Journalists and media watchdog groups think Lara Logan’s 90-second “correction” for an erroneous report about last year’s attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was an insufficient apology.
The correspondent for CBS’ 60 Minutes said on Sunday night near the end of the show’s broadcast that “we realized we had been misled… For that, we are very sorry.”
The apology came following an Oct. 27 report featuring security officer Dylan Davies. Davies gave an eyewitness account, claiming he was at the embassy as the attack –which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, ensued. He said he fought off a militant with the “butt end of a rifle,” scaled a wall and even saw Stevens’ dead body.
But according to an official report, allegedly written by Davies, he was not actually present during the attack. Davies has denied writing the report.
Logan, who first apologized on Friday’s CBS This Morning said during Sunday’s program: “We realized we had been misled, and it was a mistake to include him in our report. For that, we are very sorry. The most important thing to every person at 60 Minutes is the truth, and the truth is we made a mistake.”
Critics pounced, saying the prestigious investigative news program was skirting important issues like how the reporting errors came about, what action as being taken against those involved in the report (including Logan), and what was being done to prevent such false reports from ever happening again.
Media Matters accused the network of “ducking” those questions. Founder of the progressive media watchdog group, David Brock said Logan’s apology was “wholly inadequate and entirely self-serving,” adding that the network “must come clean by appointing an independent commission to determine exactly how and why it fell prey so easily an obvious hoax.”
Richard Tofel, the president of investigative media organization ProPublica, tweeted “60 Minutes did not apologize for initial reaffirmation of story—or even mention conflict with its own publishing imprint. Disappointing.”
Jay Rosen, a media critic and professor of journalism at New York University called Lara’s remarks a “minimalist correction and apology… The very least they could admit to.”
And editor and publisher of Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall, called the correction “bogus.” He said, “In a narrow sense, Lara Logan did say she was ‘sorry,’ But the entire 90 seconds was aimed at obfuscating what happened.” He added that any viewer watching the apology for the first time would be misled into thinking Davies was just one part of a bigger story.
“This gets to the core issue. 60 Minutes allowed a complete charlatan top billing on their show. He wasn’t part of a segment. He was the segment,” said Marshall.
After the 60 Minutes report aired, leading GOPers seized on it. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina even announced he would block all nominations by the Obama administration until his questions on Benghazi were answered.