We now know that CBS News ran a fraudulent story on 60 Minutes about the Benghazi tragedy. The security contractor Dylan Davies told a story to the network that now appears to be complete fiction, but the network ran it uncritically. In fact, it fell apart after cursory inspection by the Washington Post and the New York Times, scrutiny which the CBS News team appears not to have done.
Why would CBS News be so eager to run a story like that without checking its accuracy?
One possible answer, a very plausible one I think, is offered by Josh Marshall:
Meanwhile, Simon & Schuster, which is a subsidiary of CBS, said it "will review the book and take appropriate action with regard to its publication status."So the book that Mr. Davies is plugging happens, by coincidence, to be published by CBS itself? Following Josh:
So, just to be explicitly clear, 60 Minutes, the flagship news show of CBS, was pumping a book published by a subsidiary of CBS.Does this seem to anyone like a journalistic conflict of interest? If Lara Logan had successfully found the gaping holes in Davies' account, she would have destroyed sales of his book, which would have cost her employer millions of dollars in profit. Do you suppose that there was any pressure on her not to be too hard on the guy? Do you think that her career at CBS would have been affected if she had exposed him as the fraud that he apparently is?
One more observation from Josh:
The book was published by the Simon & Schuster imprint, Threshold Editions, which "specializes in conservative non-fiction [like] #1 New York Times bestsellers Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin, An Inconvenient Book by Glenn Beck, and The Obama Nation by Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D."So the CBS subsidiary that published the book is not just a publishing house, but a partisan right-wing publishing house. So it is committed to publishing information that is helpful to Republicans and harmful to Democrats. And now the news wing of the organization has been pressed into service to aid that publishing house?
Folks, I think we have finally found the real Benghazi scandal.