CBS’ <i>60 Minutes</i> Apologizes For Discredited Benghazi Report
Since CBS’ 60 Minutes’ controversial segment on the 2012 attack on a United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya aired last Sunday, several reports have questioned just how credible its eyewitness really is.
Media Matters chairman David Brock and other veteran journalists have called on CBS to retract its entire report. And on Friday, 60 Minutes‘ Lara Logan appeared on CBS This Morning to apologize for the faulty report, admitting 60 Minutes “was misled” and adding that she needed to “set the record straight and take responsibility.”
“Nobody likes to admit that they made a mistake, but if you do, you have to stand up and take responsibility and you have to say that you were wrong, and in this case we were wrong,” Logan told CBS This Morning’s Norah O’Donnell. “We made a mistake.”
According to Logan, 60 Minutes‘ eyewitness, a former security officer using the pseudonym “Morgan Jones,” was verified and deemed a “credible source” providing an “accurate account” of the events that transpired in Benghazi on the night of September 11.
When asked how “Jones” was verified, Logan said, “We verified and confirmed that he was who he said he was, that he was working for the State Department at the time, that he was in Benghazi at the special mission compound the night of the attack.” She added that 60 Minutes “used U.S. government reports and congressional testimony to verify many of the details of his story, and everything checked out.”
“But as we now know, that is not the case,” Logan admitted.
It now appears that “Jones,” whose real name is Dylan Davies, may have fabricated his entire account of the raid.
Davies told 60 Minutes that the attack on the diplomatic compound that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was carefully planned for months. He said that he and other security personnel at the compound warned the White House about serious security issues months prior to the attack. Davies also claimed that during the attack, he “scaled a wall of the compound, personally struck a terrorist in the face with a rifle butt, and later went to the Benghazi hospital to see Ambassador Chris Stevens’ body,” according to Media Matters.
But following the 60 Minutes report — which relied heavily on Davies’ account — The Washington Postrevealed inconsistencies in Davies’ story.
The Post obtained an incident report in which Davies stated that he “could not get anywhere near” the compound the night of the attack. The New York Times then reported that Davies’ account also differed greatly from the account he had initially provided in an FBI interview. Fox News later reported that Davies had been its source for some time, until he began asking the network for money.
On Friday, Logan maintained that 60 Minutes did not know about the incident report uncovered by the Post and said that Davies denied it. As a result, CBS originally stuck by Davies’ account. Logan said she wanted to “apologize to viewers” again and vowed to “correct the record on our broadcast on Sunday night.”
The interview also mentioned that 60 Minutes did not disclose that Davies’ book on the attack is being published by CBS Corporation’s Simon & Schuster, but has since apologized for that omission. Logan added: “We wrong to put him on air, and we apologize to our viewers.”
CBS News has since pulled the report from its website and YouTube channel.
Watch the full interview with Logan below:
Video: MMFA Alt. Channel via YouTube