Saturday, February 12, 2005

Eason Jordan Empties his Desk

A commenter at Captains Quarters used the metaphor "falling on his sword". This is inaccurate. What I think more likely is, "Empty your desk. Hand in your badge and gun by Friday and we'll keep this little incident out of the papers and living rooms. You get to keep your retirement. And we'll keep the rest of that stuff you've said over the years boxed up. " The 'tarnishing' he and CNN now avoid? Scrutiny from the networks and big newspapers. Plus the liklihood of seeing the tape further diminishes towards zero. And the blog swarm ( again from Captain Ed):
"(Hugh Hewitt)...pointed out that the networks, which had yet to address the issue, now needed to report the resignation of the head of a news organization for a
scandal they never reported to their viewers. "

is being deflected thusly, as this quote of David Gergen, via Howard Kurtz shows:

Gergen said Jordan's resignation was "really sad" since he had quickly backed
off his initial comments. "This is too high a price to pay for someone who has
given so much of himself over 20 years. And he's brought down over a single
because people beat up on him in the blogosphere? They went after him
because he is a symbol of a network seen as too liberal by some. They saw blood
in the water."

See, it's personal... and ideological. The" single mistake" was not immediately stepping forward with a big, "Oops, sorry. That was really dumb." And beating up was once called getting to the facts. CNN's ducking down behind the walls brought more battering on the doors. (Which, as we know, can be done wearing pajamas.) Where Gergen sees blood, I see wagons, circled.

ABC is flinging stones to at the blogosphere:

"But the damage had been done, compounded by the fact that no transcript of his actual remarks has turned up. He was the
target of an Internet and Web site campaign that was beginning
to rival the one launched against CBS's Dan Rather following
the network's ill-fated story last fall about President Bush's
military service".

No transcript " turned up". Was ABC looking? Besides the blogosphere, who was? "Actual remarks..." "There they go again, those bloggers, making stuff up". Just another campaign launched by those evil bloggers. Just more bad luck, such an ill fate. (Ill fate, a synonym for fraudulent...who knew?)

I agree with Jim Geraghty at TKS:

" ... I would have preferred that the tape be released, that the public
have a chance to mull over his comments, and then let Jordan face whatever
consequences were appropriate."

After all, that is really what we wanted. To see for ourselves. To make up our own minds. To view the whole episode, beginining to end. Without gatekeepers . This "campaign" may be diminishing. Expect more ducking down. Expect more flights of dunstones flung at the blogosphere. Expect more" single mistakes". Expect these tactics to be equally effective next time.

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