While nearly everyone has focused on the Dylan Davies fakery in CBS’s bogus Benghazi report, McClatchy veteran Middle East correspondent Nancy Youssef late yesterday presented a long list of other factual problems, or at least very dubious assertions, in the segment. Taken together, they further the notion that Lara Logan had an agenda and cooked, or accepted weak, evidence to make her “case.” Read the entire piece here.
“Logan’s mea culpa said nothing about other weaknesses in the report that a line-by-line review of the broadcast’s transcript shows,” Youssef reports.
This arrived as a CBS spokesman revealed that a “journalistic” review of their segment is ongoing, which is vague and may mean little. Of course, they had to “review” the segment after The Washington Post, The New York Times and Media Matters destroyed it. They are still not promising a full probe or naming an independent panel (à la Rathergate).
And there’s this good reminder in the piece:
Logan claimed that “it’s now well established that the Americans were attacked by al Qaida in a well-planned assault.” But al Qaida has never claimed responsibility for the attack, and the FBI, which is leading the U.S. investigation, has never named al Qaida as the sole perpetrator. Rather it is believed a number of groups were part of the assault, including members and supporters of al Qaida and Ansar al Shariah as well as attackers angered by a video made by an American that insulted Prophet Muhammad. The video spurred angry protests outside Cairo hours beforehand.
Still, many media writers/critics remain oddly passive, raising the chances that CBS fulfills its goal of turning the page on this scandal quickly.
And nothing peeves me more than prominent media writers/critics crediting CBS with offering a belated apology/correction, of giving them “points” for it, even if they think it didn’t go far enough. I’ve seen this time and again in the past few days.
For example, Alicia Shepard, who has done great work in the past as media writer, editor, and ombud, in a piece at Columbia Journalism Review, called Lara Logan’s apology last Friday “brave.” Last Friday, Erik Wemple at the Washington Post, wrote: “Lara Logan this morning delivered a clinic on how a media organization should correct the record on faulty reporting…. And with those words, about 10 tons of pressure drained from the Manhattan offices of ‘60 Minutes.’ ” (Really?) Tom Rosenstiel, longtime director of the American Press Institute, has called the “60 Minutes” correction highly unusual and so he deserves credit for that.