CBS News is defending the accuracy of a "60 Minutes" report after the piece was attacked in the media. Writing in The New York Times, Bill Carter notes that the Oct. 27 report about last year’s Benghazi attacks drew fire from outlets including The Washington Post and the website for the watchdog group Media Matters.
Carter notes that correspondent Lara Logan admits the broadcast made one disclosure error. Logan said the report should have disclosed that a book written by the interview subject is published by a business owned by CBS, the story says.
Carter writes: "The ’60 Minutes’ report centered on an account from Dylan Davies, a security contractor who said he was at the site in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, the night of the attack. He appeared on camera with Ms. Logan under the pseudonym Morgan Jones and described having an active role during the fighting that took place."
Following the broadcast, The Post and Media Matters cited an incident report attributed to Davies that varied from what he told "60 Minutes," the story says.
But Davies later told The Daily Beast that he had not written the report. "He also said he had lied to a superior about his part in the action on the night of the attack because he had been ordered not to go to the scene," Carter writes.
The result is "further partisan sniping, with Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, citing the CBS account as evidence that the Obama administration was withholding facts about the attack," the story adds.
Logan said she spent a year investigating the attacks for the TV program. She "attributed the critical response to the report to the intense political warfare that has surrounded the episode," Carter writes.
“We worked on this for a year. We killed ourselves not to allow politics into this report,” Logan told The Times.
"Ms. Logan said ‘The Embassy House,’ the book written under the Morgan Jones pseudonym, along with Damian Lewis, presents a version of events consistent with what was reported on the television program," the story reports, quoting Logan saying: “If you read the book, you would know he never had two stories. He only had one story."
CBS News Chairman Jeffrey Fager, who executive produces “60 Minutes,” said Tuesday that "he regretted not making the connection between Mr. Davies and CBS public," the piece adds.
Added Logan: “Honestly, it never factored into the story. It was a mistake; we should have done it, precisely because there’s nothing to hide. It was an oversight.”