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Eason, we hardly knew ye …


Do journalists, editors and media executives actually bother to follow the news? Was Newsweek reading their own reporting when CBS had to retract its infamous Memogate story on "60 Minutes Wednesday" (a program, by the way, the network has just cancelled)?

And you have to wonder where Linda Foley, president of the Newspaper Guild, was last February 11, when bloggers helped convince Eason Jordan to resign from CNN over unsubstantiated charges he made at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the U.S. military was targeting journalists for execution in Iraq. We never got to see the video of his remarks—not for lack of trying—but multiple eyewitness accounts offer a pretty fair idea of what it would have contained.

Anyway—apparantly heedless of Jordan's example—Foley got up in front of an audience (complete with video cameras) at the 2005 National Conference for Media Reform [sic] to level essentially the same unsubstantiated smear against our men and women in uniform:

Journalists, by the way, are not just being targeted verbally or … ah, or … ah, politically. They are also being targeted for real, um…in places like Iraq. What outrages me as a representative of journalists is that there's not more outrage about the number, and the brutality, and the cavalier nature of the U.S. military toward the killing of journalists in Iraq.

They target and kill journalists…uh, from other countries, particularly Arab countries like Al -, like Arab news services like Al-Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios with impunity ….

This is taken directly from video aired by Sinclair Communications' commentator and v. p. of corporate communications Mark Hyman ("The Point"). Here's a direct link to his commentary and the relevant video (in .wmv format). For the ambitious, an hour-long video of the entire session is available for download (a 51.5 MB, zipped Quicktime file) here.

Like Eason Jordan, Nik Gowing and their ilk, of course, she produces not a shred of evidence to support her scurrilous allegations.

In case you think Ms. Foley's remarks may have been taken out of context, here's another version:

Another trend that needs to be reversed is the targeting of journalists. they have become a target from the right of the political spectrum. They are blamed for many ills they just report on. We have to be careful we don't fall into that trap. What is happening in media is not the fault of individual journalists. What's wrong is the systematic corporate disillusion of what we know is credible reporting and journalism.

Journalists are not just being targeted politically and verbally, but for real, in places like Iraq. There's not enough outrage towards the blatant kiling of journalists in Iraq. Not just from the US, but other countries, especially Arab countries, targeting and blowing up their studios with impunity. It takes the heat off the media conglomerates who are the heart of the problem.

This is taken from what appear to be a copy of her prepared remarks, as posted on the Conference's  blog.

Foley also references the "targeting" issue in this April 15 commentary on the Guild website.

Both the Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists sent letters April 8 to President George Bush, calling on the administration to “heed the requests from journalists around the world for an independent investigation into the record number of deaths among media staff covering the war in Iraq.” The Pentagon’s report on the shelling at the Palestine Hotel, wrote TNG-CWA President Linda Foley, “has been inadequate and unconvincing, raising more questions than it resolved.”

Needless to say, this little campaign has excited some interest in the Arab world.

Here, by the way, is a link to Linda Foley's email address. Or you can reach her at the Newspaper Guild's offices at 202-434-7177.

I'm sure she'd appreciate hearing your thoughts. (Please be polite.)

To quote the refrain of a famous antiwar anthem:

Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

HT: Junkyard blog. Further thoughts on this topic can be found at The Dusty Attic, Brain Droppings, My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, The Jawa Report, The Blue State Conservatives and OpinionBug. I'm sure there will be many more blogs to follow.

UPDATE: The Washington Times has also picked up on the story. (HT: Beth at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.) So has Cybercast News Service.

UPDATE: Captain Ed has now stepped into the ring as well: "One would think that key figures in the communication industry would be more careful in how they express themselves." So has the Blogfather and Kevin Craver Rathergate.com. And more Foley bloggers are swarming. Can Hewitt, Powerline, Michelle Malkin and company be far behind?

UPDATE: More here … and at MediaSlander.

Posted by Rodger on May 19, 2005 at 08:41 AM | Permalink


A really nice round up, Rodger. And thanks for the link.

Posted by: Dusty | May 19, 2005 10:59:59 PM

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