Columbia Journalism Review: CBS Shouldn't Cover Benghazi Because They Publish Conservative Books
On Monday, the Columbia Journalism Review reviewed the 60 Minutes debacle in which security officer Dylan Davies’ lies about his experiences in Benghazi, Libya during the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks were given heavy coverage. On Friday, CBS News reporter Lara Logan went on CBS This Morning and apologized for giving Davies coverage, stating, “The most important thing to every person at 60 Minutes is the truth, and today the truth is that we made a mistake.”
The Journalism Review praised Logan’s move as “classy,” but then went on to suggest that Logan should not report on Benghazi at all because she has called in the past for America to “exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil. That its ambassadors will not be murdered, and that the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.”
The Review stated:
Seek retribution? Exact revenge? That may be the kind of language media activist Glenn Greenwald can fire off, but it isn’t what folks expect from a 60 Minutes correspondent. And it’s not what viewers should expect from Logan if she is going to report on Stevens and the highly charged political controversy surrounding his murder in Benghazi.
The notion of media objectivity has always been a bizarre one, given the fact that all journalists have their own perspectives on the issues they cover – and yet, oddly, the Journalism Review has never called for George Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton Administration official, to step away from reporting stories detrimental to Republicansm or even stories detrimental to Hillary Clinton (the closest CJR has ever come is expressing discomfort with Stephanopoulos’ question to Hillary Clinton in an April 2008 presidential debate, and even then, CJR didn’t call for Stephanopoulos to recuse himself). It seems that the Journalism Review has a different standard when it comes to stories that damage Democrats.
The Journalism Review went on to suggest that Logan should not have done any coverage of Benghazi at all because CBS owns Threshold Books, which “specializes in conservative nonfiction.” (Full disclosure: Threshold is my publisher as well.) Here’s CJR:
Adding to concern over Logan doing this story is that Threshold Books, which published The Embassy House, specializes in conservative nonfiction. Its authors are notable Republicans: Glenn Beck, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Lynne Cheney, Mary Cheney, and Sean Hannity. Republican consultant Mary Matalin is its chief editor. None are friendly to the Obama administration, which has taken considerable heat from the GOP for Benghazi.
But the Journalism Review has never suggested that CBS not cover reports that reflect negatively on Republicans, despite the fact that Simon & Schuster, of which Threshold is an imprint, also publishes leftist books on a routine basis. The Journalism Review, for example, never suggested that CBS News omit coverage of gun violence incidents, despite the fact that Simon & Schuster is the publisher for Piers Morgan and Michael Moore.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.