|The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)|
Sunday, February 13, 2005
CNN's top news executive Eason Jordan resigned on Friday:
Until Friday, this "firestorm of controversy" existed solely on the Internet. The news of Eason's resignation must have sorely puzzled anyone who got their information from the legacy media.
But we do have media critics to expose these lapses in journalistic performance, don't we? That is the theory, but in practice these "critics" are like the three monkeys with hands clasped firmly across eyes, ears, and mouth.
Anyone who reads Mickey Kaus has seen his joyous fulsome denunciations of Washington Post media critic -- and CNN television personality! -- Howard Kurtz. Watch Kaus tear great gaping chunks out of Kurtz, who could hear no evil when it came to his fellow employee:
Then there is Jay Rosen of PressThink, who could see no evil when it came to Eason Jordan:
I wasn't aware that the new journalistic standard of evidence was that only videotape suffices -- the words of (many) eyewitnesses won't cut it. It's possible that if I ever visited a morgue I would see why California had to put Richard Alton Harris to death. Right now, I don't.
As Will Collier noted at Vodkapundit, Columbia Journalism Review editor Steve Lovelady wrote to Rosen with the following nuanced thoughts about l'affaire Jordan:
(I'm not sure if Lovelady sees Jimmy Stewart as a psychiatrist who can raise feeble-minded peoples' IQ's, or if he's supposed to be an endicronologist who can cure excessive salivation.)
It's certainly very ... interesting ... that Lovelady sees "caring" as an adequate defense against blood libel. If a high news executive were to repeat sick stories of Jews drinking Gentile children's blood, I wouldn't count it in his favor that he was "haunted" by the plight of Palestinian children.
Lovelady stopped by the Vodkapundit comment thread. Bully for him -- and for the power of the blogosphere -- but Lovelady's efforts didn't do much for his position. Lovelady could speak no evil about Jordan:
(Actually, as a later commenter noted, the sessions were anonymous but not off-the-record. And as anyone who actually is interested in obtaining facts knows, Jordan had a history of making lurid claims about soldier abuse of journalists.)
Suppose that Jordan had instead aired his doubts about whether black people had the necessary skills to be news executives. How long do you think he would have been head news executive of CNN? My guess is about an hour and a half -- videotape or no videotape -- and Kurtz, Rosen, and Lovelady would have been first in line to denounce him.