Bloggers object to BW commentary

Stephen Baker

Lots of traffic this morning with critiques on my BusinessWeek commentary on blogs.

A blogger who goes by the name of John Beck, for example, says that I was too easy on CNN's departed news exec, Eason Jordan. His point was that the Jordan's initial statements on the coalition military, as reported, were far more inflammatory, and that it was only later that he backed off and said that the military wasn't targeting journalists, but instead killing them by mistake.

My larger question is this: In the interest of dialogue and communication, is it OK to venture unfounded opinions about sensitive subjects--including the military--and then amend them as the facts come in? Or do public figures have to do all their homework before opening their mouth, even in supposedly closed sessions? Seems to me that freedom of expression means, occasionally, the freedom to put your foot in your mouth.

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