Sunday, February 13, 2005

Eason Jordan: Is There More Than Meets the Eye?

Mickey Kaus at kausfiles has an interesting post up that suggests a resolution to the mystery of why Eason Jordan was relatively quick to resign. Kaus has been playing up the Howard Kurtz angle - i.e., the softball coverage on l'affaire Jordan provided by the Washington Post and CNN reporter, and the conflict of interest so transparently present. Howard has edited an article he wrote on the resignation to delete a reference to Jordan's personal life. The original article, available here, said of Jordan: executives are also said to have lost patience with the continuing gossip about Jordan, including his affair with Marianne Pearl, widow of the murdered reporter Daniel Pearl, and subsequent marital breakup.
The new version, including a lot of quotes from big-time bloggers, is here, and the passage has been changed to:
Several CNN staffers say Jordan was eased out by top executives who had lost patience with both the controversy and the continuing published gossip about Jordan's personal life after a marital breakup.
Frankly, the change is immaterial to me. Some have commented on the privacy of Marianne Pearl as a reason for the revision; Kurtz himself says space considerations were to blame (space considerations? It's not like we're talking about several paragraphs...). My problem is: I don't buy it.

Mickey Kaus is a great blogger and one of the few Democratic voices that I enjoy reading, but this one doesn't pass the smell test. A high-powered news executive having an affair, even with the widow of a well-respected writer who, for those who don't know, was murdered in cold blood by Islamic terrorists - this is the reason CNN didn't come to his defense? I think Jordan resigned for a far simpler reason. The CNN execs saw a copy of the Davos videotape - and it backed up the version of Jordan's remarks given by his accusers. To paraphrase William of Occam: when in doubt, follow the easiest path to your destination.

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