The News We Kept to Ourselves

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/11/opinion/11JORD.html


The News We Kept to Ourselves


By EASON JORDAN


Eason Jordan is chief news executive at CNN.ATLANTA – Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN’s Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard ? awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff.


For example, in the mid-1990’s one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government’s ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency’s Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk…

HealthSouth’s Saddam

Scrushy’s wealth soared along with HealthSouth’s stock, giving him an estimated net worth of $300 million in the late 1990s. And he flaunted it. He conducted business aboard his 92-foot yacht, Chez Soire鬠which he kept moored alongside his vacation home in Palm Beach. And he was just as ostentatious at work, opening the 74-acre hilltop campus in 1997 and building a fleet of 11 corporate jets.

As he assumed the trappings of wealth, Scrushy became an increasingly imperious leader, say insiders. He publicly berated financial analysts who dared to challenge his forecasts of continued growth. Staffers feared him, too. Scrushy would pop up unannounced at his rehab centers for surprise inspections. Like a drill sergeant, he would run a finger along the tops of a picture frame, then wipe it on the blazer of the center’s administrator. Any visible mark meant points deducted — and possible dismissal.

BusinessWeek, Too Good To Be True, April 14, 2003