What About Fox News? CBS Apologizes For ’60 Minutes’ Benghazi Hoax

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.”

Fox News CBS Benghazi

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.

Fox News Benghazi Tantrum
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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:

Why Won’t Glenn Beck Say Lara Logan’s Name?

In the past couple of days, Glenn Beck has latched onto a gruesome story about CBS correspondent Lara Logan. While covering protests in Egypt she was the victim of a brutal sexual assault by an unidentified mob.

The story was widely broadcast by many news outlets on TV, radio, and print. But there was only one place where it received a peculiar treatment that served to dehumanize the victim.

Glenn Beck raised the subject on his television program on Wednesday, not to empathize with Logan’s suffering, but to confirm his belief that the worst isn’t over in Egypt:

“While everyone was saying, ‘Oh listen, this is great,’ in this crowd, we found out today, that an American woman was being sexually assaulted – sexually assaulted – by 200 men in this crowd.”

And later he tried to tie Logan’s ordeal to progressives in the U.S. by insinuating that they were all responsible for the repulsive remarks of an individual in New York:

“I told you about a woman who is being raped in that crowd. On Friday, a woman who has sexual assault, an American. How is that tied to the universities? Well a fellow at NYU has stepped down now, after the sexual assault of the American in Egypt that we mentioned earlier.”

Today Beck again referred to “an American woman” who was sexually assaulted in Egypt. That was at least the fifth time that Beck referred to Lara Logan without ever mentioning her name. He would only refer to her as the American, the woman, or the American woman. He never even noted that she was a reporter working on a story, nor her position as Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for CBS News.

Beck certainly knows who Lara Logan is. He even identified her and her affiliation with CBS News on his radio program. But she was invisible on his TV show. It wasn’t enough for Beck to merely demonstrate overt disrespect for an accomplished professional journalist, he went further to deny her humanity by refusing to acknowledge her identity. This information was not private. CBS had issued a press release outlining the details of the assault. But Beck decided to wrap Logan in a metaphorical burka and ignore her suffering and the risk she took on for her work.

Why would he do this? Why would he repeatedly refer to her cryptically as “the American” when he knew her name and used it on the radio earlier the same day? Was he hesitant to give her publicity because she was on a competing network? I don’t know. I just know that it was curious and jarring to hear him struggle so mightily to hide Logan’s face from his viewers.

The Cost Of (Covering) The War

The war in Iraq has been disastrously expensive on so many levels. It distracted the nation, and the world, from the real terrorist threats still operating in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere. It demolished the international sympathy, unity, and goodwill that existed post 9/11. It prompted a legislative assault on cherished civil liberties and domestic and international law. It’s made our allies weaker and our enemies stronger, even as we become more reliant on regimes that do not have our interests at heart. And, of course, the irredeemable cost of 3,700 American troops and tens (hundreds?) of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

Now the cost of war is intruding on the cost of covering the war:

After more than four years into the war in Iraq, television news organizations have awakened to their own grim reality: They’re spending millions of dollars a year to operate in a country where security costs them thousands of dollars a day. Even with extreme security measures, photographers and correspondents are in constant danger of getting maimed and killed-even in their own bureaus.

So far the war in Iraq has claimed the lives of 112 journalists, with many more wounded and maimed. For some perspective, there were 66 journalists killed in Vietnam; 68 in World War II.

Many stateside war advocates regurgitate the Bush administration’s complaints that the media focuses too much on “trivialities” like car bombings and mass executions, while neglecting the “uplifting” tales of newly painted schoolhouses. The sad truth is that the opposite is more reflective of reality. Because of the ever-present risk, reporters are often unable to venture out of the heavily fortified safe areas where they might witness even more of the atrocities that the homefront punditry accuse them of exaggerating. But the cocktail circuit columnists are hardly knowledgeable sources when it comes to war correspondence. Can you imagine Bob Novak or Bill O’Reilly or Laura Ingraham having to articulate this workplace lament:

Lara Logan, CBS News: “When your office gets blown up it’s a reminder that you’re not immune.”

Yet, in the face of that courage, international news bureaus are having an increasingly difficult time justifying the expense of maintaining a credible presence in Iraq. It isn’t because Iraq is not regarded as the top story in the world, but because so much of the budget is earmarked for security instead of reporters, photographers, and other press support staff. Additionally, Iraq, with its special financial burdens, is depleting funds and coverage from other foreign bureaus and news events.

Despite these financial pressures, there are reporters for whom the story is paramount. They continue to fight for the resources and editorial support to produce the sort of thorough and accurate reports that our citizens, our troops, and the long-suffering people of Iraq depend upon and deserve. It’s often an uphill battle when the competition amongst the news networks is increasing while viewership and ratings are declining. But the fight must be waged and Lara Logan explains simply and eloquently why it’s still important:

“You don’t abandon the American soldiers who are on the streets of this country because people are tired of hearing about it. You don’t abandon the Iraqi people. […] Our job is to find a way through that.”

This is the kind of commitment that ought to be respected and rewarded. It does not come easily for journalists in a war zone whose lives are perpetually in danger. It makes you wonder how being dismissive of the press corps at war in Baghdad comes so easily for their colleagues at happy-hour in DC.

CBS: Let Lara Logan Do Her Job

CBS News is fortunate to have one of the most dedicated and responsible reporters in broadcast journalism. But they apparently don’t appreciate it.

Lara Logan has been posting honest and courageous reports from Baghdad since before the fall of Saddam. Her latest, though, has been shuffled off to CBS’ web site without being broadcast on the network. If you see the piece, you might understand why it was treated this way. In addition to contradicting much of the administration’s delusional assertions of success, the story is accompanied by images of the brutal reality of life on the streets of Baghdad. Now she needs our help to get this on the air.

CBS has taken it upon themselves to decide that America “can’t handle the truth.” But as Ms. Logan herself says in a letter to MediaChannel:

“…this is not too gruesome to air, but rather too important to ignore.”

The letter also called for supporters to let CBS know that they are interested in these stories and that they want them to air. Here’s the email for the CBS Evening News.

For a little more background on Lara Logan, click more.

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