CBS’ ’60 Minutes’ Apologizes, Admits Error In Benghazi Report

CBS' '60 Minutes' Apologizes, Admits Error

Correspondent acknowledges primary source misled team compiling report

In a rare admission of faulty reporting on CBS News’ authoritative “60 Minutes” newsmagazine, correspondent Lara Logan acknowledged the program was misled by a primary source while preparing a story about last year’s attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

“We made a mistake,” Logan said in an interview on “CBS This Morning.”

Questions were raised about the “60 Minutes” Oct. 27 report on Benghazi quickly after it aired on CBS. In the report, a source named Morgan Jones claimed to have been in the thick of the fighting around the U.S. diplomatic compound, even saying he hit a terrorist in the face with his rifle. The attack left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens dead and spurred intense scrutiny of how the State Department handled the incident.

As discovered by the Washington Post, however, Jones’ real name was Dylan Davies and he had given conflicting statements about his role during the attack.

“We take the vetting of sources and stories very seriously at ‘60 Minutes’ and we took it seriously in this case,'” said Logan in this morning’s interview. “But we were misled and we were wrong, and that’s the important thing.”

Logan said the program had worked to establish its source’s claims. “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. He gave us access to communications he’d had with U.S. government officials,” she said. “We used U.S. government reports and congressional testimony to verify many of the details of his story, and everything checked out.”

Admission of the reporting error marks a rare misstep for the venerable CBS program, which has established itself as a paragon among TV-news outlets for its thorough reportage. Nearly a decade ago, claims made in a “60 Minutes II” report about President George W. Bush’s service in the National Guard in the 1970s turned out to be based on documents that could not be authenticated. In the aftermath of that report, CBS set up an independent investigation into the report, which eventually led to CBS News President Andrew Heyward leaving the company.

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  1. Diane Penix says:

    Laura Logan should be fired from Sixty Minutes!!! Her apology was weak!!! She made a speech last year that was very biased on this subject. She finally found a way to report her biased opinion on sixty minutes. when we were watching it last week, it did not ring true to us. Sure enough we find out what she reported was NOT TRUE!!!
    We will never believe her reporting again!!!

  2. Rafael Robert says:

    I feel discourage with CBS , at all!!

  3. 70 Min : Because Sixty is too ***** short! says:

    Just read about Operation Mocking Bird. Where the Gov. pays the NEWS MEDIA, what to say and do. You don’t have to use thinly veiled threats to get the Media to do what you want. Just pay $$ them off, like cheap hookers! Not just the Gov. can use this policy, the Thugs in the United Nations, George Soros, and Billionaire or Trillionare has the means. Because people “don’t do the right thing” anymore! Corruption and Greed breed more corruption and greed. Then the cycle repeats itself over and over again!

    This has been (tic) toc (tic) toc … Your 70 Min. the Clock is broken… just like the Mainstream Media Monarchy..

  4. techartisan says:

    In this self-serving political climate, the vetting process needs to be more detailed and executed with great speed. Double-checking government docs online is futile, as government docs are written and stored by party operatives in “mole” positions. We have become like czarist Russia.

  5. Geri McCall-Barrath says:

    “In a rare admission of faulty reporting on CBS News’ authoritative “60 Minutes” newsmagazine, correspondent Lara Logan acknowledged the program was misled by a primary source …” Don’t you mean “In a rare instance of faulty reporting, CBS News’ authoritative “60 Minutes” news magazines correspondent Lara Logan apologized for having been misled by a primary source…? The way Mr. Steinberg writes makes it sound as if “60 Minutes” has a reputation for being riddled with errors. That as we all know is not the case. Yes, they make an occasional error, but in general are known for concrete journalism.

    • Brian Steinberg says:

      Thanks for the note, Geri, but I think we are quibbling over semantics here. Both sentences – yours and mind – say essentially the same thing: 60 Minutes is a show with a high bar for fact checking and in this instance something went awry and there is a rare error due to the production team on a story being misled by a primary source

  6. Contessa46 says:

    Great that you made an apology but I wonder if your agenda in writing the story was tainted. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. The building in question was NOT an embassy there were no Marines there to protect the bldg as that is NOT PROTOCOL. Bad things can happen when you serve in the foreign service. I don’t recall such scrutiny when the USS Cole was attacked! Is it because we have a black president? There, I said it!

    • Thanks Contessa46 for reminding us that what seemed and still seems to be overlooked. Perhaps there is a reason for this particular fact being overlooked, i.e., that Benghazi had no marine, etc., guards and that Benghazi is not an embassy? We need to recall that the attack happened on the American July 4th holiday. I seem to recall that perhaps the building in Bengazi was chosen by and/or for the Ambassador to spend the Independence Day holiday there, perhaps because there was a pool there? Perhaps the Ambassador wanted to have a pool party to celebrate the American) July 4th holiday? Perhaps that is being covered up because there WERE no marines, etc., to guard American staff, and maybe the very absence of marines, etc., made the staff more vulnerable and attractive as a target?

  7. Rebecca Cochran says:

    You should check all media stories for for facts rather than blindly accept them, especially when they corroborate with your personal ideas. Great that CBS has corrected its error.

  8. Roxanne Santoro says:

    Lara Logan,has more “Balls” than Barack Obama!

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