Last week, CBS News Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan blasted a Rolling Stone reporter whose article cost Gen. Stanley McChrystal his job as commander in Afghanistan.
After Rolling Stone‘s Michael Hastings exposed inflammatory comments by McChrystal and his staff about President Barack Obama and the US government’s civilian leadership, Logan suggested that it was the job of a reporter to cultivate the trust of sources by not reporting certain damaging remarks.
“Michael Hastings has never served his country the way McChrystal has,” she told CNN’s Howard Kurtz.
Jamie McIntyre, a former CNN reporter who covered the Pentagon for 16 years, slammed Logan’s comments Sunday.
“In defending herself and her compatriots in the press corps, against charges they are too chummy with the military, Logan wounded them grievously with mis-aimed friendly fire,” McIntyre wrote on his blog. “She unfortunately reinforced the worst stereotype of reporters who ‘embed’ with senior military officers but are actually ‘in bed’ with them.”
“The most damaging thing she said was when she made the comment disparaging Michael Hastings by referring to the fact that he hadn’t served his country the way the military did,” McIntyre told CNN’s Kurtz Sunday.
“That comment fed this perception that we’re more interested in protecting the members of the military than pursuing aggressive journalism and in that sense it was a very damaging comment to make,” he said.
Logan has come under attack from many in the media since she made her comments. Matt Taibbi, who recently started blogging at Rolling Stone, wrote that Logan’s attitude summarizes what’s wrong with mainstream media today:
Anyone who wants to know why network television news hasn’t mattered since the seventies just needs to check out this appearance by Logan. Here’s CBS’s chief foreign correspondent saying out loud on TV that when the man running a war that’s killing thousands of young men and women every year steps on his own dick in front of a journalist, that journalist is supposed to eat the story so as not to embarrass the flag. And the part that really gets me is Logan bitching about how Hastings was dishonest to use human warmth and charm to build up enough of a rapport with his sources that they felt comfortable running their mouths off in front of him. According to Logan, that’s sneaky….
This video is from CNN’s Reliable Sources, broadcast July 4, 2010.