Glenn Reynolds looks at the long game versus the short game of CNN’s stonewalling on Eason Jordan. Coming less than two years after their infamous “The News We Kept To Ourselves” admission, six years after their faked “Tailwind” report (that claimed that the US used nerve gas in Vietnam), many chickens are coming how to roost in Ted Turner’s old henhouse, to stretch a metaphor far, far beyond its breaking point.
But this point by Jim Geraghty, which Glenn also links to, is key:
If the Davos organizers refuse to release [the videotape of Jordan’s statement], and CNN refuses to call for its release, and the BBC refuses to call for its release, and every other news agency refuses to call for its release…
…then remember this, the next time the media gets up on a high horse about the public’s right to know. Remember this the next time Dick Cheney has a meeting with energy executives. Remember this the next time reporters complain about Bush not holding enough press conferences, and not doing enough interviews. Remember this the next time they talk about the importance of a free press, and an informed citizenry.
Because it’s all conditional. None of this applies when the situation includes a media executive says something in a big forum that he later realizes he doesn’t want the public to hear. Then all of a sudden, none of this matters, because it’s bad form for other news agencies to look into the story if he wants it to go away. “Bad manners, old chap. We journalists have to stick together.”