CBS News Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan slammed Michael Hastings for his Rolling Stone article that led to the firing of General Stanley McChrystal.
Appearing on CNN's "Reliable Sources" program, Logan cast doubt on Hastings's claim that his interviews with McChrystal and his team were all on-the-record.
When asked if she would have published the same comments about President Obama and Vice President Biden as Hastings had, Logan said "it really depends on the circumstances."
"Michael Hastings, if you believe him, says that there were no ground rules laid out. And, I mean, that just doesn't really make a lot of sense to me," she said, adding that she knows McChrystal's staff and McChrystal doesn't have a history of interacting with the press. "I mean, I know these people. They never let their guard down like that. To me, something doesn't add up here. I just -- I don't believe it. "
Host Howard Kurtz asked Logan if there is an "unspoken agreement that you're not going to embarrass [the troops] by reporting insults and banter."
"Absolutely," she said. "Yes... there is an element of trust."
Logan also took exception with Hastings's claims — made earlier on the program to Kurtz — that his role as a journalist was to build trust with subjects so they feel comfortable speaking their minds around him.
"What I find is the most telling thing about what Michael Hastings said in your interview is that he talked about his manner as pretending to build an illusion of trust and, you know, he's laid out there what his game is," Logan said. "That is exactly the kind of damaging type of attitude that makes it difficult for reporters who are genuine about what they do, who don't -- I don't go around in my personal life pretending to be one thing and then being something else. I mean, I find it egregious that anyone would do that in their professional life."
Hastings also said that beat reporters -- reporters, like Logan, specifically assigned to cover the military -- do not publish negative pieces about their subjects in order to assure continued access.
"I think that's insulting and arrogant, myself. I really do," Logan said, "because there are very good beat reporters who have been covering these wars for years, year after year. Michael Hastings appeared in Baghdad fairly late on the scene, and he was there for a significant period of time. He has his credentials, but he's not the only one. There are a lot of very good reporters out there. And to be fair to the military, if they believe that a piece is balanced, they will let you back."
"Michael Hastings has never served his country the way McChrystal has," she added.
Logan also slammed Rolling Stone for how the magazine framed the story.
"When you start an article with General McChrystal making obscene gestures, you're not even using something that he said," she said. "And Rolling Stone magazine put their own spin on this. They said that the greatest enemy for McChrystal is the wimps in Washington. Nowhere in the article does McChrystal refer to 'the wimps in Washington.' That's Rolling Stone magazine, how they chose to cast this, to make it as sensational as possible. And that was with intent."
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