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While We Still Have Time

In spite of the grimness of the times in which we live, there is still hope. If you feel, like I do, that the usual discourse about matters of critical concern tends to be superficial, misguided, and false, then you might find some solace and inspiration here. I will try to offer insight and a holistic perspective on events and issues, and hopefully serve as a catalyst for raising the level of dialogue on this planet.

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Location: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

I was born in 1945, shortly before atom bombs were dropped on Japan. I served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971. I earned master's degrees in Economics and Educational Psychology, and certificates in Web Page Design and as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. I followed an Indian guru for eight years, which immersed me in meditative practices and an attitude of reaching a higher level of being. A blog post listing the meditative practices I have pursued can be seen here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

60 Minute Woman

CBS and its renowned magazine program 60 Minutes are having a difficult week. After an internal investigation revealed that a story by reporter Lara Logan was false, they have announced that she and her producer have been put on administrative leave. The false story was about last year's raid in Benghazi, Libya, in which the "American" ambassador was killed.

If true, the story would have been damning to the Obama Administration, because it contradicted the official version of the attack, contending that the State Department knew the attack was coming, yet did nothing to protect the embassy staff.

When Lara Logan issued her apology at the end of the November 17 60 Minutes broadcast, I had the following response:
I'm a bit surprised that 60 Minutes waited until the end of the show to apologize. I'm also a bit surprised to see Lara Logan still in good standing on the show.

I think the corporate heads at CBS don't realize how important credibility is. It is one thing for Fox to put out fake reports - people expect lies, and only the fringe element believes them. 60 Minutes is supposed to be the investigative reporting standard for network television. Now we are left to wonder about all of the stories they tell.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out why Dan Rather was fired, but Lara Logan wasn't. Politics. Dan Rather's story was actually a good one, but it was about a President in favor being a deserter, while Lara Logan's story was in effect about a President in disfavor. At least ideological disfavor with certain power foci.

The other reason, of course, is that Lara Logan has some standing or stature for having been molested while reporting in Cairo. If CBS fires her it will generate a certain amount of sympathy. C'est la vie. I will watch the show less, as will others. Bill Moyers is on at the same time here. I'm freer to watch it now.
It appears that this story is growing like the Watergate scandal, except it involves a corporate news operation. Like Watergate, the coverup is worse than the crime. And, to be sure, airing a false story with the intention of influencing American foreign policy is a crime.

I don't watch 60 Minutes every week, but watch it enough to have seen the numerous puff stories Lara Logan has done from Afghanistan and other places. Her reports were "embedded," with her dressed unlike other women reporters - form-fitting, revealing - and flirting with commanders. One shot of her getting on a helicopter in her tight pants was comedic in its provocation. It is telling that in the original Benghazi broadcast she had to show some chest, but not in her "apology."

As the story develops someone might ask how Lara Logan got hired by 60 Minutes in the first place. Given her shoddy reporting, is there a previous record of journalistic excellence, enough to bring her to the attention of CBS executives?.

The dynamic of this scandal is interesting to watch for a number of reasons. Can a corporate news operation follow high ethical standards? Has 60 Minutes become watered down by TV titillation needs? Has "right wing" hysteria spread beyond Fox News? What really happened at Benghazi? How does CBS make personnel decisions? Who will 60 Minutes replace Lara Logan with? Another bimbo? Stay tuned - to something else.
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Here's a synopsis of Lara Logan's career.

This calls for a song.

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