Friday, November 08, 2013

'60 Minutes' Says It Is 'Reviewing' Benghazi Piece After New Reports Contradict Key Witness Story

From HuffPo:

In the possible first sign of a major climbdown, "60 Minutes" announced Thursday night that it is "reviewing" its controversial report on the Benghazi attacks after finding further evidence that one of its main sources changed his account of events repeatedly.

The CBS program came under repeated criticism after it was revealed that the source—a security officer named Dylan Davies who provided correspondent Lara Logan with an eye-popping, made-for-TV account of the tragic events in Benghazi—had previously lied about his whereabouts on the night of the attack, throwing into question whether the story he told to "60 Minutes" could be trusted.

More here

I gave up on 60 Minutes around the time CBS fired Dan Rather for the so-called "Memogate" scandal.  I mean, for many years I used to think the show was just about as good as it gets with broadcast journalism, lots of good investigation, a willingness to take on corporations and entrenched power, essentially what TV news ought to be but usually isn't.  Firing Rather, however, made me realize what kind of an organization CBS is.  Okay, I already knew that they're a big business media company, with all the biases that come with the territory, but the Rather report on President Bush's AWOL status with the National Guard back in the early 70s was absolutely correct, and the bizarre but, in the end, extraordinarily effective Breitbart style of right-wing blogger smear campaign was so obviously a stunt that CBS backing down just left such a bad taste in my mouth that it's still there years later.

So the show's been off my radar for a long time.  60 Minutes sucks.

Flash forward to Monday of last week.  A lot of my conservative friends triumphantly posted links on facebook to this 60 Minutes Benghazi piece supposedly resurrecting the "scandal" that the right just never could seem to get going.  You know, because Benghazi WASN'T a scandal.  A tragedy, yes.  A massive screw up, for sure.  But a weird scandal with some sort of hidden truth that would make Obama look horrible all being hushed up by the White House for political reasons?  No, it was never that, and it never became that no matter how hard the conservatives tried.  I mean, you can't squeeze blood from a stone, no matter how tight your grip.  But here was this new story on 60 Minutes.

So I was, like, well, I guess I'd better check that out.  Maybe I was wrong.  Maybe the conservatives have got something here.  But before I could even watch the video, I was seeing articles elsewhere asserting that the central guy being interviewed, who claimed to be at the attack, scaling a sixty foot wall, and knocking an Al Qaeda guy around with his rifle butt, had already proclaimed in a written report that he was nowhere near the place at the time.  Of course, that doesn't make him wrong, but it does mean that he's given two wildly different accounts of the event, which means they both can't be right, and that he's a liar one way or the other.  So there's a problem right there.

So much of a problem, in fact, that 60 Minutes, which, at first, defended the report, has now pulled the video from its website.  Again, it is important to state that this dude may very well be telling the truth, and that the conservatives will be able to finally get their scandal on.  But, at the moment, it's not looking too terribly good as far as that goes.  I guess we'll soon find out.

In any case, 60 Minutes still sucks.