Was Fox News More Diligent Than CBS' 60 Minutes?

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head scratching

Here's a hard one to figure out and even harder to accept if true (I'll get into that in a minute) -- Fox News did a better background check on a potential witness than those stalwarts over at 60 Minutes. Before you scoff, read on.

The story in question has to do with the GOP's second favorite talking point-- Benghazi. The first, of course, is the "trainwreck" of Obamacare. There's not a more commonly used mantra in all of the Republi-kingdom than trainwreck but close behind is Benghazi. So any sliver of embarrassment or innuendo of wrong doing by Obama on Benghazi becomes instant fodder on Fox News.

So how is it that 60 Minutes produces a segment that Fox News held back because even that bastion of rumor and innuendo found the witness's story to be contradictory to his official reports?

The basis of the 60 Minutes segment was an eye-witness account of the attack September 11, 2012. The focus was on a contractor who went by the pseudonym “Morgan Jones,” a security officer who witnessed the diplomatic compound attack. I guess you can't get much better than someone who was right there in the heat of the lethal riot to give you a true perspective.

From Raw Story:

A Fox News correspondent said the following day that the network had been working on a story with the same security officer, but those efforts ended when he asked for money in exchange for his participation.

Fox News aren't the only ones who question the motives and veracity of the contractor's statements. The Raw Story goes on:

The Washington Post report, published Thursday, said the source [“Morgan Jones,”] provided a written account to his employers three days after the attack that he’d spent the night of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack at his own beachside villa in Benghazi.

We could not get anywhere near (the diplomatic compound) as roadblocks had been set up,” said the security contractor, whose real name was confirmed as Dylan Davies by officials who’d worked with him in Libya.

So who you gonna believe? Dylan "Morgan Jones" Davies or his official report filed three days after the event? Before you make up your mind, consider this:

The “60 Minutes” report claimed the security officer had scaled a 12-foot wall while it was still overrun with Al Qaeda forces, and Davies said on the program that he’d personally struck one of the terrorists in the face with the butt of his rifle.

A brave Brit, he is. Yet:

The security officer’s co-author told The Washington Post that Davies may have been dishonest in his incident report because his employer had asked him to stay away from the compound after he was told of the attack by telephone.

On the heels of these revelations, what should venerable truth sayers like 60 Minutes do? Well, so far they are standing by their story. Hmm.

It does make you wonder... If it doesn't stand the low-bar sniff test at Fox News... if it fails the higher veracity standards at the Washington Post, what does CBS know that the others don't?  Is that big CBS eye about to blink?

Armed with these diverging reports, watch the segment and decide for yourself:

CBS, we're waiting...

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  • David G

    All journalism has a degree of truth and interpretation it,but fact checking is an important issues. Someone like 60 Minutes has the resources and responsibility to do better. DG

  • judi

    EXACTLY what I wrote about the other day! Is there NO competent journalism out there?? It's a real shame when FOX becomes the "fact checker" or the one who digs the deepest...