I’m a bit concerned. Okay, forget “concerned,” that’s a word you use to nicely say either, “I’m angry,” or “I’m worried/afraid.”
The fact is, I’m worried. Perhaps I don’t need to be, you can weigh in.
I’m wondering if this whole “Easongate” situation was little more than a successfully executed witch hunt.
Not that I’m saying Eason Jordan was completely innocent. He obviously said something very ignorant, and used his words in such a way that left open the possibility that our troops would deliberately target journalists. Just the thought of someone blithely trying to lay down such a load of bull gets my blood boiling.
So Eason’s an idiot. We’ve known that for a long time, haven’t we? After all, he was the one who admitted that he had not reported some of Saddam’s atrocities because he didn’t want CNN to be kicked out of Iraq. We saw then the soft underbelly of CNN. But if Mr. Jordan was not fired for revealing THAT whopper, why would he get “resigned” for this?
Question 1: Was this ridiculous statement of his — meant to be accusatory without directly accusing, then, when pressed, quickly withdrawn — stupid enough to have earned his career a death penalty? Believe it or not, the organization which originally broke this story, the WSJ’s Online Opinion site, Opinionjournal.com asks the same question:
…Easongate is not Rathergate. Mr. Rather and his CBS team perpetrated a fraud during a prime-time news broadcast; stood by it as it became obvious that the key document upon which their story was based was a forgery, and accused the whistleblowers of the very partisanship they themselves were guilty of. Mr. Rather still hasn’t really apologized.
…[T]he worst that can reasonably be said about his performance is that he made an indefensible remark from which he ineptly tried to climb down at first prompting. This may have been dumb but it wasn’t a journalistic felony.
The editor of this opinion column goes on to make many good points. I recommend you read it in full. And for those who read the column, disagree, and want to label Opinionjournal.com as “liberal” or “mainstream,” think again. Opinionjournal.com is a mainstay of conservative thinking and writing on the Internet.
Question 2: Is there a growing edge of bloodlust (or, as I’m calling it, ‘bloglust’) in the Blogosphere? Everyone who cares about what I call the “Open Source Media” has felt good regarding the growing influence we’ve had with both the public and the mainstream media. I know I have.
And taking down Dan Rather and the others who tried to fraudulently smear President Bush’s military record was a beautiful thing. But what about this situation with Eason?
Ultimately, I know I’m taking a very difficult stand. This guy, Eason, is certainly no saint. He has a pretty consistent track record of misusing his media voice. You could easily list out all of his past statements and conclude that his ouster was a long time coming.
But, now that we’ve gotten a bit closer to the line between legitimate outrage and witch hunt, are we not just a BIT tempted to step over? Think about it?