In a humiliating retreat from a piece she had staunchly defended, "60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan admitted on Friday morning that she and the news magazine had made a "mistake" in their reporting of a controversial story about the Benghazi attacks. She apologized to viewers and said "60 Minutes" will issue a correction about the reliability of one of her key sources, security contractor Dylan Davies, on its next program.
"We were wrong to put him on air," she said, adding, "We will apologize to our viewers and we will correct the record on our broadcast on Sunday night."
It emerged on Thursday that Davies, who gave Logan a hair-raising, detailed account of his actions during the 2012 attack, had previously told the FBI that he hadn't even gone to the site where it took place. This was the second occasion where Davies had been recorded as saying that he wasn't at the scene of the crime. He had already admitted to doing so once, but CBS and Logan had firmly backed him, saying that he had lied to his employer to protect himself.
Lying to the FBI, however, is a different matter, and "60 Minutes" pulled the report and said it was "reviewing" the new information to determine whether it had been misled.
That review led to Logan's apology on Friday morning.
"The most important thing to every person at '60 Minutes' is the truth, and today the truth is that we made a mistake," she said, calling it a very "disappointing" situation.
Logan said that the emergence of the FBI was "the moment for us when we realized that we no longer had confidence in our source." She said that the show had taken the vetting of Davies "very seriously," but that he had "misled" everyone.
"CBS This Morning" host Norah O'Donnell asked Logan, "Why would you stand by this report after Dylan Davies admitted lying to his own employer?" Logan said that Davies had always portrayed that lie as part of a patriotic, selfless desire to help his fellow security workers, even though he was not supposed to be at the compound.
CBS has been heavily criticized for its handling of the controversy. HuffPost's Michael Calderone summed up the network's actions in a tweet on Friday morning:
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) November 8, 2013
UPDATE: Simon and Schuster, the book company publishing the memoir by Davies that was the foundation of his interview with "60 Minutes," announced Friday that it was pulling all copies of the book from stores and suspending publication.