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February 11, 2005

Eason Jordan: Reporters "Deliberately Targeted" by Bloggers

D A V O S, SWITZERLAND -- Eason Jordan, a Chief News Executive at CNN, raised eyebrows and hackles during a panel discussion in which he suggested that bloggers "deliberately target" members of the mainstream media.

"I know of at least twelve journalists who have been targeted by bloggers," Mr. Eason is reported to have claimed. "And I know several journalists who say they've been tortured. They've had all sorts of mean things said about them, and let me tell you, that isn't anyone's idea of fun."

Asked precisely which journalists have been "targeted" by bloggers, Mr. Jordan seemed to backpedal, explaining, "I'm not saying this is necessarily part of blogger policy, coming down from the high command of Instapundit and Powerline and Hugh Hewitt. But there are definitely some bloggers -- individual bloggers, to be sure -- who are targeting journalists."

If Mr. Jordan thought that would end the matter, he soon found himself to be mistaken. Further acts of "torture" at the hands of bloggers quickly ensued, with entire pages dedicated to criticizing Mr. Jordan's remarks.

"It was inhuman," said a high-ranking CNN producer. "It makes Abu Ghraib look like the Bear Jamboree at Disneyland."

Contacted for comment, CNN issued a terse response: "Mr. Jordan was simply attempting to draw a distinction between those journalists deliberately and intentionally targeted by bloggers, and those journalists who were merely embarassed and exposed as fools merely as part of the 'collateral damage' of correcting their myriad errors and fabrications. He certainly did not intended to claim that any bloggers are just making sport of journalists, nor that bloggers believe that journalists are generally incompetent, arrogant daddy-hired-me's, nor even that they would be easily replaced by a cadre of coked-up chimps equipped with Blackberries and fedoras."

Reaction from the blogosphere has been unrelenting-- and unstinting. "Of course we're 'targeting' them, for crying out loud," commented anonymous blogger Ace of Spades. "I mean-- duh. They're, you know, a bunch of half-smart dickheads who cruised through private-but-not-elite colleges earning cushy communication degrees and got their jobs on family connections alone. And now think they're masters of the universe. To borrow a chestnut they're fond of-- they were born on third base, but they think they hit a triple."

Eason Jordan resigned from CNN tonight, saying he hoped to avoid further "tarnishing" CNN's reputation by his presence there.

He says he plans to spend "more time with his family." He also says he's considering co-authoring a book with former NYT Editor-in-Chief Howell Raines and departing CBS News achorman Dan Rather. The book is tentatively titled, Bloggers: Why Do They Hate Us?, and will explore the "root causes" of the blogosphere's disatisfaction with, and rage against, the Western media.

"Hopefully, our book will be a sensitive exploration of the differences that separate bloggers and the legtimate professional media," Mr. Jordan said. "We intend to explore these issues with the characteristic objectivity we're famous for. Our take is that bloggers don't like us because they're all stupid and jealous right-wing mouth-breathers and troglodytic wack-a-doos, but that's just a working premise at this point. We're open to other theories, like that they're simply all mid-functional retards."

Helen Thomas could not be reached for comment, as Friday night is "Canasta 'n Chain-Smokin' Night."

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posted by Ace at 11:33 PM

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