Topic: Accuracy in Media
In an Oct. 28 Media Research Center item, Matthew Balan touts how a segment by Lara Logan on "60 Minutes" about the Benghazi attack featured "an actual eyewitness of the attack":
Logan led with her "misinformation" line, and introduced Morgan Jones, a former member of the British military, who uses that pseudonym for personal safety reasons. Jones was in charge of the unarmed security force inside the walls of the main U.S. compound in Benghazi. He revealed that he snuck inside the hospital where Ambassador Stevens had been taken, and quickly learned about diplomat's death. Jones also outlined his concerns about the armed militia guarding the facility.
Similarly, in an Oct. 31 Accuracy in Media column, Roger Aronoff highlights the Morgan Jones interview:
The segment, which can be viewed online, interviews one “Morgan Jones,” a self-identified Blue Mountain security chief who was at an apartment 15 minutes away when the attack started at the Benghazi Special Mission Compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
Jones raced to the compound, scaled the 12-foot wall, and attempted to enter the compound to assist those inside, but they had already been rescued by a CIA rapid-response team that included the now-deceased Tyrone Woods.
“[The attackers] said, ‘We’re here to kill Americans, not Libyans,’” recounts Jones in an emotional moment. “So they’d give them a good beating, pistol whip them, beat them with their rifle, and let them go.”
But so far, neither Balan nor Aronoff have told their readers that the account "Morgan Jones" told on "60 Minutes" differs sharply from what he told his then-employer, that he couldn't get anywhere near the Benghazi compound during the attack. The Washington Post reports:
But in a written account that Jones, whose real name was confirmed as Dylan Davies by several officials who worked with him in Benghazi, provided to his employer three days after the attack, he told a different story of his experiences that night.
In Davies’s 2 1/2-page incident report to Blue Mountain, the Britain-based contractor hired by the State Department to handle perimeter security at the compound, he wrote that he spent most of that night at his Benghazi beach-side villa. Although he attempted to get to the compound, he wrote in the report, “we could not get anywhere near . . . as roadblocks had been set up.”
Aronoff, to his credit, did note something Balan didn't: that Fox News reported that Jones demanded money to tell his story, and that Jones' book is published by Simon & Schuster, which is a division of CBS, which should raise questions about an undisclosed quid pro quo.