CNN on ambassador's diary: 'This was not broadcasting gossip'

The Huffington Post | The Huffington Post

Anderson Cooper defended CNN's handling of J. Christopher Stevens' diary, which a State Department spokesperson called "disgusting" after the cable network used the diary in its reporting. On his program Monday night, Cooper said:

This was not broadcasting gossip from the pages of someone's diary. This was not reporting salacious details of someone's private life. This was reporting information that could impact the national security of the United States and the safety of U.S. installations in other countries.

Michael Calderone talks with other journalists who toured the gutted U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where CNN correspondent Arwa Damon found the diary. Alice Fordham toured the compound on Sept. 13:

"When we arrived in the morning, we were let in, and shown around by the man we had met the previous night, who wandered off from time to time to speak to several other journalists who came in," Fordham wrote. "We had total freedom of movement and could easily have picked up various business cards, books, keys, ties etc that were lying around. As I recall, this chap said that Libyan police had come to examine the scene but no Americans at the time. I'm not at all surprised it was possible to find a personal journal. I didn't remove anything myself, but there was nothing preventing me from doing so."

Related: Claire Atkinson reports on CNN's search for a chief amid declining ratings and other challenges. "We need our Roger Ailes,” one source tells Atkinson.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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