The Straits Times
Published on Sep 25, 2012

CNN hits back in row over using slain US envoy's diary


WASHINGTON (AFP) - CNN on Monday hit back at accusations by a top United States (US) State Department official that it had engaged in "distasteful" reporting by using the contents of a diary belonging to slain US ambassador to Libya.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper argued that details about security at the US mission in Benghazi attacked by militants were important public information, even as a new expletive-laden exchange with the top aide at the center of the row emerged.

The State Department is still reeling from the death of ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in the September 11 attack, and an FBI investigation has been launched as well as an official review of security.

Mr Philippe Reines, a close aide of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, told reporters in a statement on Sunday that the US television network displayed "atrocious behavior" in using Stevens's diary against his family's wishes.