Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Easongate context

Eason Jordan's comments in Davos were not a one-time transgression, they were his own repetition of a slander he had previously uttered, according to this quote in The Guardian:

'Actions speak louder than words. The reality is that at least 10 journalists have been killed by the US military, and according to reports I believe to be true journalists have been arrested and tortured by US forces,' Mr. Jordan told an audience of news executives at the News Xchange conference in Portugal.

I mentioned that statement in TKM's first post on Jordan's remarks. Here's what Hewitt says (click title link) with regard to Jordan's Portugal proclamaion:

This is the key to the entire episode. Imagine a man on trial for two crimes, the second one of which is a repeat of the first. There is no dispute as to the details of the first crime, and it can be admitted into evidence as to the mindset and intent of the defendant. Wouldn't it be discussed? Will Michael Jackson's previous incidents be part of the discussion of his current trial?

Even outside of the judicial process it is routine to look for patterns of behavior as means of assisting interpretation of ambiguous situations. This is why every sport includes scouting staffs -- to see how past practice might predict future performance.

Slate's media commentator Jack Shafer, noting that it's obvious Jordan never tried to back up his claim with actual facts, says:

Jordan's dereliction is less a mistake than it is proof of brain rot. The supreme editor of a news organization can't expect to make unsupportable inflammatory statements and maintain the respect of his truth-seeking troops at the same time. CNN did the right thing to show him the door. I would have done the same.

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