Friday, February 11, 2005

Eason Jordan resigns

Now that we've established that the witnesses disagree, we know that Jordan must have been misinterpreted. Who's right? Well, the only way we'll know is to see the tape ourselves.

I find it interesting that this is considered a solution. We already know that people who were there saw the same thing but saw it differently. Now we're going to get hoards of others to look at a tape of the event and get clarity? I don't think so.

Is the glass half empty or half full? Some will answer one way, and some will answer another. More broadly, consider any question on which people disagree. How do you determine the truth? It seems to me that taking a vote tells us mostly which bias is more prevalent. That may be good enough for some decisions, but I think it foolish to think that qualifies as objective truth.

This is not to say that truth doesn't exist, just that we can't always be sure when or whether we've found it. I don't mean to get philosophical here; let me get back to the point.

Releasing the tape will only lead to more debate (but no conclusions). Perhaps the tape will change minds (though I doubt it), and perhaps people will think they know the whole story after watching it (but they won't). In any case, if the debate really is as recreational as I said yesterday, then releasing the tape lets the fun continue, but it won't settle anything.

This reminds me of a scene in the movie "Hero" in which a reporter played by Geena Davis discusses the onion metaphor of journalism. You peel away the layers of the onion as you get closer to the core, the truth. She cuts apart an onion as she speaks, and when she's done, there's no onion left. There's no core, no truth, just a lot of story.

I'll sit here eating popcorn, watching the show. At this point I think of it as a show. There are facts, but that's not the point anymore. The point now is to get the tape and keep peeling the onion.

(Between writing this and posting it, Eason Jordan resigned, but his critics still want to see the tape. Boy, don't let victory stand in your way; the show must go on!)
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