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Sunday, November 10, 2013

'60 Minutes' Tonight With Mini-Culpa on Bogus Benghazi Report

Two days after their "apology" Friday morning, "60 Minutes" covered their bogus reporting on the Benghazi scandal in their regular show tonight.  It came after Jeff Fager, the executive producer, told Michael Calderone of Huff Post that, yes, Dylan Davies had told them he lied to his boss about where he was on the fateful night.  And yet went ahead with their report, without seemingly tough vetting, after that.  Until now,  CBS had suggested that they didn't know about Davies' story to his employer.   Here's my reporting and updates so far today.

Here's brief write-up on tonight's "apology" by Lara Logan.  Now "very sorry" but simply "a mistake."  Pathetic.  We learned more about the Beatles and their wives in 1964 than we did about the Benghazi scandal on "60 Minutes" tonight.  Clearly they will try to tough it out and not even do a major probe--as the NYT in its story tonight on latest "apology" reveals it was told.    Journalists must forced them to investigate.

Media writers and others are starting to weigh in on Twitter.  Jay Rosen:  "Two outstanding features of the 60 Minutes correction: written in the passive voice, edits out the role played by other news organizations."  Frank Rich:  "Failure of to report how Lara Logan was duped for 'a year' (her claim) by a Benghazi hoax guarantees others will do it for them."  Dan Kennedy: "Pathetically inadequate."  Mike Signorile:  "60 Minutes 'apology' — or 'mistake,' as Logan put it— is pathetic. Needs full investigation, ramifications."  Gabriel Sherman: "A show w/ reporting legacy of 60 Minutes should have turned its reporting muscle back on itself to explain to viewers what happened, and why."  Roger Simon of Politico:  "60 Minutes needs to do an 'Anatomy of a Mistake' piece on its Benghazi story, not just a 'gee, we're sorry' mini-apology."

David Folkenflik of NPR, very weakly: "CBS gets points for a) apology b) not using own airwaves vs critics, as Rather did amid Bush memo fiasco. But concerns remain."  Eric Boehlert:  "fact CBS won't open up shop to independent review just proves how terrified execs R of truth behind Benghazi fiasco coming out."  Will Bunch:  "So '60 Minutes' apology totally inadequate -- now what? We know CBS is terrified of right wingers...they need to be terrified of rest of us."  David Brock of Media Matters: “This evening's '60 Minutes' response was wholly inadequate and entirely self-serving. The network must come clean" and appoint independent panel to probe. Jeff Greenfield: "Will CBS investigate and make results public, as it and other nets did in past? So far this is a 'modified limited hangout.'" Blake Hounshell: "mistakes were made...."  Clara Jeffery, editor of Mother Jones:  "apology is weak. Not covered: promoting source pubbed by CBS imprint run by Mary Matalin. Or failure to check w/ FBI sources."

Craig Silverman commented for the NYT:  “Aside from the fact that it struck a very passive tone and pushed the responsibility onto the source, Dylan Davies, it said nothing about how the show failed to properly vet the story of an admitted liar. There are basic questions left unanswered about how the program checked out what Davies told them, and where this process failed.  In the short term, this will confirm the worst suspicions of people who don’t trust CBS News.  In the long term, a lot will depend on how tough and transparent CBS can be in finding out how this happened — especially when there were not the kind of tight deadline pressures that sometimes result in errors.”

Jay Rosen added a second comment at his blog:  "Attention now turns to Jeff Fager, as the person at CBS (executive producer of '60 Minutes’) who approved the final cut of a deeply flawed report starring a source CBS knew to have lied to his employer, and the executive at CBS, boss of the news division, who decided that it was time to move on from that mistake. Can that conflict of interest stand? So far it looks like it will."


DARSB said...

I can only imagine what Dan Rather's thinking right now.

DARSB said...

I can only imagine what Dan Rather's thinking right now.

Unknown said...