Friday, February 04, 2005

The Next Blogstorm, part deaux

I mentioned the Eason Jordan-Davos comment flap here the other day. Sure as shootin', it seems people are slowly being drawn in.

The Washington Times has an op-ed about it today, and the Godfather has a transcript of Q&A (maybe by email?) b/t himself and Rony Abovitz. If Abovitz is accurate, this is some amazing stuff!

Abovitz's answer to the Godfather's first question is a stunner, and to my mind cuts straight to the heart of the matter:

"I believe that Congressman Frank was dragged into all of this after the fact. Mr. Jordan gave us all a monologue that evolved from his personal experiences in Iraq about this idea of U.S. soldiers targeting U.S. and foreign journalists. I first challenged Mr. Jordan, and then moderator David Gergen (of Harvard's JFK School of Government) brought Frank in as a member of the U.S. government to respond to claims that shocked all of us. I remember Gergen in particular being flabbergasted and disturbed to a very high degree by Mr. Jordan's statements. Congressman Frank told the audience that his briefings indicated that all the journalists killed to date in Iraq were due to "collateral damage". Jordan disagreed, and gave us an example of U.S. soldiers deliberately shelling a hotel in Iraq which was known to all as a haven for journalists covering both sides of the war. Congressman Frank was pretty much a bystander being dragged into all of it. "

Abovitz essentially seems to think that Jordan was in fact saying that journalists were/have been/are targeted by the US Military, though does not explicitly state so strongly in answer to the Godfather's direct question. What of the Times' piece?

To me, the interesting thing here is the highlighting of Jordan's backpedaling:

"Mr. Jordan's almost immediate backpedaling seems to confirm this. In a statement to blogger Carol Platt Liebau, Mr. Jordan said, "To be clear, I do not believe the U.S. military is trying to kill journalists in Iraq. I said so during the forum panel discussion. But, nonetheless, the U.S. military has killed several journalists in Iraq in cases of mistaken identity." He added, "three of my CNN colleagues and many other journalists have been killed on purpose in Iraq." He didn't elaborate by whom."

Juxtapose those lines, one against the other:"I do not believe the US Military is trying to kill journalists in Iraq," but, "three of my CNN colleagues and many other journalists have been killed on purpose in Iraq." It's almost Kerry-esque...

So where are we? Rony Abovitz just wants to get to the truth of what was, wasn't or might have been said. This is the necessary first step, though where it ought to lead isn't quite clear to me. Aside from "forcing" the resignation of Jordan, what is there to accomplish? Can CNN be shamed into behaving better?

As to Jordan himself, what animates such thoughts truly does escape me. It seems clear from the comments above that he understands how's he has stepped in "it" with these comments and the backpedaling reveals that. As the Godfather stated earlier today:

"No wonder Eason Jordan won't answer any questions. He is hiding out and hoping the video doesn't surface."

You'd think however that after watching what happened to Dan Rather and CBS in their bunker, that CNN would realize that the "Ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away," approach just isn't going to cut it!

UPDATE: Jim Gerahty at TKS also questions the bunker mentality:

"I'm shaking my head, seeing Rather and the memos, or Kerry and the Swift Boat Vets. Get out of the bunker, guys. Come out, on camera, and take questions. Face the music and answer the questions as clearly and directly as possible."

UPDATE: La Shawn Barber's blog headlines the newest list of blog-posts now showing up at the Godfather's house. Yours truly is also mentioned. Does this mean I'm famous!? (I doubt it but I get the sense this is maybe what it feels like to be published and I am appropriately giddy!)

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