November 11, 2013

On Friday, “60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan appeared on “CBS This Morning” to ‘fess up to a mistake in the show’s Oct. 27 Benghazi investigation. The program had relied heavily on an account by a security operator, Dylan Davies, who claimed to have witnessed and participated in the hostilities of Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi. As Logan explained on “This Morning,” Davies’s account didn’t hold up; he’d told a different story, it turned out, to his supervisor as well as to the FBI.

Thanks to some good questions from CBS News’s Norah O’Donnell, viewers of “This Morning” found out how “60 Minutes” vetted Davies, how “60 Minutes” didn’t know about a report that Davies had written for his supervisor and why “60 Minutes” went ahead with the Davies account. The enlightening segment lasted nearly five minutes.

Last night it was Logan’s turn to take the correction directly to the “60 Minutes” audience. She sat before a camera and calmly explained the discrepancies in Davies’s account. “We realized we had been misled and it was a mistake to include him in our report. For that, we are very sorry.” The confession lasted a minute and a half.

How is it that viewers of “CBS This Morning” get a fuller account of a “60 Minutes” mistake than do viewers of “60 Minutes”?

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.