Sunday, September 23, 2012

Blood Evidence

 Murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens

Even though prior to my appearance on Fox News, hate mail had already started pouring in over town officials catastrophic decision to ground the 25 commemorative flags on 9/11, the national news network did screw up the flashy graphics overlayed on my live interview, thus allowing Town Hall to paint this as an intentional right wing conservative vs left wing liberal issue (rather than a right vs wrong) best exemplified in the national media by Fox News and their counterpart CNN.

Of course I was quick to point out that even the venerable CNN screwed up this sad saga of the commemorative flags eleven years ago when they mistakenly reported the town was restricting the rights of private citizens to fly American flags.  A report that was aired only hours after the Twin Towers crumbled.

Perhaps the best reason (besides the one of righteousness) town officials should have know better this time around. "Those who fail to learn from history..."and all that.

So it comes as no great surprise that CNN would remove evidence from a crime scene, read through it for news tips, and then use that information to tell a story that, indeed, needed to be told:  the lousy security for our murdered ambassador in Libya.

Even though CNN promised the family of Chris Stevens nothing would be reported until his personal journal had been returned to them, the news network went ahead with a story anyway, using the vague attribution "sources familiar with the Ambassador Steven's thinking".

But CNN would not have found those sources if not for his private journal, taken from the scene of a crime.

Fifteen years ago the ABC News program Prime Time Live aired a hidden camera segment exposing poor food handling at Food Lion supermarket chain.  The corporation brought suit for trespass and fraud since the reporters used phony resumes in seeking employment with the target company.  Notice the suit was not for libel/slander, where "truth is the ultimate defense."

But a jury agreed and slapped the premier news outlet with a $5.5 million judgement, which was soon thereafter reduced to $315,000.  On a federal appeal two years later, the jury verdict was thrown out. 

Sure BIG corporations acting badly are a juicy target for investigative watchdog journalists and bloggers, perhaps only eclipsed by exposing BIG government acting badly.  And in the case of murdered Ambassador Stevens, there's more than enough blame to go around.

Like Watergate, the real story is not the original act --a two bit break in -- but the cover up after the fact.  In this case CNN should have come clean in their original report about a serious issue the public certainly had a right to know:  inept security for an ambassador in a volatile region who clearly had security concerns, and probably made them known to someone higher up the ladder.

And just like Dan Rather's botched report on President George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard eight years ago, the watchdogs who watch the media -- blogs -- continue to beat the drums on CNN's ghoulish lapse in judgement, aptly dubbed "disgusting" by a usually diffident State Department.

Trust is a reporter's most powerful ally.  If CNN did not keep their word to Ambassador's Stevens family, how can any nervous source now trust them when they promise -- in exchange for vital information -- to keep the whistleblower's name secret?



24 comments:

Anonymous said...

You needed to use this picture for this story why, Larry? I feel like this blog is becoming a junior version of the National Enquirer - graphic photos for shock value and no other value. And after reading this story several times over I still had a hard time figuing out what you were trying to say. Not your best effort by a long shot - very poor writing. Better stick with local nonsense. And I think you shouild re-think the use of that photo. Over the top and lurid.
I know, you will defend the photo, the writing, everything - because you are oh so perfect. I still think the use of this photo is indefensible. What do you think his family would think if they saw this blog.

Larry Kelley said...

Considering all the bricks-and-mortar newspapers (most notably the LA Times) that used it on page one, I think it's fairly likely they would already have seen it.

But yes, if they contact me (as they did with CNN over the journal) and make a request to pull it down, I most certainly will comply; unlike CNN breaking their promise not to publish a story based on the journal prior tho their reading it.

Anonymous said...

I find the use if the photo offensive.

Larry Kelley said...

Who are you?

Either way, don't look.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you are a self-righteous, pompous jerk.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, let's stick our heads in the sand and pretend that this assault on America has no human face.... makes it easier for the bleeding hearts to say we should turn the other cheek. Richard Marsh.

Anonymous said...

If this post is about CNN betraying the family's trust, you don't need this picture to tell the story. You used the pic simply for the shock value. This is not excellent journalism. It is shoddy voyeuristic crap. People won't take the content of this post seriously if they have to wade through the voyeurism first. Not a good moment for you ,Larry.

Larry Kelley said...

Good point Richard. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about turning the other cheek? False argument justifying a lurid unnecessary photo.

Tom McBride said...

I don't have the attention span to understand the points made. I could understand it a bit better if a couple of the less important points were taken out and the story was kept to two paragraphs.

Larry Kelley said...

Simply put Tom, liars can't be trusted.

CNN lied to a grieving family in order to publish a story they were in no danger of being scooped on.

Anonymous said...

You needed to put this photo up because CNN lied? Really?

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, really.

Anonymous said...

Not a false argument anon 3:41pm.... I wasn't commenting on the post, I was commenting on the objections raised about publishing the photo. In my opinion that photo needs to be seen, people have become de-sensitized to this kind of anti-American violence. My point is that the bleeding hearts need a wake up call, and the administration should act, and publishing such realities will further that end. Richard Marsh

Roach Patrol said...

"Larry, you are a self-righteous, pompous jerk."


Easy there, I'm on patrol.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the report Larry, and the photo. You brought to light details of a story that we wouldn't get anywhere else. Thanks.

Larry Kelley said...

No problem.

I'm still waiting for a CAN to complain that I violated the photographer's copyright, and that I'm a hypocrite because I complained when Ch 40 TV stole one of my photos.

Anonymous said...

You won't get anywhere else? I read a much better written report about this topic on politico. And they managed to cover it, including the appropriate outrage, without the gratuitous photo.

Tom McBride said...

Not EVERY story is about what the STUDENTS and the FOREIGNERS did to us.

Dr. Ed said...

The situation in Libya is really complex -- and I suggest we consider, for the sake of argument, that those particular individuals were actually trying to HELP him, albeit not understanding the basic concepts of not moving injured victims in this manner.

We know that the civillians attacked the milita that is alleged to be responsible for this, and were shot at with a 14.5 mm machine gun - a "heavy machine gun" that was used in the embassy attack.

Hmmmm.....

This is getting complicated....

Anonymous said...

Easy there, I'm on patrol.

I hear you loud and clear, Larry's No. 1 CAN.

(In my Bush W imitation voice...) "Bring It On."

'bach said...

Americans are shielded from US imperial terrorism, look at the mess our military gets into globally, fighting israel's covert conquest.

eustace mullins

The Roach Patrolling ghost of Adam Weishaupt said...

Let's see now...


Hmmm...


Che Guevara for Halloween, "Bach"?


RRRRRR-atta tat tat!

Anonymous said...

The whole fuss about CNN using the ambassador's diary is a smoke screen. None of the other media people would have blinked if a diary recovered at, say, the Pentagon after 9/11 had included material critical of the Bush administration.

This is just another bit of media circling the wagons to protect their darling Obama. CNN dared to actually report some news instead of campaign talking points, so they must be punished.