Journalist Lara Logan understands American media culture. “I’m 47 now and I’ve been a journalist since I was 17. And the media everywhere is mostly liberal, not just in the U.S. But in this country, 85 percent of journalists are registered Democrats,” said Logan in a chat with author and former Navy SEAL Mike Ritland. “I always joke that the other 14 percent were too lazy to register. And there’s maybe 1 percent that’s on the right.” Fox News, Breitbart and “a few others” are the only outlets representing the “other side,” said Logan, former chief foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News.
As this blog has noted before, the U.S. mainstream media is stacked with lefties.
Volunteering an example of how that fact tilts coverage, Logan settled on President Trump. “Someone very smart taught me a long time ago: How do you know you’re being lied to you? How do you know you’re being manipulated? How do you know there’s something not right with the coverage? When they simplify it all and there’s no gray. There’s no gray, it’s all one way," she said. "Well, life isn’t like that. If it doesn’t match real life, it’s probably not — something’s wrong, right? So, for example, all the coverage of Trump all the time is negative. There is nothing, no mitigating policy or event. … That tells you that is distortion of the way things go in real life.”
Go for it, Logan: Track down all those positive Trump stories and publish them. In the meantime, please have a look at this breaking New York Times blockbuster about Trump’s “two-year war on the investigations encircling him.”
A foreign correspondent who braved a number of the world’s diciest war zones, Logan described the alignment of U.S. media organizations in vivid terms. “Anyone who’s even been to Israel and been to the Wailing Wall have seen that women have this tiny little spot in front of the wall to pray and the rest of the wall is for men,” she told Ritland. “To me that’s a great representation of the American media. In this tiny little corner where the women pray, you’ve got Breitbart and Fox News and a few others, and then from there on, you have CBS, ABC, NBC, Huffington Post, Politico, whatever.”
More: “Although the media has always been left-leaning, we’ve abandoned our pretense, or at least the effort, to be objective today,” said Logan.
Now let’s review one of Logan’s segments on “60 Minutes," regarding the terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012; four Americans died in a chaotic night of fire and gunfire. More than a year after that attack, Logan anchored an investigation that laid bare just how shoddily Obama administration appointees had protected the installation. The report emboldened already persistent attacks from Republicans on the Obama administration. “Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) and other Republican lawmakers referred to [the segment] repeatedly during a Wednesday news conference,” reported The Post at the time. “Graham said he would block confirmation of all of President Obama’s nominees, including Jeh Johnson as homeland security secretary and Janet L. Yellen as head of the Federal Reserve, until the administration allowed government witnesses to the attack to appear before Congress.”
The story, though, was bogus. In telling the tale, Logan had relied on one “Morgan Jones,” a pseudonymous security contractor who claimed he was front and center for the Benghazi mayhem. But “Jones” actually hadn’t witnessed what he said he’d witnessed. The narrative he gave to “60 Minutes” differed from what he’d told the FBI. And he’d just completed a book published by a CBS-owned publisher. A massive embarrassment thus descended on the top brand in television news, which was subjected to a damning investigation from the news organization’s own standards department.
As for Logan herself, she was asked to take a leave of absence from the company. Though she returned to CBS News, she left quietly months ago, as Variety reported Tuesday.
In her interview with Ritland, Logan made a reference to the Benghazi story. “I was targeted by Media Matters for America, who was an organization that was established by David Brock, who has dedicated himself to the Clintons because he lied about them during the Whitewater investigation and the rest of his life has been dedicated to them. … [Their] stated intent was to destroy anyone who they saw as a threat to Hillary Clinton’s bid for power. So when I happened to do a story about Benghazi that, honestly, I can tell you with absolute sincerity had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton for us, which is maybe stupid to people who listen to that, naive.” The purpose was to focus on a pair of security contractors who went all out to rescue Americans on that night, said Logan.
Matthew Gertz, a staffer at Media Matters, wrote a Twitter thread blasting the notion that his organization — or any organization in this land — could “target” Logan and “60 Minutes” without having a passel of damning facts in tow. “60 Minutes” doesn’t submit to an in-house investigation for nothing.
And the Benghazi case dismantles the thrust of Logan’s critique. We believe her when she says that she didn’t have Clinton in mind when she set out to do the Benghazi story, even though the story did create problems — at least temporarily — for Democrats. That’s something that the so-called liberal media does all the time — stories that expose wrongdoing, bad management, illegal activity, etc., by the very same folks with whom it’s supposed to be sympathizing. Why didn’t those liberal censors at CBS News stop Logan’s report before it hit the airwaves? And come to think of it, ABC News also got itself in trouble going overboard in reporting on Benghazi misdeeds. What a bunch of lazy conspirators.
Want more examples? Try the mass gorging by the mass media on the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta emails released by WikiLeaks in the 2016 presidential campaign. Or Clinton’s email drama, coverage of which overshadowed the various Trump scandals dutifully exposed by that same media. Remember which outlet first exposed Clinton’s exclusive use of personal emails? That was the New York Times.
There’s no great divide between mainstream media and conservative media. There’s, instead, a continuum in which the former feeds the latter juicy material for its aggregation machine. “60 Minutes” provides its share of such grist — when it’s not taking testimony from a self-promoting liar.