News unworthy

This is an update to a story on which I commented in this November 13th post.  Logan should be fired. Period.:

http://journalismends.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/lara-logan-suspended-from-cbs-news-over-botched-60-minutes-benghazi-report/

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We have all likely heard of the debacle at CBS over 60 Minute’s bogus story about Benghazi.  Just in case you missed it:

http://www.salon.com/2013/11/04/60_minutes_benghazi_source_changes_story_of_eyewitness_account/

Shall I tell you why I am not surprised?

Lara Logan.

This woman is a poor excuse for a journalist.  Every time her name turns up, I expect problems.  First of all, she does not know that a true reporter is not supposed to cross the line into editorializing based on personal philosophies, when speaking in public on delicate subjects, like Benghazi and the Middle East conflicts, in her role as a representative of what is supposed to be an unbiased news organization.

Second, no serious journalist would be part of 60 Minutes.  CBS is a corporate shill.  True reporting is supposed to be based on a search for the truth, wherever that leads.  It is not good journalism when one only seeks information that supports a preconceived theory, especially one based on political biases.  CBS and Lara Logan are guilty of this kind of ‘reporting’.

Furthermore, Ms. Logan is reckless. What properly trained investigator would head into the highly volatile Islamic world dressed in Western clothing sans head covering?  It was bad enough when the Bush administration sent teams of operatives over to Iraq and Afghanistan without any apparent background or briefing on Middle Eastern, Arab and Islamic customs. Consequently, the Green Zone was a bubbling cauldron of Lara Loganignorance just waiting to boil over and incinerate every one of our private contractors.  It also greatly contributed to the animus that was already a problem for the United States in the region. The entire architecture of that fiasco was shameful and avoidable. What they should have done was hire a few social anthropologists who could have armed the American team with some common sense measures that would have enabled them to inter-mesh with the Iraqis and Afghanis quietly and respectfully. There might have been a different outcome had there been just a modicum of common sense and sensitivity.

Lara Logan was even worse than those ignoramuses.  She inserted herself into the Egyptian conflict, blond hair blazing, tight, skin baring, revealing clothing and a complete lack of decorum.  Her comportment might have been appropriate for Times Square, but not  Tahrir Square. Logan is better known for her prowess at T&A than Q&A.

Am I condoning the brutal hate crime that these people committed?  Absolutely not.  I am only saying that if you throw yourself in front of a tank, you might bear some responsibility when it rolls over you.  Lara Logan should be free to dress any way she wishes and not expect violence as a result, in a civilized society.You can decide if Egypt was in a civil mood that night or whether it was anarchic. When you go to the jungle, take bug spray.  If you don’t, your intelligence may be legitimately in question.

Serious work requires solemnity or at least a modicum of sedateness.  Logan, who had spent extensive time in Afghanistan previous to her Egypt trip, ought to have known that all body skin is to be covered and hair should have been disguised with a head-scarf, if not a hijab.  Take a look at the way the women are attired in the picture below. It is irrelevant that this is a backward culture with men who are repressed and treat women no better than animals.  When you are in their territory, prudence dictates staying below the radar, especially as a Westerner.

Now, to all this beauty-queening she adds shoddy research, opportunism and smallness of character.  Her ‘apology’ for slander, and triggering an avalanche of wild accusations and hyperbolic venom from the right against the current administration and Hilary Clinton, all of it unfounded, was a mere few-second symbolic sop. Clearly, Logan is not used to being criticized.  Cleavage and peroxide cannot compensate for scholarship, sadly lacking in much of what she does.  CBS should fire her.  Let her move over to Fox News where bimboism, not journalism are rewarded in female hosts.protest-tahrir-square

Not that I want to let 60 Minutes off the hook, either.  I stopped watching them in the 90’s based on a completely falsified segment that Ed Bradley did on an event with which I was quite familiar.  In fact, I had come back from the place where Bradley broadcast his piece, just before it aired.  His and my visits likely overlapped. When I saw the “report” he put together, I could hardly believe we were at the same place.  So egregious was the distortion, clearly done to pander to the Big Bosses at CBS, that I lost all respect for Bradley and stopped watching 60 Minutes altogether.  Nothing they have done since has changed my mind.  Far better reporting is found on PBS and NPR.  I consider the broadcast channel ‘news magazines’ junk journalism.

Over my career, I have worked in a variety of organizational settings from elementary schools to universities here and abroad, to the corporate world.  Never once, in all the time that I interacted with male and female colleagues as well as a variety of other populations, did I ever dress in what could be called a provocative manner. It is highly unprofessional.  In fact, particularly when I was teaching 18 – 21 year olds in some of my classes, I went out of my way to take my outfit out of the equation by wearing neutral, modest clothing, head to foot.  Not because I don’t celebrate being attractive or feminine but because at best that is irrelevant to the task at hand: doing the job or work properly and well. At worst it is a distraction and detracts from the validity of my role as an expert in my field. There is a place for that: bars, ballrooms, and bedrooms.  Not board rooms, press rooms or classrooms and certainly not the beat.

Beyond this, biased opinion, hastily contrived and explosively delivered to garner attention and ratings, masquerading as news and fact, especially on such prickly subjects as our diplomacy in the Middle East and terrorism, and inserting yourself falsely and selfishly into our elections, is irresponsible and unforgivable.

Images: thetimes.co.uk, ibitimes.com

post-a-day-2013

5 Comments on “News unworthy

  1. It’s stunning to me that she is getting away with a half-hearted apology but Dan Rather was forced out over his reporting on Dubya’s military service. I suppose it’s possible the heat continues and she gets forced to step down, but I doubt it. This report was slanted in the direction the network wanted, so she most likely won’t get the level of pressure that Rather did.

    Like

    • Exactly. It is really infuriating that there is such a double standard, especially when the damage done cannot be corrected and is so serious. We will see what happens. She seems to escape responsibility repeatedly.

      Like

  2. Bad Beth! Making poor navigator1965 laugh so hard. And confusing me, too. I can’t tell which line is funnier:

    – Logan is better known for her prowess at T&A than Q&A.
    – Cleavage and peroxide cannot compensate for scholarship,…

    Plus it was quite good in every other aspect.

    A+

    Like

    • Well, I am glad you took it that way, as this was a strong indictment of all three, Logan, 60 Minutes and CBS. They earned it. I don’t know how it looks from Canada, but I know that a large group of Dems and progressives are fed up with what is going on here right now. More about that tomorrow. I don’t intend to mince words on this topic, so I hope people are not offended. Thank you, I need a good grade every now and then :-).

      Like

      • I gave up cable (and hence standard TV) over a year ago, as I found no value for the money. I thus have no recent experience with CBS (or See BS) or 60 minutes. Very little experience at all, to be honest.

        I have come to place little faith in the mainstream media, with the exception of some a couple of newspapers that seem to have a lucid and balanced editorial perspective. I do attempt to read a couple that have dissimilar but centrist editorial perspectives for a balanced general perspective, which I augment with varied internet sources.

        Long live the Internet Reformation.

        Looking forward to tomorrow’s piece. Cheers.

        Like

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