THE BLOG

Lara Logan, 60 Minutes and Don Hewitt

12/05/2013 04:09 pm ET | Updated Feb 04, 2014

Some 30 years ago in Las Vegas, I was standing at the bar with Bob Peloquin. We were swapping stories about how we earned our livings. I did television, Peloquin ran a large intelligence and security company. He asked me if I knew Don Hewitt and I admitted I did and added that I had even sent stories over to him. I asked Bob how he knew Hewitt and Bob said that Hewitt hired him to check out stories that he (Hewitt) had some doubts about.

Ten years before I had been contacted by the publishers of Gentleman of Leisure: A Year In the Life Of A Pimp, about doing a piece on him for United Press International Television News (UPITN). It was of course about a pimp and the girls who worked for him. It sounded too "tabloid" for me but I asked them if any corruption was involved--"Did Silky pay off any cops or judges?" I told them if that was the case they had a "60 Minutes story". They said yes.

Then of course, they took the story over to 60 Minutes but when it aired it contained no mention of payoffs to anybody. I asked Peloquin if he had checked out the Silky story. He laughed and said "As full of shit as a Christmas goose."

It seems as if Lara Logan's Benghazi story had not been checked for excrement. Maybe Jeff Fager, the Chairman of CBS News and Executive Producer of 60 Minutes needs a Bob Peloquin of his own -- someone who can double check the stories his reporters produce.

According to Wikipedia,
"Fager has vowed to "restore CBS News to where it should be, where it needs to be," using the original reporting and storytelling of 60 Minutes as a benchmark for its other flagship news programs." At this moment, 60 Minutes is not the benchmark CBS needs.

I used to sneer at Don Hewitt's need for detectives to substantiate his reporters' stories. Now I guess I have to give him credit.