Saturday, February 12

CNN's EASON JORDAN, CAUGHT IN A BLOG SWARM, RESIGNS

The chief news executive for CNN, Eason Jordan, stepped down yesterday, tendering his resignation having come under a swirl of controversy in the blogospshere over impolitic remarks made during a January 27th World Economic Forum. Jordan, known as having a penchant for loose lips, told his audience that day that the U.S. military was targeting journalists in war-torn Iraq. In resigning, Jordan did not concede that he had unambiguously charged the Bush Administration and the U.S. military with the purposeful slaying of war correspondents, only that his remarks of January 27th could have been clearer. In leaving CNN, Jordan claimed: I never meant to imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent when U.S. forces accidentally killed journalists and I apologize to anyone who thought I said or believed otherwise.

The best account I've read thus far of the so-called JordanGate controversy and how it unfolded in the blogosphere can be found in this post of Michelle Malkin's at her blog. And she does a commendable job of crediting the many bloggers who, in a very compressed timeframe, discredited Eason Jordan, while encircling him in, as Hugh Hewitt coined the term, a blog storm. I have followed the controversy since its inception and primarily at Hugh Hewitt's site, as he has been persistent and done much of the heavy lifting after Rony Abovitz, himself a blogger, first broke the story blogging directly from the World Economic Forum. Hewitt was doggedly determined from the onset to bring attention to Jordan's accusations and made the case over and over again that the MSN was ignoring this story to protect its own. In this, he was joined by many others (who Malkin credits and links) in what she terms a blogosphere truth squad.

Underscoring Hugh Hewitt's very point about how the MSN has been missing in action (e.g., he cites that the Los Angeles Times has ignored the controversy altogether, not publishing a single report), the Houston Chronicle, in this morning's home edition, has buried the story of Eason Jordan's resignation in a small column on page A10 of its first section, above a half-page oriental rugs advertisement. The Houston Chronicle reports regarding Jordan: He was the target of an Internet campaign that was beginning to rival the one launched against CBS' Dan Rather after the network's story on President Bush's military service.

The power of the blogosphere, particularly it's center-right polibloggers, is again shown in bold relief against the backdrop of a clearly biased mainstream media that sat on its keyboards hoping that in ignoring a growing controversy (while turning a deaf ear to the blogosphere) a major news establishment figure could dodge a bullet. Didn't work for Dan; didn't work for Eason. They just refuse to get it and the lessons keep piling up, like a multi-vehicle collision on a fog-shrouded Interstate.