February 6, 2005

Lookin' Over Jordan

The incomparable Hugh Hewitt has been hocking the contrast between the mainstream media (MSM) coverage of two speeches: one by CNN big Eason Jordan at the élite conclave at Davos, Switzerland, and another by Marine general James Mattis in San Diego at a meeting sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Assn. and the U.S. Naval Institute.

Jordan apparently told the assembled gnomes of Zurich and other bigs that U.S. forces in Iraq had deliberately targeted and killed journalists -- not just as a matter of collateral damage, but deliberately. Meanwhile, Gen. Mattis was quoted as saying that it was fun to shoot Taliban in Afghanistan, and that he enjoyed war.

Matttis's remarks were widely covered by the MSM, such as the Los Angeles Times:

Seated at a long table next to other military commanders, Mattis told about 200 people at the San Diego Convention Center: "Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling."

Mattis added: "You go into Afghanistan, you've got guys who slapped women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

Initially at least, there was almost no MSM coverage of Jordan's charges, which he could not substantiate, and shocked even Rep. Barney Frank and David Gergen, who were part of the Davos panel.

Hugh saw this as evidence of deep-seated media bias:

Type "Eason Jordan" into those same search engines and you will get nothing concerning Jordan's scandalous accusation at Davos on January 27 that the American military "targeted" and killed a dozen journalists in Iraq. Zip. Nothing.

The elite media instantly saddles up to ride to the condemnation of a speech given by a warrior much beloved and respected by his troops --a genuine hero and charismatic war-winner who believes in closing with and killing the enemy before they kill his troops and more civilians, and for whose ideology of fascism he has complete contempt.

But let the speech be given by a MSM big, and let the subject be a slander on the entire American military, and the result is total MSM silence.

This is why there is near complete contempt for the MSM among center-right people. Think about it. Every major paper has an anti-Mattis story. Not one has even mentioned Jordan.

Cancel a MSM subscription today. And find a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine to thank for their service.

Jack Kelly was apparently the first MSM type to surface the Eason Jordan story:

The scandalous remarks of Eason Jordan, CNN's top news executive, last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the failure of the major media to report them suggest the distortions are deliberate.

Mr. Jordan told a panel that the U.S. military had killed a dozen journalists in Iraq, and that they had been deliberately targeted. When challenged, Mr. Jordan could provide no evidence to support the charge, and subsequently lied about having made it, though the record shows he had made a similar charge a few months before, and also earlier had falsely accused the Israeli military of targeting journalists.

Mr. Jordan's slander has created a firestorm in the blogosphere, but has yet to be mentioned in the "mainstream" media.

Gee, I wonder why not.

The Jordan thing has built into a blogosphere swarm, even getting its very own special blog.

Gen. Mattis's remarks simply remind us that as Rush Limbaugh puts it, the Marines' job is to "break things," and also to kill the enemy. If a war is just, killing the enemy is just, and although we know one of God's creatures has been killed, if a conflict is worth going to war over, killing the enemy is the right thing to do. No use being squeamish about it, unless one wants to adopt pacifism as a philosophy.

The Mattis story seems to have died down.

The Jordan charges, if seriously intended, on the other hand, are quite serious. Deliberate killing of any civilian is a violation of the law of war. Whether journalists are entitled to any greater deference than any other civilian is debatable, but there's no question that the charge is very serious indeed. If Jordan meant what he said in such a public venue, he needed to back it up. If he just made the charge casually, without evidence, or knowingly falsely, it was a libel of the American armed forces. In any case, it's a big deal when a big shot makes a big charge.

Why, then, the days of silence in the MSM?

One would think that if it were a case of the usual solidarity among journalists (e.g., the "sky is falling" coverage of threatened contempt citations against journalists in the Plame affair), Jordan' remarks would get great play, if anyone in the MSM thought they were believable. The silence, then, belies embarrassment that one of one's fellows has gone off the rails.

Honor Among Thieves

As with Dan Rather, the MSM are reluctant to pile on one of their own, even when his conduct is outrageous. With the blogosphere and talk radio out there, this conspiracy of silence may well fail. Or succeed.

Up to now, I haven't found this story terribly interesting. Having decided to blog it, and thinking about it, for a honcho at a major US network to accuse American armed forces of repeated violations of the laws of war, to then lie about it, and to present no evidence, is a big story. It's certainly worse than any numerical inaccuracy in Joe McCarthy's Wheeling speech, that prototype of the liberal parade of horribles. And the MSM's silence is indeed deafening.

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