Lara Logan Returns To CBS, Six Months After Her Faulty Benghazi Report
After six months of licking her wounds, 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan returns to CBS News despite her infamously faulty Benghazi story. Logan was ordered to take a leave of absence from CBS after the testimony of her primary source fell apart at the seams last October, forcing the network to issue a retraction.
If the show was hoping for a quiet reintroduction, it failed miserably. It was unclear if Logan would return to 60 Minutes, and media critics speculated that her gross reporting error caused irreparable damage to both her personal brand and the network's credibility. And the return of the the not-so-prodigal daughter has already invited one of her staunchest critics out to play.
"The flawed 60 Minutes report on Benghazi permanently damaged the credibility of both the show and of CBS," Media Matters founder David Brock said in a statement. "A New York magazine report made clear that a lion's share of the blame for massive errors in that report belongs to Lara Logan. CBS indicated that they were serious about rebuilding its brand and taking accountability. Having Logan back on 60 Minutes shows the exact opposite."
In the segment, Logan relied on testimony from Dylan Davies, a security contractor who told Logan that he was present at a raid of a U.S. compound in Benghazi. It was later found that Davies' story did not match information that he had given to the FBI, ultimately throwing Logan's entire report into question.
The Logan scandal proves that journalism snafus exist outside of The Newsroom. Though Logan's career seems to recovering from the blight, there are others that haven't managed it.
Oh, how the mighty fall. Foreign correspondent Jack Kelley was nominated for a Pulitzer in 2002. He had every making of a movie personality, constantly dropping into war zones and reporting back with near-death experiences. The only problem with all of this? It may or may not be true. After years of receiving tips of fabricated stories and quotes, USA Today launched an investigation that Kelley had made up all or parts of 20 stories. Kelley resigned, and has largely disappeared from journalism.
We sure do love a presidential love affair (ahem, Scandal), but sometimes presidents and hopefuls remain on their best behavior. So in this case, The New York Times just insinuated one. Heavily. The story relied on testimony from several anonymous aides, saying that John McCain had an affair with lobbyist Vicki Iseman earlier in his career. Iseman sued The Times, but the two parties settled out of court, with the paper agreeing to let Iseman's legal team publish its views on the case.
There are many instances in which Fox "Fair and Balanced" News sounds like conservative satire, but this time they went full Onion. Political reporter Carl Cameron penned a piece mocking John Kerry's "metrosexual" appearance at a debate weeks before the 2004 election, fabricating quotes about the then-presidential candidate doing manicures. While the incident drew maybe one of the only apologies we can remember from Fox, we're wondering how such a blatantly false report escaped from the copy desk. Cameron still works at Fox as a journalist and commenter.
In the early days of music criticism, bands would pay for journalists to travel with them on the road. This was before the era of, you know, journalistic ethics, but it seems like a pretty sweet gig. Well, George W. Bush tried to revive that practice in 2005, keeping columnists on his payroll to write favorably about his policies. Armstrong Williams, a syndicated columnist, reaped most of these benefits, pulling in $240,000 to swoon over Bush's policies. His column, needless to say, was canceled.
Image: USA Today