Former ’60 Minutes’ Producer: Discredited Benghazi Story Was Done To Appeal To Conservatives

Mary Mapes, center, a producer for CBS News, arrives at the Jasper County Courthouse with attorneys Mike Raiff, left, and Leon Carter, right, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 1999, in Jasper, Texas. Prosecutors came to an agreeme... Mary Mapes, center, a producer for CBS News, arrives at the Jasper County Courthouse with attorneys Mike Raiff, left, and Leon Carter, right, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 1999, in Jasper, Texas. Prosecutors came to an agreement with CBS News over the outtakes and transcript of an interview Dan Rather did with defendant Shawn Allen Berry. CBS posted the transcript on the Internet but will not turn over the video tapes. The agreement also calls for all contempt of court charges to be dropped against Mapes. Berry is the third defendant charged with capital murder in the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) MORE LESS
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A former “60 Minutes” producer who was fired over a 2004 story about then-President George W. Bush’s service in the Air National Guard said Friday that CBS’ now retracted story detailing the attack in Benghazi, Libya was done to appeal to conservatives.

“My concern is that the story was done very pointedly to appeal to a more conservative audience’s beliefs about what happened at Benghazi,” Mary Mapes told Media Matters. “They appear to have done that story to appeal specifically to a politically conservative audience that is obsessed with Benghazi and believes that Benghazi was much more than a tragedy.”

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, who is also widely believed to have left the network as a result of the 2004 flap, declined to comment on the discredited Benghazi story when reached by TPM through a spokesperson on Friday.

The chairman of CBS News and executive producer of “60 Minutes” on Friday apologized for airing the story, telling Variety that the network would now “own it.” 

CBS said it was misled by the source who provided the account, and publication has been halted for a book about the night on Sept. 11, 2012.

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