Let’s not martyr Eason Jordan

There are many questions to be asked from the resignation of Eason Jordan, and they need a public airing.

First, there are complaints that the mainstream press ignored the story until they no longer could. Did the guy actually say that he thought the U.S. military was deliberately targeting journalists in Iraq? The pursuit of this question would certainly have been helped had the MSM chosen to get involved.

If he did, why didn’t he just admit it, apologize and move on? If he didn’t, why resign? As long as these questions remain open, the story will live.

Is the blogosphere now playing “gotcha” journalism (oxymoron) with the MSM, and in so doing, using the same methods they’ve long accused the MSM of using? I believe this is true, and that it is one of two reasons the blogosphere will experience a quaking in the months ahead. (The second is lawyers). The charm of the blogosphere — or “citizens media,” as its known in some circles — is that it’s comprised of everyday people — some learned, some not — that provide fuel for the ongoing discussion that is news. Pride goeth before the fall, and I think that a wake-up call is coming for those bloggers who think their mission is to replace the MSM.

My friends Cory Bergman and Steve Safran of Lost Remote think the blogosphere went too far and that the incident will damage already strained relations between the press and bloggers. That may be true, but I’m not sure it matters in the final analysis. If the quest for legitimacy is the wish of bloggers, I ask who grants such a claim? The MSM? No, that can only come from the people, and I’m not convinced they care whether the press and the bloggers get along. What I worry about is the people discovering that there’s no difference between the professional press and citizens media, and if Eason Jordan is successfully martyred, what else can people think? Besides, who’s to say that this wasn’t a “last straw” for CNN?

The lust for power is the Achilles’ Heel of the blogosphere.


  1. This whole controversy begs the question: Is the blogosphere so powerful that it can knock down an executive over one issue?

    Frankly, I think there is power behind the blog movement, but I gotta believe there’s more to this story. I think you may have hit upon that, Terry, when you suggest that this may not have been the last straw for CNN.

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