CBS News has treated "60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan more harshly than it would have a male correspondent who made the same mistake, say media watchers Howard Kurtz and Joe Concha.
Concha, a columnist for Mediaite
, said Logan made an "egregious mistake" in not vetting Dylan Davies, a source for her ill-fated Benghazi story
that aired in October. Still, he said, she apologized without making excuses.
Logan talked to British security expert Davies, who used the pseudonym "Morgan Jones" on the air and who gave credibility to the claims that the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility was intended to kill Americans and not a protest over a video.
Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed.
But days after the story aired, Davies' story began to unravel. He had given a different account to the FBI.
Logan apologized on air and has been suspended
Concha said Logan should be held accountable, but CBS News is giving her a "raw deal" by not saying when – or if – she will return to "60 Minutes."
"This is a woman that has been in harm's way more times than we can count," Concha said Sunday on Fox News Channel's "Media Buzz,"
hosted by Kurtz. Logan has been under fire in Iraq and Afghanistan and was sexually assaulted by a crowd of men while covering the Arab Spring uprising in Cairo, Egypt.
"I believe that earned her a mulligan. I think she needs a second chance," Concha said.
Kurtz agreed that Logan has been left "twisting in the wind." Had her story not been about Benghazi she would have been back by now, he said.
"But it's such a sensitive political issue, I think CBS is just trying to let things cool down," Kurtz said.
An article in last week's New York magazine painted Logan as a reckless risk-taker and said she used her sex appeal to get jobs. Concha said nobody would say that about a man.
While Logan is attractive and works in a visual medium, she also needed top journalistic skills to land a job with "60 Minutes," Concha said.
The article also talked about romantic affairs Logan had while covering the war in Iraq. No such details would be included about a "globe-trotting male war correspondent," Kurtz said.
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