Total Pageviews

Friday, November 8, 2013

Lara Logan’s On-Air Apology for Flawed Benghazi Report

CBS News correspondent Lara Logan’s on-air apology for her flawed report on the deadly attack on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.

As my colleagues Bill Carter and Michael Schmidt report, the CBS News correspondent Lara Logan apologized on Friday for her flawed “60 Minutes” report on the deadly assault on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya last year.

In an interview with her CBS colleagues â€" which was quickly transcribed by Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group that had raised questions about the report â€" Ms. Logan said that she had been “misled” by a former security contractor whose vivid account of what he said he witnessed at the compound during the attack was the centerpiece of her “60 Minutes” report.

After the report was broadcast, reporters for The Washington Post and The Times revealed that the dramatic story the contractor told Ms. Logan, and recounted in a new book published by a CBS subsidiary, contradicted previous accounts of the same night he had given to his employer and F.B.I. investigators in the days after the attack. In both of those earlier versions of events, the contractor, Dylan Davies, said that he had not witnessed the attack at all and had only seen the body of the dead ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens, in a photograph, not, as he later said, in person.

The Daily Beast obtained a copy of one of those prior accounts, a four-page incident report written in the contractor’s name, that was submitted to the State Department by his firm, The Blue Mountain Group. (Click on the icon at the lower right of the document viewer below to read it in full-screen mode.)

Until Friday, Ms. Logan had defended the report â€" suggesting that critics were continuing the bitter partisan dispute over whether the Obama administration had mischaracterized and mishandled the attack. She did, however, admit that viewers should have been made aware of the fact that the contractor, who was identified by his pen name, Morgan Jones, had been paid for the version of his story published in book form by another arm of CBS.

Late Thursday, Ms. Logan’s report was deleted from the CBS News website, but a copy of the segment has been preserved by Media Matters for America.