Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

November 18, 2013

LYONS: CBS still has some explaining to do

(Continued)

Nothing about the way CBS handled the ensuing controversy gave confidence. After boasting that its report raising “lingering questions” about Benghazi was the result of a year’s reporting and over 100 interviews, the network stonewalled as obvious flaws in its reporting began to appear.

Within three days of the “60 Minutes” broadcast, the Washington Post’s Karen DeYoung learned that Davies had submitted a written incident report to Blue Mountain, his British-owned employers — a version in which nothing he told Logan he’d seen and done at the U.S. compound that night could possibly be true, because he’d never actually gone there.

“Immediately,” wrote Jay Rosen at Pressthink.org, “the CBS report is in deep trouble. And anyone with a clear mind can see that. Except the people at CBS. When your key source tells two different stories, something is seriously amiss.”

Instead, a CBS spokesman announced, “We stand firmly by the story we broadcast last Sunday.”

Translation: “We’re ‘60 Minutes,’ and you’re not.”

Two days later, Davies gave The Daily Beast an interview claiming he’d neither written nor seen the incident report with his name on it, although he admitted lying to his bosses because “he did not want his supervisor to know he had disobeyed his orders to stay at his villa” that night.

So CBS’s source now says he’s told two different stories. Did Logan and her producers know that? If so, shouldn’t “60 Minutes” have explained that to begin with? If not, exactly what did a year’s reporting consist of?

Well, you can see where this is going. In a classic conman’s bluff, Davies also told The Daily Beast that he’d told State Department and FBI investigators exactly what he’d told “60 Minutes.”

Meanwhile, mum remained the word at CBS. They stood by their story. Period. Mystifyingly, Logan assured The New York Times that, “If you read the book, you would know he never had two stories. He only had one story.”

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