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Wednesday, February 09, 2005
WHERE'S THE TAPE? Media Log
has withheld fire on the latest controversy involving CNN chief news
executive Eason Jordan for a simple reason: we still don't know
exactly what he said. But with the Internet swirling with indignation
over reports that Jordan accused US troops of deliberately firing on
journalists, it's time to ask an equally simple question: where is
Here's what we know. On January 27,
at the economic summit in Davos, Switzerland, Jordan said something
during a panel discussion that set off a firestorm. Mark
Jurkowitz, in the Boston
Globe, and Howard
Kurtz, in the Washington
Post, brought matters up to date yesterday. It should be noted
that Kurtz is also an employee of CNN. And if you want to keep going
with the disclosures, I am a very occasional unpaid guest on Kurtz's
CNN show, Reliable Sources.
Jordan told Kurtz:
I was trying to make a
distinction between "collateral damage" and people who got killed
in other ways. I have never once in my life thought anyone from
the US military tried to kill a journalist. Never meant to suggest
that. Obviously I wasn't as clear as I should have been on that
Kurtz adds: "No transcript exists
of the Jan. 27 session, which was supposed to be off the record, and
a videotape of the event has not been made public."
Let's see the
What's disturbing about this is
that two members of Congress who were on hand when Jordan made his
remarks - Representative Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd -
clearly believed that Jordan had accused American soldiers of
targeting reporters. Read their comments. They come across as barely
mollified by Jordan's efforts to undo the damage.
Conservatives, as you can imagine,
have been going berserk. And in this case, why shouldn't they? (And
why shouldn't liberals - and not just Frank and Dodd.) I'm not going
to try to track it all down, but here's
a sample from last week,
from National Review Online.
Nearly two years ago,
Log went after Jordan for a
New York Times op-ed piece in which he confessed that CNN had
covered up some of the worst of Saddam Hussein's crimes for years, in
part to protect CNN employees, in part to maintain access. But that
time, at least, we knew exactly what he'd said.
What Jordan said in Davos has
become a big enough story about an important enough institution that
it's time for all of us to have a chance to judge for
Finally, Jay Rosen has been right
on top of this. This
post is invaluable. Be sure
to read the "After Matters" addendum. Michelle Malkin interviews
Barney Frank. How odd is that?
MORE THAN YOU WANT TO KNOW.
I want to link to this
Slate piece before
it slips off the home page. Audiophile Evan Cornog has something to
tell you that you may not have realized - your iPod sucks - as well
as some not-so-comforting advice: there's nothing wrong with it that
$1200 worth of accessories won't fix.
You'll feel better if you read the
feedback at the bottom of the article. In any case, Media Log's
middle-age ears are perfectly happy with regular MP3 and AAC files
and standard-issue Apple earbuds.
posted at 3:46 PM |
When Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are guarding us against the "Blame America First" crowd, that alone speaks volumes about the disconnect between the American media and the people they claim to serve.
(On a lighter note, re DK's other piece, when was the last time you saw someone on the subway, ANYWHERE who had the nerve to use over $1000 worth of trendy audiophile gear in public?) What planet is that guy on? Probably would be shocked when his Rolex was stolen in a 3AM urban mugging...
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Dan Kennedy is senior writer and media critic for the Boston Phoenix.