CBS announced on Tuesday that Lara Logan, the “60 Minutes”
correspondent behind the network’s botched Benghazi story, is taking a leave of absence at the network’s request, along with
producer Max McClellan.
That was the headline out of a damning internal report into the discredited segment, which was obtained by The Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone, and Variety‘s Brian Steinberg, among others.
“As Executive Producer, I am responsible for what gets on the air. I pride myself in catching almost everything, but this deception got through and it shouldn’t have,” said Jeff Fager, CBS chairman and “60 Minutes” executive producer, in a memo to staff.
Logan issued a correction and apology earlier this month for what was a bombshell report on the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. Logan and the network had admitted two days earlier that they had been misled by Dylan Davies, a security contractor whose account of events the night of the attack have now been discredited.
Al Ortiz, an executive producer for special events at CBS News, released the findings of a journalistic review of the segment that found it was “deficient” in several areas. Ortiz said that the report went to air without “60 Minutes” knowing how Davies’ account to the network of the night of the attack differed from the account he had given the FBI and his employer, Blue Mountain, the Britain-based contractor hired by the State Department to secure the perimeter at the compound.
“The fact that the FBI and the State Department had information that differed from the account Davies gave to 60 Minutes was knowable before the piece aired,” Ortiz wrote.
“But the wider reporting resources of CBS News were not employed in an effort to confirm his account. It’s possible that reporters and producers with better access to inside FBI sources could have found out that Davies had given varying and conflicting accounts of his story.”
Read the full memos here.
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