Should CNN have read Stevens’ journal?

posted at 6:31 pm on September 23, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

This story has already been making the rounds this weekend, but it’s worth a look more from the perspective of media responsibility and ethics than studying the actual events in Benghazi. CNN has already come clean and admitted that their reporters found the charred remains of the personal journal of Ambassador Chris Stevens in the burned out frame of the consulate.

Three days after he was killed, CNN found a journal belonging to late U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. The journal was found on the floor of the largely unsecured consulate compound where he was fatally wounded.

CNN notified Stevens’ family about the journal within hours after it was discovered and at the family’s request provided it to them via a third party.

The journal consists of just seven pages of handwriting in a hard-bound book.

When you tell the story that way, it sounds like no harm, no foul, right? Journal found… family contacted…. journal returned. But, as the Lonely Conservative notes, there were a few more stops on this particular train route than CNN fesses up to.

[T]he Stevens family asked CNN not to report on information found in the dead man’s diary – but of course CNN did it anyway. Anderson Cooper was part of the sick cabal responsible.

Family members and State Department officials said CNN agreed during the Sept. 14 conference call to hold off on using the diary until the family had a chance to review its contents.

But family members and U.S. officials were surprised when CNN anchor Anderson Cooper appeared to use the information from the journal by attributing it to a source familiar with Mr. Stevens’s thinking.

In that broadcast, Mr. Cooper said the ambassador was worried about security threats in Benghazi and said he believed he was on an al Qaeda hit list.

A spokesperson for CNN said the network didn’t report directly from the journal, but corroborated the information through other sources.

According to the linked WSJ article, the State Department revealed that it took “repeated prodding” to get CNN to return the journal to the family, and calls for them to hold off on using the information within were clearly ignored. Unless, of course, you accept Anderson Cooper’s explanation that “confirming” the information in the journal with “sources familiar with the Ambassador’s thinking” qualifies as not using it.

Where can we expect the media to draw the line on something like this? Is the personal journal of a dead man not off bounds? (Though clearly the State Department deserved a look at it.) A private journal is not some official government document obtained through a Freedom of Information request. And they can’t claim that it’s the same as an interview. (I’ve done more than a few myself.) When a reporter wants to ask about your private musings, you can refuse. Or, at a minimum, insist that the conversation is off the record. Ambassador Stevens had no such opportunity. CNN tore into his book, whipped out their cell phones and began getting ready to go to press over the objections of the dead man’s family.

At what point can the public, if not the government, cry foul over something like this? I got into a bit of an argument with my friend Doug Mataconis over that question when the story broke. In the discussion, he voiced the opinion that the contents of the journal were newsworthy, and as such, it might be irresponsible of CNN to not use it. We agreed to disagree, but he penned a lengthy piece on it later.

CNN is getting hammered for using the diary as a news source rather than giving it to the family as they requested or, as some have suggested, turning it over the government as “evidence” in the terror attack. It’s very tempting to be sympathetic to Stevens’ family and to argue that the journal should have been returned to them immediately. However, there’s also the fact that that Stevens’ journal apparently did contain material indicating the Ambassador’s concerns regarding the security situation for American diplomats in Libya as well as warning of attacks and security threats in the Benghazi area and elsewhere. These concerns were apparently corroborated by other information obtained by CNN reporters on the ground. Doesn’t this make at least this part of the journal newsworthy? If an Ambassador in a nation like Libya is expressing private concerns about his own security in the weeks and months before his death, isn’t that relevant information that the American public should know as we continue to uncover exactly what happened on September 11, 2012 in Benghazi? I understand the people who are sympathetic to the wishes of Stevens’ family and the idea that they should have been followed, but it strikes me that there are other obligations that journalists owe to their audience, and it strikes me that CNN would have been doing a disservice by choosing not to report this information.

As to the argument that this is “evidence”, I’m not really sure what it would be evidence of unless Stevens was writing a contemporaneous account of the attack while hiding in the Consulate, which doesn’t appear to be the case. Furthermore, even if it is “evidence,” it’s also newsworthy and, unless it involved something secret that would have jeopardized an investigation, or jeopardized lives, I don’t see the “evidence” argument as one that should have precluded CNN from making the information public.

I just don’t see it that way. If there were information in there critical to national security and of value to the public, the proper route would have been to simply allow State to handle the pages and determine how much to give out at a press briefing, hopefully respecting the wishes of the family. In this case, I think there is still a line of decency which professional journalists should observe. And in this case, it was crossed.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

No.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 23, 2012 at 6:33 PM

No – it should have been handed over to the family. What they did was creepy beyond belief.

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 6:33 PM

I think there is still a line of decency which professional journalists should observe. And in this case, it was crossed.

Me, too! Well said, Jazz.

thatsafactjack on September 23, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Hey, this is CNN we’re talking about here. They have an illustrious history of unethical journalism.

This will simply add to their sorry journalistic record.

Del Dolemonte on September 23, 2012 at 6:35 PM

The answer, in this case, is yes. They published information about the attacks, not Stevens’ dream journal.

WeekendAtBernankes on September 23, 2012 at 6:36 PM

they stole someones property.
would they be ok with people stealing their intellectual property and passing it off as their own?

dmacleo on September 23, 2012 at 6:37 PM

NYTimes has no problem publishing Bush’s strategic decisions. This is at least after the fact. Maybe they need to re-work their credentials by once in a while actually printing something that doesn’t polish the halo they have on Obama.

I think it is the broken clock syndrome though: twice a day, even a broken clock shows the correct time.

I’ll believe they have moved more toward objectivity when they ask about Fast & Furious, economic malaise, or unemployment without kicking and screaming or intentionally posing the question as a softball.

Wino on September 23, 2012 at 6:37 PM

While it should have been handed over to the Family, we learned crucial things about this horrible incident. I’m surprised the family doesn’t want us to know that Hillary and Obama both have blood on their hands over this…

sandee on September 23, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Should have been handed over, unread, to State.

ConservativeLA on September 23, 2012 at 6:38 PM

I absolutely do not believe that CNN found this journal. How much did they pay for it and to whom?

JPeterman on September 23, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Before it disclosed the existence of the diary, CNN used it as a basis for its reporting. If you go back to CNN’s reporting on Stevens’ fear that he had been added to a AQ hit list, the network said “a source (with insight into) Stevens’ thinking.” The “source” was his diary. CNN deliberately misled viewers into believing that its “source” was an actual human being, who had spoken or communicated with the ambassador about his fears.

They should have turned it over to the CIA or to his family. You don’t read other people’s diaries that you have found at a crime scene.

Resist We Much on September 23, 2012 at 6:40 PM

WeekendAtBernankes on September 23, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Miep Gies found Anne Frank’s diary after The Franks and Co. were discovered and deported-but she only found out what was in from Otto Frank. SHE didn’t read it prior to returning it.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 23, 2012 at 6:40 PM

I just don’t see it that way. If there were information in there critical to national security and of value to the public, the proper route would have been to simply allow State to handle the pages and determine how much to give out at a press briefing, hopefully respecting the wishes of the family. In this case, I think there is still a line of decency which professional journalists should observe. And in this case, it was crossed.

Are you insane?!

Like the Obama administration would ever allow this to see the light of day. They are corrupt and setup a situation that directly led to this man’s death which this journal shows that it was obvious even to him.

Don’t worry though you say, trust the government. They lie!

You tell me the difference between this journal being made public by the government vs the press (corrupt as they are). Government knows best?

GardenGnome on September 23, 2012 at 6:41 PM

It sounds every bit as bad as what Murdoch’s editors did in Great Britain, by hacking into voice mail.

RBMN on September 23, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Yes. The public’s right to know that the situation was known to be untenable, trumps all. There is no guarantee that if cnn had not reported the contents it would have been released by the feds or the family. Remember, the family is uber leftards and may be willing to overlook the unnecessary death of their love one to protect obama.

Blake on September 23, 2012 at 6:42 PM

I think it was reasonable for them to read it. The real issue is what to reveal, if anything. The death of an ambassador in a suspected terrorist attack is by definition a public issue not a personal one and therefore it was worth/reasonable to release info from the journal about it.

Especially, when you have a govt trying to deny the truth for political reasons.

Robert_Paulson on September 23, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Yes. The public’s right to know that the situation was known to be untenable, trumps all. There is no guarantee that if cnn had not reported the contents it would have been released by the feds or the family. Remember, the family is uber leftards and may be willing to overlook the unnecessary death of their love one to protect obama.

Blake on September 23, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Unfortunately true…

sandee on September 23, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Resist We Much on September 23, 2012 at 6:40 PM

This is my problem with the whole thing. They used it at a “source” and mislead people.

It was dirty and dishonest even for journalists and that’s saying a lot.

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Bradley Manning apologists are outraged over this.

The Count on September 23, 2012 at 6:44 PM

This is simply the most disgusting story I have heard in ages. Shame on CNN and shame on Pooper Scooper for showing everyone what bad taste is all about. What a scumbag.

lexhamfox on September 23, 2012 at 6:47 PM

No, but then this is CNN we’re talking about here. How do we know they didn’t photo shop the pages and make some changes here and there. Sorry, but I don’t trust these guys at all. They will do whatever it takes to cover for the empty chair.

Kissmygrits on September 23, 2012 at 6:48 PM

I respectfully disagree. After the administration lied and lied about Libya it would have been an error to hide this information and to let the administration bury the info and burn the document.

We complain so much about the press covering for O, but when someone doesn’t we whine? Not me, not about this. If Stevens had written about personal relationships, fine, hand it back to the family. This seems to have been writted to express his severe misgivings about the situation in Libya. The WH will scrub his computer if they get it, but this got out. Kudos to Anderson Cooper!

And I think the WH’s outrage over this hides a deeper concern.

To insist that this be “off the record” is absurd. After the secret 47% tape, nothing is off the record.

WTG, Anderson Cooper!

clnurnberg on September 23, 2012 at 6:48 PM

How is CNN getting in there and finding stuff before the American investigators do? I say shame on the state for letting this fall into CNN’s hands 3 days after the attack.

Ampersand on September 23, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Where can we expect the media to draw the line on something like this? Is the personal journal of a dead man not off bounds? (Though clearly the State Department deserved a look at it.)

I just don’t see it that way. If there were information in there critical to national security and of value to the public, the proper route would have been to simply allow State to handle the pages and determine how much to give out at a press briefing, hopefully respecting the wishes of the family.

The whole idea here that the government should know but the citizenry should not is repulsive.

In that broadcast, Mr. Cooper said the ambassador was worried about security threats in Benghazi and said he believed he was on an al Qaeda hit list.

What about this information is vital to national security? Its vital to the Democrats political hopes, but not national security.

The constitution is all about a fundamental mistrust of government and you should consider why that is.

sharrukin on September 23, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Why not ask the question why in the hell the State Dept didn’t find the damn journal on its own??. That site should’ve been secured, scrubbed of all sensitive material, and treated as a crime scene. That’s what the embassy is there for—to gather and secure information sensitive to the United States. Not to allow CNN to roam freely amongst the detritus and blood from a scene where 4 Americans were killed.

It was 3AM, the phone was ringing, and both Obama and Hillary had their fingers in their ears……

ted c on September 23, 2012 at 6:51 PM

CNN has already come clean and admitted that their reporters found the charred remains of the personal journal of Ambassador Chris Stevens in the burned out frame of the consulate.

Does anyone really buy this? They found the charred diary three days after the event? After a rampaging mob had sacked the building? After the Al Qaeda attack? They may be terrorists, but they are organized terrorists and would have been looking for any and all documents for possible future utility. After the Libyan government had secured the area? Really? We are expected to believe that?

Cynical person’s view. CNN was contacted by one of the terrorists about this diary (and maybe other documents they have not yet owned up to). CNN knows dealing with terrorists is a bad thing, so they make a deal and pay said terrorists to “drop” the diary where a CNN reporter can “find” it while CNN “drops” some money somewhere (or maybe the payment is in favorable reporting by the Crescent News Network).

These networks had no problem reporting military plans or other damaging information in the past; why would anyone be outraged at them reporting the contents of this journal. Kind of funny that they would because this paints Jugears and Shrillary in a less than favorable light.

AZfederalist on September 23, 2012 at 6:53 PM

What the hell were the US Embassy personnel in Tripoli doing? What about CENTCOM personnel? The CENTCOM commander sure as hell has the RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY to secure a scene like this, even if by forced entry capability, and safeguard all sensitive information–starting with the corpses of 4 Americans. Friendly or not, the Libyans should not have had access to the remains of our personnel. If they did, then the leadership was asleep at the switch and that is a crying shame.

ted c on September 23, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Why not ask the question why in the hell the State Dept didn’t find the damn journal on its own??. That site should’ve been secured, scrubbed of all sensitive material, and treated as a crime scene. That’s what the embassy is there for—to gather and secure information sensitive to the United States. Not to allow CNN to roam freely amongst the detritus and blood from a scene where 4 Americans were killed.

It was 3AM, the phone was ringing, and both Obama and Hillary had their fingers in their ears……

ted c on September 23, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Exactly. Seems like we are falling into the trap of NOT talking about the real story. Just like Romney’s response to the attacks, we are talking about how CNN handles the journal. Not what’s in the journal or how the State handled the entire indecent.

Obama is happy with this CNN bashing

Ampersand on September 23, 2012 at 6:54 PM

I respectfully disagree. After the administration lied and lied about Libya it would have been an error to hide this information and to let the administration bury the info and burn the document.

We complain so much about the press covering for O, but when someone doesn’t we whine? Not me, not about this. If Stevens had written about personal relationships, fine, hand it back to the family. This seems to have been writted to express his severe misgivings about the situation in Libya. The WH will scrub his computer if they get it, but this got out. Kudos to Anderson Cooper!

I agree. To not report it would have been to shield the administration.

Shay on September 23, 2012 at 6:55 PM

The FBI is supposed to investigate this “crime”, but is delayed for security reasons. Meanwhile, the reporters are combing the crime scene.

flicker on September 23, 2012 at 6:55 PM

How does a journalist find it 3 days later? What kind of military/security investigatory team was sent that did not discover it themselves? What am I missing here?

hillsoftx on September 23, 2012 at 6:55 PM

To paraphrase Obama, when the government doesn’t act, it’s up to me.

flicker on September 23, 2012 at 6:56 PM

If CNN does this to a fellow liberal-imagine what they would do to a conservative diary that fell into their greasy hands. For starters-get a forger to make up a clever substitute, confessing to political dirty tricks and child molestation and destroyed the original.

MaiDee on September 23, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Did CNN find Osams Bin Laden’s journal after his head was perforated? F*ck no, our guys gathered sacks and sacks of sh!t off that target. The consulate in Benghazi? What the hell……. 4 sorry ass days later a CNN butt pirate fingers the ambassador’s journal??? Excuse me? WTF? Did anybody effing think to go check the joint out afterwards? Or, was everybody still living under the lie that it was just a “mob action”…..

*nuclear facepalm*

ted c on September 23, 2012 at 6:56 PM

alternate headline: Why didn’t the State Department find their ambassador’s journal and let CNN do it?

ted c on September 23, 2012 at 6:57 PM

I think there is still a line of decency which professional journalists should observe.

How cute and naive Jazz, I guess you must have been living under a rock for the last 50 years. Don Henley expressed the disgustingly foul depths to which the once respectable Fourth Estate has fallen rather accurately when he penned this.

I make my living off the Evening News
Just give me something-something I can use
People love it when you lose,
They love dirty laundry

Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here
I just have to look good, I don’t have to be clear
Come and whisper in my ear
Give us dirty laundry

Kick ‘em when they’re up
Kick ‘em when they’re down
Kick ‘em when they’re up
Kick ‘em when they’re down
Kick ‘em when they’re up
Kick ‘em when they’re down
Kick ‘em when they’re up
Kick ‘em all around

We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who
Comes on at five
She can tell you ’bout the plane crash with a gleam
In her eye
It’s interesting when people die-
Give us dirty laundry
[ Lyrics from:
http://www.lyricsfreak.com/d/don+henley/dirty+laundry_20042033.html ]
Can we film the operation?
Is the head dead yet?
You know, the boys in the newsroom got a
Running bet
Get the widow on the set!
We need dirty laundry

You don’t really need to find out what’s going on
You don’t really want to know just how far it’s gone
Just leave well enough love
Eat your dirty laundry

Kick ‘em when they’re up
Kick ‘em when they’re down
Kick ‘em when they’re up
Kick ‘em when they’re down

Kick ‘em when they’re up
Kick ‘em when they’re down
Kick ‘em when they’re stiff
Kick ‘em all around

Dirty little secrets
Dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers in everybody’s pie
We love to cut you down to size
We love dirty laundry

We can do “The Innuendo”
We can dance and sing
When it’s said and done we haven’t told you a thing
We all know that Crap is King
Give us dirty laundry!

SWalker on September 23, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Everything about the administration’s response to this stinks to high heaven. The idea that this was about a youtube video that virtually nobody saw here, but everyone in the muslim world was well versed? That doesn’t sound completely bogus and stagey to anybody?

We listen to a week of crap from Team-0. Chris Steven’s voice is what silenced the lie. I wonder what else will be uncovered. I don’t care if CNN paid for this. In fact, I hope they pay for more and publish the lot of it.

clnurnberg on September 23, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Didn’t the regime tell us through their State Department that they would no longer entertain questions regarding the “incident” at the Benghai Consulate because there was an ongoing investigation into a “crime scene”? Why, yes. Yes they did. SO WHY WAS CNN ABLE TO GO IN THERE FOUR DAYS LATER AND REMOVE EVIDENCE???

Naturally Curly on September 23, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Where can we expect the media to draw the line on something like this? Is the personal journal of a dead man not off bounds?

Not if it helps the American people to learn the truth about what those in charge of our country and foreign policy are up to. And it’s not like they broke in someplace and stole it.

VorDaj on September 23, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Why isn’t anyone focusing on how CNN got the diary in the first place? Apparently, CNN got into the Benghazi consulate four days after Stevens was killed and found it.

Four days after the murder our consulate was still unsecured?

Sorry guys, the blame here is with Hillary and Obama.

EV on September 23, 2012 at 6:58 PM

The journal was found on the floor of the largely unsecured consulate compound where he was fatally wounded.

Fatally wounded. I suppose no one will hear any autopsy reports before the FBI nabs the alleged noble perps in Libya and brings them to NY for trial. And even then the reports may be deemed prejudicial to the defense and not allowed.

BL@KBIRD on September 23, 2012 at 6:59 PM

This is my problem with the whole thing. They used it at a “source” and mislead people. It was dirty and dishonest even for journalists and that’s saying a lot.

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Yep. Of course, what should we expect of people that cover for everything that the Obama administration does? We had to drag them into reality and away from the idiotic meme about youtube.

Pic of the Day: Someone Youtubed!

M2RB: A Change Of Pace
.

Resist We Much on September 23, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Are you kidding me? Of course CNN did the right thing, they didn’t use the diary to disseminate some personal information about the Ambassador, in some sensationalist way, but information that was critical for the large public to understand the incompetence of the state department and its failure to understand the dynamic and the forces at play in complex zones such as the ME or N Africa, and to protect its diplomats. The family got the diary back and have no reason whatsoever to complain about CNN using some elements that were critical for their reporting what happened in Benghazi, especially that we know that the State Dept won’t tell the truth and won’t take resposibility. After all the diary could have been either lost, or burnt, or ended up in enemy hands, so the the family wouldn’t have had a chance to even see it at all under any of these scenarios, let alone to get it back….. The ambassador was a public servant after all, and CNN only used the info pertaining to that side of his persona and relevant to the public and its understanding of the complex situation there. I say well done, CNN, good reporting job.

jimver on September 23, 2012 at 6:59 PM

I asked this the other day.

Is State the one telling this tale about the family?

Has a family member on the record corroborated that State’s account is accurate?

Otherwise, I’m assuming that the State Dept. is lying.

INC on September 23, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Swalker–right on with that song, bro.

ted c on September 23, 2012 at 6:59 PM

There are two issues here: Invasion of privacy and national security.

Revealing that Stevens had concerns about security does not invade his privacy nor does it harm national security.

myiq2xu on September 23, 2012 at 7:00 PM

How would they have known what they had found, to turn it over unread, without reading it? It was only 7 pages.

Plus, in this case, with this administration being so controlling of the press and so loathe to let out anything that doesn’t polish their turd, and with their supporters being so willing to cover for them, I can see why real journalists would press on with reporting on it. And CNN must have some real journalists still who care about the truth.

If they delayed reporting on it to clear it with the family, or to clear it with State, it would have gone down the memory hole. I understand that Stevens family would want to keep his private thoughts to themselves, but that’s a very cold comfort, and perpetuates a false sense of decency, if keeping it from the public leads to more deaths, or contributes to the coverup of US culpability.

starboardhelm on September 23, 2012 at 7:01 PM

SWalker on September 23, 2012 at 6:57 PM

From 30 years ago. … and it’s only gotten worse.

AZfederalist on September 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Not if it helps the American people to learn the truth about what those in charge of our country and foreign policy are up to. And it’s not like they broke in someplace and stole it.

VorDaj on September 23, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Where do you draw the line? A congressman is killed in a suspicious car crash. Is it okay for the media to comb through the wreckage if it allows the American people to know what happened?

I can’t stand this administration but I think we are traveling down a slippery slope of privacy here if we condone what CNN did. They removed something from a crime scene IMO. It was morally and ethically wrong.

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Decency in the MSM? Barry’s leg humpers?

GarandFan on September 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Of course CNN should have read it — the only thing they did wrong/unethical is not citing the source from the beginning (i.e., they said a “source close to Stevens” but they should have revealed from the beginning that the info came from Stevens’ journal).

What is more disgusting is that the MSM seems more concerned with CNN’s ethics in reading the journal than it does in the fact that the Obama administration sent the man who wrote the journal to Libya with inadequate security & were too stupid or naive to think that 9/11 *might* require more security in a country with a new government that is known to have AQ training. Furthermore, it is more disgusting that the State Department is hiding behind the family of the dead ambassador to condemn CNN for letting the cat out of the bag that Stevens was worried for his safety because that is information they want suppressed to help with their continued lies to the American public to cover up that the idiotic Obama “Appeasement” Doctrine in the Middle East led to the death of 4 Americans while Obama & Hillary continue to apologize to his killers.

IMO, after the events of the last 2 weeks, Hillary, Obama and the rest of the MSM all have no room to ever characterize anything anyone does as “disgusting” ever again. YMMV.

Dark Star on September 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Twice on Sundays!

Pic of the Day: Speak Kindly Of The Hun!

M2RB: Buggles

“Video Killed the Ambassador-Star….”

Resist We Much on September 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM

CNN must have some real journalists still who care about the truth.

starboardhelm on September 23, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Name them.

Del Dolemonte on September 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM

SWalker on September 23, 2012 at 6:57 PM

I got my campaign contributions from Norman Hsu
He gave me money that I sure could use
People love it when I lose,
They love my dirty laundry

Well, I coulda been suing a McDonalds, but I married up
I just have to look good compared to the rest, I dont have to be clear
Come and whisper dirty tricks in my ear
See my dirty laundry

See me when Im up
See me when Im down
See me when Im up
See me when Im down
See me when Im up
See me go round and round

We got the silky-pony who
Comes on all poor like
He can tell you bout channeling the dead with a gleam
In his eye
Its interesting when people die-
See his dirty laundry

Can we trash Obama yet?
You know, the boys in my campaign got a
Running bet
Got the dirt on him all set!
I love others dirty laundry

You dont really need to know whats going on
You dont really want to know just how far Ive gone
Just leave me well enough alone
Eat my dirty laundry

See me when Im up
See me when Im down
See me when Im up
See me when Im down

See me when Im up
See me when Im down
See me when Im stiff
See me when Im talkin southern black all around

My dirty little secrets
My dirty little lies
Ive got my dirty little fingers in everybodys pie
I love to cut em down to size
I love dirty laundry

I can do the innuendo
I can pounce and I can sing
When its all said and done I havent told you a thing
You all know that my crap is king
Give me dirty laundry!
- Hillary Rodham Henley

VorDaj on September 23, 2012 at 7:04 PM

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

This is no more a “crime scene” that the WTC after 9/11. It was an acto of terrorism and a pack of lies told by the administration. The car wreck analogy doesn’t come close to this scenario.

clnurnberg on September 23, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Does “Leading from Behind” mean CNN is now in charge do securing our Consulates?

Curtiss on September 23, 2012 at 7:04 PM

OK Ed.. I had a look at Howard Kurtz’s defense of CNN’s handling of the journal and what was reported on Anderson’s show. Not as bad as I thought and you did leave out some caveats regarding this story (journal returned to State Dept. within 24hrs, the only part of the journal which they made public was his concern about security (pls. correct me if I am wrong).

My inclination is to explode over a gross invasion of privacy but was the journal used to provide sensational or salacious detail to the attack or was the info used to provide additional resolution on a public matter already in the public domain? Do I really have to watch the Pooper Scooper or can someone just save me the time.

lexhamfox on September 23, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Dark Star on September 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Agreed.

jimver on September 23, 2012 at 7:04 PM

1. who stole the journal and sold it to cnn.
2.was it one of the insiders who helped the bad guys

gerrym51 on September 23, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There’s your bedrock principle right there, as that is what the detractors are leaning towards – an abridgment of the press.

Now, mind you, the press has been acting in an abominable fashion of late, but that does not mean that their rights should be altered in any way by the government.

That said, if Chris Stevens were killed in an automobile accident in Iowa, his journal in plain sight on the passenger seat, then I would agree that a reporter or press agency should show a little bit of decorum and return the journal unread.

But this is quite different.

We have an Ambassador of the United States Government that was assassinated, sodomized, dragged though the streets, etc.

And we have reason to believe that there is treason afoot in the White House – and the contents of that journal have bearing upon the actions of the president leading up to the attack and thereafter.

As much as it pains me to say so, CNN was correct in collecting the relevant information and reporting it.

And there isn’t one damned thing the government can do about it.

turfmann on September 23, 2012 at 7:07 PM

I can’t stand this administration but I think we are traveling down a slippery slope of privacy here if we condone what CNN did. They removed something from a crime scene IMO. It was morally and ethically wrong.

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

The ‘slippery slope’ we are traveling on is one to dhimmitude and subjugation.

http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2012/09/23/a-short-bracing-video-obama-should-see/2/

VorDaj on September 23, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Should somebody very high up at the State Deptartment and/or White House resign because of the murder of the Americans at the US consulate in Libya?

albill on September 23, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Where do you draw the line? A congressman is killed in a suspicious car crash. Is it okay for the media to comb through the wreckage if it allows the American people to know what happened?

I can’t stand this administration but I think we are traveling down a slippery slope of privacy here if we condone what CNN did. They removed something from a crime scene IMO. It was morally and ethically wrong.

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

If a journalist looks at the wreckage 3 days later and finds a letter saying the senator thinks someone has been messing with his break lines then hell yes they should tell the public.

Ampersand on September 23, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Can I just say that this is one of the best threads we’ve had in awhile.

Actual discussion – no trolls.

Me likey.

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:08 PM

I can’t stand this administration but I think we are traveling down a slippery slope of privacy here if we condone what CNN did. They removed something from a crime scene IMO. It was morally and ethically wrong.

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

I was outraged over this last night but after I slept on it and rethought it, I’m starting to side with CNN.

It’s morally and ethically wrong for the President and his Administration to lie to us and they have lied repeatedly to us about this incident for the past 10+ days.

JPeterman on September 23, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Anyone else think there’s more to this story? With bonus Fast & Furious info.

Naturally Curly on September 23, 2012 at 7:09 PM

If a journalist looks at the wreckage 3 days later and finds a letter saying the senator thinks someone has been messing with his break lines then hell yes they should tell the public.

Ampersand on September 23, 2012 at 7:07 PM

But a piece of paper isn’t a private diary.

I don’t know – I’m torn on this. Like I said I hate this administration and I want them taken to task for this but it just bothers me that something private was taken and used in this way.

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:10 PM

I think if anything in the journal has direct bearing on the story then things get awfully fuzzy. However, as a general rule a private journal should be surrendered to the family immediately. J-School journalists though have no moral compass.

NotCoach on September 23, 2012 at 7:11 PM

INC on September 23, 2012 at 6:59 PM

As I said, until absolutely proven otherwise, I’m assuming State Dept. is lying.

This is Hillary we’re talking about–and Obama.

Since when have they been known for telling the truth?

INC on September 23, 2012 at 7:11 PM

The journal consists of just seven pages of handwriting in a hard-bound book.

Didn’t this strike anybody else as weird?

This doesn’t sound like a teenage girl’s Hopes and Dreams Diary. It looks like he started this a short time before the attack. And it’s a little hard to see how seven handwritten pages could contain the security details reported so far AND a huge amount of personal dithering about who might invite whom to the prom as well.

It’s pretty obvious he started this log shortly before the attack, and that he did it for a REASON. The fact that he felt he couldn’t input this kind of critical data in the official records says volumes in itself.

logis on September 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

A private diary tells about who hed had dinner with, this “diary” sounds like an important document

clnurnberg on September 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Me likey.

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Yes, but Whack-A-Mole is always fun too.

NotCoach on September 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Where do you draw the line? A congressman is killed in a suspicious car crash. Is it okay for the media to comb through the wreckage if it allows the American people to know what happened?

If the police left the car, unsecured by the highway for 3 days instead of towing it to a secure impound lot. Yeah, I’d say that would probably be a reasonable course of action for the media to take. Because then, the overriding story should be why the police had not secured the crash and all evidence in that time period.

Would be a different thing if the crash occurred, the media rolled up and stripped the evidence from the car before the police got there. But that’s not what happened here.

More likely though, somebody else combed through the wreckage, called the media and sold the information to the media. The media would have the obligation to turn the evidence over to the police. Reporting on the information? If they were clean in telling how they got it, probably within bounds, especially if it pointed to external influences in the congresscritter’s death vs. some tawdry personal revelation.

I can’t stand this administration but I think we are traveling down a slippery slope of privacy here if we condone what CNN did. They removed something from a crime scene IMO. It was morally and ethically wrong.
gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

After a certain period of time, the real malfeasance is on the part of the US government not to have secured the site. If CNN could go through the site, anybody could have.

AZfederalist on September 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Did they have to wipe of the ambassadors blood off before they read it. Did they find it on the floor after someone ripped it out of the ambassadors pocket, before or after he was dead. What other papers did the Amb Stevens have that are now in the hands of ALQ. Did they find the anything about his “gay” lover. If someone broke into his Washington house and got the journal would they also have used it or as it was taken at a unsecured lawless land it is fair game. So when the CNN offices in Egypt are ransacked it will be fine as they are just looking for information to get in to “the mind” of the subjects.

I have to give Anderson some benefit of the doubt that he knew the info came from the journal, as he is in NYC and not in Libya where the book was. But how long they waited until they came clean is yet to be determined.

tjexcite on September 23, 2012 at 7:13 PM

I was outraged over this last night but after I slept on it and rethought it, I’m starting to side with CNN.

It’s morally and ethically wrong for the President and his Administration to lie to us and they have lied repeatedly to us about this incident for the past 10+ days.

JPeterman on September 23, 2012 at 7:08 PM

SIGH – I just don’t know any more.

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:13 PM

logis on September 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

precisely. This man kwew he had a cause to worry. His computer will never see the light of day.

clnurnberg on September 23, 2012 at 7:13 PM

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Wasn’t it the journal entry that got the administration to give up its ludicrous story.

Bottom line to me is that if the US didn’t bother to secure the consulate grounds, then all’s fair.

flicker on September 23, 2012 at 7:13 PM

I agree completely with Dark Star. If CNN ignores the journal … the SCOAMF and his scum’s story of “spontaneous demonstration” goes unchallenged and the journal NEVER makes it to the family.

Study the history of journalism in this country. Joseph Pulitzer was the first “muckraker” and was despised by the MSM of his day …. but he brought an enormous amount of political corruption into the light of day and the Pulitzer Prize is the top award in journalism.

PolAgnostic on September 23, 2012 at 7:14 PM

AZfederalist on September 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Good points.

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:14 PM

I wonder how many in the regime or CNN could stand the scrutiny of a lie detector test.

diogenes on September 23, 2012 at 7:15 PM

O/T, just saw another Jug-Ears commercial HERE IN NEW JERSEY. Begging for a $10 donation. Snort.

Naturally Curly on September 23, 2012 at 7:17 PM

O/T, just saw another Jug-Ears commercial HERE IN NEW JERSEY. Begging for a $10 donation. Snort.

Naturally Curly on September 23, 2012 at 7:17 PM

The commercials are begging for money??? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Creepy, wrong, invasive. That poor man suffered to an extent we can only imagine in our worst nightmares. CNN deserves to be ripped for it’s newfound journalistic “integrity”. (snicker)

BUT, I have to ask- Why does anyone keep a journal? It’s like a sex tape- it’s going to come out. At the very least, keep it on a private blog that you have the password for. I hate that this mans thoughts and feelings are going to be public fodder.

BettyRuth on September 23, 2012 at 7:19 PM

OK Ed..
lexhamfox on September 23, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Sorry, Jazz

lexhamfox on September 23, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Anyone else think there’s more to this story? With bonus Fast & Furious info.

Naturally Curly on September 23, 2012 at 7:09 PM

I read these guys occasionally. Is there any veracity to them? I’m one hundred percent on board with Stevens being an arms negotiator or some other secret agent set up to take a fall. The whole thing stinks to high heaven.

tom daschle concerned on September 23, 2012 at 7:20 PM

The administration is lying through its teeth.

Somehow this huge band of militants absolutely knew the whereabouts of Stevens, yet we are told “spontaneous” protest about some ridiculous, amateurish video.

Cooper must have gotten sick of the lies. Glad someone is sick of the lies other than Breitbart and Fox. I’m not surprised it was Cooper though, he’s managed to tour Sderot after the bombings and not hide the truth behind a pack of pal lies.

clnurnberg on September 23, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Man, we can follow Obama’s memes can’t we?

The CNN outrage is a squirrel.

Stick to the content of the alleged journal.

Side note: how is it that CNN got a journal 4 days after?

faraway on September 23, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Yes. Across the bottom of the screen: “TO DONATE $10 text 1234 to 5678!”

Naturally Curly on September 23, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Every time I read about this story, I snag on the fact that CNN says they found it IN THE (burned out) CONSULATE, THREE DAYS after the attack. They say, again and again, that the consulate was not well-guarded.

WHAT?!!

The Obama administration KEPT repeating ad nauseam that this was a criminal act and was “being investigated.” So you’re telling me that the United States federal government took THREE DAYS of investigations AT THEIR OWN CONSULATE that was NOT SECURED and did not find this journal?

NONE OF THAT MAKES ANY SENSE!

Does it?

Please, if it makes sense to you, explain it to me because I’m lost!

UnderstandingisPower on September 23, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Here’s another question I have that’s being ignored by the enemedia and government. Three people in addition to the Ambassador died, and two of those were SEALS not assigned to embassy security. If there were 5 security guards as claimed earlier in the week by State/Hillary, then at least four of them are still alive. Where are they? What is their account of what happened? Most importantly, how did they end up alive but the Amb and others died? Security for the embassy and Amb was their JOB.

And yeah, the story about CNN finding the diary three days later doesn’t add up. Just more lies fed to us.

Mayday on September 23, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Yes. Across the bottom of the screen: “TO DONATE $10 text 1234 to 5678!”

Naturally Curly on September 23, 2012 at 7:21 PM

That is hilarious!

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:22 PM

No ambassadors were killed during Watergate.

There is something dreadfully wrong here and it’s NOT CNN’s reporting abot this journal.

clnurnberg on September 23, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Yeah this makes me feel all safe and secure – NOT

Egypt

gophergirl on September 23, 2012 at 7:24 PM

I’m torn honestly.
Although I disagree with CNN’s “source” crap, Stevens was a public servant in a federal building. We were attacked by Al Qaeda whom I assume we are still at war with, and the information was crucial to exposing a CIC lying to the public. Is there precedence for this situation?

OTTO on September 23, 2012 at 7:24 PM

As much as I dislike CNN, I dislike and distrust little Bammie far more. If CNN had not found it, and recorded what was in it, and the federal government found it instead, we would not have heard a word of it.

slickwillie2001 on September 23, 2012 at 7:24 PM

CNN – The Canard New Network

diogenes on September 23, 2012 at 7:25 PM

It’s pretty obvious he started this log shortly before the attack, and that he did it for a REASON. The fact that he felt he couldn’t input this kind of critical data in the official records says volumes in itself.

logis on September 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

This sounds plausible, if not particularly likely. If the administration abdicates its responsibility to investigate, and CNN pays for evidence that puts the lie to the official account, and doesn’t reveal personal information that is not pertinent to the international event, this seems less like journalistic malfeasance than like doing the job the government refuses to do.

flicker on September 23, 2012 at 7:25 PM

It should have gone to his estate, which would then decide what, if any, of his private thoughts should be revealed.

An ambassador might not have wanted terrorists to know he was worried, this can embolden AQ.

amazingmets on September 23, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I often protest at CIA safe houses, don’t you?

faraway on September 23, 2012 at 7:26 PM

BUT, I have to ask- Why does anyone keep a journal? It’s like a sex tape- it’s going to come out. At the very least, keep it on a private blog that you have the password for. I hate that this mans thoughts and feelings are going to be public fodder.

BettyRuth on September 23, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Because he knew he was being hunted and his own government would probably sell him out, and when that happened, by writing this down, MAYBE someone would question the lying government’s story?

Hmmm…

UnderstandingisPower on September 23, 2012 at 7:26 PM

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