A.A. Bondy
American Hearts

Leaves in the Gutter

For What I Don't Become

The Thick of It
BBC America

Saddest Ghost Lamp

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Supreme Editor?

Jack Shafer has posthumously promoted Eason Jordan.

Shafer writes: "If Jordan ever harbored thoughts that U.S. forces had targeted journalists, a position that could be supported by the Kurtz story, then it was his duty as a newsman to pursue the story by assigning a CNN investigative team to it."

To repeat: Jordan had absolutely zero authority to do the above. Nobody reported to him, and he had no budget authority. He will not be replaced, because his job--which carried the misleading title of chief news executive--was a sui generis position created just for him 18 months ago when he was essentially reorganized out of a job. The only reason he wasn't let go then is that Ted Turner and Tom Johnson intervened on his behalf, and he got the consolation prize of being CNN's "ambassador to the world." The best he could've done is ask Chris Cramer, who runs international newsgathering for CNN, to look into it.

The point is glancing, but it does go toward deflating the frenzy of credit-taking that Hewitt et. al. have engaged in over this. It's one thing to fire--and from what I can gather, Jim Walton requested Jordan's resignation--an actual operating officer of the company because of what people wrote on the Internets. It's another thing to finally shitcan a guy who doesn't really have a job anyway aside from flying around the world causing you trouble.