Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Thursday, November 7, 2013

60 Minutes' Benghazi Story--Revisited?

In light of the revelations that the focus of the 60 Minutes Benghazi story was financially tied through his publisher to CBS and that he had previously peddled the story to Fox News, I had wondered how long it would take for CBS to either retract or amend the story, if indeed they would.  It does appear that the 60 Minutes team will be doing something along those lines, although what isn't clear as yet.

The New York Times has a story out that not only did Davies' after-action report differ from his story in his book and in the 60 Minutes feature, but his interview with the FBI also followed his initial report. That is deeply troubling information concerning his credibility. In any event, there are definite inconsistencies that call into question whether the investigative journalists of the long-running television news program properly vetted the story.

The particular problem with irresponsible or inaccurate, sensational journalism is that people act on the information that they receive. People acted on the journalism regarding Iraqi weapons programs in the run-up to the Iraq War, for example. If the data is poorly-sourced, not corroborated, or just a bit dodgy, there are reasons to question whether a story needs to be run. As it is, the right-wing conspiracy theory that somehow, there was some cover-up about the tragic events of that evening, has entered into the public discourse as a legitimate rationale for holding up the business of government.  This should be viewed as absurd concern-trolling by a hack scared half-dead by threat of a primary challenge, but a bell can't be unrung. Once this story has been taken seriously, even if mistakenly, it will forever be on someone's list of axes in need of grinding.

That's just how these things go, after all.

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