CBS News Chairman and EP of “60 Minutes” Jeff Fager held a meeting with show staffers on December 5, according to POLITICO, where he answered questions about the botched report and indicated he didn’t know how long Logan and her producer would be off-air. Read more
Posts Tagged ‘Max McClellan’
CBS News chairman Jeff Fager held meeting with “CBS This Morning” staffers Tuesday and took questions about the botched “60 Minutes” report, Politico’s Dylan Byers reports. Correspondent Lara Logan and her producer Max McClellan are on a leave of absence, following the results of an internal report on their discredited story. Logan was notably absent from Sunday’s “60 Minutes” open.
Fager said he did not know how long Logan and her producer would be on leave, and made no indication that they would be asked to resign in the wake of the now-retracted report, according to sources familiar with the meeting. Those sources said Fager defended Logan as a valuable member of the ’60 Minutes’ team even as he acknowledged the erroneous nature of the report. “He did not throw her under the bus,” one source said of Fager’s remarks about Logan.
Logan was supposed to host for the event put on by the Committee to Protect Journalists, but dropped out over the controversy of her discredited “60 Minutes” report. Earlier in the day CBS Chairman Jeff Fager announced Logan and her producer Max McClellan were put on a leave of absence following the release of an internal report that found the Benghazi report “deficient in several respects.”
Pelley did not speak about the “60 Minutes” controversy at the awards ceremony, but TIME Inc. Chief Content Officer Norman Pearlstine did, defending Logan, and suggesting more of the blame should be shouldered by Logan’s editor.
“I tend to think that more often than not it is really the editor, sitting behind the desk directing the reporter, who is more at fault and more to blame than the reporter,” Pearlstine said. “It is often a very difficult task when a story gets an extraordinary head of steam to stop it, and yet that, quite often, is really the way that editors do protect journalists. “
Ecuadorean television reporter Janet Hinostroza, Egyptian television host and satirist Bassem Youssef, Turkey’s investigative journalist Nedim Sener, and Vietnam blogger Nguyen Van Hai all received awards.
In an email to staff, obtained by TVNewser, CBS News chairman Jeff Fager writes, “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.”
Fager, who is also the executive producer of “60 Minutes” is taking some of the blame for the report. “I am responsible for what gets on the air. I pride myself in catching almost everything, but this deception got through and it shouldn’t have.”
“This was a regrettable mistake,” Fager continues. “But there are many fine professionals at 60 Minutes who produce some of the very best of broadcast journalism, covering the important and interesting stories of our times, and they will continue to do so each and every Sunday.”
Fager’s memo after the jump…
Al Ortiz, the Executive Director of Standards and Practices for CBS News has released his report on the discredited “60 Minutes” story on the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
“My review found that the Benghazi story aired by 60 Minutes on October 27 was deficient in several respects,” Ortiz writes in his report summary, which was obtained by TVNewser.
Ortiz questions why Lara Logan and her team did not do a better job obtaining an FBI report which differed from the story Dylan Davies told them.
“It’s possible that reporters and producers with better access to inside FBI sources could have found out that Davies had given varying and conflicting accounts of his story,” Ortiz writes. “Logan and producer Max McClellan told me they found no reason to doubt Davies’ account and found no holes in his story. But the team did not sufficiently vet Davies’ account of his own actions and whereabouts that night.”
“This crucial point – his admission that he had not told his employer the truth about his own actions – should have been a red flag in the editorial vetting process.”
Ortiz also discovered that a month before starting work on the Benghazi story, in Oct. 2012, Logan gave a speech in which she argued that the U.S. Government was misrepresenting the threat from Al Qaeda, and urging action in response to the attack in Benghazi.
“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,” he writes.
CBS News spokesperson Sonya McNair tells TVNewser, “The 60 MINUTES journalistic review is concluded, and we are implementing ongoing changes based on its results.”
Read Ortiz’s summary of the report after the jump…