Monday, February 14, 2005


A New Yellow Journalism?

With Eason Jorden's decision to resign from CNN, we see shockwaves hitting the press. Michelle Malkin notes:

The ad hominem hysterics of Jordan's defenders stand in stark contract to the way the vast majority of bloggers approached the search for truth in this matter. Veteran journalist and blogger Jeff Jarvis ( got it right when he said on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday: "We didn't want his head — most of us didn't. We wanted the truth." We're still waiting.

It was Jordan who tossed out reckless remarks about American troops deliberately targeting journalists. It was bloggers, starting with American businessman and Davos eyewitness Rony Abovitz, who asked that Jordan back up his bombshell assertion with facts.

Abovitz's courage in this matter cannot be overstated. He raised his voice against Jordan at an international forum of media bigs, political heavyweights and Europe's most influential America-haters. Abovitz's remarks prompted Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) to press Jordan for details. Abovitz also received thanks from an outraged Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).

It seems clear from a number of eyewitness accounts, including Rep. Frank's, that while Jordan may have backtracked, he did not completely back off — rendering his Friday night explanation that he "never meant to imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent" disingenuous at best.

After Abovitz spoke to some journalists in the audience who didn't consider Jordan's remarks news and weren't going to cover it, he bypassed the mainstream media and exposed the controversy with a simple click of the mouse.

From there, a network of bloggers — connected only by their modems — pressed the story. Minnesota-based blogger Ed Morrissey (, southern California blogger/talk show host/author Hugh Hewitt (, Washington, D.C.-based blogger La Shawn Barber (, Tennessee-based blogging giant/law professor Glenn Reynolds (, Jarvis, Rosen and the ad hoc group blog at were among those who provided context for Jordan's remarks, carefully assembled facts, requested release of the videotape/transcript and forcefully challenged the mainstream media blackout of the story.

For their fine efforts, these citizen bloggers are being attacked as "morons" and "bible-thumping knuckledraggers" and "hounds" by nervous media nellies aghast at the sight of unwashed amateurs beating down effete journalism's gates. Meanwhile, CNN continues to spin.
Is this the new yellow journalism? Or will the old guard learn that things are forever different, that innuendo will be fact checked, and because there are so many willing to get the word out, that the old ways of manipulating the news won't work any more?

Name calling won't work either.

Doing credible jobs with real facts and real figures, verifiable, are what will get you noticed.

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