All right, wise guys. I know that it’s traditional to haze the guy coming back from a big vacation on the first day in the office. That has to be the explanation for this announcement … right? Surely the GOP and Newsmax can’t be serious about this:
A prestigious team of some of the top producers in network and cable television news — including the former head of CNN’s news division — has been assembled to produce The Newsmax ION Television 2012 Presidential Debate to be moderated by businessman Donald J. Trump.
Newsmax Media and ION Television announced the production team, which collectively has more than a century of experience in managing major network coverage of U.S. presidential debates and elections, on Sunday.
“ION, Newsmax and Mr. Trump are committed to host a serious presidential forum which will include some of the most reputable journalists and media people in the nation,” Brandon Burgess, CEO and Chairman of ION Television, said. …
“With Donald Trump and the top-notch media and production team led by Eason Jordan we have organized, we expect the The Newsmax ION 2012 Presidential Debate will have the largest audience of any Republican primary debate to date,” Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said.
Newsmax, which bills itself in this release as “the nation’s leading conservative online media publisher,” must have the leading case of amnesia in conservative circles as well. The Boss Emeritus, though, has a much longer memory, and offers a WTF missive to Newsmax and the GOP while reminding readers exactly why Eason Jordan is a former CNN head:
Former CNN head Eason Jordan is the disgraced journalist who admitted in a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece titled “The News We Kept to Ourselves” that he deliberately and intentionally whitewashed Saddam Hussein’s atrocities and regurgitated Hussein propaganda for a decade in exchange for access. Let me underscore that: In 2003, after the U.S.-led Coalition invasion of Iraq and the fall of Saddam Hussein, Jordan confessed that CNN had deliberately reported Baathist propaganda during the Saddam era because it was more urgent to keep their Baghdad bureaus than to tell the truth about that brutal regime.
Former CNN head Eason Jordan is the disgraced journalist who suggested our U.S. troops were wantonly targeting journalists for murder at the 2005 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Here’s a refresher on the scandal and a reminder that, as reported on this blog, none other than Democrat Rep. Barney Frank, liberal political commentator David Gergen, and former Democrat Sen. Chris Dodd all confirmed/condemned the slander. He resigned from CNN in February 2005 as a result of the blowback.
I wrote about Jordan’s accusations extensively in 2005, as the archives at Captain’s Quarters attests, as did Michelle and a large number of outraged conservative writers. Frankly, I find Jordan’s admission that he deliberately published Saddam Hussein’s propaganda to keep his Baghdad bureau open far more offensive and outrageous than his accusation that the US military was assassinating journalists in Iraq, which sounds more like paranoia and grandstanding. This is a man who deliberately allowed one of the most brutal dictators of our time to use an American news network as a distribution channel for a campaign of misinformation — and now he’s being described as part of a “prestigious team” of “top producers in network and cable television news” — and by a conservative publication, no less.
That’s hardly the only thing wrong with this December 27th event in Des Moines, either. Donald Trump’s brief flirtation with a presidential run provided one of the least-serious interludes in this race back in May. His platform consisted entirely of self-promotion and the birth certificate, whose production in May caused his campaign to collapse. What in the name of Bill Buckley qualifies this circus ringmaster to moderate a presidential debate at all, let alone the last one before the Iowa caucuses? Who really thinks that the GOP needs to kiss this particular ring in such a public manner?
Come on. Admit it. You all got together and decided to play a practical joke on me last week, while I was out of range of the Internet. Right? Right?