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CBS Disaster: '60 Minutes' Reviewing Benghazi Story Over Witness' Conflicting Accounts
NEW YORK -- CBS' "60 Minutes" announced Thursday night that it's reviewing a controversial Oct. 27 report on the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, to determine if its eyewitness, security officer Dylan Davies, "misled" the network. "60 Minutes" said it had "learned of new information that undercuts" the harrowing account given on air.
The New York Times reported Thursday that Davies previously told the FBI that he was not at the U.S. compound on the night of Sept. 11, 2012 -- an account that directly contradicts his "eyewitness" statements on air.
The Huffington Post confirmed through a U.S. official that Davies told the FBI he didn't witness events on the ground the night four Americans were killed in a terrorist attack. This marks the second time that Davies' televised account has conflicted with his previous statements.
Davies recently gave a dramatic account of events to "60 Minutes" and in a memoir published under a pseudonym two days later. Davies told CBS News correspondent Lara Logan that he reached the U.S. compound while under attack, scaled a 12-foot wall, knocked a terrorist to the ground with his rifle and saw U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens dead in the hospital.
"60 Minutes'" decision to review the story comes after network executives dodged serious questions for a week about Davies' credibility, who used the pseudonym Morgan Jones on air and in his book, The Embassy House. (Simon & Schuster, a CBS subsidiary, published the book and is reportedly now reviewing it.)
On Oct. 31, The Washington Post revealed that Davies told his superior at security firm Blue Mountain Group on Sept. 14, 2012, that he couldn't reach the compound because of roadblocks, returned home, and did not see Stevens in the hospital.
But two days after the Post's report, Davies told The Daily Beast he had lied to his employer because he was told not to head to the compound. However, Davies insisted he had since told the truth on "60 Minutes" and in his memoir. Davies also said that he told the FBI the same story as he told "60 Minutes," which is not the case.
"60 Minutes" spokesman Kevin Tedesco ignored requests for comment from The Huffington Post about Davies' conflicting accounts on Friday, Monday and Tuesday.
On Wednesday, CBS News chairman and "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager defended the story, while sidestepping questions about the conflicting accounts.
"We are proud of the reporting that went into the story and have confidence that our sources, including those who appeared on '60 Minutes,' told accurate versions of what happened that night," Fager said in a statement to The Huffington Post.
Still, neither Fager nor any CBS News executive would say why the network still trusted Davies or would offer evidence to support Davies' second version of events. Logan brushed off criticism to The New York Times on Tuesday night, suggesting that those questioning the "60 Minutes" story were motivated by politics.
While progressive watchdog Media Matters aggressively questioned the "60 Minutes" report, a Fox News correspondent also raised doubts about Davies by saying on air that the security officer had asked him for money.
But with Thursday's revelation that Davies’ had said on two separate occasions that he didn't reach the compound -- to his employer and to the FBI -- the network announced it was reviewing the story.
"'60 Minutes' has learned of new information that undercuts the account told to us by Morgan Jones of his actions on the night of the attack on the Benghazi compound," a statement read. "We are currently looking into this serious matter to determine if he misled us, and if so, we will make a correction."
The latest "60 Minutes" controversy is reminiscent of the time in September 2004 when the network came under fire for Dan Rather's report for "60 Minutes Wednesday" on President George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. The authenticity of the documents on which Rather relied was challenged and the report was later discredited.
In response, CBS appointed an independent panel to investigate. In the end, several journalists were fired, the network apologized, and Rather lost the program and later left the network.
CBS News launched a blog, "Public Eye," the following September to bring "transparency to the editorial operations." But the blog, which served as a means of putting questions to network news executives, was shut down in early 2008.
- The video was deleted from CBS.
- Holy crap. Update to the story: CBS is going to air a correction. The dude lied. Logan and the producer of this story need to be fired.
Very sad to see what they've done to 60 Minutes.
The 'Fox-ification' of formerly legit news sources continues.
- Is this the same Lara Logan who was raped in Tahir Square? Perhaps not the most objective person to report about violence in the Middle East.
That a Fox correspondent is agreeing the guy is a fraud says it all.
- So he made up the whole thing? Is there any way to know if he was there or not?
- Assaulted, not raped.
She's a pro-military shill and I can't stand her.
Hopefully this will be the end of her here in the States. I really, really don't like her. She can't vanish soon enough for me.
- He was in Libya, but not at the compound. He was hiding out in his villa. He saw nothing, R4.
- He told both his employer and the FBI that he was not there.
It's been reported he wanted money for his story.
- I was in Berlin when the wall fell (November 89).
I guess I could lie and embellish about my experience there, and no one would know the better.
That's exactly what THIS GUY did. He's a tool and a loser. So is LL for believing what she wanted to hear.
- R5, I was thinking the same thing when I saw her name attached to this particular story.
What happened to her in Egypt was horrific, but she's definitely a shill for the military. Every report she did about the war(s) were not objective. She has spent way too much time "embedded" with the military.
- She's a journalist who is trying to incite something.
[quote]In October 2012, Logan delivered a speech before the annual luncheon of the Better Government Association in which she sharply criticized the Obama Administration's statements about the War in Afghanistan and other conflicts in the Arab world. In particular, Logan criticized the Obama Administration's claims that the Taliban was weakening in Afghanistan, calling such claims "a major lie" made in preparation for ending the U.S.military role in that country. [bold]She also stated that she hoped that the United States would "exact revenge" for the 2012 Benghazi attack, in which U.S. diplomatic personnel were attacked and killed in Libya.[/bold]
- She defended the General whom Rolling Stone magazine reported on. She's part of the problem...the military industrial complex. She's not a true journalist.
- Holy cow!!! this quote is PSYCHO:
[quote]She also stated that she hoped that the United States would "exact revenge" for the 2012 Benghazi attack, in which U.S. diplomatic personnel were attacked and killed in Libya.
thanks for sharing...I had no idea.
- This is just like the plot of this season's "The Newsroom."
- She belongs at FOX. South African trash.
- Too bad the wife of the guy who Logan slept with and then got knocked up by didn't exact revenge on her ass.
What a vile woman.
- Her husband was a KBR contractor or something like that, making money off the wars. One or both of them was married to someone else when they took up with each other, too.
- She's also done reports shilling for drones.
- Logan is an opportunist in the worst sense of the word. It's horrible what happened to her but it doesn't change the fact that she's just a rotten journalist.
- The comment that the U.S. should "exact revenge" over Benghazi really disturbs me. I'd gone to Wiki to check what had happened in Egypt (rape vs. assault R9 mentioned) and was flabbergasted to find that quote. That quote coupled with the journalistic excess makes my head spin.
Thing is I'm afraid CBS won't fire her because she suffered for the story in Egypt...
- They fired Dan Rather over less.
Did you see the foaming freeper letters they read about their report?
- I still watch 60 Minutes, but immediately skip over all of her reports. She makes Scott Pelley's military reports look objective... and that's saying a lot.
- can someone please start a petition to have her fired from CBS...?
pretty please :?)
- Was there this much scrutiny over the embassy attacks during the Bush presidency?
- Prediction: Rush and Beck will say that CBS aired the false report on purpose to discredit the Bengazi allegations.
- No, but honestly, this is the first time an American diplomat had been killed doing his job since 1979.
It is a tragedy, yes. But it is not a scandal. The repugs are just using it because they don't have a blue dress, and never will. They can't get dirt on him so they make it up.
LL needs to go...post-stat.
- Will that bitch, Lara Logan, face the same consequences as Dan Rather? Doubtful.
- Of course not, R23. Hell, there wasn't this much scrutiny of Bush after 3500 got killed HERE.
This is why the rightwing political reaction to Benghazi is such a joke. They're screaming about four deaths in volatile nation. Imagine if thousands of Americans had died on this soil, this country... under Obama.
The rightwing is so transparent. They're pathetic. This is why they continue to lose supporters. All they have left are mouth-breathers.
- Yes!!! Lara Logan is going down!! Vile, war-mongering, evil person.
- I have a feeling, r28, LL goes down a lot...
- Funny how one story has caused Lara to go down both figuratively AND literally.
- She's been forced to apologise!
- Didn't Dan apologize, too? Still got fired.
- Lara isn't half the journalist Dan is...even if her gag reflex is stronger.
- I'm hoping those who watch her stories fall into one of two categories:
Either they watch with a skeptical eye and want to see how much warmongering bullshit she'll be pushing that week
They just want to see what she's wearing in the hopes it will accentuate her breasts.
- Frank Rich is being relentless against her on Twitter. Bless him.
- Wasn't Dan Rather fired for less than this?
- I love Frank Rich :)
- She bugs the hell out of me. You just know that CBS put her on 60 Minutes in a weak effort to have a babe, a la FOX and all their blond lovelies. I hope they get rid of her. Never been too fond of Leslie Stahl either- not real bright.
"Hehloe, this is Laaaara Lllloegan" Ick.
- Will this end her career....? Or even harm it?
- She is smarter than Dan. Dan refused to apologize. He still thinks he was right.
- Is anybody interested in Benghazi except Republican strategists?
Ironic that it's the Repugs that put us into that hellhole.
- Sounds like the running story line from this season's Newsroom. I don't know why but Lara Logan bugs me too. Maybe it's the voice.
- [quote]He still thinks he was right.
Because he WAS right. The story itself was never disputed, only some letter.
Bush got out of serving in Vietnam solely because of who his father was.
- r43 is right
- Logan needs to be fired. Her agenda has been exposed. And fire Sheryl Atkisson while they're at it and get rid of that Lundtz guy who's a far right nutjob.
- Propagandist asshole bump.
- Will Lara be fired?
- I wasn't impressed with the correction.
- The "correction" is largely being criticized.
"Mistakes were made," "we were misled."
WHY were you misled? How did happen? What are you doing to avoid "being misled" in the future?
If they do not address these questions, then there is no reason to believe any future stories on which they report.
Seriously. Their credibility is tanking. The 60 Minutes franchise needs to take (or re-take) a junior high journalism class.
- there were many sources for her benghazi story, not just one.
Logan's mistake doesn't exonerate Obama and Hillary, who both insisted that the embassy attack was inspired by a dumb and inoffensive YouTube video -- when it really was that Al'Q coordinated attack on (duh!) Sept. 11….
- r50, I'm sorry. But you are completely wrong.
The very week Benghazi occurred, the following was reported:
- Muslims were upset about an anti-Muslim video
- Prior to the attack, the USA took out a major al Qaeda operative who was from Libya. Obviously, the survivors of his group planned revenge.
- September 11 is a symbolic day for enemies of America
- The video riots AND THE planned attack occurred simultaneously yet not coordinated together.
Why is it so hard for Republicans to keep two truths in their heads simultaneously?
1. The video caused riots
2. Al Qaeda planned revenge
WOW. Both of the above occurred on the same day!! What a coinkydink. Well, not really since it was 9/11.
Bad things tend to happen on 9/11, just like they sometimes do around 4/19 every year.
Obama & Clinton are no more responsible for the revenge attack in Libya than Bush & Rice were for planes flying into towers...
3500 people died on American soil on the original 9/11, but Bush & Rice were NEVER grilled like this.
Why? because this is 100% political.
- To be clear, which riot-- when and where -- were caused by the YouTube video? How long did they last? How many Americans were killed for it?
The long road from "spontaneous protest" to premeditated terrorist attack.
Posted on October 26, 2012 | Updated on May 16, 2013
About 10:00 p.m.: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issues a statement confirming that one State official was killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Her statement, which MSNBC posted at 10:32 p.m., made reference to the anti-Muslim video.
Clinton: Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.
Sept.12: Obama Labels Attack ‘Act of Terror,’ Not ‘Terrorism’
Sept. 12: Clinton issues a statement confirming that four U.S. officials, not one, had been killed. She called it a “violent attack.”
Clinton: All the Americans we lost in yesterday’s attacks made the ultimate sacrifice. We condemn this vicious and violent attack that took their lives, which they had committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future.
Sept. 12: Clinton delivers a speech at the State Department to condemn the attack in Benghazi and to praise the victims as “heroes.” She again makes reference to the anti-Muslim video in similar language.
Clinton: Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our Embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear — there is no justification for this, none.
- The fact that Bush blew off the Presidential Daily Brief that warned al Qaeda wanted to fly planes into skyscrapers means nothing to you.
But because Obama called this an act of terror and not terrorism, you want to waste millions on investigating him.
Quit trying to make Benghazi happened. It didn't work for Lara Logan and 60 Minutes. It only makes you look like an ass...that you care more about 4 deaths in Libya than 3500 in the USA.
- Hasn't [italic]60 Minutes[/italic] been military-/war- obsessed the past several years? (However long it's been.)
Lara Logan fits right in.
And, no, she is no journalist.
When Lara Logan spoke to CNN's Howard Kurtz about how [the late] Michael Hastings should have deferred to Gen. Stanley McChrystal - because of [McChrystal's] longevity and reputation - and that [Hastings] should not have reported the truth, and [according to Logan] was unprofessional for having done so, it immediately told us that Lara Logan represents why "American journalism" is dead. (Former journalist Geraldo Rivera backed her on McChrystal/Hastings; he sold out some time ago.)
- Exactly, r54. That's when I lost any love for her.
I'm 100% with Michael Hastings. He reported McChrystal's disrespect of our commander-in-chief.
LL seems to think the military should be protected from scrutiny. So why is she a reporter?
She isn't a reporter...she's a propagandist who wants revenge for Benghazi. She's not even American and she wants revenge! Get the hell off my TV, woman.
- She needs to pay for her willing ineptitude.
- If she's forced out at CBS, I guarantee she'll end up at Fox.
- Can you imagine what she'd think she can get away with at Fox?
- I won't be satisfied until she gets the Rather treatment. She has no business being on 60 Minutes. I never watch her reports because it has always been obvious she was a cheerleader for the military and war(s).
If they keep her on, then they lose credibility.
BTW, people like R52 have no response when asked why Bush wasn't given the same treatment and why instead, he was allowed to *use* that attack and the deaths of 3500 Americans HERE so that his neo con buddies could get the war they'd been wanting for a decade prior to 9/11. Never made to appear before committees to explain why 3500 weren't protected HERE?
Why are you OK with him LYING about another country having nothing to do with 9/11 and leading to the deaths of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of civilians? Why is that ignored while you obsess over four deaths in a volatile nation that was going through transition?
P O L I T I C S.
That's why Benghazi got no traction. Everyone saw right through the rightwing's bullshit "concern." Transparent douchebags.
- the republicans just don't get it.
it's like they still want revenge for Watergate.
I guess it's not their fault...they have no ethics.
Rand Paul can plagiarize all he wants.
Mitt Romney doesn't have to pay taxes.
Ted Cruz can be born in a foreign country.
So how can they possibly crack on Obama for ethics???
just like when they impeached Clinton for a BJ...some of those ahole repubs who were doing the same thing had to resign. LOL
3500 died on American soil, not one question for Bush. The hypocrisy is palpable.
- I'm with r59
- [quote]it's like they still want revenge for Watergate.
Oh honey, they want revenge for the New Deal.
- Well, they keep trying to find something to impeach the president. They did the same to Clinton.
- He was right, R40. He was set up by rightwingers with fake evidence. 60 minutes checked it out and it fit with what they thought really happened so they ran with it. Then the guys who faked the evidence said it wasn't real. That's why he wouldn't apologize. And remember the "swiftboat veterans for truth" who also lied about Kerry's military record? Worked pretty well for the right, didn't it, winning a second term for Bush 43.
As far as Lara Logan, I'd like to know where you are getting all your gossip about her. Not sure that isn't fake either. In any event, the guy lied to make Hillary and Obama look bad. And, in fact, no matter what happens with this guy, the republicans will run commercial after commercial with Hillary in front of a Congressional committee where they blame her. To me that was the reason for doing it.
- They do feel *particularly* wronged by Watergate, though. Question a Republican for very long about it and you get all kinds of fun stuff about how "mean" and unethical Woodward, Bernstein and any other reporters who didn't leave the Nixon admin alone, were. It's quite entertaining.
- Hillary was advising the House Committee on the Judiciary during the Watergate hearings.
I think she was right about the "vast right wing" conspiracy to impeach her husband.
A friend who used to work for Bob Dole said this after the San Siego RNC (when dole was running for prez):
"Clinton will not fulfill his term. He will be impeached."
They planned it all along, and that's what they tried to so here. The more normal repubs jumped ship, but the con-artists are making hand over fist off the tin hats.
- Nixon was taken down by the right wing for being to liberal. Bob Woodward was Naval Intelligence. They paired him up with Bernstein to make it look like it was a liberal conspiracy to take down Nixon. Woodward met Mark Felt (Deep Throat) at the White House. Felt was a favorite of J Edgar Hoover and was ironically arrested in 1978 for breaking in to wiretap a left wing radical group. He was no liberating hero.
- I loved Ben Ghazi's performances in "Husbands" and "Killing of a Chinese Bookie."
- [quote]I don't know why but Lara Logan bugs me too. Maybe it's the voice.
It's not just you. There's always been something about her I've never liked either. She just seems stuck up and condescending.
- All I know is that Dan Radner was fired for less.
- I don't watch it anymore. not the same with mike wallace, he must be spinning in his grave.
- After all the oldies died off, they re-staffed with vacant neo-liberal/republican cardboard cut-outs. Except for Logan, who is a hotty republican firebrand married to a defense contractor who has PTSD from her Egyptian vacation. Anyway, it's terrible, vacuous and not worth watching, unless you are very old Fox news addict. The new head of CBS News is David Rhodes, a former Fox News executive. They kept the name and the format and filled it up with crap.
- CBS is trending toward Fox territory.
I did enjoy CBS This Morning, but may have to give it up. Just a couple of weeks ago, Jan Crawford was busted for an exaggerated Obamacare report. Then last week they had her airing another one (even though she never apologized for the first). I tuned in this morning and they had a story about how the ACA is going to ruin the lives of America's poor, destitute doctors.
I normally like to have news playing while I'm getting ready in the mornings. I think I'll just stick to my papers now.
- So what, who cares
- A year too late.
Benghazi is just another example of how ignorant, incompetent and evil Washington DC really is.
- I would love to hear CBS's justification for not firing her. Or are they going to led the producer fall on the semi-automatic weapon? (I would have said sword, but it just sounds too old-fashioned)
- Most people who watch 60 Minutes will never take her reports seriously now knowing who she really is. It's neo cons who are currently defending her.
- oh, r76:
"Lara has full, lovely breasts, a swimsuit-model quality face, an intelligent, strangely exotic yet almost-English accent and she gets great ratings from the angry though in despair over-65 demographic who fear they are losing America. ALSO she hates the Muslim Terrorists. We aren't firing her, are you nuts? And lead with, what, Scott Pelley?"
- Lara was rape raped
- "Is anybody interested in Benghazi except Republican strategists?"
People cared that the men - in particular the ambassador, who seemed like a good guy - died, but I think most people blame the people and the country itself. I mean really, who doesn't think that whole region is, and always will be, forever f'ed up?
60 Minutes REALLY botched that defensive, half-hearted apology though. WTF!?! I was appalled at both the choice of words and her poor execution of it.
- CAIRO — When “60 Minutes,” perhaps the United States’ premier news program, apologized for featuring a security contractor in its report on Benghazi whose story turned out to be a lie, it said had been “misled.” But a close examination of the controversial piece by McClatchy shows that there are other problems with the report, whose broadcast renewed debate about one of the most contentious events in recent U.S. diplomatic history.
In its first acknowledgement that the issues with the report may go deeper than just the interview with security supervisor Dylan Davies, CBS on Wednesday, in response to a series of questions posed by McClatchy, said that it had undertaken “a journalistic review that is ongoing.”
“60 Minutes” spokesman Kevin Tedesco said CBS had begun the review “the moment we confirmed there was an issue in our story.” But he declined to elaborate on the investigation and did not respond to the specific issues McClatchy had raised, which included unsourced assertions that al Qaida was behind the Benghazi attacks and claims about the investigation into the attacks that the FBI and other experts question or deny outright.
The “60 Minutes” report, narrated by longtime CBS correspondent Lara Logan, was controversial almost from the moment it was broadcast Oct. 27, as could be expected for another rendition of what took place Sept. 11, 2012, when gunmen stormed a U.S. diplomatic compound and set its main building on fire. U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and State Department computer expert Sean Smith, trapped inside, died of smoke inhalation. Two hours later, attackers assaulted a CIA compound nearby, killing two security contractors.
Shortly after the segment aired, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who has been a critic of the Obama administration’s response to the Benghazi attacks, announced that he would block all administration appointments until the FBI surrendered to Congress notes of the interviews it had done with survivors.
But the credibility of the report also immediately came into question. CBS was taken to task for not revealing that Davies, on whose recollections the report was largely based, was the author of a soon-to-be released book published by a CBS-owned publishing company that features the work of politically conservative authors. On Oct. 31, The Washington Post revealed that Davies had filed a report with his employer, Blue Mountain Security, that contradicted his “60 Minutes” account, and The New York Times revealed Nov. 7 that Davies also gave an account to the FBI at odds with the report.
After The New York Times story was posted online, CBS quickly purged its websites of any mention of the piece and even demanded that a copy of the segment be removed from YouTube. On Sunday, Logan, in a brief appearance at the end of the regular “60 Minutes” broadcast, acknowledged that Davies had misled her and her crew and that “it was a mistake to include him in our report.”
But Logan’s mea culpa said nothing about other weaknesses in the report that a line-by-line review of the broadcast’s transcript shows. McClatchy obtained the transcript from LexisNexis, a legal research service.
The report repeatedly referred to al Qaida as solely responsible for the attack on the compound and made no mention of Ansar al Shariah, the Islamic extremist group that controls and provides much of the security in restive Benghazi and that has long been suspected in the attack. While the two organizations have worked together in Libya, experts said they have different aims – al Qaida has global objectives while Ansar al Shariah is focused on turning Libya into an Islamic state.
It is an important distinction, experts on those groups said. Additionally, al Qaida’s role, if any, in the attack has not been determined, and Logan’s narration offered no source for her repeated assertion that it had been.
“I think there are definitely connections, but I am not sure there is command and control” between al Qaida and Ansar al Shariah, said Aaron Y. Zelin of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
- I love the clip of that dipshit Gretchen whatever on Fox saying the day after the report that 60 Mins was only reporting what Fox had been reporting for a year. Which is now as good as a confession that Fox has been lying for a year. What a shock.
- [quote]the network came under fire for Dan Rather's report for "60 Minutes Wednesday" on President George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. The authenticity of the documents on which Rather relied was challenged and the report was later discredited.
Um... sort of, but not really. The report was factually correct. Some of the documents they used had been faked, hand fed to them and later exposed in order to discredit Rather and the story. Bush actually was illegally AWOL for most of his "service" in the Air National Guard and everyone knows that.
[quote]In response, CBS appointed an independent panel to investigate. In the end, several journalists were fired, the network apologized, and Rather lost the program and later left the network.
That was the end of my interest in CBS News. Prior to that, it had been the standard-bearer for television news all of my life. My father practically worshiped Edward R. Murrow.
Mike Wallace and Don Hewitt never would have allowed that stupid cunt to run with this Benghazi con. She needs to be fired and her producer needs to be fired. Now.
- [quote] CBS appointed an independent panel to investigate. In the end, several journalists were fired, the network apologized, and Rather lost the program and later left the network.
This needs to happen to La Logan and Co.