NEW YORK -- The State Department blasted CNN Saturday night for the network's handling of a personal journal belonging to late U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, which was removed from the site of the deadly Sept. 11 consulate attack.
State Dept. spokesman Philippe Reines said in a statement to The Huffington Post that "given the truth of how this was handled, CNN patting themselves on the back is disgusting."
The Huffington Post contacted CNN Friday afternoon after receiving a tip that it had removed Stevens' journal from the U.S. consulate in Benghazi following the attack that left Stevens and three others dead. CNN did not confirm that information, but later referred HuffPost to Anderson Cooper's on-air acknowledgment during his 8 p.m. Friday show that CNN found Stevens' journal and had used it in their reporting, a fact not previously disclosed.
I've always been an advocate that journalism needs to be more aggressive, not less aggressive, and that a healthy society places as few restraints on the media as possible. But I'm not aware of any journalistic principle that says it's OK to purloin a dead hero's journal and broadcast stories based upon it, while disguising the source. It's appalling. There's no "liberal" or "conservative" here, only "right" or "wrong" and CNN was horribly, horribly wrong.
They are a desperate network in its last throes.