Whopper of the Week: CNN's Eason Jordan
Oh, those neglected stories about Saddam's horrors …
"While I researched a story on CNN's Iraq coverage for the New Republic last October, [CNN chief news executive Eason] Jordan told me flatly that his network gave 'a full picture of the regime.' In our conversation, he challenged me to find instances of CNN neglecting stories about Saddam's horrors."
—Franklin Foer, "CNN's Access of Evil," in the April 14 Wall Street Journal.
"I knew that CNN could not report that Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Uday, told me in 1995 that he intended to assassinate two of his brothers-in-law who had defected and also the man giving them asylum, King Hussein of Jordan. If we had gone with the story, I was sure he would have responded by killing the Iraqi translator who was the only other participant in the meeting. … Still, I felt I had a moral obligation to warn Jordan's monarch, and I did so the next day. King Hussein dismissed the threat as a madman's rant. A few months later Uday lured the brothers-in-law back to Baghdad; they were soon killed."
—Jordan, " The News We Kept To Ourselves," in the April 11 New York Times.
"Kurdish officials presented us with evidence that they had thwarted an armed attack on our quarters in Erbil. This included videotaped confessions of two men identifying themselves as Iraqi intelligence agents who said their bosses in Baghdad told them the hotel actually housed C.I.A. and Israeli agents. The Kurds offered to let us interview the suspects on camera, but we refused, for fear of endangering our staff in Baghdad."
Got a whopper? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.
March 7, 2003: John Kerry
Feb. 28, 2003: Ari Fleischer
Feb. 14, 2003: Bill O'Reilly
Feb. 7, 2003: Saddam Hussein
Jan. 31, 2003: Karl Rove
Jan. 23, 2003: Bill Frist
Jan. 17, 2003: Naji Sabri
Jan. 10, 2003: Rod Paige
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.