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WDKX.com » Blog » '60 Minutes' Reviewing Benghazi Story Over Witness' Conflicting Accounts
Nov 8th 2013 6:15 am
'60 Minutes' Reviewing Benghazi Story Over Witness' Conflicting Accounts
by news


NEW YORK -- CBS' "60 Minutes" announced Thursday night that it's reviewing a controversial Oct. 27 report on the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, to determine if its eyewitness, security officer Dylan Davies, "misled" the network. "60 Minutes" said it had "learned of new information that undercuts" the harrowing account given on air.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Davies previously told the FBI that he was not at the U.S. compound on the night of Sept. 11, 2012 -- an account that directly contradicts his "eyewitness" statements on air.

The Huffington Post confirmed through a U.S. official that Davies told the FBI he didn't witness events on the ground the night four Americans were killed in a terrorist attack. This marks the second time that Davies' televised account has conflicted with his previous statements.

Davies recently gave a dramatic account of events to "60 Minutes" and in a memoir published under a pseudonym two days later. Davies told CBS News correspondent Lara Logan that he reached the U.S. compound while under attack, scaled a 12-foot wall, knocked a terrorist to the ground with his rifle and saw U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens dead in the hospital.

"60 Minutes'" decision to review the story comes after network executives dodged serious questions for a week about Davies' credibility, who used the pseudonym Morgan Jones on air and in his book, The Embassy House. (Simon & Schuster, a CBS subsidiary, published the book and is reportedly now reviewing it.)

On Oct. 31, The Washington Post revealed that Davies told his superior at security firm Blue Mountain Group on Sept. 14, 2012, that he couldn't reach the compound because of roadblocks, returned home, and did not see Stevens in the hospital.

But two days after the Post's report, Davies told The Daily Beast he had lied to his employer because he was told not to head to the compound. However, Davies insisted he had since told the truth on "60 Minutes" and in his memoir. Davies also said that he told the FBI the same story as he told "60 Minutes," which is not the case.

"60 Minutes" spokesman Kevin Tedesco ignored requests for comment from The Huffington Post about Davies' conflicting accounts on Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday, CBS News chairman and "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager defended the story, while sidestepping questions about the conflicting accounts.

"We are proud of the reporting that went into the story and have confidence that our sources, including those who appeared on '60 Minutes,' told accurate versions of what happened that night," Fager said in a statement to The Huffington Post.

Still, neither Fager nor any CBS News executive would say why the network still trusted Davies or would offer evidence to support Davies' second version of events. Logan brushed off criticism to The New York Times on Tuesday night, suggesting that those questioning the "60 Minutes" story were motivated by politics.

While progressive watchdog Media Matters aggressively questioned the "60 Minutes" report, a Fox News correspondent also raised doubts about Davies by saying on air that the security officer had asked him for money.

But with Thursday's revelation that Davies´┐Ż had said on two separate occasions that he didn't reach the compound -- to his employer and to the FBI -- the network announced it was reviewing the story.

"'60 Minutes' has learned of new information that undercuts the account told to us by Morgan Jones of his actions on the night of the attack on the Benghazi compound," a statement read. "We are currently looking into this serious matter to determine if he misled us, and if so, we will make a correction."

The latest "60 Minutes" controversy is reminiscent of the time in September 2004 when the network came under fire for Dan Rather's report for "60 Minutes Wednesday" on President George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. The authenticity of the documents on which Rather relied was challenged and the report was later discredited.

In response, CBS appointed an independent panel to investigate. In the end, several journalists were fired, the network apologized, and Rather lost the program and later left the network.

CBS News launched a blog, "Public Eye," the following September to bring "transparency to the editorial operations." But the blog, which served as a means of putting questions to network news executives, was shut down in early 2008.

Source:Huffington Post