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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 13, 2003

ACCESS THROUGH SELECTIVE REPORTING

In a shocking New York Times opinion piece, CNN's chief news executive Eason Jordan has admitted that for the past decade the network has systematically covered up stories of Iraqi atrocities. Reports of murder, torture, and planned assassinations were suppressed in order to maintain CNN's Baghdad presence.

Read Jordan's op-ed .

Jordan has not always been so candid -- nor honest. Just six months ago, when challenged regarding the veracity of CNN's Baghdad reports, Jordan stated:

"CNN has demonstrated again and again that it has a spine; that it's prepared to be forthright... we work very hard to report forthrightly, to report fairly and to report accurately and if we ever determine we cannot do that, then we would not want to be there [in Iraq]."

==== A PERSONAL RESPONSE ====

HonestReporting member Arnold Roth, whose teenage daughter was killed in the Palestinian terrorist attack at Jerusalem's Sbarro restaurant, submits the following response to Jordan's confession:
"Over the past 18 months, since the Sbarro massacre, my wife Frimet and I have grown increasingly appalled at the display of poor journalistic and ethical values of a procession of reporters, photographers, journalists and media analysts. Some of them have misreported on events about which we had personal knowledge. Others have come to our home or invited us to their studios and directly interviewed us -- and then did disgraceful things with the material they collected. CNN and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation are at the top of a depressingly long list.

"After a disclosure as broad-reaching and shocking as Eason Jordan's, why would we trust anything that comes from CNN? By covering up these stories, CNN helped the evil regime of Saddam Hussein remain in power, for no other reason than sheer cowardice. CNN believed -- wrongly and reprehensibly -- that remaining in Baghdad was more important that reporting the truth.

"CNN and Eason Jordan are certainly not alone. From personal knowledge, some of the biggest media names regularly, consistently tell lies and deny it. This is especially true in relation to how they report on the Palestinian Arab war of terror against our children. This continues until today. It will go on until ordinary people like you and me speak out and demand that it ends. Every one of us needs to consider carefully what we can do. But doing something constructive is imperative."

==== PA INTIMIDATION OF JOURNALISTS ====

Now that this senior CNN executive has come clean, it leaves us wondering: In what other regions ruled by terrorist dictators do the media toe the party line so as to remain in good stead? It is known that the Palestinian Authority, since its very establishment, has employed brutal methods of intimidation against journalists.

For specific examples, see HonestReporting's expose, "Palestinian Intimidation of the Press":


Have the major international news agencies also withheld information on the PA in order to stay on good terms with Arafat's henchmen? As HonestReporting chronicled on another occasion, CNN has at the very least lent credence to patent lies stated by the Palestinian Authority:

Now that CNN has turned sincere, admitting it buried stories that would smear Mideast dictators, perhaps the time has come for more comprehensive, honest reporting in the region.

HonestReporting encourages members to respond to the Jordan admission by demanding that media agencies report the facts, including efforts to intimidate Mideast journalists. If news agencies must buy access to dictators' regions through the omission of telling violence, we must insist that they either report the truth, or leave.