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Thread: From "Proud" To Pulled: A Timeline Of 60 Minutes' Benghazi Trainwreck

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    Senior Member DiabloViejo's Avatar
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    Exclamation From "Proud" To Pulled: A Timeline Of 60 Minutes' Benghazi Trainwreck

    Right wing heads are exploding. :

    From "Proud" To Pulled: A Timeline Of 60 Minutes' Benghazi Trainwreck (Part I)

    November 8, 2013
    Media Matters for America

    Last month, CBS' flagship news program 60 Minutes aired a segment on the 2012 terror attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. The report was quickly seized on by conservative media outlets and Republican lawmakers for supposedly having validated their 14 month-long quest to turn Benghazi into a Watergate-level political scandal for the Obama administration.

    12 days later, 60 Minutes has pulled the report, apologized to viewers, and announced plans to correct the record during the next broadcast on Sunday.

    Here's what happened.

    October 27: 60 Minutes Report Airs

    60 Minutes' Benghazi report aired the night of October 27. The segment featured the supposed "eyewitness" account of the attacks from British security contractor Dylan Davies, who appeared on the show under the pseudonym "Morgan Jones."

    Davies' tale included him scaling a 12 foot wall on the side of the diplomatic compound and dispatching a terrorist with his rifle butt. He also told viewers about how he had supposedly seen Ambassador Chris Stevens' dead body in a local hospital.

    In addition to Davies' story, the 60 Minutes report also rehashed old myths about Benghazi, including invoking the "lingering question" about why no U.S. military forces from outside the country were able to help the embattled diplomatic facilities the night of the attacks. (This was answered long ago.)

    The night it aired, conservatives took to Twitter to praise CBS. Fox News contributor Monica Crowley lauded the network for joining Fox News "among the very, very few reporting on this grave & outrageous scandal." Fellow Fox News contributor Jonah Goldberg also connected CBS' work to Fox's reporting on Benghazi, tweeting "This 60 Minutes #benghazi piece corroborates pretty much everything #foxnews has reported so far."

    October 28-30: Conservative Media And Republican Lawmakers Laud CBS

    The morning after the 60 Minutes report aired, Fox News hit the ground running promoting it. Over the course of Monday, October 28, Fox would devote more than 13 segments over 11 different shows to the CBS report, totaling more than 47 minutes of coverage.

    Much of Fox's coverage was self-congratulatory, claiming the CBS report had corroborated their network's coverage of Benghazi. Bret Baier, host of Fox's flagship news show Special Report, told viewers that "[l]ast night, one of journalism's heavy hitters reaffirmed what we knew and had reported on." Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy praised CBS for "finally catching up" to conservative media on the story and proclaimed, "60 Minutes doesn't cover phony scandals." The network also predictably used the 60 Minutes story to revive its smear campaign against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over Benghazi.

    Of course, Fox wasn't the only conservative outlet to run with the 60 Minutes segment. It was picked up by, among others, The 700 Club,, Glenn Beck's The Blaze, and many other conservative blogs.

    Following the CBS report, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham appeared on Fox News and announced that he planned to hold up all presidential nominations until Benghazi witnesses are made available for questioning by Congress. Graham also used an appearance on CNN to proclaim that the CBS report proved the administration's account of the Benghazi attacks "doesn't have an ounce of truth in it."

    Republican Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf released a statement using the CBS report as evidence that Congress needs to form a special congressional committee to investigate Benghazi.

    Other Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, also promoted the CBS report.

    Amid all this praise by conservative media and Republican lawmakers, Davies' book The Embassy House, which featured his dramatic story, was released on October 29.

    But nestled among the fulsome praise of the 60 Minutes segment by Fox News, conservative media, and Republican lawmakers was a major warning sign: On the 28th, Fox correspondent Adam Housley reported on-air that the network had previously spoken with Davies about Benghazi several times, but "stopped speaking to him when he asked for money."

    October 31-November 1: Washington Post Reveals Major Flaw In Davies' Story

    The night of October 31, The Washington Post reported that Davies' account in his book and on CBS differed greatly from an incident report he had filed with his security contractor employer, Blue Mountain, three days after the attack.

    According to the Post, the incident report stated that Davies "could not get anywhere near" the compound the night of the attack, and that he found out about Ambassador Stevens' death not by finding him in a local hospital, but from a Libyan colleague.

    In a statement to the Post, CBS gave the first hint of the intransigence that would mark their response to the implosion of the 60 Minutes report, telling the paper that the network "stand[s] firmly by the story we broadcast last Sunday."

    But outside of CBS, criticism of the 60 Minutes report was growing. In interviews with Media Matters, several journalism veterans and media ethicists questioned the "serious problem" with the CBS report.

    On November 1, Media Matters founder and chairman David Brock, citing the dubious nature of Davies' accounts of the night of the attacks, called on CBS to retract its story and form an independent investigative committee to "probe all aspects of how the story was reported."
    “Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

    If there is a dangerous forum ... that's the one. -- LWW (referring to BD NPR)

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    Senior Member DiabloViejo's Avatar
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    Part II

    November 2-6: CBS And Davies Dig In

    In a November 2 interview with Daily Beast writers Eli Lake and Josh Rogin, Davies painted himself as "just a little man against some big people here." According to Lake and Rogin, Davies "believed there was a coordinated campaign to smear him," and asserted that the account he gave to the FBI and the State Department following the attacks comported with what he wrote in his book and told 60 Minutes. Davies claimed he had not written the incident report that threw his story into question and that he had lied to his boss to cover up the fact that he had disobeyed orders.

    On November 5, CBS "aggressively defended" its reporting again in comments to The New York Times. Though Lara Logan conceded that 60 Minutes should have disclosed that Davies' book was being published by CBS-owned Simon & Schuster, according to the Times, she "attributed the critical response to the report to the intense political warfare that has surrounded the episode."

    The Times report also included a statement from Davies via Threshold Editions, the Simon & Schuster imprint that released the book, claiming: "The account in my book is consistent with what I gave to the F.B.I. and U.S. authorities about what happened in Benghazi."

    The same day, Media Matters interviewed Louis Boccardi, the former Associated Press CEO and president who was in charge of investigating a problematic 2004 60 Minutes story on George W. Bush's National Guard service. According to Boccardi, one of the main lessons of his investigations was to quickly get to the bottom of stories like this and "get the facts -- and get them quickly -- and put 'em out."

    On November 6, 60 Minutes executive producer and CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager told The Huffington Post's Michael Calderone that he's "proud" of the 60 Minutes report and " 'confident' the sources appearing on the Oct. 27 broadcast 'told accurate versions of what happened that night.' " Fager also gave the same statement to CNN.

    CNN raised questions about CBS' reporting. Wolf Blitzer said there were "serious concerns" about the report and chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto said there were "still some questions, certainly, to be answered here."

    November 7-8: CBS Defense Collapses, Network Admits Mistake In Putting Davies On Air

    CBS' defense of its report finally completely collapsed on the evening of November 7.

    The New York Times reported that Davies "gave the F.B.I. an account of the night that terrorists attacked the mission on Sept. 11, 2012 that contradicts a version of events he provided in a recently published book and in an interview" with 60 Minutes.

    CBS told the Times that it was "surprised to hear about this, and if it shows we've been misled, we will make a correction." It also posted a statement on its website reading: "60 Minutes has learned of new information that undercuts the account told to us by Morgan Jones of his actions on the night of the attack on the Benghazi compound. We are currently looking into this serious matter to determine if he misled us, and if so, we will make a correction."

    60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager said in a November 8 statement to The Daily Beast: "CBS news confirmed with our own sources at the FBI that the story he told the FBI was not in agreement with what we were told."

    CBS pulled the report from its website and YouTube channel that night. Simon & Schuster also released a statement saying that it plans to review the book and take "appropriate action" regarding its publication status.

    CBS issued an apology on the November 8 edition of CBS This Morning. Lara Logan said: "We were wrong. We made a mistake." She added of Dylan Davies: "We were wrong to put him on air, and we apologize to our viewers." Logan added 60 Minutes "will correct the record on our broadcast on Sunday night."
    “Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

    If there is a dangerous forum ... that's the one. -- LWW (referring to BD NPR)

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