With Benghazi back in the news, New York magazine has a timely article on "60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan.
She is on an indefinite leave after a flawed report on the Libya attack aired last year on the CBS news magazine. New York's timing is excellent. Consider this:
"Anybody [who] plays politics with Benghazi is going to get burned," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told CBS' Bob Schieffer on Sunday's "Face the Nation." "So if we're playing politics with Benghazi, then we'll get burned. If our Democratic friends are shielding the administration and trying to protect them and the administration tried to protect themselves, their re-election because they couldn't stand the truth about Benghazi, then they'll get burned."
Logan and "60 Minutes" certainly got burned. Joe Hagan reports in New York that her return to CBS is more and more unlikely. Turns out that Logan consulted Graham in reporting the story, New York reports, and the Republican later promoted the segment before it was discredited.
The fascinating New York report works on two levels: as a profile of Logan and as a warning alarm about standards at prime-time TV's most successful program. (CBS News declined to comment about the article.)
Hagan describes Logan as ambitious, courageous and hard-working. She has battled sexism even as her beauty helped her gain attention. Her love life inspired the New York Post headline "Sexty Minutes."
But Logan is also reckless, New York reports, and one of the most chilling passages focuses on CBS cameramen who refused to work with her. "The crews in London revolted," a CBS executive tells Hagan. "They thought she was dangerous and she was going to get somebody killed."
Wise TV reporters always say: Don't mistreat your photographers or you are asking for trouble.
Another danger sign emerged: Logan started stating her political views, a development that astonished and outraged colleagues.
But CBS didn't reprimand her. She plunged into the Benghazi report, and Hagan notes that "usual fact-checking procedures were not followed."
The debacle unfolded because a star correspondent had too much power, bosses didn't control her, and the program's standards had fallen, New York finds.
It's a sad story, but mandatory for any fan of "60 Minutes." Here's hoping it is making the people at CBS News think hard about the treasure they have in "60 Minutes."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun