Progressive Programmer

Progressive Politics or idle geek banter. What's on my mind when I'm irked, intrigued, bored or up too late.

Location: Michigan, United States


Reality and News should be unrelated, or ELSE

Early in 2005, Eason Jordan was rushed into resignation after questioning whether the USA was actively targeting journalists? Here is his letter of resignation
After 23 years at CNN, I have decided to resign in an effort to prevent CNN from being unfairly tarnished by the controversy over conflicting accounts of my recent remarks regarding the alarming number of journalists killed in Iraq.
and some commentary:
Eason Jordan resigned last night as CNN’s chief news executive in an effort to quell a bubbling controversy over his remarks about U.S. soldiers killing journalists in Iraq.
There was, and is, even a website,, that pushed for Eason's outting and is still congratulating itself today:
It's not a "right" story or a "left" story. It's a story about 150,000 young men and women who are black, white, hispanic, asian, republicans, democrats, independents, gay and straight and perhaps socialists who are sacrificing life and limb for the current Commander in Chief (doesn't matter if we agree or disagree with him -- they are there dying) -- and they have been accused of nothing short of murder....
Whatever Jordan said, perhaps he wasn't really talking about the individual soldiers... but the administration's policies? I don't know.

But what are we to make of word out of the UK that Bush wanted to bomb Al-Jazeera in our crucial regional ally Qatar. Blair (the Luke Duke of the two) had to talk him out of it. Nice. Well, if Blair talked Bush out of bombing Al-Jazeera within the borders of an ally, would Bush hold back from bombing them elsewhere?

The Al-Jazeera station in Kabul was bombed.
The U.S. bombing of the Al Jazeera station in Kabul in 2001 was explained by U.S. officials as a result of detection of a satellite uplink indicating an interview with a Taliban member. U.S. officials have gone farther, stating publicly that any uplink from enemy territory if detected by U.S. planes could be the basis for an attack without differentiation between journalism and enemy communications (see Gopsill, “Target the Media”). This threat to bomb even “friendly” journalists and stations would be a strong deterrent to placing them in enemy territory. The threat helped induce CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox to pull out of Baghdad before the March 2003 invasion. Gopsill notes, “This exodus was pleasing to the Pentagon,” causing the U.S. public to be “ignorant of what their forces were doing to the city.” [emphasis progprog's]
Strong deterrent to placing them in enemy territory? Indeed.

The Kabul Bombing came up at the News World Conference in Barcelona, written about in the aptly titled How Smart Was This Bomb?.
Gowing's argument was that Al-Jazeera's only crime was that it was "bearing witness" to events that the US would rather it did not see. Indeed there is no clear evidence that Al-Jazeera directly supported the Taliban - simply that it enjoyed greater access than other stations. Certainly, Al-Jazeera reflects a certain cultural tradition: but only in the same way that CNN approaches stories from a western perspective.
Of course we can't have that, Mr. Gowing.

The Al-Jazeera station in Bagdad was bombed.
The al-Jazeera office is in a two-story house on a road along the Tigris River that links the Information Ministry with the old palace presidential compound. Al-Jazeera said the area is residential and isn't close to governmental or military installations. The station continued to broadcast live from the Palestine Hotel after the bombing.

Some Al-Jazeera employees felt the bombing might have been deliberate, for the station has been reporting extensively on the plight of Iraqi civilians and the number of casualties from U.S. bomb attacks. [emphasis progprog's]
Maybe these employees were right about it being deliberate?
Nabil Khoury, a U.S. State Department spokesman in Doha, said the strike on the Arab satellite TV network's office was a mistake, and he called upon al-Jazeera not to jump to conclusions. My personal view is that it is a mistake, a grave mistake. It is something we all regret, Khoury said. I personally cannot imagine that a country which respects general freedoms can target media establishments. [emphasis progprog's]
Nabil, I personally cannot imagine that you have ever met the President of these United States.

Thank Bush for being whacky enough--and evil enough--to drop foreign opinions of our great nation yet another notch or two over this insanity.

I doubt all this is any consolation to Eason Jordan.

If only the Bush Administration would just come out and say that any effort to report, purport, imply, suggest, hint, nod affirmation or blink morse code anything resembling truth or reality without first running it through their spin machine, perhaps we'd all be be much better off?

Eason Jordan link via Crooks and Liars

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


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