After Heaping Praise On 60 Minutes' Benghazi Report, Fox Ignores Its Implosion
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CBS News has pulled its dubious 60 Minutes report on the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi following the revelation that Dylan Davies, the segment's featured "witness," has given contradictory stories about that night's events. But Fox News, which aggressively promoted the CBS segment and used it to claim that their own Benghazi reporting had been validated, has so far ignored the story's implosion in its on-air reporting.
Fox was eager to seize on the CBS report shortly after it aired. On October 28, the morning after the 60 Minutes segment, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy told viewers, "It's great that mainstream media, finally catching up. CBS did this story on Benghazi and I see criticism from the left where they go, 'You guys are covering a phony scandal.' 60 Minutes doesn't cover phony scandals."
That evening, Special Report host Bret Baier said that the 60 Minutes report "reaffirmed what we knew and had reported on." The Real Story host Gretchen Carlson and The Five co-host Greg Gutfeld also used the CBS report to prop up their network's own Benghazi reporting.
All told, Fox spent more than 47 minutes -- spread across 13 segments on 11 separate shows -- covering the CBS report on October 28. And it didn't stop there.
After serious questions were raised about Davies' credibility, the network rallied to his defense, with Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade suggesting the administration had leaked damaging information to the press in order to "discredit a seemingly very credible witness."
Davies had even suggested that Fox News had been involved in a campaign to smear him when Fox correspondent Adam Housley reported on-air that the network stopped talking to Davies after he asked them for money. Nonetheless, Fox personalities still sought to defend his credibility. (Washington Post reporter Eric Wemple points out that during Housley's explanation that Davies had asked for money, Housley said that the network had previously used him as a source for online reports; Wemple rightly asks whether the network plans to review those reports now that Davies' credibility is shot.)
Last night, after the New York Times confirmed that Davies had provided conflicting stories about his actions the night of the terror attacks, CBS pulled the segment from its website and YouTube. This morning, CBS reporter Lara Logan apologized to CBS viewers, saying, "We were wrong. We made a mistake." Logan added that 60 Minutes planned to "correct the record on our broadcast on Sunday night."
But now that CBS has pulled the report, Fox has gone silent. As of 1:45pm, the network still has not told its viewers that the 60 Minutes report has been retracted. (While it hasn't covered the latest developments on-air, FoxNews.com has posted the CBS apology and retraction.)
UPDATE: By the end of Fox News' regular programming schedule at 11 PM EST on November 8, the network had acknowledged the fact that CBS pulled its 60 Minutes report in only one 26-second segment. On Special Report, host Bret Baier stated, "CBS is backing off a report on 60 Minutes -- we told you about last week -- that relied on a source whose credibility has crumbled."