Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Dan Rather's and Eason Jordan's journalism careers, RIP

Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic National Committee Chair and Clinton Crony [and who remarked recently that the first eight hours of the last election day were the best eight hours of his life], speaking this past weekend at the coronation of the DNC’s new Chairman.

“I would formally like to hand the gavel to the new Chair of the Democratic National Committee: Governor Howard Dean.”

Jon Stewart, commenting on this event on the “Daily Show with Jon Stewart,”[February 14, 2005]:

“You know there is something stirring about the peaceful transfer of no power.”

[Attribution of the Jon Stewart comments to Brit Hume’s Special Report show on Fox, February 15, 2005].
This is quite a marvel, the faces and voices of the Democratic Party Leadership: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and now, Chairman Dean, aka the President of the Democrats. [Of course, my DLC friends and the Clintons must be wondering where in the Hell their party is going; even Harold Ickes couldn’t do the Clintons’ bidding, successfully, on this one].

Now, contrast the Democratic Leadership team with the faces and voices of the Republican Party Leadership: House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and, of course, President of the Republicans and the American people, George W. Bush.

Now, I will say this, both teams have a doctor [Frist/Dean] in the house, but other than that, they are quite different in their desire to locate and stay close to the center of the political spectrum.

If exiting anchor Dan Rather were speaking to us from the CBS Evening News or already exited chief CNN News Chief Executive and Chairman of the CNN editorial board Eason Jordan from CNN, which of those leadership teams do you think might be referred to as extreme and which as centrist? I am betting the Rather/Jordan duo would have labeled the Republicans as the extremist, on the right and conservative team and the Democrats as the centrist, moderate and progressive, and for sure, not liberal, team. Can there be any doubt?

Indeed, even NPR and Fox liberal contributor Mara Liasson has labeled Dr. and now Chairman Dean as, of course, liberal on the war but having a conservative record because he balanced the budget in Vermont and let the hunters hold onto a few guns. Really, Mara, what could Dean have done as the Governor—start printing money? Of course, he balanced the budget in Vermont. That is what Governors do. Ultimately, they must. For that, Chairman Dean becomes a conservative? Please. Only in the world of NPR.

There are those, e.g., the bizarre and quickly discrediting itself Columbia Journalism Review, who will blame conservatives and Republican bloggers, in general, for the demise of Rather/Jordan. But, the liberal bias of those two [and their friends at the CJR] has been transparent for a long, long time. The Rather/Jordan recent actions and miss-statements made it easier for their critics to “take them out,” at this time, but they could not have done so without the long record of biased and skewed reporting and news management by the Rather/Jordan dynamic duo.

Anybody watching the CBS Evening News could easily see that anchor Dan Rather never met a Republican, and surely not a conservative Republican, about whom he would report fairly. Unfortunately, for Dan Rather, given some dirt on “W,” Rather couldn’t contain his glee long enough to insure that basic journalistic checks were followed before he threw “the news,” out as red meat to the Left. Of course, the meat was shown to be adulterated by those who threw it back in Dan Rather’s aging and somewhat bewildered face.

Eason Jordan, having learned from his former boss and well known lefty Ted Turner how to make journalistically questionable and unethical accommodations and arrangements with oppressive and totalitarian governments and regimes, finally showed his bias a little too clearly. This is a news person for whom full and fair reporting seemed to be simply a slogan to be bartered for access to stories and countries, as with Saddam in Iraq and apparently with Kim Mentally Ill and his predecessor in North Korea.

Those who referred to CNN, under the guiding force of Eason Jordan, as the Communist News Network or Clinton News Network were, of course, engaging in a bit of hyperbole. But, they did seem to be going in the correct, if not Right, direction.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at