The general debacle of the CBS 60 Minutes' coverage of Benghazi is really a microcosm of the failures of journalism at large nowadays and Reason #1 why most Americans don't trust corporate media. They relied almost wholly on an unreliable source, appeared to do almost no independent vetting, disregarded existing information that was available on the grounds of it coming from a partisan source and attempted to hide their own massive conflict of interest in the publishing of Dylan Davies' book.
It perfectly exemplifies how incestuous and enmeshed the mainstream media has become with the "vast right-wing conspiracy" noise machine that continues to frame and drive narratives independent of reality. It's why we can't do real fixes to ACA, global climate change, Social Security, gun safety regulations and a host of other issues facing the country.
But CNN's Reliable Sources doesn't want to look at the real issues of the Benghazi reporting. They don't want to open the Pandora's Box of partisan truthiness that has infected the corporate media and made it virtually impossible to trust anything coming from them. While inviting Media Matters' David Brock to the table, guest host Eric Deggans is very, very careful to not let Brock start treading too much towards the big partisan elephant in the room: conservatives have crafted and perpetuated this evidence-free campaign for the purpose of taking down President Obama during his re-election campaign and taint the potential campaign of Hillary Clinton in 2016.
DEGGANS: Now, David, you called for "60 minutes" to retract this story more than a week before they actually did. What did you see in reporting that made you question what they were doing and what do you think happened here?
DAVID BROCK, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: Well, the first thing we saw was the day after the "60 Minutes" report ran. On FOX News, it was disclosed they had used Davies as a source up to the point where he demanded money. So, that was one flag.
Obviously, Davies has a book out from a right wing publisher. That was the second flag.
And then "The Washington Post" story ran, that day, we asked for a retraction. That took quite a while. The excuse that CBS is giving now is that they were dupes. Dupes of what?
I think they were eager and willing dupes of a right wing hoax. They suspended the traditional standards of CBS News and they adopted the shoddy practices of FOX News, and when you get and go down the FOX path, that's where you end up.
And, really, the bigger piece for me is we have written a book called "Benghazi Hoax" for Media Matters and everybody that followed this story for the past 13 months knows that the entire scandal is a hoax. The only reason the story exists is partisan politics, Republicans trying to sabotage health care, and prevent Hillary Clinton from running for president.
DEGGANS: Now, we would expect that from a group like Media Matters, you would see it that way.
Granted, Brock was less politic about his characterization than you would normally hear on the Sunday news shows, where every effort is made to not insult the sensitive little fee-fees of conservatives, but was anything he said factually wrong? No. And that's the point.
It would be nice if we could stop treading on eggshells and call things out for what they are.