Lara Logan Apologizes For '60 Minutes' Benghazi Report on 'CBS This Morning' (Video)
Lara Logan apologized for an erroneous 60 Minutes report about the events at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.
“We made a mistake,” she said on CBS This Morning Friday. “Nobody likes to admit that they made a mistake, but if you do, you have to stand up and take responsibility and you have to say that you were wrong,” she continued. “And, in this case, we were wrong.”
Logan anchored the report that led the 60 Minutes broadcast on Oct. 27 and relied heavily on an interview with security contractor Dylan Davies whose credibility has since been seriously undermined by conflicting reports about his whereabouts on the night of the attack.
Davies told Logan he went to the U.S. mission that night and saw the body of Christopher Stevens at the hospital; it is the same account he gives in a book, co-written under the pseudonym Morgan Jones and set to be published by an imprint of Simon & Schuster. (The publisher now says it is reviewing the book, The Embassy House by "Morgan Jones" and Damien Lewis, although it is still available for purchase on the Simon & Schuster website.) Logan and CBS News chairman and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager publicly defended the piece after the revelation earlier this week of an incident report written by Davies that contradicted the claims he made on 60 Minutes.
"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 released on Nov. 7.
Davies said he lied in the incident report because he was ordered by his superiors not to go to the mission the night of the attack. Logan said she was unaware of the incident report -- from Blue Mountain security, the British security contractor that employed Davies. But she said the report did not initially raise red flags because “that was always part of his story,” she said on CBS This Morning. “He was very upfront about that from the beginning.”
The tipping point came last night when The New York Times, citing two FBI sources, revealed that Davies had given the FBI an account that also contradicted his statements to 60 Minutes and in his book. The book was featured on the broadcast, but the connection to CBS was not brought to light, a point Fager said he regretted. Logan earlier this week called in "an oversight."
Asked by CBS This Morning anchor Norah O'Donnell why she was "convinced that Dylan Davies was a credible source," Logan said the news division vetted Davies and reviewed his communications with U.S. officials and used "government reports and congressional testimony to verify many of the details of his story." He also showed them photographs he took at the scene of the attack the following morning, she said.
“We take the vetting of sources and stories very seriously at 60 Minutes, and we took it seriously in this case,” Logan added. “But we were misled and we were wrong, and that’s the important thing. That's what we have to say here.”