State Dept. blasts CNN report on Amb. Stevens' diary
Officials call network 'indefensible'
- Duration 5:44
- Date Sep 24, 2012
Officials call network 'indefensible'
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Jeanette Kelly's court today on the docket today CNN coming under fire for reporting concerns.
Ambassador Chris Stevens expressed about security.
Before he was murdered in Libya on the anniversary of 9/11.
The network initially attributed his concerns over security and Muslim extremism to a quote source familiar with ambassador Stevens thinking.
We later found out that that source was the ambassadors journal CNN said.
That it recovered the journal at the scene of the attack and then confirmed the information there and two others.
CNN decided that details from the journal were newsworthy and important.
And -- -- deserved reporting despite what this.
Eight department claims it was a request by the family.
Not to report the information the State Department going after CNN calling its decision quote indispensable among other things.
So did the network violate any rules.
Joining me now appears to power a columnists at the Daily Beast and a Fox News contributor and Rich Lowry.
The editor at the national review and Fox News contributor so we took we went to the not lawyers for the debate because this debate about journalism really -- today -- check.
Poisonous we have special appearances and -- -- any of little expert witnesses -- -- from time to time and this is the question is that you know.
Rich they say they found it it was newsworthy that they did call the family.
Apparently according to State Department over the family's objections CNN said it's news and we're going with it did they do anything -- I don't.
Think -- on the big question I think.
If you believe the State Department they did give false assurances to the family that's not great.
And their initial reports as you're that you alluded to the sourcing was kinda hazy probably because there embarrassed to admit they actually got from -- -- so that's not great.
But on the big question is this newsworthy is is correct and appropriate to report this from the journal absolutely I mean this is.
And definitely in a newsworthy item that sheds light on what really happened there -- a big event the first time in -- ambassador since 1979.
So I think part of the state department's reaction here Megan maybe they're generally outrage on behalf of the -- -- I think part of it there is outraged.
That they are again getting called.
On the fact this is this was a terror attack as an unsecure environment and why wasn't there more security there on the ground firm -- I think here's an if you read the link the response from from the State Department and the big -- this -- diplomats and they went after CNN a very non diplomatic way calling their behavior disgusting.
Among other things CNN responds as rich points out by saying.
Look it was newsworthy and perhaps the real question here is why the State Department is now attacking the messenger.
Here -- out.
While the -- is front.
Believe Raines who has -- her Press Secretary -- and I and I thought it was a really unnecessarily harsh it was built and kind of disturbing because they do think.
They -- they're trying to sort of up.
I think pressure journalists generally not report on things that haven't been approved by the government.
And in this case I agree completely with rich and that they made some mistakes in the way that they sourcing and how they dealt with the family.
But the information that they reported was very important in considering that we weren't getting very good information from the administration and -- -- it.
The information that they were reporting was so contradicting what the administration was saying I think -- -- the right thing take a listen for an alternate view to Nancy Pelosi daughter who -- with Geraldo over the weekend -- -- CNN was outrageous -- of the personal effects -- the person who's been killed they belong to his family.
And there's absolutely no way it is CNN should be reporting on the private contents of his journal and -- they have his next of -- express written permission which.
They did not have war over.
If you what does that say to anyone who's out there in a war zone what does -- say to our correspondents was -- say our ambassador court.
What does it say our military that -- a news person happens to get your -- first.
They get to you know really pick a diary.
And and and start publishing how about the -- have you have your family I think that's wrong I think they cross the line.
And they absolutely should be stopped -- -- give that to the family and and let the man rest in peace that's Christine Pelosi -- -- you're shaking your head.
I mean stop I don't like the police state you know I understand this idea that somehow they're supposed to be stopped from doing this or even what that statement said from the State Department.
That aside it is a quiet I mean people have to read the whole statement to -- -- but that.
Some have a CNN keyboard just having fun they were like trance you know transcribing -- and sending around the -- -- just looking at Ed and you know for fun they they were looking out of for nick for news reasons because he said he was concerned about al-Qaeda while the administration was telling us what Megan.
That it wasn't a terrorist attack.
You know as I I do you think that what needs we looked at now is the state department's bad behavior in trying to pressure journalists into not report.
New interesting and insecure -- point -- what the State Department said in part was.
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 -- around -- newsroom Brothers to react.
And only when their curiosity is fully satisfied thanks to call the family.
Or notify the authorities -- -- can't help but read that as a news person say.
A news first exact thing.
That's -- his organization does and you know if this diary is so sensitive and so important to the United States government they could have sent someone there to get it.
Wise is still sitting around in the charred ruins -- consulate.
For CNN to pick up and it's not as -- CNN went through it.
Details but for private room nations about his colleagues or it's that -- -- -- -- This goes to the central question of what happened there.
And why and it's especially important as -- -- points out because administration's been so deceptive about our guys good debate thank you look for being here.
Thank you thank you backstabbing -- right.
We'll be right back but I.