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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1: Was this ridiculous statement of his — meant to be accusatory without directly accusing, then, when pressed, quickly withdrawn — stupid enough to have earned his career a death penalty?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?

David Flanagan

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  • Eric Olsen

    some kind of consensus that the offense is consequential and outside of reasonable operating procedures taking into account that we are human and hence imperfect

  • Right. Makes sense.

    It would be interesting to take a look at what it takes to really achieve a critical mass to really put pressure on an individual or an organization via the Open Source Media.


  • Eric Olsen

    and “reasonable” is the key word there

  • Eric Olsen

    I think it means EVERYONE has to watch their asses more carefully, which overall is a good thing. You can’t target if there is nothing reasonable to target

  • Eric,

    Two things worry me right now:
    1) Are we seeing a coming trend where conservative and/or liberal bloggers specifically seek to end careers of some in the MSM?
    2) Will we as bloggers develop a revenge mentality where one side goes after and scores a hit on a journalist or author, so the other side goes after someone.

    Not that I think the whole “Easongate” situation is like this, but I am a bit worried that the Open Source Media community is going to get a little too eager to flex it’s new muscles.

    As I say on my post above, I might be completely wrong, but I would be interested in hearing from people on what they think of this issue.



  • Eric Olsen

    excellent David, congrats!

    I think the bloodletting is probably over for a while anyway: the left (Tucker) and the right now have sacrifices, the scales are more or less balanced. The press is learning that in this Internet age you must be responsible and pay freaking attention. It takes time for a sea change but I see that process well underway

  • If this were an isolated incident he should have been given a pass.

    As has been pointed out he and his network were too cozy with Saddam.

    Jordan also was guilty of useing the same “targeting journalists” line in Nov 2004 and used again with regards to the Israeli army.

    The pattern is telling and he deserved his place in retirement.

    And “RJ” you have it exactly right, all in your list also need to go.

  • Cool that you got quoted on CNN, David. I’m envious.

    As for Eason Jordan, my conclusion is that this and the previous criticism for making deals with Saddam to get reporters inside Iraq were enough to outweight CNN’s desire to keep him. Yes, Rather’s offenses were more egregious, but perhaps CBS valued rather more highly than CNN values Jordan. Plus, he’s a behind the camera figure and therefore easier to ditch without creating too many waves.


  • Good question SKI. I posted a comment on my site that perhaps CNN would rather “retire” Eason and not release the tape than have that tape played by every major media outlet in the world.



    Eason and CNN had evry opportunity to release the tape to show what was really said, and in what context. The tape would either clear him or indict him, and he choose not to go to the tape, why do you think he did that?

  • A rather startling thing has happened. CNN quoted my article from my home site of Viewpointjournal.com. Here is the link to the Blog which has the video:



  • RJ

    Next Target:

    Chris Matthews?

    Keith Olbermann?

    Aaron Brown?

    Peter Jennings???

  • Kirk

    Easongate bigger than Gannon? Come on put the crack pipe away and take a cold shower.

    Eason makes stupid, irresponsible comment which he has retracted and has now paid for them with his job. Too bad the right isn’t as critical of their own like Rush, Bill, or Sean who on a daily basis say stupid, irresponsible things and get a pass.

    Compared to a White House who allows a someone in using a false name. After 911 I’d expect security to be better or was he simply another plant of the Republicans to slant the news their way. Wonder if they paid him like they paid other ‘reporters’.

  • wally

    Easongate is about having a major news organization headed by someone who admitted slanting the news to have access to a facist regime, and who made up a story about “targeting” journalists and then refused to take the simple step of releasing tapes of his speech to verify his version of events. Easongate is easily bigger and more important than the Gannon story, but ignored by most of the media. In fact, the New York Times did not even report about it at all until he resigned.