Huffpost Media

CNN's Libya Controversy: A HuffPost Live Debate

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HuffPost Live held a conversation on Tuesday about one of the biggest controversies currently roiling the journalism world: CNN's handling of the journal it found by Christopher Stevens, the late ambassador to Libya, and the State Department's response.

HuffPost's senior media reporter Michael Calderone weighed in, along with Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple, Boston.com media critic Mark Leccese and Columbia journalism professor Todd Gitlin.

Calderone said that the State Department's heated response -- it called CNN's actions "disgusting" -- were being seen by some critics as attempting to change the story away from what appeared to be serious questions about the government's handling of the situation in Libya.

"Some see that as them deflecting attention," he said. "The US government usually doesn't lay in that heavily on a news organization."

Leccese, who wrote a blog post criticizing CNN's actions, said the network had violated a fundamental rule.

"It's almost a universal ethical principle among humans that we have respect for families of the dead," he said.

Wemple said that CNN had seemingly fumbled in its dealings with Stevens' family, but he defended the network's handling of the journal, calling its actions "unimpeachable."

Watch a clip of the conversation above, and the full segment below.

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