ERSNews recently read the following headline on the CBS news site and it caught our attention.
The TV report did not ring true, an exclusive interview, but no reporter conducting it? In the web version of the story the line “talked with” Lara Logan jumped out as well. The interview was with Afghan warlord Gulbeddin Hekmatyar. Since 2001 he’s been killing American soldiers and many others in Afghanistan for decades.
What immediately caught our attention was the headline. Lara Logan, CBS’s Chief Foreign Correspondent, a former swimsuit model, turned journalist years ago, has made a name for herself in recent years with her derring-do overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
On its face it seemed she had landed an exclusive sit down interview with this wanted terrorist, right? Well not quite…not even close.
Lara Logan was nowhere in the story, not in the interview and not in the story itself, either in the TV version, broadcast on the CBS Evening News or the web version posted on the networks CBSNews.com. What was uncommon is that two times in the web version it say’s Logan talked with the terrorist and implied she conducted or had some kind of direct hand in interviewing Hekmatyar herself.
ERSNews followed up with several other questions about exactly how CBS News had obtained this tape and how the story was put together as an exclusive interview with Lara Logan. We are still waiting for the answers.
CBS News should have disclosed the fact their Chief Foreign Correspondent was not involved in the actual interview in any way, shape, or form. Logan was simply fronting the story.
The headline and picture caption, which suggests Logan had a sit-down with this Afghan warlord who is on the run and being hunted by the U.S. Military, is not just misleading, it’s false. That’s not journalism, even if you were one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year in 2007!