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Frank Rich, in NYMag:
Lara Logan’s story was not a mere journalistic mistake, but a hoax comparable to such legendary frauds as Life magazine’s purchase of the billionaire Howard Hughes’s nonexistent “autobiography” in the seventies and Rupert Murdoch’s similarly extravagant embrace of the bogus Hitler “diaries” in the eighties. In Logan’s case, she perpetrated an out-and-out fictional character: a pseudonymous security contractor who peddled a made-up “eyewitness” account of the murder of four Americans in Benghazi. The point seemed to be to further Benghazi as a conservative political cause (instead, Logan’s hoax boomeranged and extinguished it) and to melodramatically exploit the tragic slaughter of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his colleagues as titillating prime-time network entertainment. Logan’s phony source, who in fact was at a beachside villa and not on site to witness anything, cooked up violent new “details” for the Benghazi narrative that seemed to have been lifted from a Jean Claude Van Damme movie.
Here are a few questions that Logan’s “apology” — every bit as bogus as the story itself — failed to answer. (1) How could Logan (by her own account) have worked “for a year” on this report and not done the elementary cross-checking that allowed Karen De Young of the Washington Post to expose the fraud almost immediately after it aired? Indeed, what was Logan doing during that long year? (2) Why did CBS News trust a reporter with such obvious political agendas? Logan had given an over-the-top red-meat political speech about Benghazi around the time she started pursuing the story a year ago. And she had also maligned the patriotism of the late reporter Michael Hastings when he had the audacity to question the loyalty and judgment of the American General Stanley McChrystal and his cohort in Afghanistan. (3) What was the relationship between Logan, her source, and the source’s publisher, which is also owned by CBS?…
Mr. Charles P. Pierce has been all over that, discussing “Spies in the House of Journalism”:
… Threshold, which is run by the inexcusable Mary Matalin, exists only so that the CBS corporation can break off a piece of the lucrative rube market. It exists primarily to produce and sell wingnut propaganda. It exists so that otherwise unpublishable conservatives won’t scream and yell about how nasty liberal publishing elites are keeping them down. Through a combination of corporate cowardice and corporate avarice, the long march of the “Liberal Media” hoax has resulted in an independent information economy totally devoted to weaponized bullshit. The idea that a lunatic faker like Jerome Corsi isn’t yet reduced to stapling his writings to lamp posts but, instead, gets actual book deals under the umbrella of a legacy house like Simon and Schuster makes the whole thing kind of a mad masterpiece when you think about it. But it extends beyond Matalin and it extends beyond CBS and this one story.
For example, Jonathan Karl is a very prominent figure at ABC News. Occasionally, he sits in for The Clinton Guy Shocked By Blowjobs. Karl is a product of a network of conservative media organizations financed by the same essential group of sugar daddies that have financed the network of rightwing think-tanks and intellectual chop shops that traces its own history back to the famous “Powell memo,” which recommended that conservatives do that very thing. These organizations do not train people in journalism. They train them in propaganda. This should be as red a flag as there is to anyone doing the hiring at a major news operation. However, very few of those people want to stand the gaff of refusing to hire someone trained in propaganda to do the news. (And, not for nothing, CBS, but having previously worked at Fox News in any capacity should have been a career-killer in legitimate journalism. It certainly shouldn’t have been a ticket to the Bigs the way it apparently was at 60 Minutes.)…
Through that same marriage of corporate cowardice and corporate avarice, the CBS empire decided to give Mary Matalin a toy publishing house. This happened to be the suspension vehicle through which the current hoax was injected into the network’s bloodstream until it finally erupted into the pustulating sore that is the current situation. Oh, and Lara Logan should be suspended. Yesterday.
Good thing Rich “Caligula’s Horse” Cohen has just pharfed out some particularly indefensible words, or else the Media Village Idiots might have to pay attention to offenders who weren’t AARP-aged newspaper holdovers with a readership consisting mostly of people looking to be freshly outraged…
Pharfed? I went to the urban dictionary and ick.
Stop insulting Caligula’s poor horse that way. It’s not his fault the guy holding the reins was a completely insane fuckwit. Likewise WRT the WaPo’s racist fuckwit. No horse deserves that kind of stigma.
@Omnes Omnibus: I remembered it, from childhood, as what the alte kackers were up to… seemed appropriate for Mr. Cohen’s production!
@Aji: The insult is not what the horse is doing in the Senate, it’s that Our Betters feel we liberals are entitled to no more continent representation.
Villago Delenda Est
Wipe them out. All of them.
Matters not to Grand Theft Issa and Huckleberry Closetcase. They KNOW there’s a scandal there! Four Merikans died! They need blood! IMPEACH THE Ni-CLANG NOW!!!
In Issabonics, it’s as follows:
Benghazi – three syllables.
Obama – three syllables.
@Anne Laurie: Well, it’s not like that’s anything new. But that makes Cohen, et al., Caligula, not the poor animal saddled with the name and rep. After all, it’s Cohen and his fellow Stepford Villagers who are the
kingmakersSenator-makers (and makers of much else that’s wrong with the country, like our shitty excuse for “public discourse”).
CBS, Simon & Shiester and Mary Magdeline, can still recoup some coup here. Just hang in there until Black Friday and then push the book as ” an excellent Xmas banana hammock stuffer for the Wingnut in your life”.
The failure of liberals to see the Benghazi scandal as worse than Watergate+Katrina+WWII+Sauron getting the ring just proves how much they don’t understand the realities of Obama’s Ultimate Evilness. And how in the world could anyone doubt the credibility of Lara Logan? She has an English accent, for god’s sake! What more do you people need?
Mike in NC
If we could get the media to stop calling it ObamaCare and start calling it BenghaziCare, all would be well. One stop shopping!
As long as there is a market for this stuff, it will be produced.
You can piss into the wind until your kidneys give out, and there is not a dog-damned thing you can do about it.
Now that CBS news is being run by Fox News and Morning Blow alums it’s turned into a shit hole.
@Aji: Cohen’s never had any effect on the discourse, except as what Dave Weigel calls a “outrage muppet”. His entire career is being the EvenTheLiberal who acts as the distraction when there’s something egregious the “serious media” doesn’t want to talk about — like getting everybody riled about his ‘of course all us normal folk have reason to be afraid of black teenagers’ Opinion, rather than perhaps allowing an actual discussion of stop & frisk policies to break out. He’s the designated rodeo clown at the media circus.
Villago Delenda Est
They have a real problem, those two. They know that they can’t use “presidentin’ while blah” as a charge. So they have to come up with SOMETHING.
It’s a rerun, in essence of the Clinton Administration. Find something, anything, to charge him with. Fabricate it if you have to out of whole cloth. Just find SOMETHING.
ETA: The short, unhappy history of Air America shows that when push comes to shove, the left won’t do a dog-damned thing to create or support an alternative.
@Anne Laurie: Maybe not how you and I would define “discourse.” But as far as what society as a whole regards as “public discourse?” They’re it. They set the frame, define the terms, drive the [faux] discussion, and close off anything that might be discomfiting to their cushy little sinecures and privileged little lives.
Which is why we don’t actually have a public discourse in this country. We have a corporate-owned and -run word brothel with a pimp-to-hooker ratio of at least 1:1.
@burnspbesq: So we just sit back and let a blatant lie go unchallenged? I think not, regardless of who the target audience is.
I have to say I thought she was an excellent reporter during the Iraq invasion. And, she was absolutely fearless in some tough situations. She did make her bones there. But since then something has happened to her. You can even see it in her posture and appearance on the almost apology tour. Probably, like the others, it’s all about the money now.
She’s South African btw.
Everytime I hear wingnuts go on about Benghazi, I think of Dubbya or the National Geographic docs in some African country with some tribe in traditional garb doing a tribal dance banging away with the spears chanting “Bengha- Bengha-zee, Bengha-zee Bengha- Bengha-zee, Bengha-zee Bengha- Bengha-zee, Bengha-zee….” Kind of my version of keep on fcuking that chicken.
@maya: I hate to say this but maybe it has to do with the Egypt attack. I can totally understand somebody completely but irrationally turning against a group of people, if they were physically attacked by one of the group..
Could we lose the autoplay video?
@fka AWS: Not autoplaying for me.
You got to read these crazy excerpts from the book the whole 60 Minute report was based on. It’s really insane that anyone fell for this.
A Bizarre and Telling Book Excerpt From 60 Minutes’ Bogus Benghazi Source
The most insane part is when the nameless “head prosecutor from New York” and the FBI agent act like a therapist and a mother to Davies. You really have to read it.
I’m amazed, utterly amazed, at the froth the wingnuts get whipped up into at Benghazi. It’s astounding. Also, a true example of successful Republican messaging.
@Anya: Mommy issues. How fitting.
@burnspbesq: The main thing the failure of Air America showed is that progressives have better things to do than listen to talk radio.
The approximately .01% of progressive political junkies who care about this stuff can yammer on blogs.
Gin & Tonic
@jheartney: Huh. *That* Air America. I instinctively thought of the 1970’s CIA-front air transport company.
@mai naem: That is a good point. Being gang raped would change any woman psychological and philosophically. Perhaps that’s it. And if so, someone(s) else is using her to their advantage. Slime balls.
This McClatchy report exposes how Lara Logan’s bogus reporting went beyond her star source.
@jheartney: Agreed. I didn’t listen to Air America because I don’t like talk radio. I don’t like podcasts. I don’t like audio books. Blogs at least are interactive. Books and magazines can be picked up and put down. Passively sitting and listening to someone yammer on, no thank you.
‘Issabonics’ that is an interesting handle for him.
I read a summary of Issa’s should-have-been rap sheet recently. Now I think of him as ‘Hit and Run Missa’ That last bit in honor of his Mother of All Nothing scandal mongering since Obama administration started.
Edit: but hey, he’s very beezee, and so it’s OK. Man, I don’t think I could get away with c.r.a.p. like that.
@Omnes Omnibus: Air America had a guy that used to be on SNL, I used to listen to his show. He was smart and funny, wonder what happened to him.
McClatchy is also sniffing CBS blood. I don’t believe we’re done here.
IC Anya beat me to the punch. Ah, well, I blame BENGHAZI!
Bill E Pilgrim
The more I hear about this the more this guy sounds like Jeff “The Red Rascal” Redfern from Doonesbury. Even his publisher got that he was just making the stuff up though.
It’s asking a lot to want people to believe that CBS was actually so obtuse that they believed this clown. Much more likely simply agenda-driven, the fantasy novel he was pushing as if real fit the right-wing story they wanted to tell.
I wonder if this Davies person named himself after a character from The Walking Dead (Morgan Jones) on purpose?
@mouse tolliver: Nah, Morgan Jones is about a Welsh sounding as you can get. Of course, so is Dylan Davies. Those names are like the John Smith and Bob Johnson of Wales
@Redshirt: it’s more desperation than successful messaging
their beloved conservatism is such a failure. it let bin laden escape, it dragged the country into another viet nam, it let al qaeda survive, it drove the economy to collapse.
then comes along a black community organizer with a funny name. He proceeds to catch bin laden, decimate al qaeda, end the quagmire, and save the auto industry and prevent a 2nd great depression. And just for shit’s and giggles, he frees
the slavesteh ghey.
It just devastated their the little white supremacist world view, which was already addled by inferiority complexes.
they”re so desperate to reclaim some self esteem, they grab on to anything, no mater how trumpeted up, in hope of dragging him down, if only in their to deluded minds.
Just look at last week’s election in virginia. they lost. did they admit defeat, no. they can’t handle the truth. instead they spun some pathetic story about how they really won because they only lost by 3 pts.
Woohoo! Moral victory! Or they took Cooch and the points so they covered the spread.
What’s most tragic about all this Benghazi nonsense is how successfully it has obscured the fact that Obama performed incredibly regarding Libya, handling it about as best as it could be handled. As he’s done with Syria as well.
We’re out of Iraq, leaving Afghanistan, the man has done so much to calm the crazed, burning world that was W.’s terms. And yet, all we hear: Whatever the Repukes want to scream about, endlessly.
@Redshirt: I agree taht Obama has done very well in foreign policy. Of course, I may be a little more interventionism friendly than some. But he has done it well, with a light touch, and the involvement of allies.
WinterIran is coming!!! Especially since Grandpa Walnuts has a new blond to chase and needs a good war to perform correctly. Better than a little blue pill!
All the mouth-breathers screaming “this is Obama’s Iran-hostage-crisis!” had it very precisely wrong. In Iran, the revolutionary government supported the attack on the embassy (albeit after the fact). In Libya, it got a bunch of its guards killed defending the compound and then offered its cooperation in the investigation. In Iran, we had the mobs outraged at us for the last quarter-century and thrilled to see their country finally sticking it to America. In Libya, we got the big “we loved Chris Stephens!” demonstrations and, at least in one case, a jihadi compound suspected of involvement in the attack whose members were thrown out of the building by an angry mob a few days later. It’s been the exact opposite of the Iranian Revolution, so far.
I guess I was aware that there are whole publishing imprints targeting the “rube market.” But I avoid that garbage and regard it as the moran-fringe — books for the Tea base people who go to Palin book signings, but who couldn’t coherently explain the policy positions they support if you paid them. But when “authoritative” CBS aggressively gets into the game of publishing phony information for profit, our culture is seriously teetering on the edge.
@mai naem: This is strangely under-attended. I work with PTSD. This looks like PTSD, with an exploitation twist. If I were treating Logan, I’d consider putting her on suicide watch. Her fall will be hard.
For those who think this is over, I heard Drew Pearson telling Suzanne Malvaux on CNN that there are still serious questions Congress members have about Benghazi that must be answered! She seemed to agree.
I didn’t follow it that closely at the time, but is there proof, beyond Logans own account, that she was sexually assaulted/gang raped in Egypt? Not trying to be inflammatory but just wondering now that she been exposed as a liar with an agenda. Interesting too that she was the only “American” journalist present when US soldiers pulled down the statue of Saddam, and that turned out to be a piece of propaganda too. All of a sudden her Egypt assault story has a whiff of Jessica Lynch to me.
@Gypsy Howell: I don’t know, but I guess, while I understand the curiosity, I don’t want to know. She’s tied up a very nice noose that fits the neck of her career just perfectly, and handed it to us, with her Benghazi fraud. So I don’t see the point in gilding the lily. She should be taken down, and there’s plenty of ammo in the weapon already without delving back into the Egypt story. It’s too sensitive, and even going there as delicately as possible and trying really hard not to be inflammatory, could invite people to sympathize with her as being picked on. I don’t even want people to be able to say that experience may be part of the cause of her agenda and actions now – it’s a horrific, awful thing she went through, but it’s no excuse for this sort of journalistic crime. I’d just as soon the average person on the street not even know her backstory, only that she perpetrated a completely fraudulent story and passed it off on the entire country on 60 Minutes to push a conspiracy theory agenda.