CBS issued another unprecedented apology about their October 27 Benghazi story tonight. It's almost as if they really believe their credibility wasn't already shot for about half the country several decades ago due to their overly partisan story choices and slant. Anyway, WaPo writer Eric Wemple left his readers with a useful comment at the end of his Friday piece, which is worth repeating....
The lesson from all of this: When it comes to Benghazi, trust no one.He probably wasn't thinking of the administration or Hillary Clinton but he definitely meant CBS and anyone else who reports on the story going forward. Which could become quite convenient.
Meanwhile on the right this story is getting almost zero attention, unlike the initial report, which is too bad because in some ways it's bigger than the original story. They should be asking "WTFork just happened here"? A published book was pulled from the shelves and an entire 60 Minutes program was pulled from the web over the allegation that a single man on their show was lying, despite his actions having no effect on the overall story. Sounds fishy.
The left is taking every advantage and will use the apology to claim the entire Benghazi story is bogus in an attempt to chill future questioning. Just today CNN's Candy Crowley, the same one who was involved with Mitt Romney's Benghazi meltdown in the second debate with Obama, questioned Senator Graham's hold on nominees by pointing to the story. So it begins.
But it actually began the day after the initial 60 Minutes episode. Hillary-friendly Media Matters made debunking it cause number one, two, and three in order of importance. Why, though? What about that episode was so damaging? There were basically no huge revelations.
Maybe the reason David Brock and company were so livid was due to the network involved. For the most part Benghazi has been a Fox News story, which the left can point to and call partisan. The main alphabet networks have declined to play along. If suddenly CBS--and especially 60 Minutes--were to join the chorus that would lend instant credibility to the story and to Fox News. Too much at stake.
That said, it's not hard to imagine a conspiracy theory where the entire thing was planned to fall apart in an effort to once and for all drive a stake in the heart of the scandal and clear Hillary for 2016. The epic way it failed seems to support it, including the unbelievably shoddy background work done on the piece. But logic says it was also possibly due to an internal struggle at CBS News.
60 Minutes reporter Lara Logan was sexually abused in Cairo during the Arab Spring uprisings by protesters (or goons). She's been fairly outspoken about the threat from radical Islamism, to the point of condemning the Obama administration over Afghanistan. It's hardly believable to think she made all that up just to gain credibility on this story so they could shoot it down. Doesn't sound too healthy for the ole career. Add to that the reporting done by fellow CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson on Benghazi and the weird things that have happened to her and it sets up a scenario where internal debate at the network might have led to some sloppiness for ratings. Maybe they really smelled the rats and got kneecapped by one. Or more than one.
But the facts known and unknown will keep this story weird. The entire apology was predicated on the word of anonymous administration officials and FBI sources for the New York Times (and later 60 Minutes) without any supporting documentation, fake or otherwise. By the way, wonder if Eric Holder authorized those leaks? Wonder if the president found out by reading the Friday paper? Will anyone ask?
Somewhere out there an FBI 302 form of the Davies interview(s) exists and could back up the anonymous sources. Will anyone ask about them? Chances are nobody will ask FBI Director James Comey, the lefty hero famous for speaking truth to power over eavesdropping during the Bush era, then appointing Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate Scooter Libby for leaking. This is the same James Comey that received a letter from Republicans after his appointment this past summer urging him to help in their investigation of Benghazi. Just this coming week they are set to interview three CIA witnesses--wonder if that will go as planned or be postponed?
Not to be hyper-partisan--maybe Issa's committee knew about this Davies fellow and knew he was lying and said nothing. Maybe some were even acting as sources for Logan. The truth would be nice, no matter what form it takes. Despite smears from the left and politics played by the right Benghazi has never been a partisan exercise, only an exercise in learning the truth. Some people actually want to know what happened.
In the meantime maybe 60 Minutes can investigate itself. While they're at it maybe they can locate Mr. Davies', who has reportedly gone into hiding. Maybe he's suddenly come across a large sum of money somehow, maybe from winning a lottery, who knows. Until then this new narrative calls for a willing suspension of disbelief.
Here's an example of why the right needs to be involved in this debate. Lefty commentators are simply lying about it unchallenged. To wit, here's TPM's Josh Marshall:
If you'd come to this 90 seconds without knowing anything that had happened over the last couple weeks, you would probably think that one person interviewed in a 60 Minutes segment may have been misleading in some of the things he said.
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. And the piece made a big, big splash.Sorry, no. While Davies was the sensational hook and main attraction the show also included an interview with Andy Wood, who talked about his repeated warnings about a pending AQ attack in eastern Libya (which were ignored by Hillary's State Dept) and the deputy ambassador in Tripoli Greg Hicks.
That's why CBS's scrubbing of the program was important. It's harder now to go back and debunk such lies without video or transcripts. Why lie? It's obvious Marshall and others want to paint a different picture because they've been afraid of this story since it occurred. That's why ObamaCO told the whopper about the Mohammed video and tried to scrub the CIA's talking points days later--they see the damage potential. All of this recent brouhaha will damage the credibility of the witnesses that House investigators plan to bring in this week---how convenient is that?
Yet most on the right are cowering in the corner because on the surface this appears to be a colossal embarrassment. They miss the point. If there's more than meets the eye here then CBS or the professional left or even the administration have managed successfully to spike a story and berate those who would report about it, which has huge implications going forward. Maybe someone can send Hillary an email and ask her if she knew anything about Mr. Davies and his evil warmongering Blue Mountain contractors or remembers getting any intelligence about a pending AQ attack on Benghazi. Just for the record.
SO LONG, LARA? 11/11/13
It's amusing. The right continues to miss out on one of the best and most mysterious stories of the year so far. The WaPo and other lefty outlets are now doing hit pieces on Lara Logan, basically demanding her scalp. Check out part of their outrage over her reaction to Obama's response to Benghazi...
“When I look at what’s happening in Libya, there’s a big song and dance about whether this was a terrorist attack or a protest,” she said. “And you just want to scream, ‘For God’s sake, are you kidding me?’ The last time we were attacked like this was the USS Cole, which was a prelude to the 1998 embassy bombings, which was a prelude to 9/11.
And you’re sending in the FBI to investigate? I hope to God that you are sending in your best clandestine warriors who are going to exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil, its ambassadors will not be murdered and the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.”Here here! Yes that spot on analysis is unbelievably counted as a sin in lefty world presumably because she took a position off the air on national security without it being some negative about Bush or Cheney. Which is why this story is fascinating. So many tentacles. The left only cares about the political fallout surrounding Hillary and will say, think, defend or repeat any grotesquely stupid premise or meme to make it go away. It will not. As to Logan, as the pressure rises it will be interesting to see how long CBS defends their star and if they don't, where she ends up. Wonder if Al-Jazeera America would hire her?
Here's Salon asking how Logan can possibly not be fired..
Still: Lara Logan has made an egregious journalistic error. She has a rather obvious agenda. Her apology was laughably inadequate. CBS clearly expects to just hurry past this with a quick “sorry” and no internal review. Both the New York Times and the Washington Post helpfully fact-checked “60 Minutes” for CBS, but now that the story’s been retracted, there’s no reason for it to continue making headlines unless people keep making a fuss about it. In 2004, the fuss was massive and sustained. It would be nice to see the rest of the mass media take as much of an interest in this fiasco as they did in that one, until some heads roll.The operative words/phrases have been outlined in bold for the sake of humor. Logan's 'obvious agenda' is that the United States should do what the president said he would do and kick the asses of those who killed our guys (officially, "bring them to justice"). That's a pretty good agenda that most of us share. So far none of these lefty caterwaulers seem the least bit concerned about justice, unless it involves Hillary. As to the Times and Post 'helpfully' fact-checking CBS, yes, they got timely leaks from the most anti-leak administration in history. People are in jail right now for leaking under these guys.
Back when Dan Rather ran with the TANG story he was eventually embarrassed, but the first one fired was his producer Mary Mapes...
CBS terminated Mary Mapes and demanded the resignations of 60 Minutes Wednesday Executive Producer Josh Howard and Howard's top deputy, Senior Broadcast Producer Mary Murphy, as well as Senior Vice President Betsy West, who had been in charge of all prime time newscasts.
Murphy and West resigned on February 25, 2005, and after settling a legal dispute regarding his level of responsibility for the segment, Josh Howard resigned on March 25, 2005. Dan Rather also resigned as anchorman in 2005. It is unclear whether or not Rather's retirement was directly caused by this incident, although many believe that he had to step down a year earlier than plannedNo doubt Logan will probably have to go. But Rather wasn't fired right away. We have not even heard from all parties yet.