Sunday, November 10, 2013

TV: Whose mistake?

Last week was not a good week for TV.  We grasped that especially when, flipping channels, we came across Hollyscoop and Diana Madison was attempting to steer people to a magazine with Naya Rivera on the cover.  Diana Madison isn't just a co-host of the program, she is one of the three founders of Hollyscoop.  So we watched in fascinated horror as Madison urged her viewers to check out the new cover of "Rolling Stones."  Once?  She misspoke.  More than once?  She doesn't know what she's talking about.

Which makes her a lot like Bob Somerby and Mother Jones' Kevin Drum.


Two Sundays ago, 60 Minutes (CBS) broadcast a report and there's a flaw in the report for which 60 Minutes issued a correction and apology on air tonight.

This incident might lead some to explore or discuss.

But if you hate women, like Bob Somerby and Kevin Drum do, it becomes all about a woman.

In this case, Lara Logan.

Bob and Kevin would insist that it's the network's fault that they've glommed on Lara.


Lara Logan made a mistake and has publicly apologized for it.

What's Bob and Kevin's excuse?

We don't expect much from either man.  Kevin Drum looks so much like a child molester, we can't look at him without feeling our flesh crawl.  Somerby?  He's been off on his education kick, writing incomprehensible, boring posts (and this is the guy who was saying Paul Krugman was off in the weeds with economic terms)

But given the chance to spit on a woman, both men dropped whatever it is that they kid themselves they do to dog pile  on Lara.

Not counting quotes, Kevin writes 453 words -- all of them attacking Lara -- he even includes a photo of Lara and he titles his ridiculous post "Lara Logan Admits Her Benghazi Report Was a Mistake." Bob?  The noted woman hater  was on such a tear, he forgot to use Logan's first name as he rushed to use a 60 Minutes mistake to smear Sharyl Attiksson.

Isn't it really time that Bob was asked to stop mentioning women since all he can do is demonize them?  We've long pointed out that, in Bob's world, men make mistakes and can recover but women are evil and can never recover.  It's been clear in his petty war on Maureen Dowd, his public stonings of Anne Kornblut, Katharine Seelye and so many more.

You may be thinking, "Ava and C.I., we appreciate your support for women but Lara Logan made a mistake."

We haven't denied that, read above.  She did and she owned it.

But she wasn't the only one and these media 'warriors' with their stubby little penises are trashing her and suggesting she didn't do the work while they failed to do it themselves.

Travel with us back in time to the October 28th snapshot:

Last night, 60 Minutes (CBS -- link is text and video) aired a report by reporter Lara Logan and producer Max McClellan on the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi which claimed the lives of Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods and US Ambassador Chris Stevens.  As part of the lead up to the airing of the segment, Logan and McClellan participated in an online interview at CBS News.

It's written that way because that's how CBS News elected to promote it -- a report by Logan and Max McClellan.

We can hear Kevin and Bob whining they didn't know.

Tonight, Logan faced the cameras alone at the end of 60 Minutes and issued a statement which included, "It was a mistake to include him [a source] in our report and for that we're sorry."

Isn't Lara apologizing for not knowing something she should have?

So if Kevin and Bob are going to criticize a news segment, shouldn't they know the people who are responsible for it?

They might have bothered to have done a little work if they weren't such disgusting sexists.

Then again, they might not have.

Four Americans were killed in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2012 and the administration lied about the attack.

Kevin and Bob have seen it as their job to attack all who question the administration's spin.

And they're insisting that Logan's got egg on her face -- she and McClellan do -- and Drum and Somerby insist that the report is proven false.

No, it's not.

The report wasn't false despite all the cackles from Somerby and Drum.

Did they watch the report?

Who knows?  We don't see either as being very scrupulous.

Bob Somerby, you may remember, attacked former Ambassador Joseph Wilson when Wilson was exposing the lies of the Bully Boy Bush administration.  It was this site, not Bob Somerby, which disclosed Somerby's friendship with Matthew Cooper -- a journalist involved in the leaking of Valerie Plame's name in an effort to make her husband, Joe Wilson, pay.  If you're attacking Wilson as a liar while your friend's refusing to fork over sources, maybe you've got a conflict of interest?

Again, we don't see either Somerby or Drum as having scruples or ethics.

So we're not surprised that they're gloating -- lying, actually - -that the report is wrong.

CBS issued  a correction tonight.  To the aspect that's wrong.

But that was just the sizzle, it wasn't the meat of the report.

The only thing Morgan Jones, the source in question, said that mattered to us was about Sean Smith.  And not only was that not disproved, it was part of the factual record before the 60 Minutes report.

But Somerby and Drum don't care about Sean Smith.

They've treated him like human garbage.  They don't even have the compassion to note his mother Pat Smith.

They are the palace guards and nothing more.  They will attack and attack -- until, as during the French Revolution, people get too close and then they'll abandon their posts.  People?  With those two it could even be their very own shadows.  They're not just liars, they're cowards.

And they have no ethics at all.

This section of the 60 Minutes report is not connected to Morgan Jones:

Andy Wood: We had one option: "Leave Benghazi or you will be killed."

Green Beret Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Andy Wood, was one of the top American security officials in Libya. Based in Tripoli, he met with Amb. Stevens every day.

The last time he went to Benghazi was in June, just three months before the attack. While he was there, al Qaeda tried to assassinate the British ambassador. Wood says, to him, it came as no surprise because al Qaeda -- using a familiar tactic -- had stated their intent in an online posting, saying they would attack the Red Cross, the British and then the Americans in Benghazi.

Lara Logan: And you watched as they--

Andy Wood: As they did each one of those.

Lara Logan: --attacked the Red Cross and the British mission. And the only ones left--

Andy Wood: Were us. They made good on two out of the three promises. It was a matter of time till they captured the third one.

Lara Logan: And Washington was aware of that?

Andy Wood: They knew we monitored it. We included that in our reports to both State Department and DOD.

Andy Wood told us he raised his concerns directly with Amb. Stevens three months before the U.S. compound was overrun.

Andy Wood: I made it known in a country team meeting, "You are gonna get attacked. You are gonna get attacked in Benghazi. It's gonna happen. You need to change your security profile."

Lara Logan: Shut down--

Andy Wood: Shut down--

Lara Logan: --the special mission--

Andy Wood: --"Shut down operations. Move out temporarily. Ch-- or change locations within the city. Do something to break up the profile because you are being targeted. They are-- they are-- they are watching you. The attack cycle is such that they're in the final planning stages."

Lara Logan: Wait a minute, you said, "They're in the final planning stages of an attack on the American mission in Benghazi"?

Andy Wood: It was apparent to me that that was the case. Reading, reading all these other, ah, attacks that were occurring, I could see what they were staging up to, it was, it was obvious.

We have learned the U.S. already knew that this man, senior al Qaeda leader Abu Anas al-Libi was in Libya, tasked by the head of al Qaeda to establish a clandestine terrorist network inside the country. Al-Libi was already wanted for his role in bombing two U.S. embassies in Africa.

Greg Hicks: It was a frightening piece of information.

Lara Logan: Because it meant what?

Greg Hicks: It raised the stakes, changed the game.

Greg Hicks, who testified before Congress earlier this year, was Amb. Stevens' deputy based in Tripoli - a 22-year veteran of the Foreign Service with an impeccable reputation.

Lara Logan: And in that environment you were asking for more security assets and you were not getting them?

Greg Hicks: That's right.

Lara Logan: Did you fight that?

Greg Hicks: I was in the process of trying to frame a third request but it was not allowed to go forward.

Lara Logan: So why didn't you get the help that you needed and that you asked for?

Greg Hicks: I really, really don't know. I in fact would like to know that, the answer to that question.

In the months prior to the attack, Amb. Stevens approved a series of detailed cables to Washington, specifically mentioning, among other things, "the al Qaeda flag has been spotted several times flying over government buildings".

When the attack began on the evening of September 11, Amb. Stevens immediately called Greg Hicks, who was back in Tripoli.

Greg Hicks: Ambassador said that the consulate's under attack. And then the line cut.

Lara Logan: Do you remember the sound of his voice?

Greg Hicks: Oh yeah, it's indelibly imprinted on my mind.

Lara Logan: How did he sound?

Greg Hicks: He sounded frightened.

Though Drum and Somerby insist that the report is false, the above is correct and stands.  As does this:

The same force that had gone to the compound was now defending the CIA Annex. Hours later, they were joined by a small team of Americans from Tripoli. From defensive positions on these rooftops, the Americans fought back a professional enemy. In a final wave of intense fighting just after 5 a.m., the attackers unleashed a barrage of mortars. Three of them slammed into this roof, killing former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

Lara Logan: They hit that roof three times.

Andy Wood: They, they hit those roofs three times.

Lara Logan: In the dark.

Andy Wood: Yea, that's getting the basketball through the hoop over your shoulder.

Lara Logan: What does it take to pull off an attack like that?

Andy Wood: Coordination, planning, training, experienced personnel. They practice those things. They knew what they were doing. That was a-- that was a well-executed attack.

We have learned there were two Delta Force operators who fought at the Annex and they've since been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Navy Cross -- two of the military's highest honors. The Americans who rushed to help that night went without asking for permission and the lingering question is why no larger military response ever crossed the border into Libya -- something Greg Hicks realized wasn't going to happen just an hour into the attack.

Lara Logan: You have this conversation with the defense attache. You ask him what military assets are on their way. And he says--

Greg Hicks: Effectively, they're not. And I-- for a moment, I just felt lost. I just couldn't believe the answer. And then I made the call to the Annex chief, and I told him, "Listen, you've gotta tell those guys there may not be any help coming."

Lara Logan: That's a tough thing to understand. Why?

Greg Hicks: It just is. We--, for us, for the people that go out onto the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they're coming to get us. That our back is covered. To hear that it's not, it's a terrible, terrible experience.

The U.S. government today acknowledges the Americans at the U.S. compound in Benghazi were not adequately protected. And says those who carried out the attack are still being hunted down.

The bulk of the report stands.

Morgan Jones was the sizzle, he wasn't the spine of the report.

When people tell stories about themselves and their bravery, we tend to expect that they'll inflate.  So we don't take them seriously and we never took Morgan Jones seriously.

No claim he made could be backed up or proved false.  (Even now, his reputation in tatters, all that's been demonstrated is he told one story immediately after the attack and another later on.)

Dan Rather's on a pity cruise, in case you missed it.  The former CBS anchor (whom we both did not care for in real life) is up in arms that CBS will not bring him in for any JFK coverage.  The country got stuck with Rather because of the death of JFK.  His reporting doesn't stand up.

For example, he  wrongly described (or lied) about what the Zapruder film showed.  Since the film wasn't being show on TV, only described by Dan Rather, this mistake is not minor.  Why would you want someone like that on your 50th anniversary coverage?  And Rather was fired from CBS less than ten years ago as a result of a report that aired on Bully Boy Bush's service -- or lack of -- in the National Guard.  Rather's become very vocal about the report . . . since getting fired.

In real time, we defended producer Mary Mapes and Dan Rather for the story.  In real time, we said you don't fight this by being silent.  What CNN did to April Oliver will be done to others.  You either stand up for your report and yourself or take the firing.

We bring up Rather for a reason.  That report that aired on Bully Boy Bush's questionable service was never demonstrated to be false  -- not even the documents used were demonstrated to be false.  But conservative bloggers managed to knock down the belief in the documents -- which may or may not be real -- that backed up other stories and testimony of Bully Boy Bush not meeting his service requirements.

Kevin Drum and Bob Somerby are not visionaries.  They're reactionaries.  They copy the worst from the other side and then use it from the left -- from their weak-ass niche on the left.  They're not helping anyone.

They're not helping journalism -- or media criticism -- to be damn sure.

Morgan Jones was not the bulk of the 60 Minutes report.  Yet the two sexists refuse to tell you that and think that, because they've discredited Jones, they've discredited the entire report.  They haven't done any such thing.  As media critics, or as palace guards, they're failures.

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