CBS Conducting Review Of Controversial 60 Minutes Report

60 Minutes
Image Courtesy of CBS News

Network makes first admission that it will probe more deeply after offering apology

CBS News said it has begun a “journalistic review” of a controversial Oct. 27 report on “60 Minutes”  about last year’s attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, the first word that executives at one of the media’s most respected TV-news outlets are looking more deeply into an embarrassing misstep at the venerable newsmagazine.

“The moment we confirmed there was an issue in our story we began a journalistic review that is ongoing,” a “60 Minutes” spokesman said in a statement sent via email, confirming details posted earlier on Twitter by McClatchy journalist Nancy Youssef.

Word of the internal probe surfaces after “60 Minutes” correspondent offered a quick apology to viewers for relying on a primary source who, as it turned, out provided inaccurate statements about events taking place in Benghazi at the time of the attack. CBS did not say whether Logan’s work, or that of the producer of the segment, Max McLellan, was part of the evaluation.

The “60 Minutes” report came under scrutiny after reports in The Washington Post and The New York Times suggested Dylan Davies, the security officer whose statements provided the grist for the segment, had given inaccurate information to the CBS program. This past Sunday, Logan said the show came to realize it  “has been misled, and that it was a mistake to include him in our report” after a discovery that Davies had given a different account of his time in Benghazi to the F.B.I.

“The most important thing to every person at ’60 Minutes’ is the truth,” said Logan, “and the truth is, we made a mistake.”

CBS News has steadfastly declined to comment on what measures it might be taking to keep such an error from being repeated, or on whether any incorrect procedures stemmed from the fact that Davies’ account was also published in a book released by Simon & Schuster, another part of CBS Corp.. The corporate connection was not disclosed by “60 Minutes” during its report or cited in the Sunday apology.

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 and former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather leaving the company

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  1. Truth Seeker says:

    I like Bob Schieffer a lot, but he also lost my vote when he called Snowden a “traitor”, well before he had a chance to release more of the information he had. Journalists should know better than to jump to premature conclusions and help with cove-ups rather than exposing them. Still working on getting the 2004 Siemens scandal and the BP “deep-sixed” database exposed. So far have gotten little help from the apologist MSM.

  2. Dean Garr says:

    CBS, the network of Murrow and Cronkite, has catastrophically failed. Perhaps inevitable, as it is now not a news organization, but a mega-corporation.

    60 Minutes is toast.

    Fire Lara Logan, along with the producers who colluded with her.
    Appoint an impartial, transparent panel to investigate exactly what happened.
    Make necessary corrections, putting safeguards in place.

    Wait five years.

    And maybe, maybe, 60 MInutes will have reclaim a portion of its credibility.
    Meanwhile, I know of no one who plans to continue watching this farce-of-a-news-magazine.

  3. Truth Seeker says:

    Remember the “checkbook” journalism of Elizabeth Vargas? – she’s STILL at ABC news.

    Also, way back in 2004, a number of news outlets (including NPR and ABC News) failed to investigate and correct the very misleading and false accounts relating to the (deliberately?) “botched” 2004 Siemens science competition. To this day, over 1200 fellow competitors never learned the truth about what really happened that year. Rather than face major embarrassment from having to admit the truth, all those involved decided to protect their own reputations and those of Siemens and the College Board by engaging in a coordinated cover up of what happened (it was a lot easier to do in this case and at that time). So much for truth in reporting!!

    There have been many other cases of journalist sweeping mistakes under the rug, rather than having to admit them. It just depends on how much they fear getting caught and how much they think people might care. In the case of an otherwise forgettable high school competition, they figured “Who cares if we got it right or wrong – its a stupid high school competition”. These days it’s harder to keep things a secret, but it’s also true that people have much shorter attention spans and a scandal today is forgotten tomorrow (at least that’s what journalists now count on).

  4. DSmith says:

    Can we ship Lara Logan back to her country. She was pushing hard for this story a year ago. As a military person, it disturbs me to see news organizations acting as extensions of the political parties. People died and no needs to hear a biased untrue story. Those hero’s have families that have to deal with this torment everyday.

  5. Joe says:

    60 Minutes had 15 million viewers watching it last week. Loyal audience which says. Apology accepted, let’s move on.

    • Millions watch WWF matches faithfully too, it doesn’t mean it’s real, it means they are loyal…

      It may be time to re-watch “Goodnight and Good Luck” the erosion of the high quality of journalism
      in our country is ….painful to watch.

  6. Rosemary Daly says:

    60 minutes and CBS need more than an internal review. The recent report on Benghazi was a journalistic disgrace. Also the report on security concerns on the ACA website and reported on the CBS nightly news was based on a report by Rep Issa and was not the full story. I am disgusted with this type of unbalanced reporting and I will not be watching either 60 min or the CBS nightly news anymore.
    Jon Stewart and Colbert gave the 60 minute report the attention it deserved. My thanks to them.
    Rosemary Daly

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