UPDATE, 6:20 AM: “We were wrong,” 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan said on CBS This Morning about the newsmagazine’s report on the Benghazi attack in 2012 that was based on an interview with Dylan Davies, who had worked for the State Department in Libya. “We apologize to our viewers,” she added. The apology comes at the end of a week in which press reports called into question the truth of Davies’ claims in the interview — and a book, published by CBS. That includes new details of an interview Davies did with the FBI after the attack, of which Logan said CBS News was aware but had not seen when it broadcast its segment. Logan said Davies had insisted the FBI interview would corroborate his interview with the newsmag; this week CBS News learned it did not, Logan said. Taking a page from the Crisis Management Handbook, reps for the news division advised reporters the brouhaha was politically motivated earlier in the week. Then, late last night, CBS News issued a statement that it was looking into the new information. The admission of error and apology came 12 hours after that. “We were misled,” Logan told Norah O’Donnell and Jeff Glor. 60 Minutes will apologize on-air this Sunday and set the record straight, she said. Between now and then expect much media ruminating about that other botched 60 Minutes report, on George W. Bush’s National Guard service, helmed by Dan Rather in 2004, and whether this new embarrassment will cost anyone at the news division their jobs.
Here’s the video, followed by the transcript:
Here’s the transcript:
NORAH O’DONNELL: “60 MINUTES” has learned of new information that undercuts its October 27th account of an ex-security officer who called himself Morgan Jones. His real name is Dylan Davies, and he recounted to Lara Logan, in great detail, what he claimed were his actions on the night of the attack on the Benghazi compound. Lara joins us this morning. Lara, good morning. What can you tell us?
LARA LOGAN: The most important thing to every person at “60 MINUTES” is the truth, and today the truth is that we made a mistake. That’s very disappointing for any journalist. It’s very disappointing for me. Nobody likes to admit that they made a mistake, but if you do, you have to stand up and take responsibility and you have to say that you were wrong. And in this case, we were wrong. We made a mistake. And how did this happen? Well, Dylan Davies worked for the State Department in Libya, was the manager of the local guard force at the Benghazi Special Mission compound. He described for us his actions the night of the attack, saying he had entered the compound and had a confrontation with one of the attackers, and that he had seen the body of Ambassador Chris Stevens in a local hospital. And after our report aired, questions were raised about whether his account was real, after an incident report surfaced that told a different story about what he’d done that night. He denied that report and said that he told the FBI the same story he told us. But what we now know is that he told the FBI a different story from what he told us. That’s when we realized that we no longer had confidence in our source, and that we were wrong to put him on air, and we apologize to our viewers. (more…)