Fat Steve's Blatherings

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Fascinating Jordan Speech

      Eason Jordan gave a speech in 1999, reproduced here, where he explains his philosophy for CNN.  The dishonesty and self-congratulation is breathtaking:
That means CNN must try to be there, wherever the news is, not just in times of crisis, but preferably year round. If Iraq shoots down a U.S. warplane tomorrow, for instance, the place to be is Baghdad. It's not London.

CNN is determined to have as many bureaus as possible, in as many countries of the world as possible. And CNN is determined that its staff reflect the diversity of CNN's audience, which is a global audience. There is no adequate substitute for having first-rate journalists who report from the region in which they are based, where they know the players, and where they speak the language.

Because CNN aggressively covers the world, CNN's international reporting occasionally comes under fire from officials of the U.S. government, the Iraqi government and other governments around the world.

      Remember, this is the man who said CNN didn't report accurately from Iraq.

      And later, there's this:
Question: I want to ask about access in Iraq.

Eason: Look, CNN is imperfect, as are all news organizations. We would like to have entirely unrestricted and unfettered access everywhere around the world, but this is not an ideal world; it's a real world, and that's not the way it works.

CNN has had tremendous difficulties with the Iraqi government, a government that's accused me during my own trips to Baghdad of being a CIA station chief for Iraq. I feel lucky to have emerged alive from that. But it's very difficult working from Baghdad. It was during the war, and it continues to be today.

Our view is, first of all, we will not consciously pull punches. If I ever find anybody doing it, then those people will be history at this network, as well as with our Iraq coverage.

      How do they think they can get away with this?  Read the whole thing, and marvel.



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