Leavenworth St. has learned that Joe Jordan, Managing Editor and Investigative Reporter for Nebraska Watchdog, will soon take a position as 2nd District office communications director for Democrat Congressman Brad Ashford.
(Confirmed 3 hours later by the OWH.)
While the move of a previously “independent” reporter onto a Democrat office holder’s staff has now become cliché, the full reason for Jordan’s move from Watchdog is still unknown.
It was thought that Jordan had recently signed a long-term contract with Watchdog. However, there was a story going around (from whom, it’s not clear) that Watchdog was shaking things up nationally, and that Jordan would not be part of the long-term plan.
We have heard a much different story however.
Joe Jordan noted in a post on Watchdog back on August 20, 2013 that Nebraska Watchdog would NOT be covering the Nebraska Governor’s race. Why?
“…because of (Pete) Ricketts’ financial relationship with the Franklin Center, Nebraska Watchdog has decided not to report on the governor’s campaign while Ricketts is a likely or actual candidate.”
Jordan also noted that…
“…no donor to the Franklin Center, and there are many, have (sic) any editorial control over Nebraska Watchdog’s content.”
Some bloggers out there asked why, if no one was controlling their content, Nebraska Watchdog couldn’t have just put a disclaimer at the end of any story on the Governor’s race. Many media outlets and newspapers — think Warren Buffet and the OWH — have owners whom they report on.
But by failing to cover the race at all, Nebraska Watchdog opened itself up to the notion that there WAS editorial control exerted by donors. Or that any donor’s influence was so well known that they couldn’t be reasonable.
Or maybe that any donors just didn’t want to give Joe Jordan the green-light to hammer them, like Jordan loves to do.
Circle back then a few months after Pete Ricketts enters office.
One of the first controversies of the new administration was whether Ricketts’ top staffer could work for him while at the same time keeping and working for her private clients who have state business.
Watchdog, via reporter Deena Winter, reported on how Ricketts’ staff was using private email accounts for public business (a’ la Hillary) but that the issue had pretty much been cleared up.
But what of the other controversy about the staffer who was working two jobs?
Watchdog simply linked to an OWH story.
And Joe Jordan’s stink-eye and in-your-face account was no where to be seen on the issue.
So did Jordan WANT to cover THAT issue?
Did he WANT to be more of the hard-nosed reporter on Ricketts?
Pretty softball stuff, all in all. But, after Ricketts says he wants people to wear seat belts, Jordan does get in one snarky line with, “you SAY that, when statistics show that when there are SERIOUS car wrecks, people not wearing seat belts are more likely to die..”
And Governor Pete Ricketts gives him this face:
With rumors swirling that Jordan wanted to push Ricketts on the issue of his staffer’s double jobs, he ends up out of a job with Watchdog.
We can all wait to see what the official story is.
Why Joe Jordan left Watchdog. What their “mission” was.
Why he went to work as a press-flak for a Democrat Congressman.
But it was interesting that when the Columbia Journalism Review did an extensive story about Watchdog’s coverage of the Ernie Chambers blow-up, they failed to note that Nebraska Watchdog’s main funder was the guy who is now the sitting Governor.
And just exactly how much influence he is exerting on the coverage of his administration by the media.