Lara Logan Suspended from CBS News Over Botched “60 Minutes” Benghazi Report

logan.cbs.thismorning2Executive Director of Standards and Practices for CBS News, Al Ortiz, blasted Logan for “taking a public position on the government’s handling of Benghazi…while continuing to report the story,” in an internal memo leaked to The Huffington Post.

In October of 2012, one month before starting work on the Benghazi story, Logan made a speech in which she took a strong public position arguing that the US Government was misrepresenting the threat from Al Qaeda, and urging actions that the US should take in response to the Benghazi attack. From a CBS News Standards perspective, there is a conflict in taking a public position on the government’s handling of Benghazi and Al Qaeda, while continuing to report on the story.

— Al Ortiz, Executive Director of Standards and Practices for CBS News

Jeff Fager, Chairman of CBS News, suspended Logan and her producer on the mistaken Benghazi story, Max McClellan according to a separate memo, also obtained by the Post.

davies-embassyhouseThere is a lot to learn from this mistake for the entire organization. We have rebuilt CBS News in a way that has dramatically improved our reporting abilities. Ironically 60 Minutes, which has been a model for those changes, fell short by broadcasting a now discredited account of an important story, and did not take full advantage of the reporting abilities of CBS News that might have prevented it from happening.
As a result, I have asked Lara Logan, who has distinguished herself and has put herself in harm’s way many times in the course of covering stories for us, to take a leave of absence, which she has agreed to do. I have asked the same of producer Max McClellan, who also has a distinguished career at CBS News.

— Jeff Fager, Chairman of CBS News

Dan Rather: CBS News Can’t Blame Lara Logan For 60 Minutes’ Flawed Benghazi Report Debacle Anymore

logan.cbs.thismorning2Veteran newsman, Dan Rather who was forced into early retirement after making his own mistake on 60 Minutes, says CBS News can’t just blame Lara Logan, her producers and the newsmagazine for its erroneous report on the terrorist attack on America’s Embassy in Benghazi.

“It’s in the nature of these large corporations that when the stuff hits the fan, they want to blame the correspondent. Whatever happened, and if there’s any blame, whatever blame there is, has to start at the top of the corporation and go through the leadership of the news division. It isn’t just Lara Logan.” — Dan Rather

“There is a difference between this and the trouble I got in at CBS News. We got into trouble, that is I and the other reporters, because we reported a true story. What we had was true. The difficulty with the Benghazi story is, as they now have acknowledged, the story was not a true and they stood by it for a long time.” – Dan Rather