DISGRACED JOURNALIST GINA CHON (PICTURED ABOVE) -- AKA THE LOLITA OF LONG ISLAND -- IS VERY UPSET THAT PEOPLE HAVE THE NERVE TO POINT OUT THAT IT WAS WRONG FOR HER TO HAVE COVERED IRAQ AND SLEPT WITH A U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL AT THE SAME TIME.
IN AN E-MAIL INTERVIEW WITH THESE REPORTERS, GINA CHON EXPLAINED SHE HAD LITTLE CHOICE BUT TO START AN AFFAIR, "BRETT [MCGURK] HAD BLUE BALLS. BLUE BALLS! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT CAN DO TO A MAN? LOOK, I VOTED FOR GEORGE W. BUSH BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN WAR AND SLEEPING WITH HIS MAN IN IRAQ WAS DOING MY PART FOR THE WAR EFFORT! WE DID NOTHING WRONG!"
ASKED WHY, IF SHE DID NOTHING WRONG, SHE CONCEALED HER AFFAIR FROM HER EMPLOYERS, GINA CHON E-MAILED BACK THAT SHE HAD TO GO, THAT SHE WAS WORKING ON A BOOK ENTITLED 'BLUE BALLS CAN BE DEADLY' AND THAT SHE WAS "BORED WITH WORDS THESE DAYS SO IT WILL PROBABLY BE A PICTURE BOOK. YOU KNOW, SOMETHING FOR THE KIDS!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Today disgraced former Wall St. Journal reporter Gina Chon attempted to shove Jesus off the cross so she could climb up there herself. Gawker posts her e-mail:
I've seen the ugliness in human beings in war zones and natural disasters but I've never seen it up close and personal in the comfort of the U.S. The venom of Washington politics makes Wall Street, which I covered for the last two years, look like a playground.But underneath the half-truths and outright lies is a fairly simple tale of two people who met in Baghdad, fell in love, got engaged and later married. In the process we formed a strong connection with Iraq, a place where we lost many friends.I'm not trying to absolve myself of responsibility. People were hurt along the way and for that, I am truly sorry. I made stupid mistakes four years ago in Iraq while working for the Wall Street Journal and for that, I'm also sorry. I had to leave my job at a news organization I love and for that, I am heartbroken.I want you to know, though, that while I worked in Iraq for the paper, Brett never gave me sensitive or classified information nor did he trade his knowledge for my affection. We were both dedicated professionals too committed to our jobs and had too much respect for each other to do anything like that. And as individuals, it's simply not who we are or how we approach our work. Nor did he need to. He was authorized to speak on occasion on background with journalists and did so with me, the Washington Post, the New York Times and other news outlets.
Gina Chon, you were not a 'dedicated professional.' If you had been, you would have followed the ethical guidelines of journalism as well as the Dow Jones written ethical policy you signed. If you were a 'dedicated professional,' you would still be working for the Wall St. Journal. So stop lying.
Let's go through some of that.
I've seen the ugliness in human beings in war zones and natural disasters but I've never seen it up close and personal in the comfort of the U.S. The venom of Washington politics makes Wall Street, which I covered for the last two years, look like a playground.
How typical that all she could recall is the ugliness. Most people would embrace the humanity or see a mixture. How telling that she chose to wallow in the ugliness. The glass is always half full, chipped and unwashed for Gina.
And what venom? Most newspapers and outlets have ignored your huge lapse in journalism ethics. Jokes have yet to circulate about you -- but they are coming, they are. You did wrong and you got caught.
The fact that you were fired and you still can't admit that it was your fault goes to your lack of maturity and your failure to practice your profession ethically.
But underneath the half-truths and outright lies is a fairly simple tale of two people who met in Baghdad, fell in love, got engaged and later married. In the process we formed a strong connection with Iraq, a place where we lost many friends.
The full truth is you were forbideen to sleep with your sources. The full truth is you ignored the Dow Jones ethics policy. The full truth is you violated it. A lapse? One tumble might have been a lapse. But you didn't inform your editor of what happened and a 'lapse' turned into an affair.
I don't give a ___ whether you sucked him off to glory or you rode him to ecstatsy, Gina Chon. I give a damn that you lied to everyone including the readers.
You do not sleep with government officials you are supposed to be covering. You are obviously as stupid as you are unethical to even write such a whine. The one thing you had going for you was that people respected the fact that you appeared to be taking your lumps without bitching and moaning in public. You've blown that. Now you're just another pathetic scandal, someone who gets caught and refuses to take accountability.
We have wall between press and state in the US. Maybe that's news to you, Gina. But unlike in China, Iran and other countries, we don't have state control of the media. When you're sent to cover Iraq for the Wall St. Journal, readers have a right to believe that you're doing it to the best of your abilities. When you sleep with a US government official, that throws that belief out the window. You violated the ethics, you showed your copy to McGurk -- which is what outraged everyone and why they suggested you resign immediately or they could fire you on the spot.
You lost your right to whine about "loss" in the War Zone. You know why?
Because you're the cheater. Ask John Edwards, the cheater doesn't get to whine. You cheated on your husband, Brett McGurk cheated on his wife. While that's not our focus here when you try to play utlimate victim you better grasp that you and Brett can't pull it off. You're two people who didn't keep your vows. Public sympathy goes to the spouses you cheated on. Try another trick, Gina.
I'm not trying to absolve myself of responsibility. People were hurt along the way and for that, I am truly sorry. I made stupid mistakes four years ago in Iraq while working for the Wall Street Journal and for that, I'm also sorry. I had to leave my job at a news organization I love and for that, I am heartbroken.
You know what, Judith Miller probably would love to still be at the New York Times. Reporting is not a hobby, you don't dabble in it. Most people and outlets do not say "Gina Chon reported . . ." They say, "I heard on NPR" or "I saw an NBC Nightly News" or "I read in USA Today." You disgraced the Dow Jones with your behavior. You're going to be in the journalism text books now so you better start trying to come up with a better line of argument than 'My hot loins moistened at the thought of his throbbing member while he texted 'blue balls' to me.' It was not a "stupid mistake," it was a gross violation of journalism ethics. You're very lucky this came out in 2012.
Had it come in 2008, CJR would be crucifying you, The Nation would forget the name "Judith Miller" as they went to town on you, Greg Mitchell would do non-stop posts about you, speaking to everyone you've ever worked with. But because Bush is out of office and your husband is Barack Obama's nominee to be US Ambassador to Iraq, these outlets and others are down playing what happened.
It's amazing that, as you climb on the cross, and glorify yourself, you forget to apologize for what you did which was not "stupid mistakes." You weren't a teenager, you weren't an intern. You were a professional journalist working for a US newspaper with the highest circulation. When this started, last week, I was reminded of James Brooks' Broadcast News. Albert Brooks makes a crack. And I thought, "What is it he says? It's about whether you'd tell a source you' loved them to get information -- it's funny, it's . . . Oh."
"Oh" because the butt of the joke is a woman and when that happens, we always have to wonder, is the joke fair or not? And so I decided not to include an excerpt of the whole would-you-sleep-with-your-source-to-get-a-story bit which ends with Albert Brooks saying, "Jennifer didn't know there was an alternative." Ha-ha-ha-ha. And now Gina Chon's name can be footnoted to that joke apparently. Guess what?
Women have not come far enough. When a Martha Raddatz (ABC News) has to talk on NPR (Tell Me More, February 22, 2011) about covering wars and having children -- not to talk about the juggle that so many of us who work and raise children can relate to but because suddenly the spin for the day is 'maybe women shouldn't be allowed in war zones,' we have not come far enough.
Women have not come far enough in our society. We can't absorb your inability to follow the basic ethics, Gina. Your actions betray women. Not because you cheated on a 'sister,' but because you were such an idiot that you have taken the Iraq War, where women came to the forefront of reporting -- and had to pay for that already by having the scapegoat for the war itself be a woman (Judith Miller) -- and put that accomplishment at risk, put it at risk of turning all of the work into a dirty joke. Women have not come far enough to afford your ethical lapse.
Jane Arraf, Lara Jakes, Rebecca Santana, Deborah Haynes, Nancy A. Youssef, Sabrina Tavernise, Alyssa J. Rubin, Tina Susman, Alexandra Zavis, Ellen Knickmeyer, Erica Goode, Deborah Amos, Cara Buckley, Anna Badkhen, Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, Liz Sly, Alice Fordham, Deborah Haynes, Sahar Issa and many other women have risked a great deal to report from Iraq. Your name used to be on that list. Check the archives, earlier this year we were still including you here on that list.
You should be apologizing to women in the profession for you failure to follow the ethics policy. One woman on the list in the first sentence of the above paragraph has been dogged by false rumors that the US military brass in Iraq fed her stories because she was sleeping with a general. We've talked about that before here and how her male colleagues were the ones spreading the false rumors. It wasn't a rival outlet, it was her own colleagues. Jealous over what she was doing and feeling petty so they spread rumors about her. She kept her head up, ignored the rumors and continued (and continues now) to do her work.
Gina Chon, that woman knows about being persecuted. She knows about being turned into a joke. And she was innocent of the slander her male colleagues spread. She didn't climb on the cross and play the victim so why you think anyone should give a damn that you wish you hadn't been caught violating the ethics of your profession is beyond me.
Now we haven't gone there here. We've tried to make it about Brett McGurk. I'd hoped to not write about you at any length. But when the so-called media watchdogs refused to bark over the fact that you had a sexual relationship in Baghdad with a Bush official while covering Iraq, we had to wade in. But there are several barriers I still haven't crossed. For example, we haven't examined your part in the 2008 e-mails here or even quoted from your own 2008 e-mails. In addition, I was asked by a Senator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about your reporting from that period and I tried to play dumb and he pointed out that I was stalling and I said, "I'm just not comfrotable with that question."
Gina Chon, if you continue to try to play the world's utlimate victim, I can easily say, "Check out the story filed ___, paragraph three, specifically ___" and you and I both know what I mean.
Because of Barack the media watchdogs -- which apparently are partisan as the right has long charged -- aren't doing their job and you're very lucky for that. But I can do their job for them. And I will if you don't stop trying to play injured party. You violated journalism ethics and just as a reporter who plagiarizes gets fired, you lost your job. Quit trying to make it about love. You weren't fired for falling in love. You were fired for sleeping with your source, you were fired for sleeping with someone you let see your copy -- your former bosses say "vet," you say "seek feedback."
As Dolly Parton says in Straight Talk, "Get off the cross, honey, somebody else needs the wood."
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