Wednesday, April 16, 2003

More questions for CNN's Jordan. Not all the news coming out of CNN is bad these days. The wretched Crossfire is getting bumped to the dead zone to make way for Paula Zahn, and Aaron Brown is still employed, buzz to the contrary notwithstanding. (The headline on Media Whores Online: "Rumors Swirl that Brown too Competent for CNN.")

But the controversy that has engulfed chief news executive Eason Jordan hasn't died down quite yet. Nor should it.

If you haven't read Peter Collins's commentary in yesterday's Washington Times yet, well, hop to it. I'm a day late to this particular car crash, but Collins is devastating. He describes working at CNN in 1993 and being upbraided for showing insufficient on-air enthusiasm regarding some lie-filled blather from Saddam Hussein at a time when Jordan and CNN's then-president, Tom Johnson, were trying to line up an interview with Saddam.

I suspect this would have gotten more attention if it were not for the fact that Collins's account is essentially uncorroborated, and that it was published in the lightly regarded WashTimes. But what motives would Collins have to make this stuff up?

Also, Hub Blogger Jay Fitzgerald has absolutely nailed Jordan on a detail that appears to have eluded everyone else, including Media Log. Jordan, in his op-ed in the New York Times last Friday, wrote about a Kuwaiti woman who was tortured and murdered for the crime of giving an interview to CNN -- one of several horrific stories Jordan sat on until now, citing the need to protect CNN's people in Iraq.

But wait. As Fitzgerald notes, Kuwait was liberated 12 years ago. Why did Jordan believe he needed to remain silent all these years? Fitzgerald's conclusion: "They sold their souls for access."

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