February 11, 2005
Final Thoughts on the Eason Jordan Controversy
Well, as you may know, I've been moonlighting this week at Easongate.
Today, Eason Jordan resigned his post at CNN.
I was completely flabbergasted by this move. In a way, I see it as a threat, and very skillful damage control (though the best would have been to go public, air the tape, retract, recant, and get it over with). I see it as skillful because I doubt the tape will be released now, though a couple of phone calls could probably make that happen.
And I see it as a threat because without the tape, Jordan is free to play the "victim of the angry bloggers" role. If he doesn't, someone will transpose that upon him. Or, as I told Bill Roggio in a message tonight:
He's leaving because of what he said. But nobody knows what he said. So it's easy to portray his departure as just the fault of a lynch-mob. "Poor ole Eason. Got chased off by bloodthirsty bloggers." I would rather we all knew what happened and then all would understand why he was leaving. CNN is smart in this fasion. Smarter than CBS. Still haven't cracked the code on it though. If they really knew what was up, they would have fixed this immediately and he'd still be employed. But smart enough to solve in a way that makes us look bad . . . In my blogging future, I don't want to just be known as one of the guys who brought Jordan down -- just like he probably doesnt want to be known as the "troop-slanderer."I'm still sorting my thoughts on all of this. This is just wild. Of the nine people I've worked with on Easongate, I've never met any of them, have only communicated via email or instant messenger, and Bill is the only one I've ever spoken to -- and twice at that. It's just wild.
The way I see it, I'm not going to congratulate myself. However hideous his statements are, a man I never met is now toppled partly because of me. In a way, there is something -- not dishonorable -- but disconcerting about the whole thing. Perhaps I am a little too 19th-century in my ideas of honor, but I would have preferred to speak personally with Mr. Jordan about this. Failing that, I would have rather seen the tape and judged his conduct for myself. But Mr. Jordan and I would never have met as equals to discuss this issue. The blogosphere has become a great leveler.
I think he deserved it, but the entire affair is sobering. I am not doing any touchdown dances, or putting a new patch on my pajamas. Though the media may mind its p's and q's a little better after this, I'm not sure it means they'll cover the military better, and that's a shame . . .
The next post here at The Adventures of Chester will be Part III of the series "Conservative Critiques of the War," and will be subtitled, "Clash of Civilizations? More like Total War of Civilizations" [Part I here, Part II here]. I hope to have it up on Sunday evening, and hope you will stop by to read it.
After that I just might take a week off from blogging.
Here's some previous thoughts I've had on bloggers and the major press:
Bloggers vs. the Mainstream? Not quite . . .
And my reasons for joining Easongate:
Geraghty Asks Tough Questions of the Eason Bloggers
UPDATE: Welcome Polipundit and Instapundit readers!