We Got a Letter From Charles Jaco Last Night!

Remember this post from a while back?  We found a video on YouTube of a young, mustachioed Charles Jaco (Now of Fox2) on CNN.  The commentary bookending the video says that Jaco “faked” this news report and that it was all filmed in a studio.

Lets be clear: Those views, as we stated in the post, are of the video maker’s.  Not ours.  Frankly that was pretty clear.

From the post “Did Charles Jaco Fake a Desert Storm CNN Report?“:

I have just now come across a false and defamatory posting on your website from July 28, 2009 titled “Did Charles Jaco Fake a Desert Storm CNN Report”. I’m adding your email and your website to the list being sent to my attorneys.

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Some of you have written me expressing concern (or as one friend put it “WTF?”) about a video making the rounds purporting to show that our Gulf War coverage for CNN in 1991 was done in a studio, not in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kuwait. This email should fill you in as to what’s going on.

Others have written me to accuse me of engaging in false news coverage, and a cover-up of the truth. Many of those same people have forwarded those false and defamatory emails to others, and have linked to a website purporting to show the false coverage. This email serves as notice of legal action.

First the facts of the case: our coverage was on the roof of a hotel and military facility near the intersection of the two main runways at the Dhahran Air Base, Western Province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The playwood background was erected as a guard against sand and wind storms. The clowning around on the video is just that. We used black humor to deflect the tension of covering SCUD missile assaults.

Now to the impending action: my attorneys intend to act immediately against those of you receiving this who have sent and forwarded these emails accusing me of falsifying coverage. We are in the process of issuing subpeonas to ISPs for the real names and addresses of the senders. We shall then proceed with lawsuits against those parties.

In addition, letters are being sent to LiveLink and Google (owner of YouTube) and their attorneys demanding the videos be removed.

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Charles Jaco

To which we replied:

Mr. Jaco,

Maybe you didn’t actually read the post about you on Punching Kitty.com and instead just spammed every google result for your name, but we, at no times, made any claims to the validity of the video. In fact the whole post is a question as to whether the video you are referring to is legitimate.

Because of those reasons, I will not be taking down the post in question. As a reporter yourself, I would have thought that you would know that there is nothing illegal or wrong with asking questions.

As for the video in question, that is between you and the poster on YouTube and has nothing to do with this site.

I will not be bullied with emails like this, however, if you would like to post a reply or talk about this subject further than what is in your initial email, I would love to include that on my site.

I will be posting this entire exchange on my site.

Mike Flynn

Editor of Punching Kitty.com

I had pretty much no opinion of Charles Jaco up until last night at around 10p, but this really did shock me.  Could a reporter really think we did something wrong?!  Hell, even the title of our post was a question…far from the harsh accusation that Mr. Jaco believes happened.

As far as the video, if Mr. Jaco wants to contact Google/YouTube about the video, thats between him, Google and the video publisher.  According to documents on EFF.org about the legality of embedding YouTube videos, I am under no obligation to remove the video from my site until the intellectual property holder gets in contact with me, which in the case of the CNN clips in the video is Time-Warner, not Charles Jaco.

We hope that is was a misunderstanding, that upon further review Mr. Jaco will realize that we did nothing wrong in asking the question and in fact posting his email did allow him to put his side of the story out there.  We would have loved it if he would have just sent us an email telling his side without threats, which we would have happily posted here as well.  Instead he tried to bully a website he thought would bend to his will, into removing simple, innocent questions.

Remember that next time you see him “reporting” on Fox 2.