanted. Seems to be working fine with me.
Still laughing at you accusing me of HATING journalists. Just skeptical. After the Dan Rather mishap, what truly objective thinker would not be skeptical? Maybe that is something you should ask yourself. I think in light of Jordan slipping out the back door and not defending himself very suspicious as to what he said. Up until that point, I was anxiously awaiting for him to come to his own defense. I just called for facts. Not to have people accuse those wanting them as McCarthists or jihadist. Jihadist go after people for a goal concerning political aspirations according to your use now of the word. Well, since you imply this, you are saying that Eason is political? Not getting it. I think asking for facts from a public figure at an international news panel is not suppression or an attack. It is holding that person accountable.
Now in light of that, one more point Mr Ratcliffe. I don’t see where I have accused you or anyone else of anything. But it is very clear where you have.

Ron, if there were an actual record of what had been said and the reported backing off Mr. Eason did immediately, during the conference session, it may well be that he would have been saying U.S. troops committed a crime. We don’t even know what was said and, so, we’re only speculating about a slander.
That said, the slander would have had to be directed at individuals, because institutions aren’t able to sue for spoken defamation. If I said something like “The Department of Commerce had Ron Brown killed to prevent him from dismantling the U.S. Trade Representative’s office,” I’d have to direct that accusation at individuals in the Department of Commerce to commit slander.
Please read my posting on libel and slander, where I do say that there is a great deal of change in these concepts underway, before you start dissecting this argument, just as you would read a ruling before criticizing it. I went to law school for two weeks and decided it wasn’t for me, then I started making a living as a journalist, which requires a deep knowledge of libel law, so thanks for the pointer about my having been ripped off by the law school. Touché, you’re a real wit.

Ron—One of the big differences between our enemies and us, the one we most need to emphasize if we want to win this undeclared war, is that we do tolerate differences of opinion, different views of the world, and controversial statements.
The umbrella of patriotic responsiblity in time of war is as likely to be abused, by, for example, commentators like Ann Coulter, who call for the demolition of the New York Times building with the staff in it, as it is to protect us from the consequences of candor, even if it is ill-conceived candor.
Yes, we need to be more careful about what we say, but I don’t see how that is wholly and exclusively a good thing. Can we agree that candor requires some measure of dumb statements be tolerated?

Just checking back in and noticed you’re posting again. My apologies, as it occurs to me that you may have been grabbing lunch. I see your point on the slander/libel with regards to organization, but one must wonder if it is then okay to run around making false statements with regards to them. Clearly that is not protected behavior whether public or private. With regards to the lack of record about it, I’m sure that Jordan would have been perfectly within his rights to waive the privacy of his statements and allow them to be published in his defense, if it were defensable. That leaves a shadow of doubt over his innocence in my book. Keep this in mind, unlawful behavior, accusing/suggesting unlawful behavior on the part of others is not very well protected, on any side of any political aisle. If you believe in the “big brother theories” then you know what I suggest when I say, “should you and I speak over the phone about our desires to murder a sitting president.” We’d be visited in short order. Wouldn’t that have been a private conversation. Isn’t inciting enemies against with false statements suggesting that we regularly target innocent civilians. When you provide fodder for the cannons you cross a line or at least stand in the gray area towards the wrong side.

Mitch,
Tolerated … yes. Accepted as truth because of someone’s title or pedigree? No. I support your right to say whatever stupid comments you like. That doesn’t mean that I can’t make my own statements calling for your site to be shut down, or inquiring as to the academic credentials that support your “reporting” (and creation of the Internet … did you and Gore work together on that?).

By the way, I don’t have the time or inclination to read your primer. FYI … you are wrong on at least one aspect of the law which you purport to be “deeply” intimate with. Will that matter to me? No. Will that matter to you? Maybe not, unless you land in court some day based on your incorrect understanding. Just trying to lend a helpin’ hand there, buddy.

Mitch, I agree that we need to tolerate different views and opinions, but in a sensitive war where we’re on shakey ground as it is with the surrouding population. A situation where any mistep might result in loss of assistance or support we need to reign in those who repeatedly put us in bad standing. Candor has its place but it isn’t in meetings or public venues. Candor is for the meetings taking place in the pentagon. Candor is for emails, letters, phone calls to your political representative in congress, and the president. I have stated repeatedly on many other sites that in a time of war, in the world of instant information where pictures of protesters will appear on the enemies news programs to help incite them more and help recruit new threats, we need to stop that. Protesting has its place, but public protest needs to be ceased the moment we are at war these days. Other means are possible, but in this world of instant information when you and a few hundred or thousand people protesting in public will be used to feed the drive of the enemy we need to think twice. We need to measure our response and its results. We need to think globally more than ever before.

Ron—On your second comment, I’d only reply that at no point have I said the people who attacked Jordan Eason should have been prevented from speaking. I do think that comments made in a private session at a conference—no matter what that exclusivity implies about the values of the World Economic Forum—should be taken in the context of the general environment of free expression in which we live.
There are plenty of examples of far more controversial statements being made in public, not a closed forum, that have not resulted in loss of jobs or otherwise negative consequences. Fox News misreports facts and levels allegations constantly to discredit anyone it deems liberal. No one over there gets fired, or asked to resign.
And, what exactly do you consider to be “MSM”? Would this blog count? You seem to think it does. I’m just pointing out that if the primary mode of discourse among conservative bloggers is the attack, then it is not doing the polity one bit of good, even if it occasionally yields a triump for openness and accountability.

Mitch, I have read you level a few accusations against Fox. I for one have not heard of a glaring scandal at Fox that measures up to what this one and other recent stories about newspapers and other forms of media have undergone. Can you please cite examples of similar misconduct at the FOX network. And I find it strange that they would be increasing in ratings for many of their news shows if such misconduct were an ongoing unpunished practice.

Mitch, in all due respect, I recognize this solely as a blog, by no means a source of facts as I expect from the MSM, it’s senior executives in public and international forums, unless under an editorial section . The only reason you are probably getting so many hits is your trackback link in which started your whole commentary. No truly respectable journalist in the MSM would come outright and accuse people of hating and use the inuendos against some of us that you have.
And calling bloggers jihadists as you have done seems the attack to me. If being asked to clarify and request support and facts qualifies as an attack, then that is your name callilng. Which goes back to my original post, facts please, especially from someone of Eason’s stature. (Oh, and I heard of him a while back, when he was involved in CNN’s little scandal of covering up for Sadaam’s atrocities.)

Staci—Replying to you point by point:
a.) He was forced to resign. That’s fired in my book, but you may be consulting a dictionary again.
b.) The reason the comment about the water cooler applies is that Jordan made those statements in a closed session at a conference that was supposedly off-the-record. We still don’t actually know what he said, so we’re in a position vis-a-vis this faux pas that is just like someone saying “Well, I heard Staci say she wants to kill the president when I was getting coffee.” That person may have misheard you or be fibbing or they may be correct but your statement was taken out of context, as you may have been saying “I could just kill George Bush if he disappoints me.” Again, no one who was there has actually explained what was said.
c.) “Obviously, someone there thought something was very wrong…” I prefer to live in a world where we don’t have self-appointed vigilantes making decisions about right and wrong. Since we don’t know what was said, exactly, we can only guess at the motivations.
As for your hating journalists, the argument in that paragraph is so garbled that it is impossible to reply, except to point out, again, that it wasn’t a public forum, but a closed off-the-record event, as ill-advised as that concept may be, in which the comments were allegedly made. You’re speculating more than I am about the facts, because there isn’t even a transcript.
I was skeptical of journalists years before Rathergate, sorry to say, even as I practice journalism. I think the professionalization of journalism has been tragic and had very bad consequences for society. However the avocation of journalism is a very positive force in the world. I don’t think the conservative attack dogs who turned this non-factual “report” into an international scandal are practicing journalism in any sense. They are doing PR.

The posters going by the name of Staci, Ron, Rob, CJ are all regulars at a really lame site called Famious Idiots. If you really want to check out something idiotic, you should take a look see! They will often gang up on anyone who does not agree with them. The truth is, they are a pathetic little group and you are wasting your time responding to them.

Mitch,

My parting shot … then you can have the final word. I disagree with your premise that the primary mode of discourse among conservative bloggers is the attack. This is evidence of the primary mode of discourse among liberals (bloggers, et al.) … mischaracterization.

Most of the things that I see characterized and bemoaned about (read:”whined about”) by lefties as attacks are inquiries into or examinations of fact. If someone wants to examine what really was said by a liberal individual, then they’re attacking that individual. On the other hand, if someone wants to label a conservative individual as a racist, homophobe, sexist, Uncle Tom, etc. … then that is acceptable as “dissent” or “journalistic curiosity.”

Any “reporting” is going to have some built-in bias, unless it is a straight transcription. I think the problem that most conservative bloggers have with others is that conservatives will admit their bias, while others try to hide behind “journalistic integrity” and “objective reporting.”

Rob—Actually, I have to work and do this at the same time, sort of. Haven’t had a chance to get lunch yet and I need to go pick up my kids from school shortly, too, so I’ll be offline for a while.
But, to your point: I don’t think Eason Jordan is on trial here. The fact that we are using that analogy is troubling, it suggests a growing intolerance for ideas that, to me, feels very much like what Osama bin Laden said he wanted for the United States: The end of the liberties that we knew before 9/11. (I know I’m going to be attacked for that, but folks, we are destroying ourselves.)
Why would the defensibility of his statement be an issue if he didn’t make them publicly and, therefore, carry the weight of a public statement? We’re digging ourselves into a hole where there is no way to say anything without being attacked.
The phone conversation is not a private conversation if there is a subpeona for the wiretap prior to the recording or if there were a law like the Patriot Act in place that waives the protection of telecommunications from government monitoring. In every situation throughout history where a government has had the ability to monitor citizens’ private discussions that power has been abused.
I don’t think saying that journalists’ lives are at greater risk due to a less restrictive approach to soldiers’ rules of engagement in areas where civilian journalists are present is inciting our enemies. I don’t know if that was what he said, but if I had to bet based on the fact that Jordan reportedly back-peddled during the session it seems like what a network executive might be discussing in the context of the links I pointed out above and here, again: See here, here and here.

Why bring up Fox News while making your arguement? Does the left really hate Fox for it’s dissenting (and verifible, thereby news)reporting?

Mitch, I’d like to apologize for Rick here. He’s confused, I’m from Utah. Yes, most of us posting here visit the site famousidiots.com, but he clearly is unfamiliar with the website as it isn’t a waste of time to discuss with me. I’m known by regulars of the liberal and conservative leaning on that website as one who genuinely enjoyes educated debate.

Ah, well…. Staci, you’ll just have to deal with the fact that a truly respectable journalist doesn’t put up with idiots. And, neither does this blogger. Look, you just turned my comments about a specific group of bloggers into accusations against all bloggers, which is sheer rhetorical dumbth. I also didn’t say, per Ron’s comments, that all conservative bloggers attack; I was referring specifically to the events we’re talking about and the people who made it an issue. Even one of the instigators appears to have regrets about destroying Jordan’s career.
The facts are that no one has the facts, as I have gone to great lengths to explain.
Rob, if you don’t have the time to read my primer on libel and slander, don’t criticize my lack of knowledge. Facts, please, not innuendo…. Live by the rules you defend, I say.

Now mitch you’re making excuses for him. What he exactly said isn’t on record, so why doesn’t he go on the record about what he actually said. That would be reasonable wouldn’t it? Saying that he said the rules of engagement were looser is as much fact as everything else you’re accusing other bloggers of doing. If he was “fired” like you said, I highly doubt that he was innocent of any wrong doing. More than likely CNN saw the huge damage to CBS as a result of not taking decisive action of one of their own shooting off the cuff without substantial evidence and are taking preemptive action.

Now mitch you’re making excuses for him. What he exactly said isn’t on record, so why doesn’t he go on the record about what he actually said. That would be reasonable wouldn’t it? Saying that he said the rules of engagement were looser is as much fact as everything else you’re accusing other bloggers of doing. If he was “fired” like you said, I highly doubt that he was innocent of any wrong doing. More than likely CNN saw the huge damage to CBS as a result of not taking decisive action of one of their own shooting off the cuff without substantial evidence and are taking preemptive action.

Folks, Fox’s consistent abuse of facts to support its owner’s political agenda is well documented and I feel no obligation to recite that here, again. The reason that the network’s audience grows is that it had a tiny audience to begin with and it’s growth demonstrates the market for niche media that serves a particular audience’s desire for information that confirms their world views.

Your reference to again, says to me that you’ve outlined it before. Could you please link to your past recitation?

Rob—Having been a news director for a 24/7 news network, that is what I would be concerned about.
There is a thing called a “chilling effect” that you’re ignoring when you assume he couldn’t be innocent of wrongdoing. If news networks believe it is easier to avoid controversial stories and issues, we’re in for more pabalum, not less.

At the same time Mitch, Fox news took a lot of heat from various sources for its initial coverage of the “UN Oil for Food Scandal”. They were really the only network giving that attention. Many even said their support was too weak to justify their claims. They even published the comments of those against them. Yet, they held out. When you know you’re right you can stick by it and take the heat till eventually you are vindicated. What problem weakened his own defense was his willingness to overlook the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussain in exchange for operating in Iraq during his rule. That admission along with this comment now, unless he had a rock solid defense signed his own pink slip. If he had a rock solid defense, then it actually would turn out better for CNN if they stood by him. Vindication after an attack like that which was leveled at him boosts ratings pretty good.

Mitch,

I’m sorry. I know I said I was done, but I can’t help myself.

Again … I dispute the premise of your “chilling effect” talking point (hmmm … I’ve heard that from such stellar intellectuals as … Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn …).

To reinforce Rob’s point above, there’s only a chilling effect if one of two things exists: 1) You or your organization doesn’t have the testicular fortitude that it takes to endure a little heat for presenting something that it believes to be true, while being prepared to admit fault should it be wrong; or 2)You or your organization knows that what you’re presenting is patently false, forged, etc.

“Fox’s consistent abuse of facts to support its owner’s political agenda is well documented”…sorry …but where?

Well, gee, let’s go to Fox’s coverage of the oil-for-food program. They didn’t take any heat for the investigation, they focused on the faults of the United Nations without following the elements of the story that do not reflect favorably on the Bush Administration. On the same day Fox reported extensively on Kofi Annan’s role in the oil-for-food “scandal,” the Financial Times, not a bastion of liberalism, reported that the Bush Administration had knowingly facilitated the transfer or money to the Hussein regime….

… a joint investigation by the Financial Times and Il Sole 24 Ore, the Italian business daily, shows that the single largest and boldest smuggling operation in the oil-for-food programme was conducted with the knowledge of the US government.
“Although the financial beneficiaries were Iraqis and Jordanians, the fact remains that the US government participated in a major conspiracy that violated sanctions and enriched Saddam’s cronies,” a former UN official said. “That is exactly what many in the US are now accusing other countries of having done. I think it’s pretty ironic.”
Overall, the operation involved 14 tankers engaged by a Jordanian entity to load at least 7m barrels of oil for a total of no less than $150m (€113m) of illegal profits. About another $50m went to Mr Hussein’s cronies.
In February 2003, when US media first published reports of this smuggling effort, then attributed exclusively to the Iraqis, the US mission to the UN condemned it as “immoral”.
However, FT/Il Sole have evidence that US and UK missions to the UN were informed of the smuggling while it was happening and that they reported it to their respective governments, to no avail.
Oil traders were told informally that the US let the tankers go because Amman needed oil to build up its strategic reserves in expectation of the Iraq war.
Last week Paul Volcker, head of the independent commission created by the UN to investigate failures in the oil-for-food programme, confirmed that Washington allowed violations of the oil sanctions by Jordan in recognition of its national interests.

That didn’t show up in any Fox report, did it? No. It’s a news organization that reports one side of every story, even when there is no controversy. Enough said….

“It’s not a crime, nor is it even unAmerican to have an opinion about the role of troops in the death of noncombatants.”
Wrong. It is BEYOND unAmerican to make a blanket accusation about our Soldiers committing MURDER. If you are unable to see the difference between requesting proof of such accusations, and the BLOOD LIBEL that Jordan spewed, then you, sir, are beyond hope.

Wil—I refer you to the above:

here is definitely an approach to journalists covering the war that if they don’t follow the strict rules of the embedded reporter (if they can gain approval for that status), you’re taking your life in your own hands. The military has traditionally, at least during the 20th century, followed protocols that protected anyone identifying themselves as journalists.
If in the guerilla war we are fighting, that protection of journalists no longer fits because of the risk to our troops, then Jordan’s raising a valid point: Journalists are considered potential targets. I want our troops to be safe, they should be at home, frankly, because right now their lives are being wasted in a growing conflict that promises absolutely nothing for domestic security, so if their safety requires journalistss be warned that they are in greater danger than ever before, what’s the problem with raising that question?

As you can see, a discussion of the safety of journalists under the rules of engagement in a guerilla war/insurgency is a perfectly reasonable thing for an American news executive to discuss. Since we don’t what Mr. Jordan said, what is reported “back-peddling” during the session to explain what he said, and we want the troops to be safe, you’re awfully quick to conclude soldiers were accused of murder, were “blood libeled” and that I am beyond hope.
It’s unfortunate that so many Americans are ready to write other Americans off. I think that’s the most unAmerican habit of our times.

Mitch, I’m sorry but the question of Bush involvement is a recent revelation. Now come about that documents are finally being given over for review. I’d like to see the documents that point to US government knowledge of it and hmmm which administration was it that was informed of it? Was it the Bush administration or the Clinton? It’s great to say that the US knew but which president was informed and was Bush more busy trying to deal with 9/11 aftermath and ramping up to take war to the terrorists when this came across his desk. Sure point the finger now at the only government pressing to reveal what was happening. Point the finger at the new agency that was pressing for these documents to be revealed. Come on Mitch, you can do better than that!

Mitch you and others keep referring to what he did/didn’t say. Why hasn’t he told us. Why do we only get to hear 2nd hand. Why didn’t he release a statement to defend himself? That to me says that more than likely it is worse than we know. And Mitch, Wil we aren’t talking about a statement which says that they aren’t advising reporters of their increased risk we are talking about a man saying that our troops were targeting reporters.

Hey shitcliffe,

“journalism is not just facts and nothing but facts. It interprets the world for us”

I don’t need you or anyone else interpreting the world for me. This statement alone denotes why you are an asshole unworthy of attention.
Go fuck yourself.

No. Eason jordan’s accusation (as reported by two of the most Liberal members of Congress) was an accusation that SOLDIERS ARE TARGETING AMERICAN JOURNALISTS.
When BEGGED to release transcripts, Video or Audio tape of the proceedings, he weasled.
No, he should not have resigned. He should have been fired and blackballed for his Libel.
All anyone wants of Journalists is REPORT the FACTS. Not be a mouthpiece for the Democratic party.
CNN. The most BUSTID name in news.

If the facts are interpreted by journalists, whose to say what the truth is? Is truth only in the hands of the liberals and free of anyone who is not a Commie Red Pinko? Tell me? Some of you journalists act like a class of your own. The Catholic Church did that, and look what good old Martin Luther did to that. The Reformation of Journalism is at hand, sir, and you can thank the bloggers, Matt Drudge, Fox News, and talk radio for your impending demise as a monopolistic power holder.
Cheerio,
AngryAssTexan

Rob—If you read the story, it is quite clear that the Bush Administration in January and February of 2003 were involved in allowing the illegal transfer of funds to the Hussein regime. Here are a couple more excerpts:

In January 2003, Millennium, a little-known Jordanian company, asked Odin Marine, a shipping broker based in Stamford, Connecticut, to find tankers to load millions of barrels of Iraqi oil. Odin declined to comment.
“The ship owners were very wary,” recalled another broker involved in the deal. “They received papers from Jordan with all kinds of government stamps claiming it was legitimate,but never actually received anything from the UN.”
In fact, no UN papers could have been provided since Millennium was not allowed to lift oil from Iraq, and the port of loading, Khor al-Amaya in southern Iraq, did not have UN authorisation to operate….
The operation was too big to go unnoticed. In the middle of February 2003, UN inspectors began receiving calls from companies that were lifting oil from Mina al-Bakr, the only UN-authorised port in southern Iraq….
Furious because the Iraqis had a history of refusing to reimburse those costs, the lifters informed Mr Tellings who in turn notified the US and UK missions to the UN.
Mr Tellings provided detailed information, including the names of some of the ships spotted by inspectors in the area. He believed the tankers would be challenged by the Multinational Interception Force (MIF), the force led by the US navy that had been enforcing the embargo on Iraq.
“Three or four days later, I chased [the US and UK representatives] and asked them what had happened with my information. They told me that they had communicated it to their capitals and that they were puzzled themselves by the lack of action.”…
On February 21 2003, when reports of the smuggling first appeared in the US press, Jeff Alderson, spokesman for the Maritime Liaison Office (MLO), the US navy office in Bahrain that co-ordinated the MIF activities, was quoted as saying that he had “no information” about it.
His successor, Jeff Breslau, confirmed to Il Sole/FT that “we have no record that we were warned” about the smuggling. But Il Sole/FT has discovered that on February 17 2003, Saybolt sent an e-mail to the MLO about smuggling that specifically mentioned the Argosea. The same day, the MLO sent a reply to Saybolt acknowledging that notification.

It’s there in plain English and if you don’t have an FT subscription, I suggest you get one.
It would not be necessary for this to “cross the President’s desk” for the Bush Administration to be involved. Furthermore, if the U.S. government allowed at least $50 million to get to Saddam just a couple months before the invasion, it would have been a major mistake and could easily have contributed to the build up of arms caches used in the insurgency against U.S. occupation.

Somewhere way up that thread you said this:
CJ—Why should Eason or CNN ask for the tape made by a third party of a closed session at Davos be released? What obligation do they have to do that? Are you obliged to release tapes of your telephone calls? For crying out loud, are you not aware of the Bill of Rights?
How exactly does someone asking for a tape threaten any rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights? You can ask all day long to search my house, tell me shut up, or whatever, and my rights are still secure if you can’t force me. Or perhaps this has a “chilling effect” as losing an argument so often does.
The fact of the matter is that Eason Jordan slandered the military with an accusation he has thus far refused either defend or retract. And, I don’t care about your definition of libel and slander since you’ve already demonstrated you have no ability to understand the Bill of Rights, or even the difference between an opinion and a fact. CNN is not in any way bound by the 1st Amendment to employ anyone, much less someone who’ll make such serious yet unsubstantiated claims about a group that figures so prominently into current events.

LC and Texan—You seem to think that journalists or anyone can be omniscient, reporting everything the happens without any selectivity. That’s impossible for a human or even a team of humans working a story.
The real gist of your argument is that if journalists say they interpret the world you say they have to take dictation from official sources. If I’d said journalists could be trusted to provide the facts, you’d have said reporters can’t be trusted.
I agree the change is underway, in fact I’ve helped to start it long before this blogging thing came along. What monopoly I’ve held on news dissemination is beyond me, as I’ve built my career on cheap electronic distribution systems. You’re just so eager to hate anyone in the media that you’re generalizing, as has been the case with others in this thread.
But I do have a realistic view of the people doing journalism and know they have to pick where to focus their attention, and that means they interpret the world even when they claim they report it.
The right approach to any information source—not just toward journalists, but government officials, corporate executives or anyone—is to be skeptical. But that doesn’t mean you’re doing any good when you accuse the media of being liberal commies; because, if you haven’t noticed the salaries in the media, it’s not a worker’s paradise, most journalists are poorly paid and almost all are trying to reach the exalted and well-paid level where you focus your hatred.
So, if you guys are so patriotic, why do you hate Americans so much?

Mitch, who is Saybolt? Your article mentions a lot of names and then someone they haven’t mentioned before all of a sudden is the one notifying the MLO. Further it was if I am not mistaken that time frame during which the US was beginning to redeploy its forces as a show of force against Saddam. After all a month later we invaded.

Mitch, do you agree that journalists have become lazy on many levels? The levels where I see the most laziness is A. in regards to recognizing their own bias, thereby not taking efforts to balance their reporting. B. Knowing they are biased but not caring because they know best what the US needs to hear. All major networks could be accused of this, even Fox, though I tend to believe they seem to try harder than most.

Rob, Eric and Wil—On April 8, 2003, two journalists at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad were killed and three were wounded by U.S. artillery fire, so there is fact on which one could at least raise the question about the safety of journalists who refused to work under the rules of the “embedded reporters” who accompanied U.S. forces.
The Palestine Hotel was known to U.S. commanders to be the primary residence for non-embedded journalists working in Baghdad during the invasion; there were more than 100 journalist from all around the world staying there. It should not have come under fire, except under the most extraordinary circumstances in the normal rules of engagement that have governed military action for the past 50 years.
Whether you like it or not, there’s a real question about the safety of journalists working in close proximity, but outside the control of, U.S. troops. That’s not an accusation of murder, it’s a matter that needs to be discussed in the new theory of war under which the U.S. military and Department of Defense are operating.
We don’t know what Eason Jordan said and we have no right to know, since the people who sat down in that room had agreed to have a confidential discussion, whether that was the right thing for them to do or not. Jordan has screwed up royally by not communicating more about this event.
Hopefully, that Davos session will be the last one of its kind and we’ll live in an open society where we can all be involved in these discussions. I think we need to do that in the spirit David Weinberger talks about here: Transparency must be accompanied by forgiveness.
But, for now, there is nothing to compell Jordan, CNN or Davos to violate the agreed upon confidentiality of that session. Since Jordan is now under a kind of trial by fire from a few bloggers here in the United States, I invoked the spirit of the Bill of Rights.
The erosion of our respect for one another, especially for our human right to hold controversial or contrary opinions, is a large part of what I have been writing about here, though commenters have attempted to reduce it to blunt-force confrontations over a conversation about which they know very little.

Rob—You can do your own research on Saybolt, I’ve copied more than enough of that FT.com article for you; you need to subscribe to get the whole story or buy the one article. I don’t need to get sued for copyright infringement.
On the question of what I think of the state of journalism, you really ought to take a look around this blog and RatcliffeBlog…. For instance:

Confidentiality is grossly abused these days, in my humble opinion. It is used by government and corporate officials who should be on the record to launch test balloons, make attacks on opponents and much else. It is also just plain lazy on many journalists’ part, because they should use a background statement to delve into the truth in order to get the facts on the record. But in the race to make a scoop—and, unfortunately, many journalists just think being first, rather than being complete and accurate, makes a scoop—solid sourcing often goes out the window.

There’s a search field on the blog. You can find everything I’ve written about journalism and blogging and judge for yourself.

Mitch, I don’t know anyone that has a problem with controversial opinions if they are based on fact and truth. In light of recent events Jordan should have known that silence in the midst of controversy is not tolerated. He should have spoken up and should have seen the logic behind the need to. If he did not, then it is his own fault for the shadow of guilt that now lays over him and what he said. If he did recognize it and chose not to, logic, not speculation, logic dictates that he has something to hide. And Mitch, has anyone asked why that hotel came under fire? Was it a mistake, because heaven forbid our perfect military make a mistake. Was it a circumstance where we had been given information which lead us to believe that terrorists were hiding there under the supposed umbrella of protection of the innocent staying there? You quote stories that make accusation but like the liberals that love to beat up on conservatives you don’t ask the question why? Jordan apparently believed that the incident you cite was proof but has anyone done anything about those and other events other than speculate and jump to conclusions. The most important question that can ever be asked, after all, in reporting and investigation is “why?”

shitcliffe,

reporters can’t be trusted.

They can’t. Hence the meltdown of MSM.

in fact I’ve helped to start it long before this blogging thing came along.

You are pathetic and delusional. You make Al Gore sound credible.

But I do have a realistic view of the people doing journalism and know they have to pick where to focus their attention, and that means they interpret the world even when they claim they report it.

Lucky for all of us, you really hold no power or authority and are just a screaming moonbat with delusions that you matter in the scheme of things.

So, if you guys are so patriotic, why do you hate Americans so much?

Not Americans, liberals. We hate the fact that idiots like you get to wear the name American. You are anti-American, anti-freedom, anti-responsibility and anti-intelligent.

You lie, twist words, use circular arguments and never, ever post links to back up your arguments. Or you post links to other opinions, not facts, to back up your arguments. Just because 100 people tell the same lie doesn’t make it true.

*Fact * Eason Jordon lied and said the US Military was intentionally targeting journalists (if you really need links, I’ll be happy to spoon feed it to you). He couldn’t prove it, didn’t have a shred of evidence and should be tried for treason. Period.

Your defense of him makes you an accessory and you should also be tried for treason. I invite you to get out of my country you commie pig.

Mitch, I was simply, and perhaps mistakenly, trying to subtly lead you to see that what you quoted was disjointed at best. They fail the simple test of laying out a clear timeline of events and who did what. My best guess is that they are pulling a proverbial sucker punch. They tell what the US says and then…., but we learned this! I mean really their intent is quite clear. But if the US really was complicit in those transactions did they ask anyone “why didn’t you act on that information?”

Bullshit.
There is a difference between an accident and intentional targeting of journalists. THAT was the accusation Jordan made. This from at least 6 people who were there. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are no particular friends of the Bush administration, and WANTED to investigate.
Eason Jordan has proven himself to be the friend of dictators and tyrants:
Gifts to Kim Jong-Il (1997)
Thanks Castro for inspiring CNN International (1999)
Accused the ISRAELI army of targeting Jornalists (2002)
Admitted to ignoring Saddam Hussein’s atrocities to maintain CNN presence in Baghdad (2003)
Accused US Soldiers of kidnapping and torturing journalists (Nov 2004)
You are just another leftwing whackjob nutcase moonbat appologist for what passes for MSM news.
Since you are incapable of responding to the specific words we use, then have a nice life. Go forth, spew your garbage to someone who gives a damn about your rants.
I am tired of wasting my time trying to teach a pig to sing.

LC Ranger—Thanks for making my point. You’re dangerous to the American way.
Throughout this thread, I’ve backed up my points and I haven’t defended Jordan, just explained that having controversial opinions—even ones you hate—is an essential American right.
You hate liberals? Fine. That’s your right, but it’s my country, too, and the fact that Americans have generally coexisted without the kind of venom you’re spewing is the great miracle of American democracy; whenever we reach the point where people like you think they can invite other citizens to leave, we’re at the brink of disaster.
You spew about my being anti-this and that, but, frankly, you haven’t responded to anything I’ve written. You just dismiss it and me, because you’re not interested in civil discourse. That’s anti-freedom, anti-responsibility and anti-intelligent.
I don’t trust reporters, I check on their work myself. I don’t trust you at all, so you’ll have to forgive me if I refuse to post anymore of your comments—you’re wasting space here.
By the way, very clever play on my name. Very 2nd grade. Did you graduate 2nd grade?

Rob—Your overwhelming subtlety isn’t something to congratulate yourself about when you refuse to go read the whole article, do the research to find out if and why the U.S. media ignored this well-documented story while simultaneously dismissing the story. When you’ve got something of substance to say about this, please post about it.
On the matter of the hotel, of course people asked why it came under fire and, if you read the links I provided you’ll see that the U.S. military hasn’t answered the question to anyone’s satisfaction. Again, you point to these questions without even examining source material. This is not about discovery on your part, but obfuscation, which is why I don’t have any more time for this debate.

Where’s the other media coverage Mitch? If it is so well documented and such an expose, that is something that our media feeds on? I suspect that some organizations don’t see it as well done as you and they’d like to think it is. Oh, well. I’m not going to pay for information since, if it is as well done as you claim, it will eventually find its way to the rest of the media world. Once again you failed to ask why? Why isn’t it spreading like wild fire if it is such a good story? Well since you’re done. I’ll leave you with this last thought. Good luck learning to ask youself “Why?”

I’d just like to thank the nutcases, like Wil and LC Ranger, for their demonstrations of venom, ignorance and stellar reasoning and spelling skills—you’ve proved my point that these contributions are not communication intended to be civil debate—but it’s wasting a tremendous amount of time for conversations about important issues.
Anyone who has read this blog or anything I’ve written during the past 10 years will recognize that I have a low opinion of many journalists. There are some brilliant journalists in the world, but the professional press has done little to shine its reputation in recent years.
Eason Jordan said something, but what is not clear. My point throughout this thread has been simple: People should not be lynched for their ideas. I think that’s a principal our troops are fighting for around the world, even if they are following dangerous and misguided orders given my delusional neoconservatives.
The great crime is not to have said something, no matter how controversial, in a closed session at an elite conference, it is the hypocrisy with which some Americans who believe they know what is best for everybody persecute anyone who represents anything with which they disagree while simultaneously yelping about freedom of speech, the importance of truth and a twisted view of what America stands for.
I don’t know or claim to know what’s right for everyone, I let them decide. Several abusive posters have said they are going elsewhere to read and they are welcome to—I encourage you to leave if you don’t like what I write, but I demand that you think about it seriously if you are going to post a comment.
Now, it’s kind of funny to watch adults play at children’s taunts, precisely because it proves how closed their minds are and apparently have been since they first learned to read, but I think it’s time to wrap up this thread unless there are serious comments that come through the door.

Rob, per your post of 10:33 AM: The reason the story hasn’t been picked up is that there are political and economic consequences for American media companies, as amply demonstrated by the Eason Jordan affair. It’s not me who hasn’t asked “why?” You’ve not even followed a few links that might expose you to new information…. I suggest you read Paul Volcker’s report on the U.N. Oil-for-Food Program yourself while you are at it.
Some of you have mocked the idea of a “chilling effect,” attributing it to people like Sean Penn, even though it is a widely acknowledged phenomenon in markets, politics, the arts and daily life. Let’s look at the words of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas: “The chilling effect of these vague and generalized prohibitions is so obvious as not to need elaboration. . . . it is of no concern of Government what an employee does in his spare time, whether religion, recreation, social work, or politics is his hobby – unless what he does impairs efficiency or other facets of the merits of his job. . . .”
I argue that in an era when it appears anyone can set themselves up as judge, jury and lynch mob, a capability that certain neocon factions are using at every opportunity to drive “libs” and “commie pinkoes” from these shores, the individual needs to stand up for their right to say things, to think things, to practice their religion, their vocations and avocations without being intimidated. Alas, we seem to be in for an era of intense bullying by people convinced they are better and know better than anyone else, all under the guise of “freedom, liberty and the American Way.”

Mitch, Any particular part of the Oil for Food Report you want me to reread. I’ve read a number of sections of it. I have also read numerous sections of the Iraq report on WMD. If you haven’t had a chance I highly recommend that as an interesting read. The summary and the resulting commentary by the media don’t do it nearly the justice it should.

Without having read ALL of the comments and rebuttals, suffice it to say, Yes, there is such a thing as freedom of speech. However, there is also such a thing as responsiblity for one’s actions. You HAVE the freedom to speak, as you wish, I, however have the freedom to respond to such speech. IF, and this is a HUGE “IF”, Mr. Jordan’s “comments” were totally innocuous, would he have resigned? Nope, looks like he got his hand caught in the cookie jar… Case closed!

Wes—Yes, I absolutely agree that you have the right to say whatever you like about Mr. Eason in regards what you believe he said. Even if we knew exactly what he said, though, the fact we have the freedom to disagree about his comments is why the case isn’t closed, except for you.
I respect your conclusion, though I disagree with it. There could be many reasons he was forced out and the controversy manufactured over the comments may merely have become a good excuse. The point I hope to get across is that we shouldn’t be so ready to sit in judgment when we don’t have all the facts, let alone a complete transcript. It was a rush to judgment.
At least, that’s my opinion and you have yours. If we want to set priorities, I’d say that for all but a few people who really care about the philosophical questions around Jordan’s ouster, it is very reasonably a closed case. I just happen to be of a philosophical bent.

Mitch,
Fine rebuttal… except…Mr. Eason was not “forced” out, as you stated, he resigned, as a matter of fact, CNN did not WANT him to resign, when someone resigns in disregard of the objections presented by others, that is not a “forcing out”, no matter HOW you spin it, that is a resignation, therefore, my point still stands and your is refuted.

Wes, corporations offer senior executives the opportunity to resign gracefully all the time; I suppose you think Carly Fiorina resigned of her own choice, too. But you may be right, he may have resigned simply to help his company avoid a protracted battle; that’s called “falling on your own sword.”
Nevertheless, my point isn’t refuted. It’s a different point entirely. I remind you of the statement I made at the top of this posting:

What’s troubling about this, especially given the prominent role of bloggers in calling for Jordan’s head, is that the civic media has taken to jihad as its primary form of communication. It’s not a crime, nor is it even unAmerican to have an opinion about the role of troops in the death of noncombatants.

It isn’t a crime to have an unpopular idea, period. If it were, some of the ideas your TexanPatriot friend has expressed would land him in jail.
Even the guy who started this whole thing by blogging Jordan’s comments, Rony Abrovitz agrees with that point in the New York Times:

Mr. Abovitz, who started it all, said he hoped bloggers could develop loftier goals than destroying people’s careers. “If you’re going to do this open-source journalism, it should have a higher purpose,” he said. “At times it did seem like an angry mob, and an angry mob using high technology, that’s not good.”

Other CNN execs have said nice things about him, but would you provide a link to a statement that the company did not want him to resign. You’re manufacturing convenient facts.
But in any case, your opinion is perfectly legitimate: He may have been righ to resign. This, however, was not the subject of my posting.

Comments are closed.