Sunday, September 23, 2012

State Department vs. CNN: Two Venomous Snakes Do Battle

Not sure how scummy this is, exactly - being that the media has apparently hit rock bottom and seems content to slither along there - but there's something about this story that makes you feel dirty just reading it:

CNN reported on the personal journal of slain American ambassador Christopher Stevens over objections from his family, a State Department spokesman said Saturday.

The channel said in the story online that it took "newsworthy tips" from Stevens' diary and confirmed them with other sources. Citing an unidentified source "familiar with Stevens' thinking," CNN said that the ambassador was concerned about security threats in Benghazi and a "rise in Islamic extremism."

In a statement Saturday, CNN defended its use of the journal's contents and asked "why is the State Department now attacking the messenger."

"CNN did not initially report on the existence of a journal out of respect for the family, but we felt there were issues raised in the journal which required full reporting, which we did," the channel said.

Kinda nasty that CNN would report from the late Ambassador's private writings after his family apparently (and this is unconfirmed,  mind you) raised objections.  But apparently he foresaw his own death, being well aware he was inadequately protected and was at risk of targeted assassination.  Unreported, but certainly worth questioning, is whether Ambassador Stevens shared these concerns with the State Department, and what (if anything) they did in response.

But based on the angry,defensive response to the journal from State, it looks as if they have something to hide.  Again. A statement released by department spokesman Philippe Reines:

Given the truth of how this was handled, CNN patting themselves on the back is disgusting.

What they're not owning up to is reading and transcribing Chris's diary well before bothering to tell the family or anyone else that they took it from the site of the attack.

Whose first instinct is to remove from a crime scene the diary of a man killed along with three other Americans serving our country, read it, transcribe it, email it around your newsroom for others to read, and only when their curiosity is fully satisfied thinks to call the family or notify the authorities?

... Anderson Cooper didn't even bother to offer any other explanation as to why the network broke its promise to the family. And only did so after being contacted by a reporter asking about the diary and their convoluted sourcing.

How do they justify that? They have yet to even try to defend the indefensible. Not a proud episode in CNN's history. I'm sure there are many good people in the CNN newsroom equally appalled by this decision and wondering who above them authorized this course of action.

Pretty rich.  CNN is disgusting?  What about the Department of State, which lied to Americans repeatedly about the nature and cause of the 9/11/12 overseas attacks?  Who, once their falsehoods were revealed and  their attempts to "defend the indefensible" exposed (the pathetic lack of perpetration for an attack they had be forewarned about - on the anniversary of 9/11, no less)  went into full CYA mode as opposed to simply explaining to the American people what happened, and why?  How do they "justify" that?

State Department spokesman Philippe Reines -  a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton -  having some fun while the late Ambassador Stevens was fending for himself in a hostile country.  Don't blame him...between the high-priced champagne and the hot chick in a red dress, he had his hands full, OK?

Not a proud moment in the US State Department's history, either.  But in fairness, CNN's biased reporting and slanted news shows are pretty appalling.   Not to mention their cellar-dweller ratings.

It's like watching a scorpion a rattlesnake.  Can't they both lose?

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