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February 14, 2005

Firing CNN's Jordan for His Davos Statement

Today's WSJ editorializes that CNN news executive Jordan should not have been fired for publicly saying that American troops shot journalists and then confusedly trying to back down from his statement. The Journal is right that this is not a serious ethical offense, but wrong that he should not have been fired. . . .

. . . Here is what the Journal says:

It is true that Mr. Jordan has a knack for indefensible remarks, including a 2003 New York Times op-ed in which he admitted that CNN had remained silent about Saddam's atrocities in order to maintain its access in Baghdad. That really was a firing offense. But CNN stood by Mr. Jordan back then--in part, one suspects, because his confession implicated the whole news organization. Now CNN is throwing Mr. Jordan overboard for this much slighter transgression, despite faithful service through his entire adult career.
The question for CNN here is not whether Mr. Jordan is unethical, but whether CNN wants (a) to be, and (b) to have a reputation as, a news organization run by anti-American people who are out of touch with reality. This is a business decision. Just because a business has let an incompetent rise within its ranks does not mean it has to keep him there for his entire life.

Posted by erasmuse at February 14, 2005 08:06 AM

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