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Is This A Joke? Eason Jordan Is Heading An Iraq Information Site

This is freakin' unbelievable.

For the past four years there has been no shortage of news and views on Iraq and the long-running war there. What's been missing: a one-stop-shopping clearinghouse for nonpartisan information, including material coming out of Iraq itself from natives of that country, not from foreign correspondents.

Now that need is finally being addressed in the form of IraqSlogger, in Beta at www.iraqslogger.com, but due to be officially launched next week. Its director is the former CNN news division chief, Eason Jordan, who quit that post suddenly in 2005 after 23 years with the company. The name of his new venture, he says, was inspired by a Donald Rumsfeld reference to this war being a "long, hard slog."

The concept, Jordan tells E&P, "grew out of the feeling that I think many people shared that there was no one place to go. Individual news organizations do terrific work but you can spend the better part of a day going from one site to another and one TV outlet to another," searching for a full picture.

"Iraq is the story of our time," he declares. His goal for the site is for it to become nothing less than "the world's premier Iraq-focused information source" -- and with no "political slant."

His site includes everything from links to op eds and articles in mainstream U.S. papers to "viral videos" and jokes from Iraq. Jordan points to "nuggets" missed by the U.S. media, such as Iraqis getting "addicted" to the TV series "Lost," or the latest kidnapping of contractors. Not merely a collection of links, it will focus on what he calls "original reporting from Iraq beyond the traditional."

One of the site's unique and most valuable services is a daily roundup of news from Iraqi newspapers that few in the U.S. media have ever bothered to translate. Jordan has Arabic speakers here and in Iraq providing this service, and so far this week, these columns have gotten "far more" traffic than anything else on the site. A staffer in Iraq also monitors blogs there.

That is Eason Jordan. Yeah, that Eason Jordan. The same Eason Jordan who reported from Iraq and hid the atrocities of Saddam Hussein from the world while everyone was debating whether or not Saddam was really guilty of all the horrible things for which he was accused. The same Eason Jordan who accused U.S. troops of targeting journalists. Just what we need -- some good unbiased reporting from Iraq, Eason Jordan style. Please excuse the snarkiness in this post, but if this story doesn't rate a bit of snark, I don't know what does. Be sure to check out the part of the article that addresses the Davos comments. (All just a misunderstanding, kids. Move along. Nothing to see.)

Update: I still find this hard to believe. What next? Dan Rather and Mary Mapes open a document analysis service?

Update II: Eason Jordan has a response to Michelle Malkin's suggestion that he use the new site to answer the question, "Who is Jamil Hussein?"

So the search for Jamil Hussein is on, and rightly so. IraqSlogger's team in Baghdad is working to track him down. If we find him, we'll get back to you with details. If we can't find him, we'll report that, too. If Michelle Malkin wants to join the search in Baghdad, IraqSlogger will pay for her trip, and I'd even be willing to accompany her. Stay tuned.

Update III: I apologize for being so late in updating, but have been away from the computer (gasp!) all day. There is lots of news to report, the most exciting being that Michelle accepted Jordan's offer to accompany her to Iraq, and that she has arranged for Curt at Flopping Aces, who first broke the Jamil Hussein story, to go too.

Lots of other are blogging about this one including:

Say Anything

The Anchoress

Jawa Report

Greg Tinti

Jules Crittenden


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Is This A Joke? Eason Jordan Is Heading An Iraq Information Site:

» Don Surber linked with Eason Jordan returns to Iraq?

» Michelle Malkin linked with Eason Jordan is back

» The Political Pit Bull linked with He's Baaack!

» The American Mind linked with Eason Jordon’s IraqSlogger

» The Anchoress linked with Eason Jordan, Malkin and Curt

» GINA COBB linked with Thursday's News Wrapup

Comments (9)

At least he'll have the sam... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

At least he'll have the same credibility as CNN and AP. Zero.

At least when the MSM compl... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

At least when the MSM complains about "biased bloggers", we can point out a great example.

Very interesting. Do you s... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

Very interesting. Do you suppose Jordon't had a change of heart? Anything's possible. The press release quoted seems to be straight up. And if they are in fact going to provide accurate translations of what the Arab newspapers write for domestic consumption, that could be very valuable. I'm willing to take a wait-and-see attitude.

E-mailed him today and told... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

E-mailed him today and told him the 1st thing to do was get an interview with Jamil H. and a photo. Got a reply and he said he would "try". Yeah sure he will. Not holding my breath waiting.

Not a fan of Jordan. I thou... (Below threshold)
Chris G:

Not a fan of Jordan. I thought he was somewhat of a donkey-orifice. He did hide the atrocities of Sadaam for 11 years, then accused the US military of targeting journalist. He did it at some lefty forum overseas a couple of years ago at Davos. Then to boot, he had an affair with the wife of Danny Pearl, the journalist who was kidnapped/murdered by Islamic terrorists in 2001. After the affair became public, maybe his wife told him there were men in prison wearing pink underwear, being sold for cigarettes with a bigger pair than he had, in addition to the fact he was a smug, pompous, bastard who talks tough when it comes to the president of the United States and it's troops, but folds like a cheap suit when it comes to real barbaric pshyco dictators like Sadaam. He may have done some soul searching, and is doing this to redeem himself.

However, this effort could be noble, if it provides nonpartisan commentary on Iraq. Notice, as the former head of a major news agency, he has to make it a point to note the news blog will not be partisan.

In any case, I think the effort would be worthwhile, and bringing Iraq into the blogosphere on a large scale basis is a good move. The country had no news agencies outside of Sadaam's control, but now they have the opportunity to have a free press to help promote their new found democracy.

On the whole, the guy has a... (Below threshold)
Charlie Holbrook:

On the whole, the guy has a good idea in spite that he may be a little self serving. Much of the war info is gathered by "stringers", Iraqi guys that do the news site coverage for the correspondants who sit at the Green Zone bar in safety. From there, it refined and sent to their papers.

Well, Michelle Malkin has a... (Below threshold)
cmd:

Well, Michelle Malkin has agreed to go with Jordan, so at least the lying bastard will have a harder time dressing up some dimwit Iraqi stooge and pretending he's Jamil Hussein.

Not that it would stop him from trying, but it will be a little harder with Michelle fact-checking his treasonous ass.

"No politcal slant." Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiigggghhhttt.
And monkeys will fly out of my butt at 3.30 today.

The most fair and balanced ... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

The most fair and balanced reporting we may get will be to have one from the left and one from the right. We know Jordan will lie to protect the bias of the left. He has done so in the past, got caught at it and is no longer employed at least in part because of it.

I'll trust Malkin to hold up our end of the deal.

Why in the hell would findi... (Below threshold)
Robin Goodfellow:

Why in the hell would finding Jamil Hussein have to require a search party? According to the AP, they know this guy, he's a high-ranking police official, they've met with him several times. The AP has the ability to bring video cameras to his house or his office and interview the man on camera directly. There is no reason to believe this should be a difficult proposition (assuming he is legitimate).




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