CBS Suspends Anchor Lara Logan & Producer Max McClellan Following Benghazi Report
Logan and McClellan ran an interview with a Libya-based security contractor who turned out to have lied about his experiences
CBS' star anchor Lara Logan has been ordered to take leave after running an erroneous interview with a supposedly in-the-know security contractor in regards to the 2012 attack on a US diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. Logan has been put on leave along with producer Max McClellan for running the report, which Logan has since called a "mistake."
Following the airing of the report on 60 Minutes on 27 October, an internal enquiry was made by the station after reports began to emerge stating that the interviewee had given false information and wasn't even at the Benghazi base when the attack took place. Dylan Davies claimed that he was in the Libyan city when the attack on the US diplomatic post took place on 11 September 2012, going on to claim that he fought off an assailant and later saw the body of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya before he was killed in the attacks.
After the initial interview has held, other news outlets began to publish articles that questioned Davies' comments and eventually it was discovered that he had told FBI investigators and his own employers that he was not at the Benghazi compound on the night of the attack. An internal investigation was run by the network, which determined that Ms Logan - who apologised on air soon after the interview was disproved - should not have run the story. The report also questioned whether Logan should have been reporting on Benghazi in the first place, after she gave a speech in Chicago discrediting reports that the US military had suppressed al-Qaeda.
"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," the report reads. "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."
The report also noted that Davies' own account of the event, which was due to be published under the title The Embassy House: The Explosive Eyewitness Account of the Libyan Embassy Siege by the Soldier Who Was There, was going to be published by Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, which is part of the CBS Corporation. Soon after the report, Davies' deal with Threshold was annulled.
Logan and McClellan have both been placed on forced leave of absence for an unspecified amount of time as a result of the inquest.
Logan apologised for running the interview at the beginning of the month