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Jewish World Review
Feb. 9, 2005
/ 30 Shevat, 5765
CNN slimes our troops
One of the most common complaints I hear from our troops is that the media
rarely report on the military's good deeds.
A simple column I wrote last month lauding the humanitarian efforts of our
men and women in the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, for
example, resulted in an avalanche of mail from military members and their
families expressing astonishment and relief over a bit of positive press.
"I cannot tell you how much that it meant to myself as well as several of my
shipmates to be praised," wrote Mariano Gonzales, a member of Strike Fighter
Squadron 151 aboard the Lincoln. "Sometimes it seems that in today's world,
it is just not fashionable for someone in a position to influence public
opinion to admit that the U.S. military's role in the world involves more
than just war and bloodshed."
Well, with folks like powerful CNN executive Eason Jordan in charge -- a man
who clearly has issues with the U.S. military -- it's no wonder our troops
so often feel smeared and slimed.
For the past week, Internet weblogs ("blogs") around the world have been
buzzing about outrageous comments regarding American soldiers reportedly
made by Jordan, the head of CNN's news division, at a World Economic Forum
gathering in Davos, Switzerland. (My reporting on the controversy, with
extensive links to other bloggers, is at www.michellemalkin.com.) According
to several eyewitnesses, Jordan asserted on Jan. 27 that American military
personnel had deliberately targeted and killed journalists in Iraq. (Jordan
has since disputed the characterization of his remarks.)
Why wasn't this headline news?
Forum organizers have stonewalled citizen attempts to gain access to a
videotape or transcript of the Davos meeting. But American businessman Rony
Abovitz, who attended the panel Jordan participated in, reported immediately
after the forum that "Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had
not only been killed by U.S. troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been
targeted. He repeated the assertion a few times, which seemed to win favor
in parts of the audience (the anti-U.S. crowd) and cause great strain on
Another panel attendee, historian Justin Vaisse, wrote on his blog that
Jordan "didn't mince words in declaring that the intentions of journalists
in Iraq were never perceived as neutral and were made deliberate targets by
On Monday, journalist and presidential adviser David Gergen, who moderated
the panel, told me that Jordan indeed asserted that journalists in Iraq had
been targeted by military "on both sides." Gergen said Jordan tried to
backtrack, but then went on to speculate about a few incidents involving
journalists killed in the Middle East -- a discussion Gergen cut off because
"the military and the government weren't there to defend themselves."
Panel member Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., also told me that Jordan asserted
that there was deliberate targeting of journalists by the U.S. military and
that Jordan "left open the question" of whether there were individual cases
in which American troops targeted journalists.
Finally, panel attendee Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., issued a statement
in response to my inquiry that he "was outraged by the comments. Senator
Dodd is tremendously proud of the sacrifice and service of our American
Jordan's defenders say he was "misunderstood" and deserves the "benefit of
the doubt." But the man's record is one of incurable anti-American
Jordan's the man who admitted last spring that CNN withheld news out of
Baghdad to maintain access to Saddam Hussein's regime. He was quoted last
fall telling a Portuguese forum that he believed journalists had been
arrested and tortured by American forces (a charge he maintains today). In
the fall of 2002, he reportedly accused the Israeli military of deliberately
targeting CNN personnel "on numerous occasions." He was in the middle of the
infamous Tailwind scandal, in which CNN was forced to retract a Peter Arnett
report that the American military used sarin gas against its own troops in
Laos. And in 1999, Jordan declared: "We are a global network, and we take
global interest[s] first, not U.S. interests first."
Now, who is more deserving of the benefit of the doubt? Eason Jordan or our
men and women on the battlefield?
I support the troops.
Malkin is a contributor to Fox News Channel, which competes with CNN.
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