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February 11, 2005

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.)

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