Friday, April 01, 2005

The Cost of the Eason Jordan Scandal

An article in American Journalism Review performs a post-mortem on the Eason Jordan scandal via an interview with Rony Abovitz, the man who witnessed and blogged Eason Jordan's accusations against American soldiers. The article raises as many questions as it answers.
...When I landed, I got a call from the general counsel of my company that CNN was calling, that Eason Jordan was calling, did I read the Web, did I know what I'd done?" he says.

In quick succession he got calls from the Miami Herald, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NPR, the BBC, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Bill O'Reilly and conservative radio host and blogger Hugh Hewitt, of whom he had never heard...
Why is it that the only entity on that list who recognized the significance of what Jordan had said and treated it as the breaking news story it was, was a blogger? Since all of these news organizations contacted the source (Abovitz), how is it that they all failed to publish prominently about Eason Jordan, and how could all of them fail to note the reaction in the blogosphere? Was it by accident of design?

The real damage that Jordan's slanderous statements caused is evident here:
"My point was that I wanted to know what the truth was, and I was open to the truth being that the U.S. had done this," he says. And that was still the case six weeks post-Davos, after U.S. troops at a Baghdad checkpoint opened fire on the vehicle carrying Giuliana Sgrena, an Italian journalist freed in early March after a month as a hostage. An Italian intelligence agent died in the March 4 incident, and Sgrena was injured.

"It sounds like the core issues of Easongate live on," Abovitz says.
Yes, the core issues of Easongate live on. Because of Jordan's irresponsible, unfounded statements, insane allegations against American soldiers were and are being entertained. And now the MSM are so embarrassed by initially giving credence to Sgrena, whose story changes and shifts by the hour, that they haven't bothered to debunk her ridiculous recollections.

Via Captain's Quarters