OpinionMeister

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Easton Jordan Statement

We wrote yesterday how Easton Jordan, executive vice president and chief news executive of CNN, stated that US servicemen were "targeting" journalists, 63 of whom have died in Iraq. Link.
I do not believe the U.S. military is trying to kill journalists in Iraq. I said so during the forum panel discussion. But, nonetheless, the U.S. military has killed several journalists in Iraq in cases of mistaken identity. The reason the word “targeted” came up at all is because I was responding to a comment by Congressman Franks, who said he believed the 63 journalists killed in Iraq were the victims of “collateral damage.” Since three of my CNN colleagues and many other journalists have been killed on purpose in Iraq, I disputed the “collateral damage” statement, saying, unfortunately, many journalists — not all — killed in Iraq were indeed targeted. When someone aims a gun at someone and pulls the trigger and then learns later the person fired at was actually a journalist, an apology is ppropriate (sic) and is accepted, and I believe those apologies to be genuine. But such a killing is a tragic case of mistaken identity, not a case of “collateral damage.” That is the distinction I was trying to make even if I did not make it clearly at the time.

This makes about as much sense as "I voted for the 87 billion dollars before I voted against it." Either he believes that US servicemen are targeting jounalists, which is what he said, or he does not believe it and should not have said it. If he cannot tell the difference between "targeting" and "mistaken identity," how can a reputable news organization employ him. This, of course, leaves us with the question of how reputable is CNN.

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