Posted from the U.S
Over the last few days I have been interviewed by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and now Fox (on the O'Reilly Factor tonight). The speed, fury, and impact of blogging is hard to understand.
I would like to reprint pieces of what I posted prior to Eason Jordan resigning:
- Eason Jordan should personally lobby for, and release the videotape of the session where Easongate began.
- CNN should play the video in its unedited format, for all to see, as well as give copies to any other media outlet who wants it.
- Eason, in a way unobstructed by spin, can face his own words and deal with the consequences head on.
- There will be fury about what he said, but the speculation will end. For those of us who were there, we know that what is on the tape does not bode well for him but it should not stop him from releasing it.
- Admit fully any mistakes.
I would take no joy in Eason Jordan losing his job, even if it is the right and just thing to do. None of us should. We all can, have, and probably will make major mistakes in our lifetime. Perhaps not as large and visible as this one, but it will happen. The decision if he should maintain his role as the head of one of the world's largest news organizations is not mine to make, but it likely is in question. Whatever happens to him, imagine if this were happening to a friend. It may be deserved, it may be the right thing, but the outcome would leave you hollow. There should be no joy in seeing a fellow human being fall down. As the drive for accountability builds, it needs to be tempered with a sense of humility.
What has happened here is an amazing display of the power of blogging technology affecting the media, but there is a sense of frontier justice. I never claimed to be the judge and jury - I just asked some hard questions, many of which remained unanswered. I have also called for a higher level of blogger ethics and standards, an area which needs a lot of work.
I could also detect a tangible fear and sense of anxiety with many members of the mainstream media I have spoken with since he resigned. Some are excited to see a competitor go down, but for many they hear the bell tolling for them, not just for Eason. A few almost seem afraid to speak with me, lest I point the unwashed blog hordes in their direction.
This is not the point at all. Blogging should be a true democratization of the media, writings, and free speech. I hope bloggers can adopt and scale the free, open, and cooperative spirit that has built Linux and many open source software projects. Blogging should not be about right or left wing witch hunts. I started by asking for accountability, fairness, objectivity - some real evidence. The last few weeks have been just one example of how many problems we have in the political media fabric, and what a tangled mess it has become (from all sides).
The net result: Eason Jordan resigns, but many questions and problems remain open.