“As Big A Mistake As There Has Been” In 60 Minutes History

The chairman of CBS News confessed to The New York Times that 60 Minutes' bogus Benghazi report is “as big a mistake as there has been” in the program's history.

Chairman Jeff Fager, who also serves as the executive producer of 60 Minutes, spoke to the Times following the network's decision to pull its October 27 report on the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi from CBS' website and YouTube. The report was heavily criticized by veteran journalists and media critics after The Washington Post reported that 60 Minutes' purported eyewitness to the attacks, Dylan Davies, had given contradictory statements to CBS and his employer regarding his whereabouts on that night.

CBS originally stood by its story, but ultimately pulled it after the Times revealed that Davies gave a different account of the attacks to the FBI that did not match the story he'd given CBS.

On November 8, Fager told the Times that 60 Minutes would be issuing an on-air correction, adding that the debacle is “a black eye” to the network. The paper reported:

As it prepared to broadcast a rare on-air correction Sunday for a now-discredited “60 Minutes” report, CBS News acknowledged on Friday that it had suffered a damaging blow to its credibility. Its top executive called the segment “as big a mistake as there has been” in the 45-year-old history of the celebrated news program.


“It's a black eye and it's painful,” Mr. Fager said in a phone interview. He declined to say whether there would be negative consequences for any of the journalists involved.

Fager's remarks come the same day that 60 Minutes' reporter Lara Logan issued an apology for the story, saying “we were wrong. We made a mistake.”

One question remains unanswered: Why did CBS not adequately vet Davies or his claims prior to airing the report? 

The network's irresponsible reporting quickly became fodder for the Benghazi-obsessed conservative media, aiding and abetting the right-wing's Benghazi hoax.