Posted from the U.S
I found the following on Danny Schecter's News Dissector Blog:
With that in mind, I bring you a letter Media for Democracy, the MediaChannel's action arm, sent out yesterday. In the end, action always speaks louder than words:
CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan quit late last week amid a furor over remarks he allegedly made about American soldiers intentionally killing journalists in Iraq. Jordan delivered the remarks while sitting on an off-the-record panel of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
While no actual tape of his comments has yet to be released, an attendee disseminated news of the event into the blogosphere and ignited a firestorm, which included charges that CNN itself – not just Jordan in his personal capacity – had "slimed our troops."
Leading the charge was CNN competitor Fox News Channel and its sister publication, The New York Post. Members of Congress piled on with angry demands for evidence although the tone of their remarks suggested a total denial of the possibility that Jordan may know something that they didn't. Instead, Jordan's patriotism and CNN's integrity was attacked.
This incident raises three urgent issues:
1. Do media executives have a right to express opinions that deviate from the official line? Media companies should defend the rights of their employees to take part in democratic debate without fears of recriminations. The conservative editorial page of The Wall Street Journal and the World Editors Forum have rushed in to defend Jordan's right to express controversial opinions without intimidation.
2. Do media companies have an obligation to investigate and not just denigrate? CNN, Reuters, the Associated Press, AFP and other media outlets should take a fresh look at these charges to determine their validity. At least eleven journalists have been killed by "friendly fire" since the War in Iraq began, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Thus far there has been little effort by the Pentagon to explain their deaths.
3. Are we who care about integrity in the media willing to stand up to protect free speech during a time of war? While this issue is often spun as a left-right story, it's about much more than that. We are all paying dearly for this war. Shouldn't we Americans have a right to know what's being done in our name?
Reuters, the International Federation of Journalists and other press freedom groups have pressed for independent investigations of suspicious killings in Iraq. The Pentagon has refused to cooperate or permit journalists to interview soldiers involved in these incidents.
What's the truth?
Media for Democracy members can help press for full disclosure and clear up the controversy and partisan mudslinging on this issue. Here are two things you can do:
1. Write CNN and ask them to conduct a full investigation into Eason's charge that journalists may have been intentionally targeted:
President of CNN News Group
One CNN Center
PO Box 105366
Atlanta, GA 30348
Phone: (404) 827-1500
Fax: (404) 878-0891
2. Write the Pentagon to demand more cooperation with independent groups seeking an inquiry into "friendly fire" deaths:
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
Email form: www.dod.mil/faq/comment.html
Tel 1: (703) 697-5131
Tel 2: (703) 428-0711
Thank you for taking action
THEY SHOOT JOURNALISTS, DON'T THEY?
Chris Paterson, AlterNet
Eason Jordan of CNN is the latest casualty of a media cowed by the right wing and the military. Unlike some journalists in Iraq, Jordan only lost his job.
Here is part of my original posting:
Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd, you both seem like good and honest men, and Congressman Frank especially seems like someone with a bit of courage (I'm sure Senator Dodd is brave as well). Clear up this mess, use your power and authority as elected leaders, and make transparent what really happened. You must do this to respect the 12 journalists killed and let the world know how and why. Here is another challenge, and this one is for the CNN and the BBC: What the hell happened? Is Eason right or is he wrong? Good journalism calls for digging into and revealing all of the facts (or was everything that was said in the mild part of the discussion about fair coverage and seeking the truth just verbage?).
Here is an open question regarding "Eason Jordan of CNN is the latest casualty of a media cowed by the right wing and the military":
Why didn't CNN, the BBC, or other major media outlet produce any tangible, hard facts about what happened to those 12 journalists?