The Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! conspiracy theory falls apart

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

I have been following this story for the past couple of weeks, and today the Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! conspiracy theory fell apart. CBS News, which has gone to hell in a handbasket ever since Scott Pelley took over the anchor desk, in my opinion, will have Lara Logan apologize on 60 Minutes for the sensationalist Benghazi report that had the conservative media entertainment complex all in a lather.

Steve Benen reports, CBS backs off unraveling Benghazi tale:

It’s been nearly two weeks since CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired a
report that caused considerable excitement from Benghazi conspiracy
theorists. Though much of the report, a full year in the making, covered
familiar ground, the segment also highlighted an alleged witness to the
attack, who said he scaled a 12-foot wall, beat an al Qaeda fighter
with the butt of his rifle, and personally saw Ambassador Chris Stevens’
body.

The man’s name is Dylan Davies – he used a pseudonym on “60
Minutes” for no apparent reason – and he has a book coming out about his
Benghazi experience, published by a CBS-owned company that releases far-right books from conservative personalities.

Almost immediately, Davies’ story started to unravel – he’d previously told his employers he was nowhere near the U.S. consulate during the attack. Making matters worse, Davies told the FBI the opposite of what he’d told “60 Minutes.” By
earlier this week, the defense was that Davies lied before, but the
public should neverthless believe his dramatic tale that makes him look
like a hero.

The CBS reporters involved with the story continued to defend it anyway, brushing off broad criticism
as politically motivated, and insisting that their segment was
accurate. On last week’s edition of “60 Minutes,” the show featured
feedback from viewers who cheered the segment, but made no mention of
the burgeoning controversy.

That posture collapsed last night. The CBS program said about
12 hours ago that it had “learned of new information that undercuts the
account” from their alleged witness. Soon after, “60 Minutes” pulled
the segment from its website.

And this morning, CBS’s Lara Logan appeared on air
to say, “We will apologize to our viewers and we will correct the
record on our broadcast on Sunday night…. The truth is that we made a
mistake.”

It’s worth noting that the “60 Minutes” error was
consequential: its report add fuel to conspiracy theorists’ fire for no
reason, and led Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to start blocking all
administrative nominees awaiting Senate confirmation votes.

If recent history is any guide, far-right activists and
lawmakers will be unfazed by the unraveling of the CBS report, and will
continue to argue that their debunked, wild-eyed allegations are true.

[See Fox Ignores Implosion Of 60 Minutes Report.]

The news media has spent much of the past week critical of Sen. Rand Paul for his multiple transgressions of plagiarism. But what is the penalty for news reporters who report misleading or false information and are forced to make a retraction? Should the reporters and producers on this story be fired for their lack of diligence and professionalism?* Or do they all go to work for FAUX News?

Media Matters has posted numerous reports on CBS' 60 Minutes report unraveling, and even has an E-book on Amazon.com: The Benghazi Hoax eBook: by David Brock and Ari Rabin.

In Tucson, our local CBS network KOLD 13 still does editorial opinions. Here's one I will be watching for. Will Local Media Correct The Record In Light Of CBS' Benghazi Collapse?

*UPDATE: Remember when CBS fired its long-time reporter Dan Rather and CBS News producer Mary Mapes, and several senior news executives were asked to resign over a 60 Minutes report on George W. Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard? Killian documents controversy aka "Memogate," or as the wingnuts called it, "Rathergate." Like that . . . someone needs to be fired.

UPDATE: Kevin Drum at Mother Jones makes this point as well. Lara Logan Admits Her Benghazi Report Was a Mistake:

I don't know what's going on here, but it was clear from the moment the segment aired that Logan was heavily invested in a Benghazi narrative of some kind.
I'm not even sure what it is, but Davies was an iffy source from the
start, and the other two folks she interviewed were well-known Benghazi
critics who had told their stories many times before. They had nothing
new or very interesting to say, and there were lots of reasons to be
skeptical about their accounts. But Logan never mentioned any of that.
She just offered them up as unimpeachable sources.

Something isn't right here. This wasn't a deeply reported segment
that took a year to prepare. Nor was it the product of a neutral
reporter. CBS needs to investigate what happened, and they need to do it
with the same thoroughness that they investigated Dan Rather and Mary
Mapes five years ago
when they got snookered on the George Bush National
Guard story that they obviously wanted to believe just a little bit too
badly. Something like that seems to have happened here too.

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