Thursday, February 03, 2005

Eason Jordon's Davo Remarks

I realize that there is very good traction on the Eason Jordon comments in Davos, but I’d still like to weigh in with my perspective. Captain Ed is covering it well, but alas, I must blog.

Captain's Quarters

CNN is in big trouble here. Let’s make no mistake, CNN exploded its reputation and influence through its coverage of the Gulf War in 1991. Americans were glued to their television sets from the launch of the first airstrike to the cease-fire. CNN ruled the airwaves, and put itself into a dominant position covering the war, a war fought by the very types of men, and some of the same men, Eason is slandering now. Incredible. No wonder their network, once preeminent in its field, is slipping into ridiculousness.

Issue #1. Where is the rest of the MSM on this one? By covering this story up through neglect, they are tacitly giving support to Eason Jordon and his position AND impugning their own reputations as journalistic institutions in the process.

Jordon’s claims are newsworthy, whether true or false. Every other credible institution should investigate. Imagine rogue elements of the military killing journalists. Or worse yet, commanders ordered the killings, and soldiers and Marines carried out those orders. These allegations are serious, and in order to protect our democracy from rogue military elements, this has to be investigated. So either the MSM is incapable of determining whether or not the military killed/tortured 12 reporters, or they are not interested in finding out. Either way, they must not be very good at what they do.

Of course the reason it is not being thoroughly examined is because everyone recognizes that there is very little chance that these charges are true, and that the real issue is that Jordon is off his rocker…something the other elements of the MSM are not too eager to expose. But, by ignoring this side of the story, they begin down the slippery slopes of “controlling” what is “news,” and conspiring to protect their brethren…something they loathe the military for.

If the MSM smelled a hint of truth in a conspiracy and cover-up, they would be all over it like a dirty shirt. This is the type of thing they would commit considerable resources to expose. To maintain a scintilla of credibility all MSM sectors should thoroughly investigate both sides of the question, and no wiggle room should be given to Jordon or CNN, when they are found not credible.

Issue #2. What has our military done to justify these types of comments? They have fought and died for this country. They have protected the freedoms of the very people who slander their reputations. You may disagree with the President and his policies, and in the process exercise your rights to free speech and criticize your country, but leave the reputations of the men who have valorously defended freedom across the globe out of your venom filled myopia.

Our military has dug itself out of a post-Vietnam malaise, and formed itself into one of the most powerful, effective, efficient, and professional institutions the world has known. How has the MSM progressed? Multitudes of completely fabricated stories, forged documents, staged “investigative” productions, several Pulitzer Prizes awarded to news pieces that were pure fiction, no self-regulation or discipline, and an approach to the “news” so partisan a Chia Pet could see it. Get off the military. Bash Bush at UN cocktail parties…he can take it, but leave the country and its protectors alone, unless you bring the proof with you.

Issue #3. CNN has to send a clear message via the firing of Jordan. When it is credibly exposed that Jordan is a fabricator of substantial proportions, he must be unceremoniously fired. Without self-regulation and discipline, a “profession” cannot exist. Slowly the MSM is killing the “profession” of journalism through excuse building, story fabrication, bias, and covering for their own. Sounds a lot like what the press often accuses doctors and lawyers of.

There are certainly skilled journalists about, but they and their efforts are being tarnished by the sloppy, biased, and “unprofessional” work of a growing number of journalists. Failure to condemn this action, by CNN and the MSM at large, serves to put all into the same sinking boat. If there is to be a journalism “profession,” it needs to discipline one of its own, NOW. It is time for the Neil Sheehans and David Halberstams to speak up.

Issue #4 (recurring theme). The US isn’t always right. Conversely it isn’t always wrong. Bush isn’t always right. Conversely, he isn’t always wrong. No system, no country, no President is perfect, but perfect can be the enemy of good enough. Let’s get the discourse out of the mud. Disagree with Bush, but bring something constructive to the table. It is mathematically impossible for Bush to have been wrong on every single thing he has done since he has taken office, but the media and the Dems have yet to acknowledge that he has been successful in even one area. This right-wrong discourse is what is dividing this country, and it is killing productive debate on complex issues. Go into debates looking for common ground and solutions, not looking for more vociferous ways to disagree.

The lack of meaningful discourse, and the decline in consistent and even communication is chipping away at our democratic foundation. Let’s all play like adults. Our future, the future of our institutions, and even the future of our very country are at stake.

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