. The BBC does in fact report the departure of Eason Jordan. Uh, but it seems to ‘misunderstand’ the issue slightly. Its introduction says
‘The CNN’s chief news executive Eason Jordan has resigned amid controversy over the death of journalists in Iraq.’
This isn’t true. However sad it may be that they died, a least some deaths of journalists in Iraq were/are inevitable, such as the kind of death suffered by BBC cameraman Kaveh Golestan, and some seem to have occurred when they did stupid things like travel in frontline convoys without body armour like John Simpson’s translator, Kamaran Mohammed, or fall off roofs, as sadly seems to have happened to Gabi Rado. These incidents are, viewed rationally, uncontroversial with respect to US forces. What is controversial is Eason Jordan’s theorising, borrowed, as Scott & co are pointing out, from BBC journalists, that US military forces have deliberately targeted journalists. That is the controversy, and any other presentation of it is loaded and false.
On a side note, this phrase the BBC seems to like, of ‘appeared to suggest’ seems to me unecessarily vague. He either ‘suggested’, if the wording was vague but undeniable, or ‘appeared’ to say, if the wording was practically opaque, that the US military had targeted journalists. He didn’t do both.
It is perfectly rational for the BBC to present the issue as one of general controversy, given their many incursions into the territory of conspiracy theorising. They have ground to defend or they will be hounded themselves. According to this narrative, journalists are targeted by right-wing critics for raising issues of legitimate concern in a way which fails to recognise the emotion it will provoke. The last thing we should do, according to that viewpoint, is extend the witchhunt over the pond to the likes of Gowing.
The trouble I have with this is that the only groups I can find, apart from journalists themselves, promoting this particular area of ‘concern’, are groups like this one– the World Socialist website. So, if we understand the BBC’s position by their friends, we see just how extreme the BBC’s position really is.