Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Journal Watch

Sean at Everything I Know is Wrong expresses some understandable disappointment at the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board. It's been a long standing joke that the Editorial Board and the WSJ News writers are not always on the same page - the latter being considerably more liberal than its Editorial Counterpart. As such, I can usually depend on the Opinion page to present decent commentaries on the news of the day.

On the "Jordan Kerfuffle" however, our Editorial friends have gone astray. As Sean points out:
The Wall Street Journal knows, perhaps better than any other Big Media outlet, that MSM does not mean "mainstream,' but rather, "biased media for money." That they claim this status for themselves in this piece is perhaps the only defense possible for their "grown-up decision" that the resignation of the top executive at CNN over indefensible comments, is not news.

Not news.

I only hope this is an aberration; an isolated blip in an otherwise distinguished journalistic tradition at the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps it's only an over-developed skepticism on my part, when it comes to the motivation of news sources, that has my hackles up. I will continue to read the Journal, as I always have, but I will pay attention to it in a way that I thought I did not have to. It takes a long time to build up to trust -- perhaps even longer to re-build it -- something that all news sources would do well to remember.

I agree with Sean, of course, that it is unfortunate that we have to be wary of reading the Opinion Journal now - I only have so much wariness to go around, you know?

Even stranger is the fact that the article seems to be missing the exact point I made earlier today when it says:
More troubling to us is that Mr. Jordan seems to have "resigned," if in fact he wasn't forced out, for what hardly looks like a hanging offense. It is true that Mr. Jordan has a knack for indefensible remarks, including a 2003 New York Times op-ed in which he admitted that CNN had remained silent about Saddam's atrocities in order to maintain its access in Baghdad. That really was a firing offense. But CNN stood by Mr. Jordan back then--in part, one suspects, because his confession implicated the whole news organization. Now CNN is throwing Mr. Jordan overboard for this much slighter transgression, despite faithful service through his entire adult career.

The Journal gets credit for mentioning the New York Times Op-ed, but loses points for not mentioning the Guardian article. Additionally, to be confused that Jordan would get "thrown overboard" now when a larger mistake was ignored earlier is where the Journal really misses the point. Perhaps it should consider that CNN made a mistake for not reprimanding Jordan after the op-ed. Perhaps Jordan was indeed warned after that incident and CNN has now wisely decided that this guy just can't keep his mouth shut. Either way, if CNN put any pressure at all on Jordan, they did the right thing. They may indeed have done it a bit later than they should have, but we should be glad that they came to their senses at all - since it's more than we can say for some other MSM outlets.

Yes - CBS, that means you.