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Blogstorm descending on CNN ( Easongate situation )
RConversation ^ | February 02, 2005 | Rebecca MacKinnon,

Posted on 02/08/2005 4:50:32 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Right-wing blogs, including Little Green Footballs, have moved their sights from CBS to CNN.  At the center of the blogstorm are comments made by my former boss Eason Jordan at Davos, in which he alleged that the U.S. military had been targeting journalists in Iraq. See the original post about it by Rony Abovitz (founder of the digital surgery company Z-Kat, attending the forum as a "tech pioneer"), which he posted on the Forumblog

- an "unnoficial" blog where World Econ Forum participants posted their impressions and views about sessions they attended. The official WEF summary does not mention Eason's remarks, and there is no transcript or webcast. But I was in the room and Rony's account is consistent with what I heard. I was also contributing to the Forumblog, but to be honest, Jordan happens to be my former boss who promoted me and defended me in some rather sticky situations after my reporting angered the Chinese government. As CNN's "senior statesman" over the years, Eason has done some things I agreed with and other things I wondered about. But at least when it came to China, he was no apologist and defended my reports on human rights abuses and political dissent. So I don't feel that I'm in a position to speak objectively on this issue, especially since I haven't been in Iraq and don't know the real situation on the ground. I would very much like to hear from other journalists working in Iraq. I'd like to hear, particularly, from other CNN reporters working in Iraq. Whether they'll be willing to speak out publicly on this issue is doubtful, but maybe others will. Maybe we'll hear from some of them anonymously. Maybe Kevin Sites and other journalists blogging from Iraq will let us know what they think.

UPDATE: I have emailed people at the World Economic Forum requesting a verbatim transcript of what precisely was said during the panel in question. I have also emailed Eason Jordan asking him whether he'd like to confirm and/or clarify his comments, since I did not record the session myself and my notes are not verbatim.

12:17 PM in Davos, Iraq, Webcred, Weblogs, journalism | Permalink


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: cnn; eaon; easongate; easonjordan; jordan
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Fun, Fun, Fun coming..
1 posted on 02/08/2005 4:50:32 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

CNN DELENDA EST


2 posted on 02/08/2005 4:52:18 PM PST by eclectic (Liberalism is a mental disorder)
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To: Valin; backhoe; huac; farmfriend; Libertarianize the GOP

fyi


3 posted on 02/08/2005 4:53:25 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
.. in which he alleged that the U.S. military had been targeting journalists in Iraq.

Wonder if these are the same military cats that CNN determined were spraying civilians with poison in Cambodia?

CNN=Concocted News Network

4 posted on 02/08/2005 4:54:52 PM PST by evad
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Eason's Fables-- the sordid Jordan Story

5 posted on 02/08/2005 4:55:07 PM PST by backhoe (-30-)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

They won't release the video is the last thing I heard.


6 posted on 02/08/2005 4:56:26 PM PST by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: ViLaLuz; Darksheare; spycatcher; FourtySeven; Auntie Dem; Constantine XIII; campfollower; MEG33; ...

That "100,000 civilians killed" figure , came out of a UK very Left Wing Outfit. Not sure if I can find them, but they were identified in a thread on here.


7 posted on 02/08/2005 5:00:14 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: backhoe; MEG33
This is gonna get good:

*********************************

February 02, 2005

Response from Eason Jordan

I emailed Eason Jordan to clarify what he said in the Davos panel, since I do not have a transcript or recording, and my notes are inexact. Here is his reply:

Rebecca:

Here's what's important.  First, I stressed insurgents are to blame for the vast majority of the 63 journalist deaths in Iraq.  Second, when Congressman Franks said the 63 journalists killed in Iraq were the unfortunate victims of "collateral damage," I felt compelled to dispute that by pointing out journalists in Iraq are being targeted -- I did not say all journalists killed were targeted, but that some were shot at on purpose and were not collateral damage victims.  In response to a question about whether I believed the U.S. military meant to kill journalists in Iraq, I said, no, I did not believe the U.S. military was trying to kill journalists in Iraq.  Yet, unfortunately, U.S. forces have killed several people who turned out to be journalists.  In several cases, the U.S. troops who killed those people aimed and fired at them, not knowing they were shooting at journalists.  However tragic and, in hindsight, by Pentagon admission, a mistake, such a killing does not fall into the "collateral damage" category.  In Iraq and Washington, I have worked closely and constructively with U.S. military and civilian leaders in an effort to heighten the odds of survival for the courageous journalists in Iraq.

Eason

In a follow-up email he added:

Most importantly, I do not believe the U.S. is trying to kill journalists in Iraq.  To the contrary, the U.S. military has worked hard to protect journalists in Iraq.  Nevertheless, there have been several tragic episodes in which U.S. forces killed journalists in what turned out to be cases not of collateral damage but of mistaken identity.  Feel free to paste that, too.

UPDATE: After I had already posted the above, I received the following:

To be clear, I do not believe the U.S. military is trying to kill journalists in Iraq.  But the U.S. military has killed several journalists in Iraq in cases of mistaken identity.  The reason the word "targeted" came up at all is because I was responding to a comment by Congressman Franks, who said he believed the 63 journalists killed in Iraq were the victims of "collateral damage."  Since three of my CNN colleagues and many other journalists have been killed on purpose in Iraq, I disputed the "collateral damage" statement, saying, unfortunately, many journalists -- not all -- killed in Iraq were indeed targeted.  When someone aims a gun at someone and pulls the trigger and then learns later the person fired at was actually a journalist, an apology is appropriate and is accepted, and I believe those apologies to be genuine.  But such a killing is a tragic case of mistaken identity, not a case of "collateral damage."  That is the distinction I was trying to make even if I did not make it clearly at the time.  Further, I have worked closely with the U.S. military for months in an effort to achieve a mutual goal: keeping journalists in Iraq safe and alive.

08:18 PM in Davos, Iraq, Television, Weblogs, journalism | Permalink

8 posted on 02/08/2005 5:02:27 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I'm making dbl-buttered popcorn, pulled-pork BBQ, beans, hot dogs, cheese-burgers, potato salad, pasta w/ alfredo sauce, cheese-filled ravioli, bruschetta, grilled mangoes, Haagen-Dasz w/ balsamic vinegar drizzle... who's got the drinks?

This is gonna be a helluva battle. Pull-up a chair.


9 posted on 02/08/2005 5:03:12 PM PST by 7.62 x 51mm ( veni vidi vino visa "I came, I saw, I drank wine, I shopped")
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To: MEG33

Maybe if we fax this story from a local Kinko's the mainstream media will broadcast it. Whatcha think?!?


10 posted on 02/08/2005 5:07:28 PM PST by Coop (In memory of a true hero - Pat Tillman)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

the guy even pissed off Barney Franks for god's sake and David Gergan even gasped........ya gotta do something incredibly stupid to get the likes of those guys mad at ya


11 posted on 02/08/2005 5:13:01 PM PST by NorCalRepub
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To: Coop

Only if they could prove Jordan was right and they could hammer the military.


12 posted on 02/08/2005 5:13:10 PM PST by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Coop
Coop has the right idea:

Maybe if we fax this story from a local Kinko's the mainstream media will broadcast it. Whatcha think?!? 10 posted on 02/08/2005 8:07:28 PM EST by Coop

13 posted on 02/08/2005 5:13:56 PM PST by backhoe (-30-)
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To: Coop; SF South Park Republican; bitt; NormsRevenge; Grampa Dave; SunkenCiv; blam

This could turn into a heck of a Show!


14 posted on 02/08/2005 5:14:15 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

thanks


15 posted on 02/08/2005 5:17:05 PM PST by huac
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

When you can see the whites of his bald faced lies, blog at will!


16 posted on 02/08/2005 5:18:16 PM PST by Grampa Dave (The MSM has been a WMD, Weapon of Mass Disinformation for the Rats for at least 4 decades.)
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To: All
Musings of Rebecca MacKinnon, a recovering TV reporter-turned-blogger.

*********************************

February 03, 2005

Where is the truth?

Rony Abovitz laments in a new post on the fallout over his account of Eason Jordan's comments at Davos:

I am finding it harder and harder to understand the truth on this subject. I have, and likely only can, scratch at the surface here, but there appears to be some depth and complexity to what really is a tangled web of issues that may be even more frightening when the light of day shines upon it.

Further down he writes:

In this debate and discussion I made the decision to say something - to speak out. That decision has sparked a lot of things, including some intense pressures coming from a lot of sides. But I now feel an obligation myself to not give in to any side, but to ask for, in fact to demand, an accounting of the truth.

Read his whole post. I agree with him that this is not a black-and-white issue.

The right wing bloggers have been very vocal on this story. The left and middle have been largely silent. We have yet to hear much from journalists working on the ground in Iraq. I heard back from my friend Brian Palmer who wrote:

I would have to say that I have no personal experience with this. I can tell you that I have found it difficult to get unspun soundbites/comments from folks above a certain rank, generally speaking, but that's the main kind of news management I have  encountered, not news management by bullet.

One perspective from one embedded journalist. We need many, many more - from other freelancers as well as people working for major news organizations. Rony points to this list of journalists killed in Iraq, compiled by Reporters Without Borders. But there is no info on who killed them or the circumstances of the killing.

06:20 AM in Davos, Iraq, Television, Weblogs, journalism | Permalink

17 posted on 02/08/2005 5:18:39 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: Coop
Only if it looks like it was done on a 1973 typewriter......
18 posted on 02/08/2005 5:21:13 PM PST by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60's.....you weren't really there.)
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To: All; Allegra; Eagle Eye; MikeinIraq
More from Rebecca:

****************************************************************

February 03, 2005

Another view on the U.S. military, journalists, and Iraq

Amid controversy over whether U.S. troops did or didn't target journalists in Iraq and what CNN's Eason Jordan did or didn't say, and as the right-wing blogs are storming against what many of them believe to be MSM (mainstream media)'s anti-military bias, comes a documentary assailing MSM from the left: Weapons of Mass Deception.  I have not yet seen it. Just the trailer and this interview on AlterNet, in which Amy Goodman interviews media critic and filmaker Danny Schechter about "fishy deaths of unembedded reporters."  The interview includes the following excerpt from the film's transcript:

Narrator: Journalists and media workers were targeted in Iraq. Was it deliberate? To keep the story on message by intimidating un-embedded journalists. How did the media in the street challenge these killings? Some were killed by so-called friendly fire. Others victims of calculated attacks, missiles, tank shells, and bombs dropped on or near journalists. Some media critics concluded it was intentional, although the Pentagon denied it. Before the war, the BBC's Kate Adey reported she was told by the Pentagon that independent journalists could be targeted.

Reporter:: The 15th floor of the Palestine Hotel was the target. A U.S. tank shelled the Palestine Hotel, which was crowded with journalists, killing two cameramen. One works for a Spanish network, and the other one works for Reuters.

Narrator: Now another incident. Look at this. An American tank on the bridge across from the Palestine hotel in Baghdad. A soldier claimed his tank was fired on. Listen carefully. There are no sounds.

Samia Nakhoul: We moved to the Palestine Hotel because the Pentagon asked our organizations to let us leave because it was a target and when we moved to the Palestine Hotel our organization told the Pentagon we were at the Palestine Hotel. So did every news organization.

Narrator: Again, minutes later no sounds were heard, no one firing at U.S. soldiers. Suddenly without provocation  –

Samia Nakhoul: We saw an orange glow, and this was the tank shell that hit our office. And you can imagine the panic, the wounded – it was me and another photographer. I can't imagine that they would target journalists. You know, I couldn't believe why would they target us? What have we done to them?

Narrator: After the war press freedom groups were still demanding a real investigation. The Pentagon's Victoria Clark told me there was a report that showed that the soldiers were acting in self-defense.

Narrator: Was there any attempt to find out the facts independently or a thorough investigation?

Samia Nakhoul: No  –  the Pentagon never interviewed me personally on it. I don't think any of my colleagues were interviewed by the Pentagon.

Narrator: Samia's organization, Reuters, demanded an independent investigation, but most media companies didn't even press on this issue. No one was held accountable. It was all passed off as an accident, the fog of war and all that.

In the interview Schechter says: "What's also outrageous is that the American media companies did not demand an investigation of this, did not join Reuters in demanding an investigation. So it just wasn't just complicity and collusion in the coverage of the war but a refusal to get involved in an effort to try to find out what really happened, what the facts were. To try to get at the truth of what happened to their own people. That to me compounds the shock of the way in which the media played the role it did." 

The film is apparently opening in New York and a few other places this weekend. Info is here.

Again, it would be useful if we could hear from more journalists on the ground in Iraq about this...

09:50 PM in Current Affairs, Iraq, Television, journalism | Permalink

19 posted on 02/08/2005 5:21:40 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: All
Just to kind of wrap this up:

*********************************

Easongate: Right-wing blogstorm battle tactics

By Rebecca MacKinnon, 02/04/2005 - 10:42pm

It's pretty clear that the Right is light-years ahead of the Left (or the center) when it comes to blogstorm warfare tactics.

In case you haven't followed the emerging "Easongate" flap, CNN's Eason Jordan said some controversial things in Davos about U.S. troops targeting journalists. Right wing bloggers and pundits are calling for his head, Rathergate-style. Hugh Hewitt, who just came out with a book on the power of blogstorms, is leading the charge. (For more on the situation see this, this, this, and this, for starters.)

I've decided to track the spread of "Easongate" online. From now on everytime I come across an online news item or blog post about this, I'm going to tag it in del.icio.us, with "Easongate."  If you'd like to help track the conversation please tag everything you come across with the same tag.  (For more about how to use del.icio.us tags see this tutorial.) 

So far, most of the activity is on the right-hand side of the political spectrum, with center and left blogs plus non-rightwing MSM (mainstream media) largely silent.  


20 posted on 02/08/2005 5:24:13 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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