It Was a Fuckup, Henry

60 Minutes rushes to respond to one kind of critic and not another?

On October 27, 60 Minutesfeatured a supposed “eyewitness” of the September 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities; one who claimed that during the attack he heroically scaled a wall of the U.S. compound, knocked out a terrorist with his rifle butt, and later traveled across town to the Benghazi hospital to see Ambassador Chris Stevens’ dead body.

The story Dylan Davies told CBS though, was wildly different than the far more subdued account he gave his superiors, according to an incident report that wasobtained by TheWashington Post. According to thePost, Davies had previously filed a report with his security contractor employer saying that he “could not get anywhere near” the compound the night of the attack.

Davies now claimshe lied to his employer because he didn’t want his boss to know he’d disobeyed strict orders that night to stay away from the Benghazi compound. While acknowledging that deceit, Davies claims he was telling the truth on60 Minutes.

But how are viewers to know? And why weren’t they made aware of the contradictory version of events that the witness has given about Benghazi? Was CBS aware of the flagrant contradiction and didn’t tell viewers? And if CBSwasn’taware, what does that say about the brand of journalism its reporters practice considering60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan and her producerbragged that the Benghazi story was a year in the making and involved “dozens and dozens and dozens” of interviews?

Quite simply, how is it possible to spend a year checking out a story only to have it completely implode within five days of airing on CBS?

Keep in mind that on Fox News, reporter Adam Housleyclaimed that Davies asked for money in exchange for an interview. (Davies has since denied that claim.)Foreign Policyreported that Davies’ memoir is being published by Threshold Editions, a conservative imprint of Simon & Schuster, which is a part of CBS Corporation, which owns60 Minutes. Yet that fact was not disclosed in the60 Minutesstory. Nor was the fact that the rights to Davies’ book have already been sold to a Hollywood producer.

All in all, the60 Minutes report can now be accurately described as a train wreck.

I might go as far as “car wreck” at this point, given that “dude with a major axe to grind” is not your best choice for poster boy. It is notable, however, that the howling of conservatives provoked an immediate need to roll over and play dead:

Incredibly, it was later discovered that CBS officials were so spooked by the conservative attacks on the network in 2004, that when it came to assembling its “independent” panel the network did the following:

*Included Rush Limbaugh, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and Matt Drudge on a list of possible review panel candidates.

*Conceded the list of panel candidates tilted towards the right in order to “open itself up to its harshest conservative critics and to ensure that the Panel’s findings would be found credible.”

*Reached out to “GOP folks” prior to assembling its “independent” panel and took their temperature on who should oversee the work.

Their objections are always worth listening to in the name of balance and “objectivity” whereas the hippies are never, ever, ever right about anything and even if they are, couldn’t they dress better anyway? Get that guy to cover up his Che t-shirt?


5 thoughts on “It Was a Fuckup, Henry

  1. And to think that in 1962 CBS gave Rachel Carson a 1 hour special so she could talk about Silent Spring.

  2. From the guys self-reported action, it sounds as if he forgot to add that he has super x-ray vision and can fly.

  3. Pertinent questions, each and every one of them. Well, maybe not the one about the Che t-shirt, but all the rest of them are excellent questions that have nothing to do with self-appointed and self-annointed experts on kerning and typefaces. This is basic, Journalism 101 stuff about asking questions, resolving discrepancies, and seeking independent confirmation.
    It once again raises the question of just what does a conservative journalist have to do to torch his or her credibility? For a liberal journalist like Phil Donahue, all it takes is having the highest-rated show on a cable channel while pushing the wrong line in advance of an illegal invasion.

  4. Apparently, no one at 60 Minutes bothered to watch this past season of “The Newsroom”.

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