February 8, 2005

Game and Set to Mr. Jordan and CNN


The dog has barked and, without the videotape, the caravan has moved on.

The Eason Jordan vs The Bloggers match ended its first set today with a high lob set-up from Howard Kurtz at the Washington Post put away by an overhand smash by Mr. Adams of Davos who announced that the videotape of the Davos meeting, in which Jordan claimed the US Military was deliberatly killing journalists in Iraq, would not be released to the public.

Jordan's office also released a yet another "clarifying" statement which was picked up and noted in passing by the Boston Globe.

Yes, the New York Sun and the Washington Times have both covered the story and amplified the reports and the reporting by the blogosphere, with Michelle Malkin being especially distinguished in this regard.

But, for the time being, that's all folks.

As I remarked yesterday, the videotape is the key. But just knowing there is a videotape is not enough. At a bare minimum, the videotape must be seen, and widely seen, for it to make a difference. The Jordan/Davos videotape is the McGuffin here in the same way that the Rathergate CBS PDF documents were in that case. If the Jordan videotape is not seen at all, not all the sworn affidavits and interviews with eye-witnesses nor all the "outrage" of career politicians will matter one whit. And we now know that there will be no videotape released. Videotape, as I have said before, is Mr. Jordan's game. You don't think he'd be stupid enough to let it see the light of day if there were any way in which it could be prevented, do you? As William Burroughs is fond of asking, "Wouldn't you?"

Mr. Jordan controls the tape in the best way one can possibly control such a potentially damaging item. He controls is without controlling it. 'It's not me,' he can justly claim. 'It is that damned Davos conference and their Chatham House Rules. Can't do a think about it, fellows.'

I'm not really surprised and neither, do I think, are any other of the online commentators on this issue. Calls for the release of the tape will go on as part of the standard after-game Stonewalling wrap-up, and the whole incident will be marked in Mr. Jordan's Permanent Online Conduct Record. And that, as they say, will be that.

As to mainstream media coverage outside the blogosphere, well, you've had all you're likely to get. With Kurtz at the Washington Post finally weighing in, that's going to be it. Interview with principle, plausible deniability, David Gergan fallen in line, small squib in the Boston Globe.... What more could anyone possibly expect?

Mickey Kaus, it would seem, expected more and harped on Kurtz for days to get on the story. Now that Kurtz has, Kaus is upset because Kurtz didn't go for the jugular. Absurd. What did Kaus expect Kurtz to do? If he expected anything more penetrating that what he got, Kaus is a fool. And I don't think Kaus is a fool, but was setting Kurtz up for a small one-day game of inside-gotcha. That's also over now with the game point going to Kurtz and Jordan.

The Jordan Affair is now officially stamped with the big red stencil that spells out: O L D N E W S.

In this world, if it doesn't happen on television it doesn't happen, and without the videotape this will not happen on television.

Woof. Woof. Woof. Saddle the camels. Head out for the dunes.

As President Bartlett says, "What's next?"
UPDATE: Reynolds @ Instapundit is quite correct when he notes:

"I hate to accuse Gerard of old-media thinking, but I think that's what's going on here. It's true, of course, that without video the story won't get a lot of play on TV. But that's the short game, in which the goal is getting rid of Eason Jordan. Or hanging on to him."

To which I plead "Guilty... but with an explanation." I said "Game. Set." not "Game. Set. Match."

That outcome is likely to be very different indeed. And for the middle phase, Reynolds rightly points to Jim Geraghty's excellent "Remember this the next time" item found HERE AT TKS.

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Posted by Vanderleun at February 8, 2005 9:54 AM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Thank you for being the first to acknowledge the obvious: this is old news, being flogged incessantly by the pajamahadeen.

Posted by: Stephen B. at February 8, 2005 11:17 AM

Not really a problem - CNN, and the TSM, has become pretty much irrelevant in this day and age. Nielsen ratings are going to the basement, in general, for the TSM, and specifically CNN & CBS, who are dragging the rest of the TSM down to the bowels of the planet. Eason Jordan has zero to negative credibility, as does the propaganda organization he represents. It really doesn't matter what he, or his ilk, say anymore. It's just more ranting from the fever swamp. Heh.

Posted by: Vulgorilla at February 8, 2005 12:13 PM

One more thought......

If the military is going to be publicly accused of targeting and killing journalists, with no way to defend themselves, then maybe.....just maybe....this might trigger a self fulfilling prophecy? Heh.

Posted by: Vulgorilla at February 8, 2005 12:20 PM

Game and set to Jordan.

The long-term match is by no means over.

A few left-of-center bloggers have seen the light. The MSMers who either ignored this or glossed over it know that Eason and CNN owe them bigtime. When (not if) CNN and/or Jordan screw up again, more of them will run out of patience, more bloggers will see the light.

Drip, drip, drip, as MSM credibility goes down the drain.

Drop, drop, drop goes Time Warner stock as one of its former crown jewels continues to hemorrhage market share. TWC announced a 75% increase in profit recently. The stock didn't budge. It's gone nowhere in the past 15 months. People know.

Posted by: Tom at February 8, 2005 12:52 PM

I trust everyone here did indeed note that I did not write "Game Set Match," but merely "Game. Set..."

Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at February 8, 2005 1:02 PM

Wait a minute- one of the panel was misquoted by one of the press releases denying the incident as having used the words 'collateral damage'.
Does Eason have to consent to release or any one of the panelists?

Secondly - why wouldn't someone who wants to keep this issue alive, leak a fake transcript. Forcing Davos to release the video to prove things weren't as bad as the fake transcript. After all,
faxed documents from a Kinko's fool MSN on a regular basis- why wouldn't someone use this against them.

Posted by: Rezearch at February 8, 2005 1:13 PM

I always think if you can make someone behave in an indefensible manner in order to cover up their stupidity, then you have really won. They know what they did and assuming they have any pride or self-worth whatever, they recognize they have been busted.

Kaus called them on it, they sold their souls to quell the damn issue and we all know it.

I know I'm assuming a lot there, but it appears to me "Game, set,..." indeed.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 8, 2005 1:34 PM

As I posted last night at Two Minute Offense and Deacon at Power Line noted, the blogosphere cannot force the MSM to cover an issue any more than talk radio could in the 90s. Even when tens of millions of listeners were aware of a story (see Juanita Broderick and the other examples I cited) they simply stonewalled. So I agree that it is very likely we have seen all we are going to see from the MSM. I hope I am wrong.

But we don't need to see the videotape at all to know Jordan is absolutely wrong here. David Gergen shut the panel discussion down because he felt the military should have a chance to respond and they were not there to defend themselves. That blows the "misunderstood" defense completely out of the water. At that point (and because of the reaction we know he got from the anti-American crowd and from Barney Frank), it was obvious that he had left the impression that he had made accusations of targeting. Obviously, any rowback he supposedly engaged in had failed. The world understood him to have made the claim.

Yet knowing he had been "misunderstood", he made no effort to correct the effort. Thus, he was happy to be known for having slandered our military. It doesn't matter what he said. Only that he knew how his words were interpreted and chose not to correct the interpretation.

More at my blog.

Stan Brown

Posted by: stan at February 8, 2005 3:40 PM

So, an exec at CNN says something idiotic and inflammatory. Seems like a familiar story somehow....

Posted by: Dean Esmay at February 9, 2005 5:04 AM

I say the military should pull all CNN reporters out of Afghanistan and Iraq and keep them from any Pentagon briefings until this is resolved. The head of CNN says they are in danger so this would be for their own good. CNN could use the reports from FOX in the meantime.

Posted by: chris at February 9, 2005 5:19 AM

There's long been a cant about "the Eeeevil Corporation" and all the dubious and nefarious acts it would perform in the name of Business.

Seems like that's what's happened here, with CNN engaging in slander in order to curry favor with its foreign markets. Funny thing is though, the cant originated with the Left, and many of its denizens (like Stephen B.) don't see a problem now.

Posted by: P.A. Breault at February 9, 2005 8:29 AM

I agree with game (Jordan) and match (too soon to call) but disagree with set. Jordan definitely won a game by getting WEF to squelch the video. That will indeed keep it off TV, and thus keep it out of the limelight.
I think Set depends on whether the video stays out of sight. It could be forced into the light several different ways. The WEF made clear that they would reconsider its release if panelists asked for it. That opens the door...if the WEF starts to get blamed for the stonewalling, they can sell Jordan down the river. Pressure may yet turn the tide in the relatively near future. The truth of what happened may be down a game, but the set is not yet lost. And match is a long way away.

Oh, and Chris, CNN doesn't have any reporters in Afghanistan. Not enough bad news to warrant coverage.

Posted by: Blanknoone at February 9, 2005 1:17 PM

Blanknoone - Eason Jordon has 12 reporters in Afghanistan.

They smuggle heroin for him to sell to school children. (Hey one wild ass rumor deserves another and no you cannot have the video of me saying the above.)

Posted by: chris at February 9, 2005 5:23 PM
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