Wednesday, February 09, 2005
More info on CNN vs. the US Military
American businessman Rony Abovitz, who attended the panel Jordan participated in, reported immediately after the forum that "Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by U.S. 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-U.S. crowd) and cause great strain on others."and
Jordan's the man who admitted last spring that CNN withheld news out of Baghdad to maintain access to Saddam Hussein's regime. He was quoted last fall telling a Portuguese forum that he believed journalists had been arrested and tortured by American forces (a charge he maintains today). In the fall of 2002, he reportedly accused the Israeli military of deliberately targeting CNN personnel "on numerous occasions." He was in the middle of the infamous Tailwind scandal, in which CNN was forced to retract a Peter Arnett report that the American military used sarin gas against its own troops in Laos. And in 1999, Jordan declared: "We are a global network, and we take global interest[s] first, not U.S. interests first."
With the denials coming from the journalists and his allies, there is a real need for the truth. The video tape of the comments should answer the questions. Jim Geraghty over at NRO notes:
We’ve got two dramatically different interpretations here – the account of Rony Abovitz and Rebecca MacKinnon and Barney Frank, and the account of Eason Jordan. (Dodd’s statement appears to confirm Rony & Company but is brief; Gergen mostly confirms Rony but is sympathetic to Jordan; Richard Sambrook’s account is pretty close to Jordan’s.)
These accounts are so contradictory on so many key elements that one has no choice but to conclude one side is dramatically misrepresenting what happened.
The videotape that the Davos authorities are sitting on would solve this issue immediately.
Either Rony, MacKinnon, and Frank are passing on inaccurate accounts that will trash Jordan’s reputation, or Eason Jordan’s denial is a lie.
If that tape verifies Eason Jordan’s version of events, then a long line of bloggers, myself included, are going to have to apologize to the CNN Chief. If he didn’t say what Rony & Co. claim that he said, then we helped spread a lie.
But if that tape verifies the version of events from Rony & Co., then Jordan is lying. And he ought to apologize to U.S. troops for accusing them of murder (unless he’s got evidence to back up this claim)… and he ought to apologize to bloggers for claiming that we erred and took his remarks “out of context.” His denials essentially call Abovitz a liar.
Captain's Quarters notes that Jordan isn't the only one with anti-US military bias over at CNN:
Long History Of Hostility Towards Military By CNNi Executive
Chris Cramer, managing editor of CNN's International news division and a chief lieutenant of Eason Jordan, has made similar allegations about the military targeting journalists as his boss, as outlined here earlier and on Slublog. Alert CQ reader David D remembered Cramer from a famous hostage-rescue case in London in 1980, and pointed the way to other inflammatory comments Cramer made towards the men who rescued the hostages.
If, as Michelle Malkin believes (see her own blog about it here), this is policy at CNNi, this needs to be made clear. If Jordan has made such an accusation against the military, and he has evidence, it needs to be brought out. If it is merely yet another person with an axe to grind, well, we who love truth should be doing the grinding on people in power who would slander the men and women who guarantee our freedom. These aren't faceless numbers. I will not idly stand by and see people spit on the uniform and tell us that the military is wicked without proof.
On this issue, I don't care about your politics. Show me your evidence.