"60 Minutes", CBS' long running news show has brought down world leaders, corporate executives, assorted swindlers and Big Tobacco with hard hitting old fashioned pound-the-pavement investigative journalism, but now it wants your help to learn the truth "or something" about Benghazi.
"No story is too fantastic not to get you on the air," announced Jeff Fager, CBS News Chairman and Executive Producer of 60 Minutes last week. "Rest assured, we won't even fact check it. We want the truth about Benghazi, but failing that just give us something that will put fannies in front of TVs."
Mr. Fager has come under fire for a 60 minutes piece by correspondent Lara Logan in which she interviewed a supposed witness to a terrorist attack that killed four Americans at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi. In fact, the witness never left his "beachside villa" during the attack and was totally bullshitting when he told Ms. Logan he scaled the embassy wall and struck a terrorist with the butt of his rifle. Ms. Logan researched her story for more than a year but failed to check out the witness' contrary statements to the FBI and his employer, though she knew these existed.
Ms. Logan ranted about what she called an "unprecedented" attack on a U.S. embassy and compared it to the terrorist attack on the U.S. Cole in 2000 when in fact sixty were killed in twelve embassy attacks during the preceding Bush Administration.
Mr. Fager, whose resume includes a long stint at Fox News "where I learned everything I know about news gathering" said " fiction portrayed as fact sells way better than non fiction in this business."
"Look at this. This shit will put our ratings through the roof," he added (showing assembled newsmen one of many letters he had received following airing of the Benghazi story):
Dear Ms. Lara Logan:
It has come to my attention that I was at the U.S. embassy in Libya on September 12,2012. I thought I took my son to a dental appointment in Jersey that day, but the first "2" in my planbook next to "9/22" kinda looks like a "1", so it was actually the 22nd when we had the dental matter.
Be that as it may, I distinctly remember climbing a 50 foot wall at the embassy and shooting 18 terrorists with a Kalashnikov rifle I took off a dead guy after having a few beers at the Ali Baba.
You will find no other statements of mine that conflicts with this one as I have not told anyone else of this, neither the FBI nor my supervisor (I have told my wife, but she cannot be compelled to repeat in open court what I told her).
I would like to tell you my story on your 60 minutes gig. If you are not interested, would you please hook me up with someone who might publish my book I just wrote tonight?
I admire your work. Thank you.
-Sincerely, Dan Danger (r silent)
"We have received over 30,000 letters just like this from Benghazi eyewitnesses. Obviously there were many more on the embassy grounds that night than the 147 claimed by Hillary Clinton and Obama," concluded Fager.