UPDATE: 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 they went ahead with their report, without seemingly tough vetting, after that.
Here’s a write-up on tonight’s “apology” by Lara Logan, which last all of ninety seconds and added nothing to their earlier statements. Now they are “very sorry” but she calls it simply “a mistake.” Pathetic. Clearly they will try to tough it out and not even do a major probe, so it’s up to other journalists to push them. See other important updates today at the bottom of my piece below. And go to my Pressing Issues blog for reactions by other media writers to tonight’s stonewalling, and other updates.
Earlier: Tonight’s the night 60 Minutes promises to come clean(er) about its bogus Benghazi report two weeks back. After stonewalling for so long, claiming that their source only told “one story,” and suggesting critics were mere “partisans,” CBS pulled the segment from its site and Lara Logan and the gang offered a hasty “apology” Friday morning—but only after The New York Times blew their “source” out of the water.
Jay Rosen in an important post last night offered his own assessment on what 60 Minutes should and must say tonight, including apologizing for that length of time it took for it to admit its source—the clearly duplicitous contractor Davies a k a Jones—had told two stories and needed to be probed.
But Rosen goes further in calling for a full probe of the incident, perhaps on the scale of the CBS investigation of Dan Rather and Mary Mapes in the Bush National Guard fiasco. I certainly agree, but CBS chiefs have given no indication that they are considering this, and have not—as I have advised—suspended Lara Logan and her producer in the meantime.
Rosen, as I have done previously, also raises the issue of the story’s link to Mary Matalin’s right-wing imprint at Simon & Schuster, which just pulled the book co-authored by the same “source.” Did the whole segment come from that Matalin valley of wackiness? If so, you might say 60 Minutes got “Breitbarted.” Or as the saying goes, if you lie down with dogs, don’t complain if you get fleas.
But here’s another angle that’s gotten little attention so far, and I’ll do more on it later: Few seem to realize that a former Fox News exec became the head of the CBS News in February 2011. He is David Rhodes. His bio at CBS declares:
He directs network newsgathering for all CBS News platforms including television, CBSNews.com, and CBS News Radio.