Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Journalist's cry for "help" attracts bloggers to criticize terrorist video

CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan submitted a report on street fighting in Baghdad, which was not aired on Katie Couric's broadcast, but was posted to the web. Logan was disappointed and took the matter into her own hands - emailing friends and family that they should check out the web posting and write to CBS News that they felt the piece should have been aired. The subject line of her email was "help".

The blog took a multiple-viewpoint stab at the surrounding "controversy." However, I question whether it wasn't a little inappropriate for Logan to ask friends to lobby for her work. On the one hand, she's clearly passionate about the story, but on the other hand, the content of the story is so controversial it makes her seem biased.

Controversy Surrounds Lara Logan's Haifa Street Report

Another issue that has been brought up is whether Logan's piece contained Al Qaeda footage... CBS says they got it from an anonymous source.... not Al Qaeda.... although the tapes seem to match.

The website had this to say:
"In addition to using video that also showed up in an Al Qaeda video, Logan failed to acknowledge that Al Qaeda is claiming responsibility for the violence on Haifa Street... They show the same Iraqi Army casualty, because they’re from the same video. Not a similar video. The same video."

Lara Logan and her Terrorist Footage

I don't think Al Qaeda footage should ever be used in a news broadcast - especially considering that CBS News has correspondents and crews on the ground in Iraq... I'm hard pressed to find a reason why the footage would be used, and unattributed, to boot.



At Saturday, February 03, 2007, Anonymous TD said...

LT I'm with you on this one. There are a number of things wrong with this situation. It's really unprofessional to involve your family and friends in such a way in a job conflict.
But whether the footage was from Al-Qaida, I still don't think that much of it should have been aired. It was extremely graphic, I personally do not want to see footage of people lying in their caskets and strewn about the floor dead. I was cringing the wbole time. I think it's disrespectful to the victims and to the viewers. Do people really want to see that?

At Sunday, February 04, 2007, Anonymous TB said...

Totally inapropriate.

By all means, spread the word to family and friends that they should check out the piece online. Post it on YouTube and hope it develops a following. But asking family and friends to lobby to have a piece - that should not have appeared on television for obvious reasons - is ... well... pathetic.

So why was the piece inapropriate for television, you ask? Well, I'm with TD on this one. Close-up footage of dead bodies on the street and in coffins is not for prime time viewing.

Finally, the Al Qaeda footage - if indeed, that's what it is - should have been attributed. Otherwise it almost looks as though she's lobbying on their behalf.

At Sunday, February 04, 2007, Blogger Medill Media Watch said...

I agree. You can't trust Al Queda, or any other terrorist organization. Most of their footage is propaganda.

I remember reading about the footage Hezbollah sent during the Israeli conflict this summer. They showed footage of dead children in the streets, much like this footage I'm sure. But the scumbags failed to mention how they hide with innocent families during wars for more collateral damage. They want to make the good guys look bad so they can attract more scumbags to their fanatical fight. Disgusting.

These people are sick, and for a news organization to use any of their footage and not let the audience know is absolutely traitorous.


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