Eason Jordan Resigns: Sidesteps Responsibility, Blames Blogger 'Conflicting Accounts'
The Word Quite Heard out of New York is that Eason Jordan has resigned as executive vice president and chief news executive of CNN. His statement to CNN staff is a real gem (Hat Tip: TVNewser):
"After 23 years at CNN, I have decided to resign in an effort to prevent CNN from being unfairly tarnished by the controversy over conflicting accounts of my recent remarks regarding the alarming number of journalists killed in Iraq. I have devoted my professional life to helping make CNN the most trusted and respected news outlet in the world, and I would never do anything to compromise my work or that of the thousands of talented people it is my honor to work alongside.
While my CNN colleagues and my friends in the U.S. military know me well enough to know I have never stated, believed, or suspected that U.S. military forces intended to kill people they knew to be journalists, my comments on this subject in a World Economic Forum panel discussion were not as clear as they should have been. 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.
I have great admiration and respect for the men and women of the U.S. armed forces, with whom I have worked closely and been embedded in Baghdad, Tikrit, and Mosul, in addition to my time with American soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen in Afghanistan, former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the Arabian Gulf.
As for my colleagues at CNN, I am enormously proud to have worked with you, risking my life in the trenches with you, and making CNN great with you. For that experience, and for your friendship and support these many years, I thank you."
First, it was the right thing to do to resign. That much must be said. However, while many applaud Eason Jordan's 'taking responsibility for his actions', I respectfully reserve my applause.
Read carefully and you will discern that Jordan has not taken responsibility for his actions (insofar as his actions are understood, of course, absent video, audio or transcript). He resigned to protect CNN, not because he was wrong or out of line. Further, and more importantly, he resigned because of 'conflicting accounts of my recent remarks'...not his recent remarks...the 'conflicting accounts'. It's the bloggers' fault, can't you see? That Rony bastard! He started all of this! I am sorry, my good friends, but that is not taking responsibility. That is trying to spin the inevitable. I am not dizzy yet.
We would not have to worry about 'conflicting accounts' if Eason would pony up the tape, now would we? But, then that would remove all 'conflict' from the 'accounts' and therefore any deniability (deniability is the key for him). Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that if Eason Jordan had indeed 'never stated, believed, or suspected that U.S. military forces intended to kill people they knew to be journalists', that the tape would have been made available forthwith to shoot down these damned bloggers with alacrity? ...and surely with no small measure of leverage applied by Jordan himself for the tape's immediate release.
Then he apologizes for ‘implying’ US Military ‘ill intent’ for the (now) accidental deaths of journalists? Sorry, pal. This Jarhead ain’t buyin’ what you’re sellin’. That dog don’t hunt. Jordan meant what he said and said what he meant…and he said it with surprising passion, by many ‘accounts’. Jordan said the same thing in Spain earlier. Did he not mean that one, too? Why not apologize then?
Jordan claims he has friends in the military. I wonder if they know he calls them friends. It surely must be a case of unrequited love.
Jordan claims to ‘have great admiration and respect for the men and women of the U.S. armed forces.’ If that were true, this controversy would never have even occurred. It is precisely his spiteful disdain for the military that brought this all about in the first place. It is precisely his spiteful disdain for them that would even permit him to insinuate, or in his words ‘imply’ (accidental or not), that American Marines and soldiers have intentionally targeted and murdered journalists without evidence to prove it to himself first. If he held the American military in such high regard, it surely would require hard proof to that effect before he could even suggest such good men could do such a thing.
Two of your friends are involved in an accident, both driving their own car. One dies. Someone tells you that the surviving driver, a good friend that you respect and admire, intentionally rammed and therefore murdered the other. What’s your reaction? You ‘respect and admire’ that person. Don’t you say, ‘No way. That can’t be. How do you know? Where’s the proof?’ But, on the other hand, if you did not ‘respect and admire’ the surviving driver, but rather ‘respected and admired’ the driver killed, your mindset would likely be different.
Witness Eason Jordan.
Mr. Jordan, this veteran does not accept your apology nor do I believe you harbor ‘great admiration and respect for the men and women of the U.S. armed forces.’ I do not believe that you regret your comments, but rather that you regret the consequences. I reject your sidestepping of responsibility by resigning as a result of ‘conflicting accounts’ of your remarks in lieu of resigning as a result of your remarks. I also reject your ambiguity on what you said, implied or believed in Davos, Switzerland, while you have always had the power to prove your claims correct by releasing the video tape and, thus, removing all ‘conflict’ from all ‘accounts’.
Eason Jordan won the very first Charles Weltner Freedom of Information Award. Yes, Freedom of Information Award. Ooops. That's gonna make the next Funniest TV Bloopers show.
One is left only with the unfortunate conclusion that if the tape were not absolutely damning, this would have been old news the day it happened.
Prove me wrong, Eason Jordan. You have the power...oh, and that award, too.