Sunday, February 13, 2005

Eason Jordan: I haven't had anything to say on this, though I've been following it with interest. Seems to me that the upshot needs no real explication. The media itself, in fact, told the world the rule, back in the Watergate days: It's not the crime that gets you, but the coverup. Now the media, too, is learning this the hard way. (Or maybe not: Hillary worked on the Watergate team for the House, and still she and her husband lied and stonewalled. Here's hoping the media learns the lesson better.) Jarvis has a good wrap.

Deacon at Power Line posts this follow up, pre-empting charges of McCarthyism.

Also lots of talk about blogs being a cyber lynch mob. Like the McCarthyism charge, this seems ridiculous. Will Collier's apostrophe to the media says it well:

[E]verybody out here has the right--and ability--to fact-check your asses, and call you on it when you screw up and/or say something stupid . . . You obviously don't like that reality, but it is reality, and you'd better start learning to live with it instead of tossing ad hominen insults at your critics.
By the way, is this finally definitive proof of the "power of the blogs" idea? I'm not sure. Having big guns like Hewitt and Kudlow on the story forced CNN's hand, I think. Still, it was citizen journalists who made/scooped/followed this story. And it was solid work. Complaints from the media of lynch mobs or McCarthyism are foolish, given the frequency with which some foolish liberal editorial page agitates for so-and-so's resignation for lesser offenses. This story was smartly and evenhandedly covered by most blogs, the greater number of whom weren't simply saying "Jordan should resign" but saying instead "Jordan should come clean about what he said.

For the record, this may be a real first: a prominent figure shoots his mouth off, is publically embarrassed, and has to resign, and nobody knows what the hell he really said. I don't like that much, since it is the absolute opposite of transparency and accountability in media, but Jordan and CNN brought it on themselves.

Finally, media navel-gazer Howard Kurtz's reputation took a major hit from this one. See Kaus, here and below.

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