On October 27, CBS’s 60 Minutes aired a dramatic report that purported to tell the story of an eye witness in Benghazi who corroborated much of what the conservative critics of the administration had been calling a scandal of Watergate proportions.
Almost from the outset there were problems with the report that included sharply divergent accounts offered by the source himself. For instance, while he told CBS that he had gone to the compound in Benghazi, he had previously filed an incident report with his employer that said he never went anywhere near it. More recently it is been discovered that he also told FBI investigators that he was never there.
After first defending their story, CBS has now pulled it from their website and their correspondent, Lara Logan, appeared on CBS This Morning to apologize (video below):
“We were wrong. We made a mistake. […] We no longer have confidence in our source and we were wrong to put him on air. […] We apologize to our viewers and we will correct the record on our broadcast on Sunday night.”
Immediately following the 60 Minutes broadcast, conservative media assembled a victory parade to congratulate themselves for having leaped to the front of the Benghazi Hoax and to celebrate their vindication by the establishment news authority at CBS. As might be expected, Fox News lead the parade with more than 47 minutes of reporting (that’s three times the length of the original CBS report) on eleven different programs on just the day after 60 Minutes aired. Some of the applause the Benghazi Hoax-sters handed out to themselves included…
- Bret Baier (Fox News): Last night, one of journalism’s heavy hitters reaffirmed what we knew and had reported on.
- Steve Doocy (Fox News): It’s great that mainstream media finally catching up. […] 60 Minutes doesn’t cover phony scandals.
- Martha MacCallum (Fox News): Now 60 Minutes, the venerable Sunday night news program, is putting a lot of focus on this story. Here at Fox News we’ve been covering this story for a very long time.
- John Hayward (Human Events): ’60 Minutes’ ran a report on the Benghazi scandal Sunday night that confirmed its status as an enduring scandal with many questions still remaining to be answered.
- Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs): Over a year after the murderous attack, finally, media is talking straight about Benghazi.
- Jim Hoft (Gateway Pundit): ’60 Minutes’ Finally Reveals Benghazi Was a Real Scandal & You Were Lied To.
- Monica Crowley (Fox News): Solid 60Minutes piece on Benghazi. CBSNews & FoxNews among the very, very few reporting on this grave & outrageous scandal.
- Dan Gainor (Media Research Center/NewsBusters): 60 Minutes piece on Benghazi shows how much admin has lied and hidden facts on deadly disaster. Blame Obama AND Hillary.
- Jonah Goldberg (National Review): This 60 Minutes Benghazi piece corroborates pretty much everything FoxNews has reported so far.
As it turns out, the only thing the 60 Minutes report confirmed is the deceit at the heart of right-wing media. Everyone who jumped at the chance to laud CBS for its alleged truth-telling is now egg-faced since the esteemed source of their validation has crumbled in an embarrassing journalistic flop.
While CBS still has some questions to answer and some accountability to dispense, they deserve some credit for coming clean and retracting the story. They also need to address the book by their source which is being published by Threshold Editions, a subsidiary of Simon and Schuster, which is owned by CBS (another undisclosed ethical violation by 60 Minutes). And for the record, Threshold’s rogue’s gallery of authors include Glenn Beck, Jerome Corsi, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney. [Update: Simon and Schuster has suspended publication of the book and called for stores to return it.]
So far Fox News has not had a thing to say about the story they had previously claimed was an affirmation their scandal mongering. Like everything else connected to the tragedy in Libya, Fox has failed in their relentless obsession to manufacture political outrage. Their desperation to bring down President Obama has been raging impotently for years.
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Now that the story has fallen apart and CBS has apologized and retracted it, will Fox News, and the other right-wing purveyors of dishonesty who hailed the erroneous story, show the same measure of integrity? Don’t hold your breath.
Lara Logan on CBS This Morning: