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. . . .
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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