Two weeks ago at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, CNN's chief news executive, Eason Jordan, raised eyebrows when he suggested that some of the 63 journalists who have been killed in Iraq had been targeted by US troops. Although Jordan quickly tempered the remarks, a controversy has been building over them on the web. CNN has responded, issuing a statement clarifying Jordan's comments.
Jordan made his remarks at a panel discussion on Jan. 27 in Davos about the media and democracy. Several sources, including the author of a weblog written at the event, said Jordan quickly amended his comments. Since then, the web has been abuzz with commentary about Jordan's statement and his intentions. CNN's statement says Jordan ''was not clear enough in explaining his assertion."
''While the majority of the 63 journalists killed in Iraq have been killed by insurgents, the Pentagon has acknowledged that the US military on occasion has killed people who turned out to be journalists," the CNN statement said. ''Mr. Jordan emphatically does not believe that the US military intended to kill journalists and believes these accidents to be cases of 'mistaken identity.' " A CNN spokeswoman, Christa Robinson, added that ''Eason clarified his position during the panel."
Still, a statement released yesterday by a spokesman for Senator Christopher Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, said the senator, who was in the audience for the discussion, was ''outraged by the comments."
Representative Barney Frank, who was on the panel, told The Boston Globe yesterday that attendees ''perked up" after Jordan made remarks that ''sounded like accusing the military of deliberate targeting." Frank said Jordan then backed off a bit, saying he wasn't indicating that such targeting represented US military policy.
The discussion moderator, David Gergen, director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, said yesterday that Jordan seemed ''deeply concerned about the dangers to his own team" in Iraq.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization based in New York, says nine journalists and at least two media support workers have been killed by fire from US forces in Iraq, according to the organization's Middle East program coordinator, Joel Campagna. Campagna said that the group has not concluded that any deaths resulted from deliberate targeting of journalists but that some cases raised issues of ''fire discipline and indiscriminate fire."
Fox scraps ad with 'wardrobe' spoof
A Super Bowl ad broadcast Sunday by GoDaddy.com was supposed to spoof last year's infamous halftime ''wardrobe malfunction."
But the ad, which featured the strap of a woman's tank top coming undone as she was addressing a fictional congressional ''censorship committee," was pulled by Fox Broadcasting Company after it ran once during the first quarter of the game. The ad was supposed to air again later in the broadcast.
GoDaddy.com, an Internet domain-name registrar, said Fox representatives told them Sunday night that the ad was ''inappropriate."
Jon Nesvig, president of advertising sales for Fox, said in a statement yesterday, ''When the GoDaddy.com spot aired in the first half, it became obvious to us that its content was very much out of step with the tenor set by the other ads . . . so Fox made the decision to drop its repeat airing. We understand GoDaddy's disappointment with our decision but ultimately we are responsible for what our network broadcasts."
A spokeswoman for Fox said yesterday that viewer complaints had nothing to do with the move.
Bob Parsons, president and founder of GoDaddy.com, said he was just trying to be funny.
He said his firm, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., paid $2.4 million for the 30-second spot. He is now in talks with Fox about reimbursement and compensation
Globe on NECN
Here's what's happening on ''Around the Globe" today on NECN:
9:30 a.m.: ''Talk of New England"
12:30 p.m.: ''Globe at Home"
4 p.m.: ''Around the Globe"
6:30 p.m.: ''New England Business Day"
8 p.m.: ''NewsNight"
Schedule is subject to change.
9 a.m. WCRB-FM (102.5) -- Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 10; Bach's Keyboard Concerto No. 1; Saint-Georges' s Violin Concerto No. 1.
9 p.m. WUMB-FM (91.9) -- ''World Cafe." Guest: Kermit Ruffins, trumpeter.