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February 17, 2005

The Future of Easongate and a New Beginning

While the Staff of Easongate would have preferred the release of the tape to fully air all concerns, we believe Eason Jordan's resignation is an admission of guilt and he has been properly disciplined by stepping down from his responsibilities at CNN. We will continue to follow various stories directly related to Easongate, however the pursuit of the tape will occur elsewhere.

The issue of the tape remains a serious impediment to getting to the bottom of this story. Eason Jordan's resignation did not clear up the serious allegations of United States military personnel intentionally targeting journalists. The media has expressed no interest whatsoever to discover the contents of the tape, and this is both curious and disturbing. Instead of addressing the serious charges made against our troops at Davos and the reaction of those in attendance, and the wider implications of these statements, the media has focused their ire and attention on bloggers who worked hard to break this story and gain traction in the mainstream media.

The tape will answer all outstanding questions. As the media will not fulfill their responsibilities to follow this story to its conclusion, several members of the Easongate.com Staff have organized a new blog called War, Truth and Videotape. This blog is devoted to the release of the videotape in order to obtain the truth of exactly what was said and done at Davos. We will investigate this issue further, search for other attendees of the forum, keep the public apprised of the situation and provide analysis and opinion. War, Truth and Videotape will have tools available for the public to express their displeasure with the current situation, including a petition, and forms to mail your Congressional Representatives, and the sponsors of CNN and the World Economic Forum. These tools are still in development so please be patient and keep checking back with us.

Please join us in this fight for the truth about what occurred at Davos at War, Truth and Videotape.

Posted by rogg at 5:15 PM | TrackBack

February 16, 2005

A Retraction to "A conflict of Interest?" & "An Eason Jordan Timeline of Events"

I am issuing a retraction to the post "A conflict of Interest?", written about Bret Stephen's reported conflict of interest with the World Economic Forum. I did not contact Mr. Stephens to follow up on this story and reported another blogger's work as fact. It has come to light that the information reported in this post is innacurrate.

My apologies to Mr. Stephens.

Update: 02/16/05 Certain items listed under Witness#9/Problem: are innacurrate and have been crossed out from the extended timeline. - Brian Scott

My apologies to Mr. Stephens as well.

Posted by rogg at 7:40 PM | TrackBack

February 15, 2005

Easongate on the Radio, Round 6

I will appear on "The Kevin McCullough Show" at 1:20 PM Eastern today to talk about the Eason Jordan blog swarm. You can listen to the live audio stream here. The show can be heard in the following markets:

AM 570 WMCA - New York City * Connecticut * Rhode Island
AM 970 WWDJ - New York * New Jersey * Pennsylvania * Delaware

Posted by at 9:11 AM | TrackBack

Tonight on the MSM

Glenn Reynolds has an Easongate link roundup of Monday evening's talk shows, including a panel at Kudlow & Company, Rony Abovitz's appearance on The O'Reily Factor, and a discussion at Hannity & Colmes. Money quote from Bob Beckel (transcript here):

BECKEL: And we allowed bloggers, who have no rules of engagement except to shoot first and ask questions later, to rule journalism.

Glenn also links to an article by Jack Shafer of Slate, who states Eason Jordan should have been fired, and inquires about the tape.

Hugh Hewitt was interviewed by the BBC's Judy Swallow. Hugh states the focus was the blogger's credibility, not the assualt on our military, Eason Jordan's remarks, the media's intransigence in investigating or the current cover up of a tape.

"Once again the refrain from old media is not to focus on what Jordan said in Davos --or in Portugal-- but on the credentials or lack thereof of the bloggers."

Dan Abram's of MSMBC fears the blogger, not the lack of concern of the media about what really happened at Davos:

"This makes me nervous." "This is blogger editorialist demanding action based on comments that haven't even been verified."

Some people are concerned that a videotape of the event exists, and the media as a whole is disinterested. The media's need to attack bloggers who pursue the truth makes many of us us nervous. The lack of integrity from the media makes us nervous. Their willingness to casually accept, without evidence, that our soldiers intentionally target journalists makes us angry.

Posted by rogg at 2:25 AM | TrackBack

February 14, 2005

The Cover Up

More video, courtesy of Trey from Jackson's Junction. CNN runs two segments, Bitten by Blogs and Inside the Blogs and looks at blogs and the Eason Jordan affair. CNN quotes a blog called Viewpoint to promote the meme that Easongate was "a successfully executed witch-hunt". My apologies to David of Viewpoint, but I've never heard of your site, and CNN used your post to promote their predetermined notion of a blogospheric lynch mob. You have been used by CNN as the conservative voice to criticise those who seek the truth. Perhaps if CNN wanted to cover Easongate, they might want to go to, oh I don't know, a blog called Easongate?

CNN did take the time to instruct viewers on how to donate to the Democratic National Committee via Daily Kos' website (this was edited out of this clip).

When covering Easongate, there was no mention of the tape that has been suppressed and that both CNN and Eason Jordan have declined to ask for the tape from the WEF. Instead of a "witch-hunt", perhaps CNN should be discussing a cover up.

That's OK, because if the media will not ask for the tape, we will. Very soon, in fact.

Posted by rogg at 7:23 PM | TrackBack

Misguided parenting and the MSM

I've been a parent for 4 years now. So I know what I'm talking about when I make this analogy.

I've met parents that have children who, in their eyes, can do no wrong. They are quick to defend their delinquent kid without knowing the circumstances and sometimes go so far as to blame others for provoking the bad behavior. Their feelings for their child cloud their sensibilities and better judgment in almost any given situation. Now it appears as though the MSM is doing the same thing with the Eason Jordan story.

Today, the WSJ (and others) has come to the defense of Mr. Jordan and claims that the blogoshpere is out of line.

That may be old-fashioned damage control. But it does not speak well of CNN that it apparently allowed itself to be stampeded by this Internet and talk-show crew. Of course the network must be responsive to its audience and ratings. But it has other obligations, too, chief among them to show the good judgment and sense of proportion that distinguishes professional journalism from the enthusiasms and vendettas of amateurs.

No doubt this point of view will get us described as part of the "mainstream media." But we'll take that as a compliment since we've long believed that these columns do in fact represent the American mainstream. We hope readers buy our newspaper because we make grown-up decisions about what is newsworthy, and what isn't.

Those who believe we have gone to far seem to ignore the fact that we never asked for Eason's resignation had he been innocent. We asked for his resignation if indeed the reports of his statements were true. Since we have no tape, only a myriad of witnesses, we can only assume his quitting is an admission of guilt.

If you ask me It is the MSM that lacks good judgment and an enthusiasm for the truth. Eason's offense of slandering our troops was first buried by the MSM and now defended just like a misguided mother. Shame on them.

Posted by at 4:33 PM | TrackBack

Easongate on the Radio, Round 5

I will be on "The Kevin McCullough Show" at 1:20 PM Eastern today to discuss the status of the Eason Jordan affair and the open question of an outstanding videotape from the WEF. You can listen to the live audio stream here. The show can be heard in the following markets:

AM 570 WMCA - New York City * Connecticut * Rhode Island
AM 970 WWDJ - New York * New Jersey * Pennsylvania * Delaware

Kevin McCullough has been following this story closely and has blogged about it as well at Crosswalk.com. From his latest post on the media campaign against bloggers and the importance of blogs:

The point being that journalists should see themselves as the agitators that the Constitution guaranteed the protection of. To probe, question, and dig - in other words to find the facts - are what the Constitution wished to protect. The fact that the MSM now often times seems more pre-occupied with "self-protection" as opposed to the "public's right to know" is what has caused the immense interest in these little web-logs....

For the New York Times, even the establishment at the WSJ or any other media to chirp, demean or otherwise attempt to discredit citizen journalism only serves to reinforce its need to exist - and simply motivates its purveyors to work harder, better, and even more quickly to fact-check the MSM in to oblivion.


Posted by rogg at 10:23 AM | TrackBack

A Tempest, but not in a Teacup

The media has accepted the resignation of Eason Jordan without question, and has portrayed the pursuit of the truth by bloggers as a lynch mob with a political agenda. David Bauder's Associated Press account unquestioningly accepts Eason Jordan's statement that he "quickly backed off the remarks". Several in attendance have stated otherwise.

The facts, many of which the media are wholly ignoring, should be remembered before Mr. Jordan's statements are accepted without criticism.

· Eason Jordan has a history of accusing American soldiers of killing and torturing journalists without providing evidence.
· Every eyewitness on record from the Davos conference, including a U.S. Congressman and U.S. Senator, confirmed that Eason Jordan did in fact state journalists were intentionally targeted by the U.S. military.
· Eason Jordan did not provide any evidence to support his charges, and has not to this day.
· The disagreements between eyewitnesses are: Mr. Jordan's meaning behind "targeting"; and at what point he backed off the statements - did he do so on his own or after pressured.
· Multiple Eyewitnesses, including Senator Chris Dodd, stated he did not back off his slanderous remarks until Congressman Frank pressed the issue.
· To this day Eason Jordan has not demanded the release of the tape, despite his influence at the WEF as well as CNN's unique and powerful presence in the international media community.
· A tape still exists and can easily confirm the reported eyewitness accounts.
· CNN and the traditional media have not sought the tape to clarify what actually happened at Davos.

Where are the guardians of the truth? Make no mistake, if there were evidence that existed that could bring down an important and powerful politician, there would be reporters tripping all over each other, nay elbows flying, to be the first to get their hands on it. The repeated calls for the truth, the screams for blood, would haunt the airwaves and front pages of news and editorial pages across the land. When a prince of the media is purported to have slandered American troops without cause, the guardians of the truth impugn bloggers as pursuing a witch-hunt.

I am of the belief that the content of this tape is even worse than expected. The accounts of Mr. Jordan's reactions are likely to be correct; but the damning information may be the reaction of the audience. If the audience reaction is as anti-American as Davos attendee Rony Abovitz described, the American public may be quite upset indeed with Eason Jordan, and by default, CNN for knowingly employing a person that recklessly encourages such anti-American sentiment. The international media's biases poke though in written news articles, but such an open display, on videotape, may even shock many Americans not inclined to support the war in Iraq. Of course all of this is conjecture, we cannot know for sure unless the tape is released.

The American people have a right to know the truth about those who manage influential and powerful media entities. These men and women exercise the power to shape and control the news and public perception. Companies that advertise on these news services should also be concerned with who they sponsor. Are you comfortable patronizing outlets that sanction employees who knowingly assault the honor of our brave servicemen?

The tape must be released to shed light on what really happened in Davos. Powerful news organizations are either indifferent or hostile to taking up this cause, and have directed their contempt towards bloggers. Perhaps it is time for the people, and bloggers, to do demand the release of the tape.

The tempest still rages.

Posted by rogg at 12:34 AM | TrackBack

Weekend Video

Jackson's Junction has the videotape of Jeff Jarvis on CNN's Reliable Sources. Jeff defends the bloggers while Bill Press accuses bloggers of targeting Eason Jordan "because of his connection to CNN".

We disrespectfully disagree, Mr. Press. Eason Jordan was discussed by bloggers because he accused our troops of intentionally targeting journalists without evidence, and then refused to demand the release of the tape from Davos. The media ignored this story until pushed by the bloggers.

Also, via Jackson's Junction, the hosts of Fox and Friends discussed Easongate on Saturday; "A lot of pressure was put on Eason by a web site named Easongate.com".

Posted by rogg at 12:11 AM | TrackBack

February 11, 2005

The Price of Slander

Eason Jordan has officially resigned as executive vice president and chief news executive of CNN. The Staff of Easongate.com is pleased with Mr. Jordan taking responsibility for his actions and statements. However we still feel the World Economic Forum should release the tape of the Davos conference forthwith to settle this matter. A cloud will hang over this issue until the tape is viewed to confirm what has been reported in this affair.

The purpose of this blog from the very beginning was 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.

Easongate.com has achieved every single goal on this list. The CNN advertiser database and email program was prepared to go online this evening. Every person on this site worked professionally, with skill and devotion, and covered every angle of the developments.

However we are still not fully satisfied with the outcome. The tape should be released for public review, and Mr. Jordan should apologize for his remarks.

To every reader, commentor, emailer and blogger that committed to this cause, thank you. This is a victory for every soldier who has honorably served this nation. To you we devote this victory.

Posted by rogg at 8:11 PM | TrackBack

An Eason Jordan Timeline of Events

*Note: All dates are linked to sources
October 10, 2002

Location:
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Speaking Engagement:
The News Exchange-Broadcast Media Conference.

Summary:
During a Q&A session he reportedly accused the Israeli military of deliberately targeting CNN personnel "on numerous occasions." Leading to the death of one.

The Accusation:

"The Israelis say they're actually trying to restrict our access to these areas and they say it's too dangerous for you to be there and my response to that is that it wouldn't be nearly as dangerous if you didn't shoot at us when we're clearly labelled as CNN crews and journalists. And so this must stop, this targeting of the news media both literally and figuratively must come to an end immediately."
The Truth:
Ed Morrissey (Captains Quarters) points out that:The only CNN journalist wounded in that region was Ben Wedeman, who got shot when he wandered into a crossfire. [Jordan's] own producer, Bruce Conover, told CNN that no one could tell who shot him, as the bullets and mortars were flying in from all directions.

Transcript

April 11, 2003

Summary:
In a NY Times Op/ed piece, Eason admitted to covering up Saddam Hussein's tortures and atrocities to keep a CNN office in Baghdad and protect his employees. Eason held onto this information in the run up to the war in Iraq.

Eason™s opening paragraph:

"Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard - awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff."
November 19, 2004

Location:
Vilamoura, Portugal

Speaking Engagement:
The News Exchange-Broadcast Media Conference.

Summary:
During a discussion forum on the safety of reporters in Iraq Eason made the allegation that some reporters were being tortured and wrongly imprisoned.

His Statement:

"actions speak louder than words. And you talk about dignity and respect for un-embedded journalists and journalists in general but the reality is that at least 8, maybe 10, maybe more journalists in Iraq have been killed by the US military. There are reports that I believe to be true that journalists have been arrested and tortured by US forces. One case that was not talked about here: an Al-Jazeera journalist put in Abu Ghraib and physically and emotionally abused, called a Jazeera boy and forced to eat his shoe and other things. Even now there's an Al-Arabiya journalist in Fallujah who's been in captivity now for a week. The US military has said that he is not guilty of anything and he'll be freed, but we're now 6 or 7 days into his captivity. It's just these actions and the fact that no-one in the US military has been punished or reprimanded for any of these things would indicate that the US military really does not have respect for the journalistic corps in Iraq."
Transcript

January 27, 2005

Location:
Davos, Switzerland - The World Economic Forum gathering

Topic of Discussion:
Middle east Panel Discussion: on "Will Democracy Survive the Media?".

Moderated by:
David R. Gergen, the Director for Public Leadership, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University,

The Panel:
1. Richard Sambrook - The worldwide director of BBC radio
2. U.S. Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA)
3. Abdullah Abdullah - The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan
4. Eason Jordan - Chief News Executive of CNN

In the Audience:
1. Rony Abovitz
2. Rebbeca McKinnon
3. US Senator Chris Dodd (D - CT)
4. David Gergen
5. Richard Sambrook
6. Justin Vaisse
7. Bernard Rappaz
8. Bret Stephens
9. Various Journalists from around the world - Many Arabic

The Incident:
Jordan repeatedly asserted on Jan. 27 2005 that American military personnel had deliberately targeted and killed journalists in Iraq.

*No transcript available*

Witnesses to the speech

January 28, 2005 - Witness #1: Rony Abovitz

Vocation:
(currently in the process of verifying but this could be him)

His take on Eason™s comments

"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... Many in the crowd, especially those from Arab nations, applauded what he said and called him a "very brave man" for speaking up against the U.S. in a public way amongst a crowd ready to hear anti-US sentiments."
February 6, 2005 - Witness #2: Rebbecca McKinnon

Vocation:
Ex-TV reporter-turned-blogger

Her take on Eason™s comments - (Excerpts taken from an interview with Hugh Hewitt)

Q: First, was Rony's account "accurate" in the sense that it would have been a responsible filing from any journalist working for, say, a big paper?

A: ... So to answer your question: yes, Rony's initial blog post was "accurate" in the sense that several of us in the room have corroborated his account.

Q: Did Mr. Jordan offer the idea that American military forces had "targeted" journalists before Representative Frank entered the conversation?

A: My recollection is that he did.

Q: Q: Rony believes that David Gergen was distressed by Mr. Jordan's remarks. Do you agree with that characterization?

A: Yes I agree with that characterization.

Q: Do you recall Mr. Jordan receiving praise from members of the audience for his candor, and if so, were those audience members American? European? Arab?

A: There were definitely some people in the audience who liked what he said, and others who didn't. I don't remember specifically.

February 7, 2005 - Witness #3: Congressman Barney Frank

Vocation:
United States Congressman for the US House of Representatives - 4th Congressional district - Massachusetts (D) - Barney Frank

His take on Eason™s comments:

"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."

After the panel was over and he returned to the U.S., Rep. Frank said he called Jordan and expressed willingness to pursue specific cases if there was any credible evidence that any American troops targeted journalists. "Give me specifics," Rep. Frank said he told Jordan.

Rep. Frank has not yet heard back yet from Jordan."

February 7, 2005 - Witness #4: Senator Christopher Dodd

Vocation:
United States Senator Christopher Dodd (D - CT)

His take on Eason™s comments:
Senator Dodd was not on the panel but was in the audience when Mr. Jordan spoke. He - like panelists Mr. Gergen and Mr. Frank - was outraged by the comments. Senator Dodd is tremendously proud of the sacrifice and service of our American military personnel.

February 7, 2005 - Witness #5: David Gergen

Vocation:
Currently a professor of public service at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and director of its Center for Public Leadership. He is also editor-at-large for U.S. News & World Report. In earlier years, he served as a White House advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton.

His take on Eason™s comments:

Gergen also echoed Rep. Frank's recollection that Jordan asserted that there were cases involving journalist deaths where "not enough care was taken by U.S. troops." (Gerard Van der Leun takes a closer look at this spin here.) Gergen said he was approached after the session by European journalists who expressed the belief that American troops were "roughing up" journalists and Iraqi nationals. He also said people left the event "concerned and wanting to know more."
February 7, 2005 - Witness #6: Richard Sambrook

Vocation:
Director, BBC World Service and Global News Division

His take on Eason™s comments:

"Eason's comments were a reaction to a statement that journalists killed in Iraq amounted to "collateral damage". His point was that many of these journalists (and indeed civilians) killed in Iraq were not accidental victims--as suggested by the terms "collateral damage"--but had been "targeted", for example by snipers.

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

[snip]

"This culture of 'closing ranks' coupled with hostile comments about the media from senior politicians and others, has led some in the media community (not necessarily Eason or myself) to believe the military are careless as to whether journalists are killed or not."

February 7, 2005 - Witness # 7: Justin Vaisse

Vocation:
An Affiliated Scholar at the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution.

His take on Eason™s comments:

"It must be said that Eason Jordan, one of the star journalists of CNN, didn't mince words in declaring that the intentions of journalists in Iraq were never perceived as neutral and that they were made deliberate targets by both sides.
Called on to clarify his statement, he said that outside of deaths attributed to rebels, 12 journalists, including Americans, were killed by the American army, not by deliberate attack, but in the context of a hostile climate towards the press, where the tone was set by Donald Rumsfeld himself. Many journalists feel that among young American soldiers, many would like to "do" a journalist in the course of combat.

Without going that far, Richard Sambrook, a BBC star raised the stakes. Another journalist in the room also recalled the Palestine hotel incident which supported the statements made in Davos, and recognizes the scale of the phenomenon, well-known within the journalistic community, but not beyond.

David Gergen, the moderator, was taken aback, but could not manage to change the subject."

February 10, 2005 - Witness#8: Bernard Rappaz,

Vocation:
A correspondent for Geneva-based Tlvision Suisse Romande.

His take on Eason™s comments:

"The surprise came from the chief of CNN, Eason Jordan, who recalled that out of the 45 journalists killed in Iraq since the beginning of bombat [sic], 12 were killed by American troops. He added: "No investigation has been opened by the Pentagon into these blunders. In Iraq, journalists are now targeted by insurgents and   by occupation forces."
February 10, 2005 - Witness#9 - Bret Stephens

Vocation:
Mr. Stephens is a Wall Street Journal columnist (Ex-editor of the Jerusalem Post)

His take on Eason™s comments:

"By chance, I was in the audience of the World Economic Forum's panel discussion where Mr. Jordan spoke. What happened was this: Mr. Jordan observed that of the 60-odd journalists killed in Iraq, 12 had been targeted and killed by coalition forces. He then offered a story of an unnamed Al-Jazeera journalist who had been "tortured for weeks" at Abu Ghraib, made to eat his shoes, and called "Al-Jazeera boy" by his American captors.

Here Rep. Barney Frank, also a member of the panel, interjected: Had American troops actually targeted journalists? And had CNN done a story about it? Well no, Mr. Jordan replied, CNN hadn't done a story on this, specifically. And no, he didn't believe the Bush administration had a policy of targeting journalists. Besides, he said, "the [American] generals and colonels have their heart in the right place."

By this point, one could almost see the wheels of Mr. Jordan's mind spinning, slowly: "How am I going to get out of this one?" But Mr. Frank and others kept demanding specifics. Mr. Jordan replied that "there are people who believe there are people in the military" who have it out for journalists. He also recounted a story of a reporter who'd been sent to the back of the line at a checkpoint outside of Baghdad's Green Zone, apparently because the soldier had been unhappy with the reporter's dispatches."

Problem:
Mr. Stephens has been admitted into an exclusive club called the "Forum of Young Global Leaders" consisting of 1111 men and women under forty. This forum is affiliated with the World Economic Forum of which Eason is a member of the board. He (Eason Jordan) is not a member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders nomination board. This close connection between Eason and Stephen shows a conflict of interest.
Removed items due to inaccurate information

A call to release the tapes

February 09, 2005

Senator George Allen (R-Va) asked for the tapes to be released.

Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) called the comments by Eason Jordan, the head of CNN's news division, "outrageous and wrong," and said he wants to see the videotape of Jordan making the comments.

"I guarantee if any other official or person, a public official, made a statement like that, even if they were retracting it, they would say 'Hey, this is recorded, this is taped.' I think we ought to see what he said," Allen told Cybercast News Service.

"I don't know what Al Jazeera or any of these terrorists or any of them have done with this, but you can be sure that any of the folks that are enemies of freedom, enemies of the United States, enemies of the right of Israel to exist, will use this to say, 'Oh, look at these Americans, look at how awful they are, they are not for a free press, they shoot them.' Which of course is an absolute falsehood, but there is the potential for that."

February 10, 2005

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) asks for the tapes to be released on the Don Imus program

Chris Dodd™s Statement:

"It seems to me that he ought to be the first one to say, 'Let's get the tape out,' so we can put an end to these rumors if in fact his interpretation of what he was trying to say in accurate," Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., told radio host Don Imus on Thursday....

"I presume Eason Jordan's job may be on the line over this....The best answer for him is to get that information out so you and others can watch it and draw your own conclusions about it."

February 11, 2005 - Eason Jordan resigns

Quotes from the Associated Press:

"CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan quit Friday amid a furor over remarks he made in Switzerland last month about journalists killed by the U.S. military in Iraq. Jordan said he was quitting to avoid CNN being "unfairly tarnished" by the controversy.

[snip]

A Web site, Easongate.com, was created and distributed a petition this week calling on CNN to find a transcript and fire Jordan if he said the military had intentionally killed journalists.

The Web site had been preparing Friday to post information to help its supporters contact CNN's advertisers. A message posted on the site after Jordan's resignation said its authors were pleased with the outcome but still want a videotape of the economic forum released." - David Bauder (AP)

February 11, 2005 - Easongate.com™s statement: The price of Slander

Quote from post written by Bill Roggio:

"Easongate.com has achieved every single goal on this list. The CNN advertiser database and email program was prepared to go online this evening. Every person on this site worked professionally, with skill and devotion, and covered every angle of the developments.

However we are still not fully satisfied with the outcome. The tape should be released for public review, and Mr. Jordan should apologize for his remarks.

To every reader, commentor, emailer and blogger that committed to this cause, thank you. This is a victory for every soldier who has honorably served this nation. To you we devote this victory. "

Timeline written by Brian Scott
Contributions to timeline made by Lance McMurray of Redstaterant.com

Updated: 20/16/05 - Retraction

Posted by at 7:21 PM | TrackBack

Larry Elder reports Eason Jordan Resignation

At approximately 4:14 PM Pacific, Larry Elder reported live on his nationally syndicated radio show that Eason Jordan has resigned.

Posted by at 7:21 PM | TrackBack

Eason Jordan Resigns: Truth!

National Review Online reporting. Developing...

Update: Associated Press also reporting:

CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan quit Friday amidst a furor over remarks he made in Switzerland last month about journalists killed by the U.S. military in Iraq.

Jordan said he was quitting to avoid CNN being "unfairly tarnished" by the controversy.

During a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum last month, Jordan said he believed that several journalists who were killed by coalition forces in Iraq had been targeted.

He quickly backed off the remarks, explaining that he meant to distinguish between journalists killed because they were in the wrong place where a bomb fell, for example, and those killed because they were shot at by American forces who mistook them for the enemy.

"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.

But the damage had been done, compounded by the fact that no transcript of his actual remarks has turned up. There was an online petition calling on CNN to find a transcript, and fire Jordan if he said the military had intentionally killed journalists.

The "online petition" they're referring to is on Easongate.com!!!

A fellow Easongate blogger reports that Larry Elder just announced it on his radio show. I'm going to be a guest on Kevin McCullough's show next week. I wonder what we'll talk about...

Thanks again, Lucianne! That's what happens when you're quick on the draw. Just think...I was about to turn off my computer!

Readers speculate that there's more to this story, too. CNN decided to cut its losses for a reason. Another reader notes that Jordan announced his resignation after the news cycle, but there's no such thing in the blogosphere. Bloggers were the momentum behind this story, and don't ever let anybody convince you they (we) weren't.

Posted by at 7:08 PM | TrackBack

Three Strikes from the MSM

Reuters reports on Easongate (an aside: aren’t wire services supposed to be on the cutting edge of news?). In a poorly researched article titled "CNN Executive in Hot Seat Over Iraq Claim", Reuters conveniently omits many facts, including crucial eyewitness statements.

But one witness at Davos, Florida businessman Rony Abovitz, said he was shocked by Jordan's initial claim and asked him to prove it. "I was quite surprised, especially by his passion for what he was saying," said Abovitz, who wrote an entry detailing Jordan's comments on a blog from the World Economic Forum that was later picked up by others. "I thought that this was a huge story, very damning to the U.S. if true."

Abovitz said that others in the room, including Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., joined in the debate, which became heated before being broken off. But Abovitz, who co-founded a medical technology company in Hollywood, Fla., said that he felt impelled to blog it after realizing that others weren't going to report on it.

Note this article does not directly quote from Sen. Dodd, Rep. Franks, David Gergen, Richard Sambrook, Justin Vaisse, Bernard Rappaz and Bret Stephens, whose accounts confirm Rony’s assertions. Rony’s account is the only one mentioned, giving the appearance of a lone dissenter. There is no mention of a tape. Shoddy reporting or deliberate omissions? You make the call. Since Reuters CEO Tom Glocer has similar problems with slandering troops, we can understand Reuter’s soft peddling of this story.

The Associate Press (an aside: aren’t wire services supposed to be on the cutting edge of news?) also covers Easongate today (this same article is posted at The New York Times). The account is more balanced that Reuters' but still deficient in facts. Of note:

CNN said, however, that it had no such transcript and, although a videotape reportedly exists of the conference, the meetings were held under rules forbidding participants from being quoted directly.

"I don't know how much more clear we can be," Robinson said. "I think the story should be moot when you read in the first accounts that he made the misstatement and he cleared it up.”

Sorry, Mr. Robinson, but it is far from clear, and we are not depending on Mr. Jordan's accounts of the events at Davos. “A videotape reportedly exists”? We know it exists. Contact Mark Adams and ask him to release it, and copy Eason Jordan while you’re at it. At least the AP took the time to read this site and directly quotes our petition.

The Boston Herald has a contemptuous article on bloggers covering Easongate. It seems the downfall of some reporter named Jeff Gannon (who?) from Talon News is worthy of bloggers’ efforts, while CNN's chief news executive accusations of American troops intentionally targeting journalists without a single shred of evidence to back up these outrageous claims is not.

Please sign the petition to express you displeasure with the state of events.

Email Eason Jordan and Mark Adams to request the tape be released.

(Thanks to reader Zach for forwarding the articles.)

Posted by rogg at 11:19 AM | TrackBack

Rony on Scarborough Country

Trey Jackson of Jackson's Junction has World Economic Forum blogger Rony Abovitz's appearance on Scarborough Country. Rony is the blogger who broke this story.

Trey informs me the video will take some time to load but is well worth the wait.

Posted by rogg at 10:08 AM | TrackBack

An Abbreviated Timeline of Events

Oct 10, 2002 - Durring a discussion session at a Broadcast Media Conference, Eason reportedly accused the Israeli military of deliberately targeting CNN personnel "on numerous occasions." Leading to the death of one.

April 11, 2003 - In a NY times Op/ed Eason admitted to covering up Saddam Hussein's tortures and atrocities to keep a CNN office in Baghdad and protect his employees. Eason held onto this information in the run up to the war in Iraq.

Nov 19, 2004 - During a discussion forum on the safety of reporters in Iraq Eason made the allegation that some reporters were being tortured and wrongly imprisoned.

January 27, 2005 - Jordan repeatedly asserted on Jan. 27 2005 that American military personnel had deliberately targeted and killed journalists in Iraq. (Malkin)

Witnesses to the speech

January 28, 2005
- Witness #1: Rony Abovitz
February 6, 2005 - Witness #2: Rebbecca McKinnon
February 7, 2005 - Witness #3: Congressman Barney Frank
February 7, 2005
- Witness #4: Senator Christopher Dodd
February 7, 2005 - Witness #5: David Gergen
February 7, 2005 - Witness #6: Richard Sambrook
February 7, 2005 - Witness # 7: Justin Vaisse
February 10, 2005 - Witness#8: Bernard Rappaz
February 10, 2005 - Witness#9 - Bret Stephens

Release of the tapes

February 09, 2005 - Senator George Allen (R-Va) asks for tapes to be released.
February 10, 2005 - Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) asks for the tapes to be released on the Don Imus program.

FEBRUARY 11, 2005 - Eason Jordan Resigns.

Tomorrow I will post the extended timeline of events.

*Note: All dates have been linked to their sources.

Contributions to timeline made by: Lance from Redstaterant.com

Posted by at 9:19 AM | TrackBack

Stonewall Eason

The Washington Times weighs in with a powerful Op-Ed titled Stonewalling at CNN. The writers of this editorial have done their homework, and ask if "the debate now raging in the blogosphere merely a tempest in a teapot". The answer is no (for the same reasons I explained in my first post on Eason Jordan). While Mr. Jordan certainly has the right to exercise free speech, he was acting as an agent of CNN at the conference in Davos:

First, Mr. Jordan is a person of some importance. Not only is he CNN's chief news executive, but also, according to CNN's Web site, he chairs the editorial board, is a member of the executive committee and "provides strategic advice" to the senior management team. Clearly, Mr. Jordan has considerable say in what goes on at CNN headquarters in Atlanta. Of course, as big as he is, Mr. Jordan is entitled to his own opinions. However, what Mr. Jordan said at Davos wasn't a matter of personal beliefs; as a representative of CNN, the world's largest news network, he accused American troops of targeting journalists.

As disgusting as Mr. Jordan's comments about American troops are, many have died and will continue to die protecting his right to voice his opinion. He can say whatever he wants, but it is wholly inappropriate and unprofessional for CNN's chief news executive to accuse American troops of targeting journalists without a single shred of evidence to back up these outrageous claims.

Freedom of speech works both ways. Eason Jordan certainly can say whatever pleases him. We have a right to exercise our free speech and demand that CNN take action in this matter.

Release the tape and terminate Mr. Jordan if the numerous accounts of his statements are true.

Posted by rogg at 9:17 AM | TrackBack

Hugh Hewitt's Hobbyhorse?

In Jay Rosen's latest post, he links to a liberal blogger who calls the Eason Jordan scandal Hugh Hewitt's "hobbyhorse." Salon blogger Michael is an erstwhile fan of Jay's; his ardor seems to have cooled because Jay has three Jordan posts. He writes:

[M]y impression is that Rosen has slipped into the same fundamentally uncritical infatuation with the supposed "revolutionary" potential of blogging vis a vis mainstream journalism that people like Jeff Jarvis and Hugh Hewitt trumpet so relentlessly. And it's had a bad effect on the tone and approach of the PressThink project.

Palling around with the likes of Jarvis and Hewitt can't, on the face of it, be good for anybody. It's with serious disappointment that I note, as of this writing, that the last three entries at PressThink are taken up with the Eason Jordan flap (see below), which has been Hewitt's hobbyhorse for the last couple of weeks now. I don't remotely think that Rosen has the same kind of poisonous ideological agenda as Hewitt or Jarvis, by any means: but though he insists on reserving judgement, Rosen (whose first post on the matter was occasioned by his appearing on Hewitt's radio show to discuss it) is essentially acting as an enabler of that agenda in giving the issue such sustained and exclusive attention.

I could blog long about the post, but time is limited, so let's get to it. First of all, Jay has been critical of bloggers covering this story, so "uncritical infatuation" is only for effect. In contrast, Michael seems to have an uncritical infatuation of CNN types who slander the United States military and a misguided, though eloquently written, criticism of Jay blogging about it and being in league with the likes of Hugh Hewitt, who, according to Michael, has a "poisonous ideological agenda."

I can only speculate that he's referring to conservatism in general and Hugh's prescient ruminations about the power of the blogs specifically. What the blogosphere has done to MSM is undeniable and can't be overstated. It simply can't be. When a group of non-journalists force Big Media to write about something they don't want to write about, not only is it revolutionary, it's an astounding feat no one could have imagined a few short years ago.

Secondly, I need to clear up something. What happens when bloggers descend on an issue is a blog swarm - two words - not a blogswarm, blogstorm or blog storm. In BLOG, Hugh devotes a chapter to blog swarms and opinion storms. The analogy describes what happens when dozens of bloggers "swarm" around an issue/story like...a swarm of bees. That's the image. An opinion storm is the result of a blog swarm. This a pet peeve of mine, and I cringe whenever I see "blogstorm." Grotesque.

So obviously Michael hasn't read Hugh's book. Moving on. He says that not all blogstorms are created equal, that Rathergate "stinks of Karl Rove from start to finish" and that unfettered opinion and blog swarming may render the blogosphere "a tool of citizenship to a tool of political control."

Certainly the "power of the blogs" can be used for good or evil, just like anything else. Some bloggers will fall prey to opportunistic types who'll use them and their blogs for nefarious purposes, but Michael's real beef is with conservative bloggers, not his liberal cohorts.

Count on liberals to downplay something as paradigm-shifting as the blogosphere, except when it comes to liberal blog swarms, that is. I've written about blog envy many times on my blog, and I think it's the case here. Conservative bloggers have been at the forefront in breaking stories that eventually became scandals that Big Media reluctantly covered. Besides the Trent Lott fiasco (Republicans who had more to do with Lott's resignation than bloggers), what has the liberal blogosphere done lately?

They've manufactured a scandal about a conservative who may or may not be a homosexual, and may or may not have used an alias at the White House, and may or may not have gone to journalism school, and may or may not have asked President Bush a softball question. Good for them. (See Power Line, Wizbang and INDC Journal for more details.)

I'll never understand why people think it's worse to expose and flush out people like Eason Jordan, who slandered our military by accusing them of assassinating journalists, than it is to actually be a military slanderer. But thanks to this, Michael can freely express his dismay for conservative "blogstorms," and we can freely express our belief that Jordan must account for what he said.

More on Jordan from Lawrence Kudlow.

Update (2/12): Correction to my post from Salon blogger Michael:

La Shawn: Political disagreements aside, you've misinterpreted my remarks at one point here, and I believe a correction is in order. (Since you pull the quote at issue, it seems likely that this is in fact a misinterpretation rather than a deliberate mischaracterization.)

You say, of my term "uncritical infatuation," that "Jay [Rosen] has been critical of bloggers covering this story, so 'uncritical infatuation' is only for effect." Look back at my text.

I suggest that Rosen has "uncritical infatuation" for the potential of blogging to make a media revolution-and that this has caused him to celebrate what, since I regard it as a witch hunt, ought not to be celebrated. I did not suggest that Rosen was uncritical about bloggers' approach to the Eason affair; I read his posts on the matter and noted, also in the quote you pull, that Rosen had "reserved judgement" for himself on it. My entire point here is about infatuation with a medium for jounalism, not infatuation with a particular journalistic subject.

I did not, in fact, read Hugh Hewitt's book, and did (as I noted prominently on my blog, after I saw your post) correct my misattribution of the term "blogstorm" to him. (The original attribution was, in any case, only an incidental part of the post. I don't consider Hewitt an honest broker, as it were, and have no reason to think that familiarity with his book would change anything I have to say on this topic.) But the passage in your post I'm taking issue with here suggests that I criticized Rosen without having informed myself about what he was saying, and that's not true.

I thought Michael implied that Jay wasn't uncritical of blogs, when I knew that Jay took issue with the swarm and even criticized the name of this blog. But upon reading Michael's post again, it's clear he was referring to Jay's "uncritical infatuation" with our (bloggers) potential to bring about a media revolution, which is inevitable, in my opinion.

Yes, Michael and I have many differences, but the exchange has been stimulating. :)

Posted by at 6:00 AM | TrackBack

Easongate.com on Neal Boortz's radio show

Reader and Easongate.com research helper Lance from Redstaterant.com had a *long segment of air time with Neal Boortz, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, to talk about the Easongate scandal. Neal mentioned easongate.com no less than 3 times during yesterday™s broadcast! Head on over to Redstaterant.com to read about his time with Neal. Great job Lance.

*Correction: previously stated as 2 segments

Posted by at 1:13 AM | TrackBack

February 10, 2005

Scarborough Mentions Eason Again

On the very last segment of Scarborough country this evening, Joe Scarborough did a piece highlighting the fact that several members of the armed forces were given a spontaneous standing ovation in a House committee meeting today. From the footage, it looked as though the ovation began in the audience. As the camera panned around the room, giving a bird's eye view from behind and above the audience, Scarborough asked viewers to note that the only people in attendance not standing or applauding were the journalists. Scarborough then said that this is of course because Eason Jordan told them that the military targets journalists.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Scarborough and Kudlow are the only TV personalities to mention this issue twice.

Here's an idea for an enterprising TV journalist out there -- maybe one at a local affiliate, not a major station: Why don't you stop Jordan on the street somewhere and ask him what he said and why. Get it on camera. Shouldn't be that hard to find the guy. Just look for gatherings of VIPs in Atlanta or Davos. Someboddy was able to stop Rather on the street, why not Jordan? Even if he only rides in limos, he has to get out and walk to the door of the building sometime. I'm not calling for confrontation or harassment -- just do a hasty interview of the guy. Put it up on your pre-national news program and it will be everywhere in 30 seconds. There is a large and growing market of people who want to know more about this story.

Every time normal people are in the news, the press camps out in front of their homes and hounds them into the ground, completely disrupting their daily lives. Jordan gets a pass from this?

Posted by at 11:04 PM | TrackBack

A Sledgehammer Wielded With Love

So the responses here from LaShawn, Chester, and Bill to Jim Geraghty's post have been comprehensive.

So far, my job here at EasonGate has been to alert veterans groups to EasonGate and the petition. It is an emotional issue for us veterans...just as John Kerry's candidacy was an emotional issue for us. You've got men and women away from their families, being paid a pitiance, trying to finish the nearly-impossible job that they were given, and the Chief News Executive of CNN accuses them of atrocities - without providing proof, without being held accountable for his statements.

I don't think that Jim Geraghty was pointing his post at us. After all, I think our purpose statement sums up our intent quite clearly. But, of course, we all have different internal desires while embracing our purpose and wanting the same outcome.

Me? I just want Eason Jordan jobless. I want his ability to use undue influence on the media eliminated.

He has a track record of making totally biased, inaccurate, and ludicrous statements with regards to the American military. This is the second time that Mr. Jordan alledgely accused the American military of intentionally targeting journalists.

He was also involved in making a deal with Saddam to NOT report his atrocities in return for access in Iraq for CNN. He has stated that he approved this action in order to protect his journalists. I have a significant problem with someone of Jordan's stature that exibits blatant moral equivalency and then casts baseless accusations while hiding from the truth.

This is the Chief News Executive of CNN that we are talking about here - not the left-wing rep on Crossfire or the latest radio line-up on Air America. And he's giving Al Qaeda and Al Jazeera propaganda ammunition.

I'm aboard this blog for Mat, Zach, and Bobby. Jordan is besmirching their work and their reputations without offering a shred of proof. They deserve the truth to be exposed. And, if these allegations about the statements made by Jordan porve to be true, he deserves unemployment.

I don't expect everyone to approve of my motivation. But now, at least, you know what it is.

Posted by at 5:01 PM | TrackBack

A Conflict of Interest?

The portions of thie post referring to Mr. Stephen's conflict of interest with the WEF have been retracted.


Dinocrat.com, in a well documented post, reveals a potential conflict of interest between Eason Jordan and Bret Stephens:

Mr. Stephens says this in his WSJ piece: "By chance, I was in the audience of the World Economic Forum's panel discussion where Mr. Jordan spoke." Well, whether he was in that particular audience by chance is not the story. Stephens has a relationship with the World Economic Forum that he did not disclose in his op-ed. He is a newly minted member of one of the world's most exclusive clubs, the Forum of Young Global Leaders, a kind of YPO on steroids, featuring precisely 1111 men and women under forty worldwide. The Forum is affiliated with, though governed separately from, the World Economic Forum.

It turns out Eason Jordan may have sat on the board that just admitted Bret Stephens as a member:

If you've just been admitted to one of the world's most exclusive clubs (check out the membership list here and the nominating committee here), and you are writing a somewhat exculpatory op-ed about one of the board members, don't you have an obligation to your readers to disclose this relationship?

If true, Mr. Stephens should have revealed his relationship with the World Economic Forum in the Op-Ed piece. This relationship may go far to explain his open contempt for conservatives such as Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, "the usual Internet suspects" as well as this website, which he mentioned specifically and derisively:

"There is an Easongate.com Web site, on which more than 1,000 petitioners demand that Mr. Jordan release a transcript of his remarks--made recently in Davos--by Feb. 15 or, in the manner of Saddam Hussein, face serious consequences."

However, Mr. Stephen's account of the conference in Davos merely confirms what other witnesses have already stated. Mr. Stephens just doesn't see a problem with Eason Jordan's remarks; slandering American troops is merely "defamatory innuendo" unworthy of consequences. The Staff of Easongate disagrees wholeheartedly and will continue to demand the release of the tape so we can make our own judgment.

Posted by rogg at 2:59 PM | TrackBack

Easongate on the Radio, Round 4

I will be on "The Kevin McCullough Show" at 1:20 PM Eastern today to discuss Eason Jordan. The show can be heard in the following markets:

AM 570 WMCA - New York City * Connecticut * Rhode Island
AM 970 WWDJ - New York * New Jersey * Pennsylvania * Delaware

Kevin McCullough has been following this story and has blogged about it as well at Crosswalk.com

You can listen to the interview via streaming audio online at this link.

Posted by rogg at 1:08 PM | TrackBack

Senators Dodd and Allen Call for Tape

Senator Chris Dodd, who was in attendance at Davos, demands the release of the tapes:

"It seems to me that he ought to be the first one to say, 'Let's get the tape out,' so we can put an end to these rumors if in fact his interpretation of what he was trying to say in accurate," Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., told radio host Don Imus on Thursday....

"I presume Eason Jordan's job may be on the line over this....The best answer for him is to get that information out so you and others can watch it and draw your own conclusions about it."

Senator George Allen also requests the tapes be released:

"I guarantee if any other official or person, a public official, made a statement like that, even if they were retracting it, they would say 'Hey, this is recorded, this is taped.' I think we ought to see what he said," Allen told Cybercast News Service....

At a Wednesday night press dinner in Washington, D.C., Allen worried about the impact that Jordan's allegations may have around the globe. "Now the troops are going to read this, they are going to know about it. This is in the blogsophere," Allen said.

When asked how international media and enemies of the U.S. may react to Jordan's allegations, Allen said, "I don't know what Al Jazeera or any of these terrorists or any of them have done with this, but you can be sure that any of the folks that are enemies of freedom, enemies of the United States, enemies of the right of Israel to exist, will use this to say, 'Oh, look at these Americans, look at how awful they are, they are not for a free press, they shoot them.' Which of course is an absolute falsehood, but there is the potential for that."

Relent and release the tape.


(Thanks to reader Zach for the links.)

Posted by rogg at 12:13 PM | TrackBack

Witnesses #8 and #9

Witness #8

Rodger Morrow, of the blog This isn™t writing, it™s typing sheds some light on Witness #8, Bernard Rappaz, a correspondent for Geneva-based Tlvision Suisse Romande.

The surprise came from the chief of CNN, Eason Jordan, who recalled that out of the 45 journalists killed in Iraq since the beginning of bombat [sic], 12 were killed by American troops. He added: "No investigation has been opened by the Pentagon into these blunders. In Iraq, journalists are now targeted by insurgents and   by occupation forces." Astonishing statement.

Rodger reports the following:

The fact that Rappaz' blog entry includes a direct quotation suggests that he was taking notes during the session. (He is in the business of journalism, after all.)

Did Mr. Rappaz take notes or record the event? Rodger is working to contact Mr. Rappaz. This is yet another unflattering eyewitness account of Mr. Jordan™s statements at Davos.

Rodger also asks if Eason Jordan pirated portions of his comments at Davos from the BBC™s Nik Gowing.

Good work, Rodger.

Witness #9

Bret Stephens was also in attendence and writes about it in the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Jordan observed that of the 60-odd journalists killed in Iraq, 12 had been targeted and killed by coalition forces. He then offered a story of an unnamed Al-Jazeera journalist who had been "tortured for weeks" at Abu Ghraib, made to eat his shoes, and called "Al-Jazeera boy" by his American captors.

Here Rep. Barney Frank, also a member of the panel, interjected: Had American troops actually targeted journalists? And had CNN done a story about it? Well no, Mr. Jordan replied, CNN hadn't done a story on this, specifically. And no, he didn't believe the Bush administration had a policy of targeting journalists. Besides, he said, "the [American] generals and colonels have their heart in the right place."

By this point, one could almost see the wheels of Mr. Jordan's mind spinning, slowly: "How am I going to get out of this one?" But Mr. Frank and others kept demanding specifics. Mr. Jordan replied that "there are people who believe there are people in the military" who have it out for journalists. He also recounted a story of a reporter who'd been sent to the back of the line at a checkpoint outside of Baghdad's Green Zone, apparently because the soldier had been unhappy with the reporter's dispatches.

Draw your own conclusions. This account matches the others.

Relent and release the tape.

Update:

See Michelle Malkin's reaction to Mr. Stephen's article.

Bret Stephens' curious little account in the WSJ does not, contrary to the subtitle of the piece, settle the question of what exactly Eason Jordan said and how he said it. It's interesting, isn't it, that Stephens does not call for the videotape or a transcript of the panel to be released.

Run along, nothing more to see here, move on, huh?

Interestingly, Stephens ignores Rony Abovitz's role in directly challenging Eason Jordan during the event. In both his brief Jan. 28 Political Diary dispatch and his brief piece today, Stephens is silent on Abovitz's strong and immediate objection to Jordan's remarks at the forum.

Posted by rogg at 10:47 AM | TrackBack

Motivations

Both Chester and La Shawn have weighed in on Jim Geraghty™s latest article at The Kerry Spot. Jim asks some hard and fair questions of the motivations and methods of the bloggers covering Easongate. I am in agreement that the bloggers should remain above the fray and act responsibly when covering this story. I also agree that some bloggers may have ulterior motivations for covering this story. Chester and I had a brief and interesting email conversation with Jim last evening. We were curious about his view on this site; were we one of the headhunting blogs?

Jim stated his only complaint is the use of the "gate" in the name of the blog. To be perfectly honest, I agree with him. When Chester, Brian and I brainstormed about starting this site, we kicked some names around, but this story was destined to be labeled "Easongate". I liked Captain™s Quarters "Eason™s Fables" much better, but the story was beginning to be called Easongate, and here we are. I also dislike calling this current war we are fighting "The War on Terror", but the name has stuck and there is no going back.

I want to commend La Shawn for her honesty about her motivations for covering this story. Like La Shawn, I aspire to write professionally. But I do not see Easongate as a vehicle to achieve this goal. My passion is writing about the War on Terror, foreign affairs and other related issues. Devoting a site to cover one man™s transgressions is a bit myopic and not very intellectually stimulating to me. Like Chester, I have been remiss in paying attention to my site (The Fourth Rail) and my traffic has suffered from devoting time to Easongate. I am not longer on the cutting edge of news in the war, and have a lot of catching up to do.

But make no mistake, Easongate is a worthy project. My motivations for creating Easongate are three fold; (1) to defend our troops from slanderous charges; (2) to hold the media accountable for their biases; (3) to help fight the battles of this war on the "information front". The War on Terror is not only fought in the trenches, we are fighting media bias against American culture and Western civilization. Our terrorist enemy has mastered manipulating the media to promote them in a neutral light and the Coalition in a negative light. The media™s ease of use of the terms "rebel", "resistance", "militant" and many more clearly shows they have refused to properly frame this fight as against an evil and abhorrent enemy. Mr. Jordan™s statements, if true, demonstrate that some in the media are actually on the other side.

The information front is a difficult battle to fight. Our government, as all democratic governments should be, is hesitant and unwilling to react to negative media coverage. The checks and balances for media transgressions lies with three parties: (1) fellow journalists (2) the people (3) advertisers. In the case of Eason Jordan, journalists are slow or refusing to investigate these serious charges. In absences of the media™s self policing, the people must stand to demand the truth. This is why Easongate exists. Chester provides an easy summary of our purpose, but I can distill it down even further:

(1) Demand the release of the tape.
(2) Place pressure on appropriate parties if the tape is not released.
(3) Demand the termination of Eason Jordan if the tape is released and he did indeed say what has been reported by many witnesses.

What are my thoughts on the veracity of the claims against Mr. Jordon? I believe he said what is being reported. I have this suspicion for reasons: (1) the witnesses. Even David Gergen and Richard Sambrook do not present a flattering picture. (2) His past. Eason Jordan has a history of making statements such as those reported. (3) the suppression of the tape. If he was innocent of these charges, he should be demanding a release of the tape. But absent of the tape, no definitive proof exists.

I want to take a moment to discuss the Easongate team. This site was created after I put out a call for help last Friday. My good friends Chester and Brian Scott immediately asked what they could do to help. Charles Goggin offered his vast technical experience. Blackfive was then invited to join us. By Sunday morning, we had a bare bones site up and running, with traffic flowing in. It wasn™t perfect, there were bugs, but it was an achievement many would not understand without actually trying to put it together. Cheryl (who toils in the background and really deserves more credit) offered her assistance with CNN™s advertising.. On Tuesday night we asked N.Z. Bear to create the Eason Jordan page, and he did it in less than an hour. I proceeded to beg him to join us, and thankfully he did. Mike Krempasky offered his assistance and vast knowledge on Wednesday and we invited him to join. We were after La Shawn for a while, and Wednesday she finally relented. Each of the team members possess unique talents: Chester is a prolific writer and an insightful analyst; Brian is experienced with running group blogs, has great technical knowledge and is a dogged investigator; Blackfive is, well, Blackfive!; Charles is a hard working webmaster; Cheryl is extremely knowledgeable in marketing and provides great advice; N.Z. is master of the web and a senior advisor; Mike has real world experience in matters such as these; and La Shawn is a passionate writer with extraordinary talents.

I do not pretend to possess a window into each of their souls, every person has different reasons and motivations to act. But I do know several things about the Staff of Easongate: they are passionate, seekers of the truth, upholders of media standards and committed to winning the War on Terror. How do I know this? I have read their blogs for years. Perhaps their blogs are a small window into their souls.

Posted by rogg at 9:56 AM | TrackBack

Easongate Bloggers: Where Do We Go From Here?

Everyone knows me (I think), so I won't spend a lot of time talking about myself. It's good to be on the team, right in the center of the action, and I look forward to making a meaningful contribution to Easongate. Bill pulled together a great team.

Jim Geraghty raises an interesting point. What are our goals in the Eason Jordan mess? To boycott CNN and bring the "Most Busted Name in the Business" network down? To have the pleasure of reading and posting Jordan's resignation letter? In an e-mail to another blogger, Geraghty wrote: "I'm starting to think some bloggers A) want to "get" Jordan the way it was widely perceived that the blogs "got" Dan Rather and B) use this event to promote their blog and get media appearances, writing gigs, etc.   All of this is putting the cart before the horse. Job one is: Just what did Jordan say?"

In the interest of disclosure, yes, I want to see Jordan canned and yes, I'm trying to get media appearances, writing gigs, etc.

Geraghty offers some advice on what bloggers should do and a warning:

Unfortunately, I think the effort to get to the bottom of this has been hampered by  an eagerness to get to the full-throated denunciation of Jordan before the fact-gathering is finished.

Let™s be honest about the power of the blogs - it is great and was unimaginable in an earlier era, but it is limited.

And the blogs alone didn™t "get" Dan Rather. Nor Trent Lott, or did they single-handedly bring the accounts of the Swift Boat Vets for Truth to light. At some point in all of these stories, members of what is sometimes too-easily labeled the mainstream media got interested (often hearing about them from the blogs), couldn™t resist their news-worthiness, and decided to write or broadcast about them. And by doing so, they brought the story to the attention of millions of readers and viewers who, alas, don™t read blogs every day.

For whatever reason, many, many mainstream media institutions have decided to take a pass on this story. Maybe they can™t sort out the "seven folks said one thing, Jordan and Sambrook say another" contradictions. Maybe they think that only a bunch of guys in pajamas care about this. Maybe they sympathize with Jordan, and feel an element of "there but for the grace of God go I" humility. Or maybe they want to work for CNN someday.

In the face of all this, it™s important that those of us who think Jordan™s comments deserve more coverage act  rational, balanced, evenhanded, and shed more light than heat.

He's right. It's good to have people like this around to keep things balanced. Since the video of the conference is not forthcoming, bloggers should focus on fact-gathering and tracking down as many witnesses as possible who heard what Eason Jordan said about our troops and the audience's reaction. There is strength in numbers, as the blog swarm has shown. Whether we're blogging in pajamas, suits, or I-don't-want-to-know-what-else, MSM has to know we're not going away. They missed out on breaking this story, but then again, why would they rat out one of their own?

Speaking of media missing out, read Hugh Hewitt's latest, The Blogs Beat the Bigs Again. If media types at this point still don't read blogs or know who Hewitt is, they have my sympathy.

Also see two new Eason Jordan articles: Miami Herald (registration req.) interviews Jordan and blogger/writer James Lileks writes in The Sun Herald.

Addendum: For the record, I also seeketh after the truth. ;)

Posted by at 6:30 AM | TrackBack

Joe Scarborough on E.J.

Jackson's Junction has the video of Joe Scarborough's commentary on the Eason Jordan situation. Joe did his homework and clearly laid out the case.

Transcript is available here.

Posted by rogg at 12:23 AM | TrackBack

February 9, 2005

The missing link

Many thanks to the crew here at Easongate for including me, I hope I prove worth it.

As the Eason story continues to burn across the blogosphere like wildfire, yet only bubble up in the MSM - some folks have wondered just how far this thing can go - and what sort of staying power it might have. And specifically, to answer and agree with Jim Geraghty and the Powerline guys - here are my thoughts.

Permit me to recount a story almost forty years old. If you've been involved in movement politics, you might be familiar with the story of "Jackass #1 and Jackass #3". Back in 1968, Dave Treen almost beat then-Democratic Majority Leader Hale Boggs in a tight Lousiana Congressional race. During that campaign, Republicans put a lot of effort and energy into a mass-based youth campaign for Treen.

Now, as youth often does - the coordinators showed a lack of judgement. A stunning, mind-boggling lack of judgement just weeks before the election. The kind of boneheadedness that could surely sink a campaign. (you can email me for details if you like)

When the young men's superior and mentor found out what they had done - he knew that he had to take drastic measures to protect the campaign, and he did. The boys were sequestered in a Louisiana basement and permitted NO contact with anyone for the duration of the campaign. The campaign KNEW that no matter how the story broke in the newspaper, without actual photographs of the respective Jackasses, it simply would never get the continued coverage and legs it would deserve.

In the end, the story (amazingly) never made the newspaper, and this tale is told every year to young conservative activists primarily as a lesson in responsible (and irresponsible) campaigning. It does, however, add a little context to the Jordan situation.

If Eason Jordan and his employers at CNN are successful in supressing the videotape of the Davos panel - if the millions of news consumers are never permitted to see the footage of Eason's remarks - then we in the blogosphere will be hard-pressed to harness the long-term outrage necessary for change. Not impossible, just very very difficult.

So I strongly encourage you - keep up the pressure on Mark Adams, it's the most important piece of the puzzle.

Posted by at 11:56 PM | TrackBack

Geraghty Asks Tough Questions of the Eason Bloggers

At TKS on National Review, Jim Geraghty has asked some tough questions of all of us -- not just here, but in the blogosphere in general -- who are following this story.

What has the goal of the blogs in this case been? In the case of the CBS memos, it was pretty clear - to confirm suspicions that the memos were fake, and then squeeze a retraction out of a stubborn network digging in its heels.

Calls for Jordan™s resignation or firing appeared almost immediately after the initial reports of this. While I think making an accusation of murder on stage, at the Davos forum, and then not offering any proof is awfully shaky behavior for a news executive, the length of Jordan™s employment at CNN is ultimately up to his bosses. In my humble opinion, calls for Jordan™s dismissal shouldn™t come before calls for the release of the videotape of the event.

I wholeheartedly agree with Geraghty on this. If we are out for the throat from the get-go, we are playing into into the popular stereotype of blogs, the blogosphere, and blogging in general: right wing yahoos who smell blood in the water and are ready for a feeding frenzy.

There are serious questions of ethics regarding this entire controversy. Those are the ultimate issues. We need to know just what happened in Davos before jumping to any conclusions. I think Easongate's petition is pretty straightforward about this -- and I wrote it, so if you disagree, blame me. There is a decision tree aspect to it:

1. Mr. Jordan should release a transcript of his statements.

2. If he didn't say what was reported, then of course, nothing else is warranted.

3. If he did say it then:

a) He has evidence to back it up: that evidence should then be given to the government for an investigation [an alternative might be for it to be aired publicly in a CNN program . . .].

b) He has no evidence: then his position and the nature of his remarks are enough to justify his dismissal.

These are pretty reasonable and level-headed requests. Let's not let any sort of righteous zeal cloud these issues (it springs up in the comments here and there). More from Geraghty:

I'm starting to think some bloggers A) want to "get" Jordan the way it was widely perceived that the blogs "got" Dan Rather and B) use this event to promote their blog and get media appearances, writing gigs, etc.  
I imagine Jim is referring to us, since we've set up this blog for the sole purpose of pursuing this story, and we founders especially are second-tier bloggers.

I hope this is not the impression that we give off. I can't speak for the other bloggers here, but I have no desire whatsoever to be a journalist or a full-time writer. I've been very careful in our internal communications to stress that I'm not in this for glory, and don't want to appear that way. I cover military affairs and foreign relations on my blog -- probably not terribly interesting to everyone, and since my energies are mainly focused here for now, my traffic has actually suffered on my own blog.

My motivations are simple: as a Marine, I am merely interested in keeping "our honor clean." Moreover, if Mr. Jordan does have evidence of journalist-targeting to turn over to the authorities, I will do my utmost to press for an investigation from my congressman.

Enough of that. Back to Geraghty:

Let™s be honest about the power of the blogs - it is great and was unimaginable in an earlier era, but it is limited.

And the blogs alone didn™t "get" Dan Rather. Nor Trent Lott, or did they single-handedly bring the accounts of the Swift Boat Vets for Truth to light. At some point in all of these stories, members of what is sometimes too-easily labeled the mainstream media got interested (often hearing about them from the blogs), couldn™t resist their news-worthiness, and decided to write or broadcast about them. And by doing so, they brought the story to the attention of millions of readers and viewers who, alas, don™t read blogs every day.

True again. The relationship between the major press and the blogosphere is less an adversarial one than it is a symbiotic one: we feed off their reports, they analyze our opinions (whether they admit it or not), we both influence each other. It is much more likely that the two will merge in the future than it is that one will topple the other -- and this is a good thing, as it introduces a system of checks and balances into the Fourth Estate.

The blogosphere often feels like a saloon in western movies. All is humming right along and then some guy you've never seen or even heard of before stumbles in and spills the beans on an unbelievable story somewhere. Or an email pops in the inbox, proposing some sort of entrepreneurial collborative venture -- guest-blogging, media appearances, academic research, a movie review, and other invitations -- just like the prospectors in the old west hoping to figure it all out and strike it rich.

We don't want riches. We want the videotape, or its transcript. That's it.

Hope this answers anyone else with the same concerns.

Posted by at 10:45 PM | TrackBack

Easongate Discussed on Fox's Special Report with Brit Hume

The Eason affair has hit Fox. Johnny Dollar has the transcript: 'The Crime Here Is Intellectual Cowardice.' Even NPR's Mara Liasson calls for the videotape's release!

HUME: Wasn't there some story, Saddam Hussein's sons had some assassination plans in mind, and they were revealed to him, I guess, and to CNN journalists who knew of them. And they were afraid to report it because they were afraid it would come back on them.

MARA LIASSON [NPR]: They were also afraid--

KONDRACKE: In order to get interviews.

LIASSON: He also said that he didn't report certain things because he felt it would endanger the safety of some of CNN's personnel over there.

HUME: Right, and some of the things that he knew about happened, and some people got killed.

LIASSON: Yeah, but I agree with Mort. If he has evidence of this he should come forward. I mean, this is an explosive charge. Now, he was--

HUME: Question is, what do you believe about what he, based upon who you've heard on this, who said--

LIASSON: Two people, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, who are liberal Democrats, both said that he said this. David Gergen said that he seemed to walk it back, and a BBC executive who was there said that he seemed to clarify his remarks on the spot. The best thing to do would be to release the videotape and see what he said.

Krauthammer says Frank is an honest source:
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER [COLUMNIST]: Look, Dodd and Frank are not liars. They heard him say that American targeted journalists.

HUME: Do you mean that they're not liars, or do you just mean that they're not liars about this in your opinion?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well generally speaking. I know Frank and I think he actually, when he got into his scandal you remember some years ago, he was incredibly honest about it.

HUME: He told the truth, yeah.

Mort Kondracke questions the tenor of CNN's entire war coverage:
KONDRACKE: I mean, he is the news director of CNN, and it also raises questions about whether this is an attitude that informs all the reporting of CNN. I mean, he's said other things in the past too, that the Israelis have deliberately targeted CNN personnel. Everybody sort of knows, I think, that the Palestinians under Yasser Arafat at least, put pressure on correspondents from all networks. He seems to have a bias against Israel in this case.
The blogosphere might have been a little quiet on this story today, but it is still gathering steam in major media. Fox has just called out CNN on the air. No doubt some interesting phone calls are being made right now at very high levels.

Posted by at 9:44 PM | TrackBack

La Shawn has joined as well

La Shawn Barber has agreed to contribute to Easongate.com. La Shawn needs no introduction, she is a prolific blogger and her work on Easongate speaks for itself. Please welcome La Shawn. We are quite pleased to have her on the team.

Posted by rogg at 4:31 PM | TrackBack

Contact the Players

Michelle Malkin's column on Easongate is available.

She also suggests contacting the Mark Adams, who is in possession of the videotape from the World Economic Forum. Here is the contact information (click on email links to contact):

Mark Adams
World Economic Forum
Head of Media
Mark.Adams@WEForum.org
+41 22 869 1212

She also has Eason Jordan's contact information:

While you're at it, why not copy your request to Eason Jordan? His e-mail address is eason.jordan@turner.com. CNN's main phone number is (404) 827-1500. Ask for Eason Jordan and the operator will put you through to his voicemail. Be polite.

Please follow Michelle's advice and be courteous at all times. This applies to all communications with CNN, Eason Jordan, Mark Adam, CNN's advertisers or anyone else you plan to contact regarding this issue. Polite and well reasoned responses will catch their attention, angry responses are likely to be tuned out.

Please update this post in the comments section with any emails you may send.

Posted by rogg at 1:42 PM | TrackBack

Welcome Aboard, Mike

Please welcome Mike Krempasky to the Staff of Easongate. Mike blogs at Redstate.org and Rathergate, which was instrumental in exposing the Dan Rather and 60 Minutes Wednesday's use of forged memos against President Bush in the weeks prior to the 2004 Presidential Election.

Mike will be providing assistance with the site and act as an advisor. We are excited to have him join the team.

Posted by rogg at 1:28 PM | TrackBack

MSM/CNN KIA

Rony Abovitz wrote a post yesterday that blasted the MSM and Eason harshly. He did a great job.

Here are some excerpts:

Did Eason backtrack his statements on his own or was he forced to rethink his position?

In Gergen's statement he says "Jordan realized as soon as the words had left his mouth that he had gone too far and walked himself back." I have the greatest respect for David Gergen, but he is being too kind. Jordan walked himself back because he was pushed back, and pushed back hard. It was an outrage to watch in the flesh the process of big media at work, this massaging of facts and distortion of reality to meet the needs of a specific group of news consumers. It was an outrage because these distortions fuel the minds of entire regions of the world, which propagates hatred, bias, and war.
In discussing his views about how news is disseminated among the viewers, he notes that news companies look for maximum profitability by targeting audiences with certain content that would be more to the viewers liking. He then made this observation about Eason:
This is exactly what Eason was doing. Eason gave me his CNN business card after the talk. The back of his card is in Arabic, even though he is based in Atlanta. There is nothing wrong with Arabic - it is a beautiful, expressive language with a rich, wonderful, deep culture. But it is not hard to understand, or guess at, Eason's most lucrative potential audience. The news is being shaped, and it is time to say, "Enough!".
That™s why the blogosphere is here. The people have had enough and now its time to do something about it. In just 4 days I have started to see just how powerful this medium can be. To those who believe this story has no legs, I respectfully disagree. Eason has something to worry about.

Rony ends his piece with this:

The outrage of Senator Dodd is well taken, but will Easongate end here, or will it ultimately target the source? Will anyone join me in saying "Enough!"?

We are here with you Rony. We have had enough! And no, it does not end here.

Posted by at 12:42 PM | TrackBack

Hannity and Colmes Video

Jackson's Junction has the Hannity and Colmes video.

Note: This is beside the point but Schechter contradicts himself. Was Tariq Ayub killed by a US tank, or by an aircraft? He claims both . . .

. . . but it doesn't really bear on matters here. We want to see the Davos video. We'll pay for shipping, if needed.

Slublog notes that the initiator (and current defender?) of the Chatham House Rule is Nik Gowing, who has made similar assertions about US troops and journalists. (h-t: Captain's Quarters, where Capt Ed says Eason's principal subordinate, Chris Cramer, also needs the boot.)

Posted by at 2:27 AM | TrackBack

"Tell-A-Friend" Day at Easongate

Today is "Tell-A-Friend" Day. Your mission today is to call, email or otherwise contact at least two friends whom you don't believe are aware of the Easongate story.

(Not just shameless self-promotion here, thanks. We don't care if you tell them about this blog or not. The story is what's important.)

Later today, we should have a feature enabled allowing you to email our petition to friends. Please sign the Easongate Petition if you haven't yet.

Posted by at 2:14 AM | TrackBack

Don't Do Me No Favors, Danny

Johnny Dollar's Place has the transcript of the Danny Schechter and Brent Bozell debate of Easongate on Hannity and Colmes. Jackson's Junction has the video. Danny Schechter, director of WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception, attempts to defend Eason Jordan. At least we think so, it is so difficult to tell:

COLMES: Well what did Eason Jordan say?

SCHECHTER: Eason Jordan basically said that he would rather not talk about it any more. He said that he was not as clear as he wanted to be. And he raised the question, the possibility, that as many as 12 journalists were somehow targeted or killed by American military.

COLMES: But he went on to clarify--

SCHECHTER: He didn't go on to say that it was the American soldiers that did it, that there was, implying in a sense that there was a policy of some kind to target journalists in Iraq. And there are many journalists in Iraq who believe that.

Of course Mr. Jordan "would rather not talk about it any more". Would you? Did Eason Jordan say American soldiers targeted and killed journalists, or didn't he? Danny Schechter says yes and no. Or have we taken this out of context too?

Sean Hannity presses Mr. Schechter on the issue of targeting journalists:

HANNITY: You're saying that our troops are targeting journalists?

SCHECHTER: Not our troops, that there's been a policy that has favored imbedded journalists over independent journalists--

HANNITY: By who?

SCHECHTER: --that many Arab journalists are hassled, harassed, and killed in Iraq under suspicious circumstances.

HANNITY: Do you have--but that's not what he said--do you have any evidence? Because here's what's happening here--

SCHECHTER: Yeah, I have some evidence. I have some evidence.

His "evidence"?

SCHECHTER: You're arguing--Eason Jordan was offering an opinion about what he believed. I made a film, Weapons of Mass Deception, WMD, and it features a section about, and asks the question were journalists targeted. Were they targeted? And many people believe they were.

Two interesting points here: (1) he states Eason Jordan did indeed offer his opinion that American troops are targeting journalists - he "believed" this; (2) Mr. Schechter likens vague innuendo and lack of evidence to evidentiary proof. If Mr. Jordan or Mr. Schechter wants to believe Americans soldiers are taking shots at reporters, real evidence does not matter. Sean Hannity has the perfect rebuttal to this holistic driven journalism: Many people believe. I think. I feel.

Eason Jordan must cringe every time a Danny Schechter rises to his defense. His arguments are incoherent, rooted in conspiracy theory and devoid of any factual basis. An incomplete or insufficient investigation is offered up as proof of malice. Not very convincing for those of us interested in viewing the tape of Davos.

Perhaps Mr. Jordan would have preferred Mr. Schechter stayed home.

Posted by rogg at 1:42 AM | TrackBack

Welcome aboard, N.Z. Bear

Please welcome N.Z. Bear to the Staff of Easongate. N.Z. is the proprietor of The Truth Laid Bear, a fine blog and host of the blogosphere's Ecosystem traffic ranking system.

N.Z. Has set up a special Easongate page to track the blogs discussing Eason Jordan and compile the total combined number of average daily visits of these blogs. His post on Eason Jordan can be viewed at his site.

Welcome aboard, Mr. Bear.

Posted by rogg at 12:14 AM | TrackBack

February 8, 2005

Hannity and Colmes talk about Eason Jordan

Slant point has a write up of what transpired on Hannity and Colmes tonight regarding Eason Jordan.

As soon as I get the transcript I'll post it along with some thoughts.

Update: 1:26 am 02/09/05 - I'm going to bed, Bill will be excerpting this in about 30 minutes.

Apparently Sean wasn't on the ball with this one. Still, being that the Easongate scandal was given an entire segment on a popular show like Hannity and Colmes, really shows that this story is gaining legs not only in print but on TV as well.

Please remember to sign our petition

Posted by at 11:49 PM | TrackBack

Investors' Business Daily Gives Jordan an Early Obituary

An Alert Reader notes that Wednesday's Investors' Business Daily has weighed in on the Eason story on page A13. I had no trouble getting there, but the reader thought it might be subscriber only, so here is the whole thing:

The past year saw the toppling of several high priests of High Church Journalism. This week yet another wobbles: the top news executive at CNN.

Eason Jordan first inflicted himself with controversy two years ago, when President Bush finally launched the invasion of Iraq. Jordan took to the op-ed page of The New York Times to strangely admit covering up several instances known to him of Saddam Hussein's torturous and murderous ways.

Why the cover-up? Because, he acknowledged, he needed to maintain a bureau in Baghdad. If he'd reported on the dictator's cruelty, sometimes involving Iraqis working for CNN, why, CNN would have been expelled from the world's hottest news spot.

Jordan treated the op-ed piece as a spiritual cathartic, his secrets finally released because the war was on and he could write freely about Saddam. His revelations were met with both criticism and praise. Did he not bear a special responsibility, critics demanded, to tell what he knew about Saddam's regime before the war?

The cable guy skated - in part because media friends defended him for protecting Iraqis in his employ. And, well, because editors do sometimes render morally ambiguous decisions in pursuit of higher truths.

Now Jordan's in the stew again. Speaking last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jordan made an arresting charge. He claimed the U.S. military, while pacifying Iraq, had targeted both American and foreign journalists.

Panel chairman David Gergen, according to insider accounts, gasped. The man who'd worked in administrations from Nixon's to Clinton's demanded evidence. Liberal Congressman Barney Frank, who was there, also demanded proof.

Jordan backed off - slightly. But afterward he accepted congratulations from Arab reporters who called him heroic.

That's when the bloggers stepped in, including some who were actually there. Then master blogger Hugh Hewitt took up the case. Soon the blogosphere was electric with outrage over Jordan's irresponsible charge. Now there's an easongate.com, tracking the scandal's every fact, every claim, every angle, and demanding CNN come clean.

Why "scandal"? Jordan was spouting outrageous charges with no basis in fact. In journalism, even in High Church Journalism, that is a cardinal sin. Rising to the topmost reaches of media power does not exempt one from the first rules learned in journalism class.

The bloggers, who've done so much recently to correct the elite media's misbehavior - including sending CBS's Dan Rather to newsman's purgatory - now have Eason Jordan as quarry.

Deservedly so. It's time for him to go.

Wow. Seems like this is picking up, not dying. IBD seems to take it as a foregone conclusion that Jordan is toast -- and doesn't just foresee him dismissed because of his most recent claim. They see it as part of a history of poor decisions.

Here at Easongate, we just want the video or a transcript thereof. Please sign our petition. We're working on a method to email it to friends. 529 names and counting . . .

Posted by at 10:09 PM | TrackBack

Hugh Hewitt on Kudlow and Cramer Transcript

Here's a transcript from Hugh's appearance on Kudlow and Cramer today at 5:35p Eastern.

If Scarborough Country covers this topic we'll have a quick transcript up asap.

Posted by at 9:24 PM | TrackBack

Larry Elder covers Easongate

If you are lucky enough to get Larry Elder in you area, do tune in. He is covering Easongate.

Your humble Webmaster gave Larry a call and got him up to speed on the status of the Eason Jordan video tape.

You can listen to Larry Elder on the Internet here.

Posted by at 6:37 PM | TrackBack

More perspective on Kurtz's interview with Eason Jordan

If you care to read another rundown of the Kurtz/Jordan interview piece, head on over to Mickey Kaus™s blog, Kausfiles.

Kaus observations:

I'm less concerned about Jordan's job, though than Kurtz's job. Maybe Kurtz is right, and there is no story here. But the point is that nobody trusts Kurtz to tell us this--nobody should trust Kurtz to tell us this--because he is writing about the corporation and the people that give him a TV show and make him rich and famous! (Duh!) ... That's true even if Kurtz sincerely believes the Jordan flap is no big deal--it's especially true if he's sincere, because people subconsciously tend to come to sincere beliefs that just happen to benefit them. It's elementary Ev Psych. There are dozens of subconscious judgments embedded in Kurtz's analysis, and no reason for Post readers to trust any of them. ...
Trust is huge. Actually, that™s an understatement. Trust is everything. I know I don™t trust CNN to give me the truth of the matter nor do I trust Eason when he said that he, "was trying to make a distinction between 'collateral damage' and people who got killed in other ways," Jordan said last night. "I have never once in my life thought anyone from the U.S. military tried to kill a journalist. Never meant to suggest that. Obviously I wasn't as clear as I should have been on that panel."

Those who heard Eason during that infamous speech felt his beliefs were crystal clear until those who were in attendance began questioning him. Only then did he did begin to rethink his words. And only then did his beliefs become confusing.

Abovitz wrote that Jordan at first "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)."

Here you have an eyewitness account of what actually occurred. Rony is more than willing to be free with the information he knows, yet the one person who we want information from (Eason Jordan) refuses to cooperate with public opinion and ask for the tapes to be released. He's not acting in the best interest of CNN or himself at this point. One has to wonder who is giving him advice on this matter.

Posted by at 4:48 PM | TrackBack

Back to Davos

Rony Abovitz, the blogger who broke the Eason Jordan story at Davos, has a thoughtful essay on the Easongate situation and the state of the media. He looks at the statements made by those in attendance, and this particular view of David Gergen pretty much confirms my suspicions yesterday that Mr. Gergen's account is "positive spin":

In Gergen's statement he says "Jordan realized as soon as the words had left his mouth that he had gone too far and walked himself back." I have the greatest respect for David Gergen, but he is being too kind. Jordan walked himself back because he was pushed back, and pushed back hard. It was an outrage to watch in the flesh the process of big media at work, this massaging of facts and distortion of reality to meet the needs of a specific group of news consumers. It was an outrage because these distortions fuel the minds of entire regions of the world, which propagates hatred, bias, and war. The unrestricted influence the media has on world and regional opinions and views is without parallel.

Rony also asks if the demand for media responsibility ends with Easongate, or is this just the beginning?

We need a change. Start with Eason, but don't stop. Much of the house is rotten....will Easongate end here, or will it ultimately target the source?

These questions are beyond the purview of this blog. Many bloggers, me included, have gotten in the business because of the media's skewed presentation of the facts, the manipulation thereof or outright blackouts of news that does not conform to their agendas. Most bloggers do not sacrifice their time and money to get rich or obtain fame. The Staff of Easongate has not set up this site for political purposes, notoriety or because we have some ax to grind with CNN. The Staff of Easongate is beholden to no one - not advertisers, audiences or nations that will pull our coverage unless we suppress the real news.

We created Easongate because we are outraged at Eason Jordan's purported statements, and demand a full accounting from both him and CNN. Easongate is but one small battle in the fight for the demand for media responsibility and integrity. Other fights will emerge, and other bloggers will rise to man the barricades. It's what we do.

Posted by rogg at 2:26 PM | TrackBack

Easongate on the Radio, Round 3

I will be on the radio at 8:20 PM Eastern today to discuss Eason Jordan with the kind bloggers of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, who are broadcasting on Hugh Hewitt's natioanlly syndicated radio show. Find your local radio station here.

The audio stream is available via KRLA in Los Angeles, it is broadcast live and is not archived.

Posted by rogg at 1:58 PM | TrackBack

Two Quick Thoughts

The irony might possibly be unbearable if the tape we want isn't released from a forum entitled, "Will Democracy Survive the News?"

----------------------------

Geraghty asks why Drudge hasn't broken this story yet.

What about Rush? Roger Hedgcock, his stand-in, is on the air for another 90 minutes or so, and might appreciate a respite from sparring with callers about social security.

And what about Taranto?

Posted by at 1:33 PM | TrackBack

The Campaign

It appears Eason Jordan and CNN will not move to call for the release of the tapes at Davos, and Mr. Jordan's comments alone are insufficient to resolve this issue.

We would like to encourage you to contact CNN's advertisers to make them aware that CNN's executive vice president and chief news executive has accused American servicemen of intentionally targeting journalists in the past, and has very likely done so within the past two weeks.

The Staff of Easongate also requests your assistance. We can use help with gathering information on CNN's advertisers. If you would update this post with the advertiser's name and contact information (website, mailing address and email address, preferably that of their public relations officer) this would assist us in gathering a list.

We will make this list available to the readers under the "CNN Advertisers" tab in the toolbar above. Please give us some time to compile the list and make it available.

We encourage you to write a letter or email these advertisers to inform them of this situation and express your concerns. Please be courteous and respectful at all times.

Update the "Emails to CNN" link with your emails or writen letters to CNN.

Also, please be sure to sign the petition.

Posted by rogg at 12:28 PM | TrackBack

"Off the Record"

Sisyphus reports that Mark Adams will not release the tape from Davos as the session was "off the record" (excerpted, read the entire post):

Sisyphus: Has anyone contacted you asking you not to release the tape?

Mark Adams: No.

All participants in this session - and the vast majority of all sessions taking place in Davos - understand that the session is 'off the record' and that whilst the general 'tenor' of the conversation can be discussed - no quotes are attributable. Hence it is not just this session but all sessions where we undertake not to release detailed accounts. To release a tape or transcript would be as you can see a breach of trust with participants - who agree to take part under the above conditions.

CNN and Eason Jordan have not requested the tape, nor does it appear they have any interest in doing so. Would Eason Jordan object to releasing the tape?

Please sign the newly released petition. This is but a first step in our efforts to get the tape released. More to come soon.

Posted by rogg at 11:17 AM | TrackBack

Easongate on the Radio, Round 2

I will be on the radio at 9:00 AM Eastern today to discuss Eason Jordan with host Edd Hendee of KSEV 700 in Houston.

Edd has a blog at The Lone Star Times, and you can listen to a live audio stream by clicking this link.

Posted by rogg at 8:45 AM | TrackBack

The Sun is Rising

Gerry Daly informs us that the Eason Jordan story has made the New York Sun. Gerry takes a look at the article.

La Shawn Barber says it is going to take a greater effort to get media attention after Kurtz's soft peddling article in the Washington Post.

Posted by rogg at 7:30 AM | TrackBack

Howard Kurtz Piece in WaPo

Howard Kurtz has spoken with Eason Jordan and offers a story in the Washington Post. This is what Jordan told Kurtz:

Jordan denied that last night, saying he had been responding to Frank's comment that the 63 journalists who have been killed in Iraq were "collateral damage" in the war. "I was trying to make a distinction between 'collateral damage' and people who got killed in other ways," Jordan said last night. "I have never once in my life thought anyone from the U.S. military tried to kill a journalist. Never meant to suggest that. Obviously I wasn't as clear as I should have been on that panel."
Does he also recant his earlier statements, also to an international audience, about the deliberate torture of journalists? More from Kurtz:
Two other panelists backed Jordan's account. David Gergen, editor at large at U.S. News & World Report, said he "sort of gasped" when Jordan spoke of journalists being "deliberately killed," but that Jordan "realized, as soon as he said it, he'd gone too far" and "walked it back."
There is absolutely nothing new here. Gergen's comments have been dissected ten different ways since Michelle Malkin released them earlier today -- here, for example. Note the difference in coverage between Michelle Malkin's interview with Gergen, and Kurtz. Kurtz, in true traditional media form, offers three quick Gergen blurbs -- of 3, 2, 11, and 3 words respectively, and doesn't mention that Gergen is friends with Jordan. Kurtz completely ignores any contributions to the story by Rebecca MacKinnon. More:
In the interview last night, Jordan said he and a group of other news executives have discussed with a top Pentagon official allegations by Iraqi employees of NBC, Reuters and al-Jazeera "who claimed to have been detained and tortured by the U.S. military. They all came out with horrific statements about what had been done to them."
Well, what was the result of that discussion? CNN has been mum on this issue. Doesn't that indicate that there's nothing to tell? Why is this still creeping into a phone or personal conversation between Jordan and Kurtz if Jordan is supposed to be clarifying his remarks? Sounds more like he's backing them up. I hate to make the comparison to the most recent Democratic presidential nominee, but . . .
At the World Economic Forum, participants say, the only specific case cited by Jordan was the April 2003 incident in which U.S. forces fired a tank round at Baghdad's Palestine Hotel, killing a cameraman employed by Reuters and another for the Spanish network Telecinco. Military spokesmen said the troops were responding to sniper fire from the hotel, which was known to house about 100 foreign journalists, and defended the shelling as "a proportionate and justifiably measured response."
If it was proportionate, then that was a bad day for the tank drivers. The purpose of a tank in an urban environment is to put large holes in places where snipers or other dismounted infantry may be. Not so much propotionate, but certainly "justifiable," and most definitely normal.
But Jordan supplied a list of the other incidents, such as a tank firing on and killing Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana as he was filming outside Abu Ghraib prison in 2003. U.S. officials said the troops mistook Dana's camera for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
Supplied the list to whom? It's been a long day, but didn't follow who the recipient of the list is. Is it Kurtz? Why is Jordan giving him a list? Is he saying, "here's some of those incidents I got worked up about and mistakenly called 'targeting'"? Kurtz lacks some clarity here.
Frank said he found Jordan's remarks "troubling" and in a later phone conversation asked him for specifics about the journalistic casualties so he could make inquiries at the Pentagon. Jordan said Frank was responding to a note from him and that there had been a "misunderstanding" if the congressman expected a further response.
Jordan has had his chance. A sitting US congressman offered to follow up on any untoward journalistic casualties, and Jordan has turned him down.

Unfortunately, none of this is enough to impute:

a) what Jordan said -- we're still waiting on the video from Mark Adams, director of media at the World Economic Forum, to be delivered to Sisyphean Musings. Mark promised this video, and it is no doubt the best way to figure out what the meanings and intentions of Mr. Jordan were.

b) what Jordan was referring to last fall, when he stated that journalists were being tortured,

c) that Jordan won't make such implications again. It should be noted that he is of course free to do so, provided he has evidence to back up his claims.

Some on the left have attempted to create a list of the journalists to whom Jordan might be referring. Jordan, the Chief News Executive of CNN, has denied the assistance of Rep. Frank in tracking down those stories. He must not believe there is anything to them, and since CNN is "the most trusted name in news," there must not be.

We continue to await the video, or a transcript. David Gergen told Michelle Malkin that he would have no trouble with a transcript being released. Would that be ok with you, Mr. Jordan?

UPDATE [1:16am] See Michelle Malkin: EASONGATE: KURTZ SPEAKS (FINALLY). Michelle has been on top of this like all day and has great insight.

Posted by at 2:39 AM | TrackBack

February 7, 2005

Witness #7

Justin Vaisse, a French-speaking blogger, was present during Eason Jordan's remarks at Davos. Rodger has the scoop:

Here's a translation by Mick Stockinger of UNCoRRELATED:
It must be said that Eason Jordan, one of the star journalists of CNN, didn't mince words in declaring that the intentions of journalists in Iraq were never perceived as neutral and that they were made deliberate targets by both sides.

Called on to clarify his statement, he said that outside of deaths attributed to rebels, 12 journalists, including Americans, were killed by the American army, not by deliberate attack, but in the context of a hostile climate towards the press, where the tone was set by Donald Rumsfeld himself. Many journalists feel that among young American soldiers, many would like to "do" a journalist in the course of combat.

Without going that far, Richard Sambrook, a BBC star raised the stakes. Another journalist in the room also recalled the Palestine hotel incident which supported the statements made in Davos, and recognizes the scale of the phenomenon, well-known within the journalistic community, but not beyond.

David Gergen, the moderator, was taken aback, but could not manage to change the subject.

Makes you wonder if Mick Stockinger or Rodger were spammed by CNN to let them know they have been "taken out of context". Eason Jordan's record against attendees of the conference in Davos is 0-6-1, with Richard Sambrook's attempted defense the only tie.

Posted by rogg at 10:47 PM | TrackBack

The Dodd Squad

Michelle Malkin receives a form letter from Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.

Senator Dodd was not on the panel but was in the audience when Mr. Jordan spoke. He - like panelists Mr. Gergen and Mr. Frank - was outraged by the comments. Senator Dodd is tremendously proud of the sacrifice and service of our American military personnel.

There are now six witnesses: Sen. Christopher Dodd, Rep. Barney Frank, David Gergen, journalist Richard Sambrook, and bloggers Rebbeca MacKinnon and Rony Abovitz. None of these accounts matches CNN's spam robot form letter.

Let us see the tape.

Posted by rogg at 10:04 PM | TrackBack

Premature breakfast?

Could Eason Jordan be "toast" as Hugh Hewitt claims?

Go read this entry over at Kerry Spot and you tell me. Here are some of the more juicy bits.

there's two more witnesses that indicate that Jordan said what he's alleged to have said, and that while he backtracked, apparently the backtracking left the audience confused.

I assume he means Rebbeca MacKinnon and Rony Abovitz.

"Gergen says he has been contacted by four mainstream media outlets, including the Washington Post, about the controversy. He noted that the Post was going to run a story last week but did not.

Sounds like this is going to break open soon.

"Here, we bloggers are still missing a vital piece of evidence to get to the bottom of this: A videotape or transcript of the event. The videotape is this controversy's Burkett memo. That tape is in the hands of someone in Davos. And they're reconsidering the decision to release it."

So there is a tape! We eagerly await it's release. Let's hope it's soon and without alot of editing hiccups.

"At stake in this one is whether CNN's top guy spreads rumors about U.S. troops, speaking before an audience that included many journalists, playing to the anti-American sympathies of some members of that audience. Between the accounts of the folks in the room and his infamous similar comments elsewhere, it™s not looking good for him. To accuse soldiers of committing murder is no small thing. An executive who does so, and then can™t produce any evidence, turns his major international news network into 

 well, al-Jazeera in English.

True. And well said. It seems as though this story is gathering steam. It will be interesting to see Eason's next move.

Posted by at 7:33 PM | TrackBack

David Gergen Speaks

Witness number five emerges. Michelle Malkin has interviewed David Gergen, who was also in attendance. Excerpt:

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

Gergen also echoed Rep. Frank's recollection that Jordan asserted that there were cases involving journalist deaths where "not enough care was taken by U.S. troops." (Gerard Van der Leun takes a closer look at this spin here.) Gergen said he was approached after the session by European journalists who expressed the belief that American troops were "roughing up" journalists and Iraqi nationals. He also said people left the event "concerned and wanting to know more."

David Gergen™s admission of shutting down the debate after Mr. Jordan began to speculate about the death of journalists is a curious development. According to Michelle, Mr. Gergen "has known Jordan for some 20 years." If we are to assume Mr. Gergen's account is positive spin, the best possible interpretation of events, then this cannot be very comforting to Mr. Eason. The best possible spin is that Mr. Jordan accused American soldiers of targeting journalists, backed off, then proceeded to do so again, but then was shut down by his friend. One wonders how Mr. Jordan would have proceeded if Mr. Gergen did not stifle the debate.

Eason Jordan should abhor second hand interpretations of his own words and thoughts in a matter as serious as this. He is the head of CNN News and commands a powerful bully pulpit that could be used to dispel the various accounts from Davos. The fact that he will not speak for himself or at the minimum request the release of the tape speaks volumes of the tone of the conversation in Davos.

Posted by rogg at 4:12 PM | TrackBack

Easongate made user friendly

You're probably having a hard time getting the URL www.easongate.com to work properly. For some reason our host is having a hard time resolving that URL so I purchased www.easongate.net for your convenience. At some point in the near future they will both work but for now feel free to use the www.easongate.net when typing in the address.

Posted by at 3:39 PM | TrackBack

"Stunned"

Captain's Quarters reminds us that this is not the first time Eason Jordan has made inflammatory and unsubstantiated statements concerning United States soldiers. In November 2004, Eason Jordan said the following at the News Xchange forum in Portugal (full article here):

Actions speak louder than words. The reality is that at least 10 journalists have been killed by the US military, and according to reports I believe to be true journalists have been arrested and tortured by US forces," Mr Jordan told an audience of news executives at the News Xchange conference in Portugal.

Hugh Hewitt reports Judy Woodruff was unaware of Mr. Eason's statments at Davos:

Jon Lauck just talked to Judy Woodruff in the hallway and asked about Eason Jordan. Woodruff told Jon that she had not heard of the story, and after a quick summary, Jon reports she appeared to be stunned by the idea that Eason Jordan, with whom she talks nearly every day, would say that the American military targeted journalists.

Will Collier of Vodkapundit fame reports Howard Kurtz did not field one single question about Eason Jordan (permalink not available, post is from February 7, hat tip to Hugh Hewitt).

Washington Post reporter and CNN host Howard Kurtz just finished an hour-long online chat. Over the course of that hour, Kurtz poo-pooed suggestions that the press has softpedaled UNSCAM, opined on the propriety of Martha Stewart appearing on NBC, and took no less than ten (out of 19) questions about "Deep Throat," a possibly-fictional figure from a 31-year-old scandal.

The name "Eason Jordan" was never mentioned. Nor the words "Davos" or "Barney Frank" or "deliberately targeting journalists." This despite the fact that high-traffic bloggers like Jim Geraghty and Hugh Hewitt prominently linked to Kurtz's chat from the time it started at noon Eastern.

La Shawn Barber reports antiwar.com believes those in pursuit of the truth are part of the "conservative jihad".

It's all very "stunning", isn't it?

Posted by rogg at 3:11 PM | TrackBack

Update on video availability

Rebbeca MacKinnon over at Rconversations is a recovering journalist turned blogger who attended the WEF in Davos. She has a recent update regarding the video that doesn't bode well. Please read the whole thing. Aparently there is a loophole in the on/off the record policy desipte it's clarity.

Here are the rules:

'On and Off the Record™ Policy for AM 2005

All plenary sessions are fully 'on™ the record.

All sessions that are broadcast or webcast are 'on the record™ (for 2005 that means all sessions in the Congress Hall or Sanada 1 and 2)

Every other session is only 'on the record™ in terms of content. That is to say what was said can be reported - but it must not be attributed to any individual. However, should the journalist get the agreement of any participant to be quoted that is of course acceptable.

Naturally, all private meetings are off the record.

This policy is clear and simple and allows greater transparency. It can also be very simply and effectively enforced. Any transgression will lead to immediate withdrawal of badge and any future access to World Economic Forum events.

She did inquire about the video and rules and got a response back from WEF's Mark Adams who stated:

My understanding was that since this session was not webcast or broadcast it was 'off the record'

Certainly, no announcement was made at the begining of the session - as far as I remember - that it would be on the record.

In any case - a session summary is available on our website and we will not be trying to get a transcript of the session.

Posted by at 12:37 PM | TrackBack

The Diplomat

The status of the tape from Davos remains in question. Meanwile, a third account of the Davos conference emerges. Michelle Malkin interviews Representative Barney Frank, who was in attendance:

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."

Jay Rosen, fellow blogger and Associate Professor at New York University™s Department of Journalism, interviewed yet another attendee, BBC director Richard Sambrook, who has a different perspective on Mr. Jordan™s comments at Davos. Mr. Sambrook™s account adheres to CNN™s "taken out of context" argument:

Eason's comments were a reaction to a statement that journalists killed in Iraq amounted to "collateral damage". His point was that many of these journalists (and indeed civilians) killed in Iraq were not accidental victims--as suggested by the terms "collateral damage"--but had been "targeted", for example by snipers.

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

[:]

"This culture of 'closing ranks' coupled with hostile comments about the media from senior politicians and others, has led some in the media community (not necessarily Eason or myself) to believe the military are careless as to whether journalists are killed or not."

Professor Rosen also explains Eason Jordan™s role at CNN:

Eason Jordan is not the President but the Colin Powell of news at CNN, and his skills have to be diplomatic, as well as strategic. Therefore being diplomatic in what you say, especially in a public forum, is in the essence of his role.

What Professor Rosen is telling us is Eason Jordan is a diplomat for CNN. Diplomats know the impact of their words, and clearly Mr. Jordan understands the impact of the use of the word "target", which implies purposeful action. Is Mr. Jordan invoking his diplomatic immunity by refusing to answer questions or release the tape? Absent of action, Mr. Jordan certainly gives the appearance evading this issue.

It appears Richard Sambrook, CNN email form letters, CNN blog spamming robots - everyone but Eason Jordan - are the remedy to this problem, at least according to CNN and Eason Jordan. Where is Eason Jordan on this issue? Release a copy of the Davos tape and a transcript forthwith. This is the only way to resolve these serious questions.


An Aside:

Professor Rosen believes the timing of Easongate is wrong, that we have jumped into the fray too soon: "Prematurely, I think, there is now a blog, Easongate." A week has passed since Mr. Jordan™s comments at Davos, and the mainstream media still will not address this issue in a meaningful way. The staff of Easongate contends it is the timeliness of the mainstream media that should be questioned, not ours.

Posted by rogg at 12:24 PM | TrackBack

Barney Frank Talks

Michelle Malkin has spoken with Rep. Barney Frank regarding Mr. Jordan's comments. Rep. Barney Frank was present at Davos when Mr. Jordan made his comments.

Just got off the phone with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who spoke with me about Easongate. Rep. Frank was on the panel at Davos.

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."

Rep. Frank said he didn't pay attention to the audience reaction at the time of the panel, but recalled that Sen. Dodd was "somewhat disturbed" and "somewhat exercised" and that moderator David Gergen also said Jordan's assertions were "disturbing if true." I have a call in to Sen. Dodd's office and sent an e-mail inquiry to Gergen.

I asked Rep. Frank again if his recollection was that Jordan initially maintained that the military had a deliberate policy of targeting journalists. Rep. Frank affirmed that, noting that Jordan subsequently backed away orally and in e-mail that it was official policy, but "left open the question" of whether there were individual cases in which American troops targeted journalists.

After the panel was over and he returned to the U.S., Rep. Frank said he called Jordan and expressed willingness to pursue specific cases if there was any credible evidence that any American troops targeted journalists. "Give me specifics," Rep. Frank said he told Jordan.

Rep. Frank has not yet heard back yet from Jordan.

(emphasis mine)

Posted by at 12:07 PM | TrackBack

Easongate on the Radio

I will be on "The Kevin McCullough Show" at 1:20 PM Eastern today to discuss Eason Jordan. The show can be heard in the following markets:

AM 570 WMCA - New York City * Connecticut * Rhode Island
AM 970 WWDJ - New York * New Jersey * Pennsylvania * Delaware

Kevin McCullough has been following this story and has written about it as well. Here is his op-ed at World Net Daily and related post at his blog, Crosswalk.com (posts can be viewed here and here).

Please tune in if you are able to do so.

Best,

Bill Roggio

Update:

You can listen to the interview via streaming audio online at this link. It was a pleasure to speak to Kevin McCullough.

Posted by rogg at 10:47 AM | TrackBack

Emails to CNN

This post has been created and linked to the site menu to allow you, the readers of Easongate, to share the emails you have sent to CNN regarding Mr. Jordan's comments with the rest of the world.

The staff of Easongate.com asks that you refrain from sending offensive or slanderous email to CNN. Please keep your emails courteous, professional, and polite. Show CNN what we all have known for some time: bloggers and their readers are some of the best and brightest around.

If you do feel compelled to send a nasty email to CNN, we ask that you do not share that email here. Any nasty emails posted here will promptly be removed.

That having been said, feel free share your emails to CNN with the rest of the world in the comments section of this post.

You may contact CNN here and here.

Posted by at 3:22 AM | TrackBack

February 6, 2005

Contact Sen Dodd and Rep Frank

Supposedly, Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, and Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut were present when Jordan made his comments at Davos. What do they have to say about his remarks?

Contact Rep. Frank here. Note that he is most responsive to those that live in his state or district.

Contact Sen Chris Dodd here.

Also, feel free to contact your own representatives. Perhaps they might be willing to ask Sen Dodd and Rep Frank what went on at Davos, since so many of us are curious.

Could be mighty amusing to see a government body ask a news organization for tapes, transcripts, and explanations. Certainly, as members of the opposition party, Rep Frank and Sen Dodd are as curious as us to know how our military is targeting journalists in Iraq.

Posted by at 11:20 PM | TrackBack

Maybe this is what Eason's talking about . . .

The blog Resonant Information attempts to uncover the names of the journalists that Eason might have been referring to, and the circumstances surrounding each of their deaths. The conclusion:

This brings the total to twelve, so if someone handed Eason Jordan the same information I've just provided here, it's entirely possible that he said what he did in good faith. Blogs keep decrying him as a liar, and asking for names here they are. It is admittedly a little unfair to ask the US military to prove a negative, that these deaths were not intentional... but then, we have most likely killed over a hundred thousand civilians in Iraq, and taken horrendous casualties among our own soldiers, because Saddam Hussein was unable to prove a negative: that he had no weapons of mass destruction.
Leaving most of that aside for the moment, a writer at FreeRepublic has examined each of these cases and found little merit to the charge that any of their deaths were intentional murders by US troops (hat-tip: Captain's Quarters):
Eason Jordan made comments at the WEF in Davos about the US military targetting and killing 12 journalists. I use Reporters without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF)in French) to investigate his claims. On its homepage RSF says 46 reporters and 'media assistants' have been killed in Iraq since the start of fighting. 31 Journalists, 15 media assitants. They link to a list of names which links to a short blurb on each of the deceased reporters. They do not have blurbs for the assistants, but I tried to piece together what I could.

CNN's Eason Jordan said 12 dead journalists had been 'targetted' by the US military. I tried to find them. With the widest possible definition of 'suspicious' I came up with a list that happened to be 13. I am not saying these necessarily include the 12 Jordan was talking about. I see one case that is in my judgement worth investigating. To use this data to arrive at the US military targetting 12 journalists requires both extreme anti-American bias and very kooky conspiracy theory explanations.

I list those I consider possibly suspicious first. It includes the date, name and RSF blurb followed by (my comments in parenthesis)

Possibly suspicious:

01.11.2004 - Dhia Najim, Reuters Dhia Najim, an Iraqi freelance cameraman working for the news agency Reuters was shot dead in disputed circumstances on 1st November 2004 in the town of Ramadi, west of Baghdad.

A US army communique said that Najim, 47, was filming clashes between US marines and Iraqi rebels in the Andulus district of Ramadi when he was shot in the neck. The US military authorities said they had looked at the footage he had taken and claimed that it showed rebels preparing to attack coalition forces.

Reuters said it had seen video footage of Najim's death. The agency, which did not identify the source of the footage, said it indicated that he was killed by a sniper shot without any signs of fighting going on at the time.

A Reuters dispatch also noted that press photographs taken on 31 October showed US marine snipers taking up position in Ramadi. Reuters ruled out any possibility Najim being linked to the rebels and called for a thorough investigation by the US army. Najim's colleagues and family believe he was killed by a US sniper.

(US Army says footage clearly shows reporter was operating with insurgents and died in a firefight. Rueters (with a vested interest) says no way was their reporter operating with terrorists and he was killed by a US sniper, not in fighting. I think this is a case worthy of investigation, especially as both sides claim to have footage to support them. Just like Eason Jordan's comments, "Let's go to the videotape!")

12.09.2004 - Mazen al-Tomaizi, Al-Arabiya Palestinian journalist Mazen al-Tomaizi, who worked for the pan-Arab TV news station Al-Arabiya and the Saudi TV station Al-Ekhbariya, was reporting live on Al-Ekhbariya at the scene of a burning Bradley fighting vehicle on 12 September 2004 in Baghdad when he was hit by the impact of a missile fired from a US helicopter.

(Palestinian journalist filming a still burning Bradley. An AH fired a missile (rather apparently at what they thought destroyed the Bradley) and he died in the explosion.)

15.08.2004 - Mahmoud Hamid Abbas, ZDF Abbas, 32, married with three children, was killed on 15 August 2004 on his way from his native Falluja to Baghdad. He had worked for the German TV Network ZDF as a freelance producer for about a year and a half.

When he phoned the ZDF office in Baghdad to say he was coming he mentioned he had just filmed a house destroyed by US warplanes. About 25 minutes later, he rang again to say he had seen a second attack. During the call, he suddenly said he and others with him were being fired at. There was a dull thud, apparently an explosion, and the line was cut off, according to ZDF correspondent in Iraq.

(I think it pretty absurd to think someone was calling in close air support on a moving reporter or that a pilot identified him as a journalist. I'll include it in suspicious because I know the kooks will and I want the details told.)

15.08.2004 - Hossam Ali, freelance Iraqi freelance photographer Hossam Ali was killed in Falluja on 15 August 2004 in unclear circumstances.

(Unclear circumstances is enough evidence for the Blame America First crowd...so I wanted to highlight it)

Be sure you read the entire post. The examination ends with this:
Overall I think the case of Dhia Najim is worth investigating. There is a truth and there is a good chance that we can get to it. But even if Najim was shot by a sniper, that by no means indicates that the US military deliberately targetted Najim or even identified him as a reporter. Other than that, I don't see anything that could even possibly be legitimately described as the military targetting journalists. Mistakes. Collateral damage. Panic. But if the US military set out to kill journalists, especially as a policy as Jordan insinuates, they would have been a whole lot more effective that what the evidence I have seen shows.
Indeed.

We welcome comments on this analysis.

Posted by at 10:35 PM | TrackBack

Dealing with the mob

The question about whether or not we (specifically easongate.com) are using this blog with a mob mentality needs to be addressed. When I hear the term "mob" I think of irrational people charging after Frankenstein with pitch forks and torches. In the blogosphere it would manifest itself as a bunch of unreasonable people foaming at the keyboard writing expletives and demanding idiotic and unfair concessions to be made. For an example of an angry blog mob look no further than the Democratic Underground or those asking for General Mattis™s resignation.

What we are asking for is resonable and necessary. It is necessary to come to the aid of our military men and women when accusations like this come up. It is also necessary to find out what the truth is. In case you missed the purpose of this blog, read it again. This is an attempt to get CNN and Eason to come clean and act accordingly with the truth.

Does anyone reading this post actually believe Eason would be held accountable for his comments if the blogosphere did not press the issue? The truth is the blogoshpere made it an issue and once again we are dragging the MSM kicking and screaming into relevancy.

Posted by at 9:51 PM | TrackBack

Contact CNN

Until we get our menu bar working under the banner, here's how to contact CNN:

Submit a general comment here.

Or call at 404-827-1500. Ask for Eason.

Posted by at 6:49 PM | TrackBack

Rebecca MacKinnon Weighs In

Power Line offers another first-hand account of the Davos remarks from Rebecca MacKinnon, who organized the Kennedy School Conference on Bloggers and Journalism. Here's the Powerline version of her comments, "with numerous disclaimers and qualifiers omitted:"

Q: First, was Rony's account "accurate" in the sense that it would have been a responsible filing from any journalist working for, say, a big paper?

A: ... So to answer your question: yes, Rony's initial blog post was "accurate" in the sense that several of us in the room have corroborated his account.

Q: Did Mr. Jordan offer the idea that American military forces had "targeted" journalists before Representative Frank entered the conversation?

A: My recollection is that he did.

Q: Q: Rony believes that David Gergen was distressed by Mr. Jordan's remarks.  Do you agree with that characterization?

A: Yes I agree with that characterization.

Q: Do you recall Mr. Jordan receiving praise from members of the audience for his candor, and if so, were those audience members American?  European? Arab?

A: There were definitely some people in the audience who liked what he said, and others who didn't. I don't remember specifically.

Q: Is the blogopshere being "fair" to Mr. Jordan?  Ought he to give an interview to one or more bloggers who are pursuing this story?

A: ... Jordan said something in a public on-the-record forum that he clearly regretted saying.  There are really two questions here: First, what did he really say?  That's going to get cleared up soon enough. The second more interesting question is: what does he really believe? Clearly he is frustrated and angry at the way in which the U.S. military deals with (or fails to protect) non-embedded journalists in Iraq. Why?  Does his anger and frustration have any justification?

For the full exchange, with disclaimers and qualifiers included, see here. This is her full response to the final question:
A: We can't deny that there is a lot of herd and mob behavior in the blogosphere. Having been attacked in the past by real-life mobs as well as by blog-mobs, I feel pretty confident in saying this (and I say this as someone who is proud to be a blogger).  I think there are definitely some mob dynamics going on with this story. That said, there are also many bloggers who are trying to get to the bottom of this in a fair and rational manner. It would make sense for Jordan to speak to those bloggers.
I think there is a disctinction to be made between a story that gathers some attention, and a blog-mob. For the record, we're out to lynch no one here. We want to know what Mr. Jordan said, verbatim. If it is as reported, we want to know if he has evidence.

Hugh Hewitt describes a blog-storm: "When many blogs pick up a theme or begin to pursue a story, a blog swarm forms. A blog storm is an early indicator or an opinion storm brewing, which, when it breaks, will fundamentally alter the general public's understanding of a person, place, product, or phenomenon." This is probably a better descriptor than "mob."

More from McKinnon:

Jordan said something in a public on-the-record forum that he clearly regretted saying.  There are really two questions here: First, what did he really say?  That's going to get cleared up soon enough. The second more interesting question is: what does he really believe? Clearly he is frustrated and angry at the way in which the U.S. military deals with (or fails to protect) non-embedded journalists in Iraq. Why?  Does his anger and frustration have any justification?  Is the source of his problem the behavior of individual soldiers on the ground who happen to hate MSM because they think it's anti-military? Or is the source of his problem more systemic and part of a policy - spoken or unspoken - coming from the top?
MacKinnon is jumping way ahead of herself here. Thoughts: How is the military supposed to offer protection to un-embedded journalists? Where is that written? Journalists operating on their own are on their own. This is a separate issue altogether from that of military forces intentionally targeting journalists, anyway. It would take a great deal to convince me that any perceived act of injustice or unfairness against a journalist in Iraq by a member of the military is a direct result of that military member feeling that the MSM is anti-military. If there was one thing I was lacking in Iraq, it was access to information of the news variety (and being a blogger, I devour news -- in Iraq I used to count the minutes until the Early Bird was updated). And I rarely saw or spoke to journalists ever. When I did, I told them to go talk to the enlisted Marines instead of a boring staff officer like me. Perhaps it's much easier to get news in Iraq now -- there are a number of milbloggers who blog from Iraq. But I'd have trouble believing that journalists were mistreated because military personnel thought they hadn't gotten a story right. Doesn't jive. As far as MacKinnon's question about "is the source of his problem more systemic and part of a policy - spoken or unspoken - coming from the top . . ." We don't even know what the problem is. All we know is that Eason Jordan thinks one exists. Hard to prosecute an investigation into the highest reaches of the government without specific and detailed charges. We await those from Mr. Jordan. Finally, MacKinnon asks all these questions readily, but doesn't ask the most obvious one: why did Mr. Jordan appear to regret what he had said, as she notes in her description of the event? If there is a scandal, if Rummy has ordered death to reporters, Mr. Jordan should break this story wide open, not be ashamed about it. We're all ears here at Easongate.

More from MacKinnon:

At the Davos panel Jordan talked about one U.S. soldier manning a checkpoint to get into the "green zone" in Baghdad. The line was about an hour long, and is, apparently, a favorite target of suicide bombers and other attacks. A journalist comes to the front of the line whose reports the soldier doesn't like. The soldier sends the journalist back to the end of the line. This is not exactly "deliberately targeting" journalists, but it does show the extent of ill-will and hostility that exists between some soldiers and some journalists - an ill-will which can sometimes have lethal results, in some people's opinion.  I can see why this situation might keep news execs up at night worrying about their people, and why it might also lead to a feeling amongst non-embedded journalists in Iraq that some servicepeople dislike them and are "out to get them," whether or not that's really the case. I can also see how that feeling might color journalists' reporting about the U.S. military in Iraq. The journalists are only human and they're working in a dangerous environment. It's not a great situation, and I think it warrants a lot of further investigation and discussion - on all sides of the political spectrum. I've never set foot in Iraq and have no authority to describe the situation on the ground there. I'd like to hear from a lot more people who have spent time in Iraq as un-embedded journalists and as soldiers.
More than exposing " the extent of ill-will and hostility that exists between some soldiers and some journalists," this just shows that journalists aren't used to being handled in the manner which anyone in the military has been at some point or another. In officer candidate school and basic training, recruits and officer candidates can't even refer to themselves in the first person. Getting sent to the back of whatever line for whatever reason is the norm. It is not abuse. It serves a purpose. It teaches situational awareness and a desire for perfection. The guard who shooed a journalist to the back of the line, whether he knew it was a journalist or not, was doing his job. If he didn't do his job, there would be more suicide bombings in the Green Zone -- which would be some other scandal for Mr. Jordan and his ilk to wax poetic about -- though possibly not at Davos, unless a journalist was among the victims.

Having said all of that, I applaud MacKinnon for stepping forward with her version of what took place. With luck we'll soon know more.

Posted by at 5:53 PM | TrackBack

Quick note

We're working on the links under the banner. Hopefully some of them will be operational later this evening, with more tomorrow or Tuesday. Consider them under construction until you hear otherwise.

Thanks!

Posted by at 4:58 PM | TrackBack

The Unwritten Blacklist

The American Digest (hat-tip: Instapundit, and welcome Instapundit readers!) carries an article entitled "Eason Jordan and the Unwritten Blacklist":

To take on an Eason Jordan and expose him would be a noble thing for a major journalist to do, but it would also put a large check mark against his name on the Unwritten Blacklist as a traitor. Even if Jordan were brought down, especially if Jordan were brought down, the journalists behind it would find their chances for other lucrative job offers, for advancement, and for invitations to all the right parties in New York, Washinton, and the Hamptons severely curtailed. Their actions against an Eason Jordan would be quietly noted by those in hiring and assignment positions higher up the media food chain. After all, to take on one is to take on all.

It used to be the case that if you "struck at a prince" you had to be sure to kill him. Things are not that simple in the upper realms of the unelected powerbroker's of MSM. Now if you strike at a prince you have to kill all the others around them. Unless, of course, you don't care about appearing on cable news shows to sooth your vanity and pump your book, or care about landing that book deal to begin with, or care about someday having a show of your own, or care about advancing at your institution or receiving a better offer from another newspaper, magazine, television network. Strike at someone like Eason Jordon and all these things will, somehow, just not be offered to you.

The asymmetrical advantages of the blogosphere are apparent once again.

Glenn Reynolds also mentions "It seems to me that if Jordan was misunderstood, he should be working hard to get the video of his presentation out. That would clear up any misunderstanding, wouldn't it?"

Very true. We've updated our purpose statement with this:

We will follow the truth wherever it leads. In the event that Mr. Jordan possesses evidence of his claims against the military, we will forward that information on to our respective congressional leaders.

Posted by at 3:57 PM | TrackBack

The "Supra-national" Professional News Class

La Shawn Barber's Corner has a great roundup today on the entire Eason Jordan controversy. Among the more interesting links that La Shawn finds, are this one, which excerpts commentary from European sources:

Rather surprising, there was very little independent comment on the matter outside of a couple of Swiss blogs. Nothing in the MSM, and the international blogs appear to be following the lead of U.S.-based blogs on the topic.
Were Jordan and CNN complicit in Saddam's regime since they chose not to tell many of its worst stories? Another question: how many of those implicated in Oil-for-Food were present at Davos last week?

Writing in April of 2003 in Poynter Online, Bob Steele says:

Jordan's Op-ed piece in last Friday's New York Times details several specific cases of the brutality of the Saddam Hussein regime, examples that Jordan personally knew about but decided not to reveal until the Hussein regime was toppled.
Until the regime was toppled? For 12 or so years he knew the regime would be toppled? What a prescient fellow. More from Steele:
In a phone interview, Jordan told me that, "For years I™ve said the day will come when I have to tell these stories. I really felt it was a moral imperative to tell these stories when lives would not be lost by doing so."
Now this all took place in April of 2003. From what I've read -- and I don't know, because I was in Iraq at the time -- the US populace was pretty excited about the performance of the military right around then. This is when Mr. Jordan chose to air his hidden stories. Why then? Maybe he thought that now that the gates of the Saddam regime were open, there'd be plenty of opportunities for other news organizations to air stories of atrocities, and he wanted to get a head start. Regardless, anything that CNN reported from Iraq during the entire decade of the 1990s is suspect.

Jay Rosen at PressThink, has this to say about Jordan's position:

Eason Jordan is not the President but the Colin Powell of news at CNN, and his skills have to be diplomatic, as well as strategic. Therefore being diplomatic in what you say, especially in a public forum, is in the essence of his role. He deals with governments in tense situations. Much of what he does never becomes known. It can't be.

***

You could easily picture Jordan as a candidate for office, or let's say a Senator's chief of staff. He's a politician of news-- a difficult and necessary job. He's also the chief diplomatic officer for CNN, which, in certain respects, is a kind of principality among the states: the information states. Sovereign in global video, which can trigger events and end regimes. I said Jordan negotiates with governments. He does not have to beg.

Some of his worldy outlook comes through in an interview he gave to Sarah Sullivan in 2002. There is one part I find fascinating. He describes CNN International as a supra-national player, synthesizing in its offices scattered worldwide a kind of World Journalism or global professionalism in news that, in Jordan's vision, transcends the bias of any one nation, and certainly of the "base" country.

[Read that interview here.]

Jordan's goal is for the narratives of CNN to transcend the biases of any one nation. But is he mistaken in thinking that the way to do that is via a "supra-national" professional cadre? Doesn't this class have its own biases, rhetoric, and culture?

Perhaps Mr. Jordan's Davos remarks are a small window into that world . . .

The blogosphere on the other hand, has no such "sovereignty" to maintain, or negotiations to undertake. While our resources are small in comparison, our freedom is vastly greater.


[If anyone is interested, I have a war story about the difference between war coverage and, well, actual war. I'll put it on my own blog since it's slightly off-topic here.]


UPDATE: [2:51p] If Mr. Jordan chose to wait until the end of Saddam's regime to air the stories he sat on, perhaps he will give a similar reason for now airing his complaints that the US targets journalists. Perhaps he feels that since Iraq has a popularly-elected government, that he no longer fears death for his fellow journalists at the hands of the "occupation regime." Will be interesting to see if this line of thought is put into use.

Posted by at 3:01 PM | TrackBack

Field-Expedient Transcript: Hugh Hewitt on the Chris Matthews Show today

Today, Hugh Hewitt was on The Chris Matthews Show. Chris asked his panelists to tell him something he didn't know. Here's what Hugh said:

CM: Hugh?

HH: Senior CNN News Executive Eason Jordan at Davos last week accused the American military of targeting journalists and killing 12 of them, repeating the same assertion that he had made earlier in Portugal a month -- that American military had tortured journalists. This has become a huge story on the internet and the new media, it broke through in The Washington Times on Friday, it will break in the major media over the weekend --

CM: He blames US officials for trying to kill Americans?

HH: American military targeted 12 journalists and killed them. Big story next week.

CM: I think you've beaten the band, Hugh.

Here's the Inside Politics piece in The Washington Times that Hugh referenced.

UPDATE [5:43p] WorldNetDaily also carried an op-ed piece about this event.

Posted by at 2:11 PM | TrackBack

MSM Journos Unlikely to Cover Story Because They Need Davos Access

Wizbang links to a story about Davos 98 with this telling paragraph:

Conference expenses are easily covered by membership dues and attendance fees. Each Davos forum now nets approximately $12 million, which is re-invested in the "non-profit" WEF foundation. Membership in the WEF costs around $12,000 ($15,000 for banks), and attendance fees for the 1997 Davos forum came in at $7,200. Fees for the 1998 forum were higher than ever, although journalists and politicians were invited free of charge. (And any journalist knows the implications of a free lunch, let alone a free ticket to hobnob at Davos. Don't expect to find any critical coverage of the event from the establishment media.)

For a rather amusing take on what it feels like to be at Davos, see this abstract for The Harvard Business Review Case Study, "Left on a Mountainside." Like a tactical decision game for a CEO. What do you do now, CEO? Funny stuff.

Posted by at 1:46 PM | TrackBack

Press-Enterprise Editorial on Easongate

The Press-Enterprise of Inland and Southern California today carries an editorial about Eason Jordan's remarks:

If U.S. troops in Iraq targeted journalists for assassination, that would be a huge story. If the source of the story were a top cable news executive, it would earn continuous coverage.

CNN's chief news executive, Eason Jordan, said Jan. 27 on a world stage that "he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by U.S. troops, but they had in fact been targeted," according to Rony Abovitz of the World Economic Forum's weblog.

Problem is, Jordan has provided no facts to substantiate this very serious charge. Now the claim, which Jordan floated at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is spreading through anti-American circles in Europe and the Middle East.

Jordan's words matter because CNN is, in the eyes of much of the world, the "voice of America." If its news chief is reporting fabrications to global leaders at elite summits, it's another blow to media credibility at home, and to the United States' reputation abroad.

Officially, CNN says, "Mr. Jordan emphatically does not believe that the U.S. military intended to kill journalists and believes these accidents to be cases of 'mistaken identity.'"

Nice try, but that's not what he said in Davos, according to multiple news accounts, including one from a former CNN reporter who was there.

In fact, about 36 journalists were killed in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 -- 12 as a result of American fire. All but one of those cases was accidental, according to an independent account by the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York based free-press advocacy group. In the other case, intent was not clear.

CNN bills itself as the "world's most respected news network." If the network expects to sell that slogan, it will need a more honest top executive than Eason Jordan.

We call on CNN to release footage of Jordan's remarks as soon as possible. Hopefully, CNN was being forthright when it told Sisyphean Musings that they'll get a tape to him post haste.


Correction: [12:46p] Actually, CNN has done nothing of the sort. It was the Head of Media at the World Economic Forum that promised Sysiphean Musings a tape. Thanks to an Alert Commenter for pointing that out.

Posted by at 1:26 PM | TrackBack

Purpose

The Easongate blog has been created in light of Eason Jordan's recent statements at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he accused American servicemen of intentionally targeting and killing journalists in Iraq. These are serious charges that should not have been made without supporting evidence, which he did not provide. American servicemen and women are risking their lives daily and it is wholly inappropriate for a man of his stature and influence to make baseless claims in front of an international audience. As an experienced journalist, he fully understands the impact of his words and the effects on his audience. Mr. Jordan has a past history of making such statements.

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.

Our hope is that CNN will launch an investigation into Mr. Jordan's past and recent history, and take appropriate action. The staff of Easongate is not confident CNN will address this situation without external pressure, however, so we hope to provide the means for the public to place pressure on CNN to act.

Signed,

Blackfive from Blackfive
Brian Scott from The Blue State Conservatives
Chester from The Adventures of Chester
Bill Roggio from The Fourth Rail

UPDATE: [Sun, 6 Feb, 3:40pm] We will follow the truth wherever it leads. In the event that Mr. Jordan possesses evidence of his claims against the military, we will forward that information on to our respective congressional leaders.

Posted by rogg at 1:44 AM | TrackBack

Eason Jordan, CNN's Coverup and a Call to Arms

This is the post from Bill Roggio that inspired the creation of Easongate.com...

Like many other bloggers, I have received the "canned" reply from CNN, attempting to clarify Mr. Jordan™s statements:

Eason was attempting to speak out on an issue that is important to news organizations all over the world. Unfortunately, he was not clear enough in explaining his assertion. He was responding to an assertion that all 63 journalists killed in Iraq were "collateral damage." While the majority of the 63 journalists killed in Iraq have been killed by insurgents, the Pentagon has acknowledged that the U.S. military on occasion has killed people who turned out to be journalists. Mr. Jordan emphatically does not believe that the U.S. Military intended to kill journalists and believes these accidents to be cases of "mistaken identity."

I have sent the following reply, which I copied to several bloggers:

Hello CNNia Administrator,

Release the videotape and a transcript of Mr. Jordan's comments at Davos, and I will be convinced. Until then your apologetic is unconvincing and insulting. Several bloggers in attendance heard otherwise, and based on Mr. Jordan's history, I am inclined to agree with them.

Mr. Jordan has a long history of demeaning the US military and accusing them of targeting journalists. As a former soldier I am personally insulted. Perhaps CNN should launch an investigation into his statements. Your association with Mr. Jordan can be very damaging to your credibility and reputation.

I have suspended citing CNN as a source of material in my weblog, which is viewed by over 1,500 people a day, until I am convinced CNN is honest in getting to the bottom of this story. My readers typically follow the links through on my posts to read my sources. I have copied other bloggers in an attempt to convince them to do the same. Hopefully this will create a noticeable impact on your site hits and give your advertisers pause.

Also, I have begun to compile a list of CNN advertisers and will put together a letter to make them aware of this situation unless I see results.

We demand the transcript of Davos and nothing less.

Kindest Regards,

Bill Roggio

Captain Ed at Captain™s Quarters documents Mr. Jordan™s past statements concerning the United States and Israeli militaries™ intentionally targeting and torturing journalists.

I typically shy away from activism as it is not in my constitution, however Eason Jordan™s statements at Davos accusing American soldiers of intentionally targeting journalists cannot stand. I am requesting the following assistance from readers and fellow bloggers:

- Anyone who would like to assist with compiling a list of CNN™s advertisers, please email me or place a comment in the comments section. We can work as a team on compiling a list. Also, if anyone has experience in contacting advertisers to make them aware of situations such as this, I would appreciate your assistance in organizing this effort.

- I am requesting all bloggers who are unhappy with Mr. Jordan™s statements and CNN™s reply to remove CNN from your news source links and halt citing CNN as a source of news. If you wish, please link to this post to let your readers be aware of the effort to convince CNN of making Mr. Jordan™s statements public. This would also help me organize the effort as no doubt there are readers out there experienced in conducting these activities.

If it turns out I have misinterpreted Mr. Jordan™s statements upon a review of the transcript, I will post a public apology, as is only fair. If I have not taken Mr. Jordan™s statements out of context, then we must demand CNN act to rectify this situation, and organize a public boycott if they will not.

The only way we will get at the truth of this issue is if CNN releases the videotape and transcript of the Davos conference. Our military men and women serving this great nation deserve no less.

Update:

Sisyphus at Sisyphean Musings states that Mark Adams, Director of Media at the World Economic Forum (Davos), is cutting a copy of the tape and sending it to him. Best of luck, Sisyphus.

Also, is the University of Colorado "about to sell Ward Churchill down the river"? Robert Hayes of Let's Try Freedom seems to think so, and he has a letter from the University of Colorado that suggests just that.

Posted by rogg at 1:42 AM | TrackBack

Mr. Jordan Goes To Davos...

This is Bill Roggio's initial post on Eason Jordan...

...and let's ignore that kid with Down's Syndrome that was turned into a suicide bomber.

The media assault continues. Rony Abovitz, proprietor of The World Economic Forum Weblog, reports Eason Jordan, CNN™s Chief News Executive, has accused the American military of deliberately executing twelve journalists in Iraq.

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.

Not satisfied with saying this once, Mr. Jordan repeated himself, providing ammunition to the anti-American contingent in attendance at Davos.

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... Many in the crowd, especially those from Arab nations, applauded what he said and called him a "very brave man" for speaking up against the U.S. in a public way amongst a crowd ready to hear anti-US sentiments.

When confronted by Congressman Barney Frank, Mr. Jordan replied, "'There are people who believe there are people in the military who have it out' for journalists." (Hat tip: The Kerry Spot) Obviously Mr. Jordon is one of those people who believe this...

Mr. Jordan provided no evidence to substantiate his extraordinary claim that American forces targeted journalists in Iraq. Astronomer Alan Hale provides a simple guideline on investigating the veracity of UFO sightings, which also applies to fantastic claims such as those made by Mr. Jordan or any other journalist (see Seymour Hersh).

(1) Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence....in order for me to accept it, you must produce extraordinary evidence...
(2) The burden of proof is on the positive. If you are making an extraordinary claim, the burden is on you to produce the extraordinary evidence to prove that you are correct; the burden is not on me to prove that you are wrong.

The Society of Professional Journalists lists the following as the top three items in its Code of Ethics:

Journalists should:

• Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
• Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
• Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability.

As a "professional journalist", certainly Mr. Jordan had a responsibility to investigate, interview the parties and identify his sources prior to making such an outrageous claim. Eason Jordan isn™t a greenhorn journalist. He has great experience and credentials in the media industry, and his influence extends outside of the mainstream media:

Eason Jordan is executive vice president and chief news executive of CNN. He chairs the CNN Editorial Board, is a member of the CNN Executive Committee and provides strategic advice to CNN's senior management team. Jordan's global portfolio includes managing CNN's editorial relationships with international affiliates, governments and major newspapers. He oversees CNN's World Report Conference and the CNN International Professional Program. Jordan travels the world both as a CNN executive and a working journalist Also, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Emory University Journalism Program Advisory Board and the World Economic Forum's Global Leaders of Tomorrow Program.

Not just any media hack gets invited as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. This isn™t Eason Jordan™s first foray into the realm of questionable media practices, as Hugh Hewitt astutely points out, "It was Jordan who admitted to covering up for Saddam two years ago in a New York Times column titled The News We Kept To Ourselves."

At that time, Mr. Jordan violated the eighth item listed in the journalist's Code of Ethics: "Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story." Of course we were never told about CNN™s "methods of gathering information" in Saddam™s Iraq until well after Saddam™s regime was overthrown. Perhaps the Journalist's Code of Ethics does not apply to members of the Emory University Journalism Program Advisory Board.

CNN should obtain the tapes and investigate Mr. Jordan™s claims. He is a "journalist", no doubt he has the "facts" needed to support his case. If there is any evidence that supports his claims, then submit it to the proper authorities for investigation. If it is determined he has wrongly slandered the United States Military, he should be forced to apologize and fired forthright. And the Council on Foreign Relations should consider ejecting him for his clearly biased and near-treasonous statements. Mr. Eason would not want for work, he always can get a job at Jihad Unspun, a propaganda organ of the Islamists.

To date, this story has yet to be covered by other media sources, save bloggers on the center-right end of the spectrum. In the unlikely event that CNN actually investigates Mr. Jordan™s claims, we should have little doubt Mr. Jordan™s statements will be chalked up as just another isolated incident of poor journalism, much as Dan Rather and CBS 60 Minutes™ "transgressions" were. Those of us paying attention know better.

Meanwhile, news of the barbarity of our enemy are underreported by the media (three articles at the time of this post), or in the case of CNN, unreported. The militant™s use of a young man with Down's Syndrome as a suicide bomber on Iraq™s Election Day, as noted yesterday at the fourth rail, has been confirmed.

Amar Ahmed Mohammed was 19 years old. But the fact that he had the mind of a four-year-old did not stop the insurgency's hard men as they strapped explosives to his chest and guided him to a voting centre in suburban Al-Askan...

"He was like a baby," he said. "He had nothing to do with the resistance and there was nothing in the house for him to make a bomb. He was Shiite - why bomb his own people?

"He was mindless, but he was mostly happy, laughing and playing with the children in the street. Now, his father is inconsolable; his mother cries all the time..."

"I have heard of them using dead people and donkeys and dogs to hide their bombs, but how could they do this to a boy like Amar?"

How can the militants do this? Easily. They are animals. Just don™t expect CNN or Eason Jordan to tell you this. They have bigger fish to fry.

Posted by rogg at 1:40 AM | TrackBack

February 5, 2005

Easongate Petition is Online

The Easongate petition is online and ready for signature gathering! The petition is hosted over on my site. You can access it via the petition link on the menu bar above or by clicking on this link.

Posted by at 9:10 AM | TrackBack

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