You Oughtta Be In Pictures

Grand Opening of the CNN Job Fair

Good news on the unemployment front. Flood victims, who lost their lives, scored a legal victory against the federal government today. CNN reports that they have won their case to get those out-of-working stiffs off the streets and back into full-time employ. No longer will the living impaired be forced into poverty by the legal roadblocks of Jumbo Shrimp W, LLC a division of BushCo. CNN stands firmly committed to increasing the job opportunities for those people deprived of an honest day’s living by the hamfisted efforts of the Bush Team. Although no previous acting experience was necessary for the parts they’ll be playing – you can expect to see them on a TV near you in no time.

“As seen most recently from war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq, from tsunami-ravaged South Asia and from Hurricane Katrina’s landfall along the Gulf,” Walton (CNN News Group President) wrote, “CNN has shown that it is capable of balancing vigorous reporting with respect for private concerns.”

And Walton makes a valid point. Such “balance” in their reporting was at it’s zenith when former CNN Chief News Executive Eason Jordan recounted how he exercised that “balance” in not reporting the crimes of Saddam Hussein so that he could keep his Baghdad office open. As Jordan wrote in a 2003 New York Times op-ed that illustrated what it takes to be a big-time newsman:

Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN’s Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff.

For example, in the mid-1990’s one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government’s ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency’s Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk.

And more from the Most Trusted Name in News ™:

We also had to worry that our reporting might endanger Iraqis not on our payroll. I knew that CNN could not report that Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, Uday, told me in 1995 that he intended to assassinate two of his brothers-in-law who had defected and also the man giving them asylum, King Hussein of Jordan. If we had gone with the story, I was sure he would have responded by killing the Iraqi translator who was the only other participant in the meeting. After all, secret police thugs brutalized even senior officials of the Information Ministry, just to keep them in line (one such official has long been missing all his fingernails).

Still, I felt I had a moral obligation to warn Jordan’s monarch, and I did so the next day. King Hussein dismissed the threat as a madman’s rant. A few months later Uday lured the brothers-in-law back to Baghdad; they were soon killed.

Yet in the face of all this, Jordan was able to distinguish what was newsworthy and what wasn’t so as to shield the American public from getting the wrong impression about Hussein’s Happy Funland:

Then there were the events that were not unreported but that nonetheless still haunt me. A 31-year-old Kuwaiti woman, Asrar Qabandi, was captured by Iraqi secret police occupying her country in 1990 for “crimes,” one of which included speaking with CNN on the phone. They beat her daily for two months, forcing her father to watch. In January 1991, on the eve of the American-led offensive, they smashed her skull and tore her body apart limb by limb. A plastic bag containing her body parts was left on the doorstep of her family’s home.

I felt awful having these stories bottled up inside me. Now that Saddam Hussein’s regime is gone, I suspect we will hear many, many more gut-wrenching tales from Iraqis about the decades of torment. At last, these stories can be told freely.

And now a word from our sponsors.


How could I ever doubt The Left’s sincerity in needing photos to tell a story? After broadcasting all of those abortion photos on tv everytime they talk about overturning Roe v. Wade, it was just my paranoia flaring up to think that they only want to assail Bush on flag-draped coffins or flood victims and hide other images if it hurts their cause.


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  3. Well I know that a lot of people who follow the news on a daily basis, as I have for years, know about Eason Jordan’s mea culpa in the Time op-ed. It’s always handy for any argument.

    To deny the bias that exists in our media is to reveal an elemental ignorance (because intentional ignorance is not) in the face of an Inescapable Truth.

    Jordan admits, under no threat of coercion, under no sanction from the state, that he buried stories about torture in the same manner tha Hussein buried those that opposed Him. In the schemata, Jordan is a lesser Monster on a higher, more air-conditioned rung of Hell. But a monster all the same and a Traitor to his profession.

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