CBS conducting ‘journalistic review’ of ’60 Minutes’ Benghazi report


CBS News is conducting a journalistic review of a discredited “60 Minutes” report on the attack on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

“The moment we confirmed there was an issue in our story we began a journalistic review that is ongoing,” said a “60 Minutes” spokesman, who did not provide details of the review or its scope.

The confirmation of an ongoing review into the botched story by correspondent Lara Logan, first reported by McClatchy’s Nancy Youssef, comes after days of mounting criticism of CBS’ response to the incident.


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The original Oct. 27 story, which Logan and her producer Max McClellan worked on for a year, relied heavily on the testimony of a supposed eyewitness, Dylan Davies, a security contractor who claimed to have rushed to the mission compound on the night of Sept. 11, 2012. Davies, using the pseudonym “Morgan Jones,” is also the author of a book, “The Embassy House,” published last month by a division of CBS (and since recalled).

But his version of events was swiftly discredited after it emerged Davies had made very different claims in accounts given to his employer and to the FBI, and that he was not in fact at the compound as it was under siege.

CBS first acknowledged there might be a problem with Logan’s reporting late Thursday night. The following morning, she appeared on “CBS This Morning” to acknowledge the error and apologize to viewers. At the end of Sunday’s broadcast of “60 Minutes,” she issued another brief mea culpa, in which she admitted she and her team had been “misled” but did not shed light on the circumstances surrounding the mistake. Nor did she indicate there was any kind of review underway by CBS News.

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The apology did little to quell critics, particularly those on the left, who urged the venerable news magazine to take a more transparent approach to what CBS News chairman and “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager called “as big a mistake as there has been” in the program’s history.


The incident has invited comparison to so-called Rathergate, a similarly discredited 2004 “60 Minutes II” report that called into question President George W. Bush’s National Guard record. In response, CBS News convened an independent review panel to investigate the flawed reporting. The inquiry resulted in a 224-page report and the firing or resignation of four senior producers, and is believed to have hastened the departure of anchor Dan Rather from CBS.


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Twitter: @MeredithBlake