CBS and “60 Minutes” have now admitted that the show’s Oct. 27 report on the attack on an American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, was flawed.
“We made a mistake,” the show’s correspondent Lara Logan, who had presented the report, said on “CBS This Morning” on Friday. “We were wrong.”
The story had come under fire when reports contradicted the statements of its primary source, Dylan Davies (who was given the pseudonym “Morgan Jones” on the show), a British security officer who claimed he was on the scene when the mission was attacked on Sept. 11, 2012. Both an incident report made to Davies’ employers and an FBI report had Davies saying he was never there.
Davies told the show that he witnessed the attack and even physically fought off a terrorist. He also claimed he saw the body of American ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the attack, in a Libyan hospital.
Though CBS had initially said it stood by its story, on Thursday it said the report was under review.
“’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,” CBS said then.
By Friday, Logan said the show “no longer had confidence in our source, and we were wrong to put him on air. And we apologize to our viewers.”
“This Morning” host Norah O’Donnell asked Logan what the show did to vet Davies. Logan said they confirmed that he was a security officer and in Benghazi at the time of the attack, and many of the details of his account were verified by other sources, including congressional testimony. But they took Davies’ word for it that he told the FBI the same thing he was telling them.
When it was revealed on Thursday that Davies told the FBI he wasn’t at the mission, “60 Minutes” realized it hadn’t done enough. Sunday’s episode, Logan said, will feature an apology to viewers and “we will correct the record.”
Davies also wrote a book with his disputed account of the Benghazi attack called “The Embassy House,” which went on sale two days after the “60 Minutes” broadcast. Its publisher, Simon and Schuster, is owned by CBS.
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