’60 Minutes’ apologizes for overdubbing sound in Tesla story

Associated Press | Jalopnik

CBS News said an engineer made an “audio error” by “dubbing the sound of a loud traditional car engine over footage of the much quieter Tesla electric car in a story that aired Sunday,” AP reports.

Spokesman Kevin Tedesco said Tuesday that the loud car audio has been edited out of the online version of the story on Tesla founder Elon Musk. Anchor Scott Pelley reported the story, and CBS said he wasn’t aware of the added audio ahead of time.

Robert Sorokanich wrote in Jalopnik that the story “definitely includes motor noises that definitely don’t come from a Tesla.”

Here’s the CBS story:

In December “60 Minutes” drew some criticism for a soft-focus report on the NSA by John Miller. In November it said it had placed correspondent Lara Logan on leave following a botched report on Benghazi.

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  • John717

    Thank you for your article, Andrew. At the very end, I noticed you used the word “botched” with regard to the 60 Minutes Benghazi story, and I wanted to address that choice of words, having seen it used by a variety of media writers in recent months.

    As you know, the 60 Minutes Benghazi story was focused squarely on the deficient security resources at the US Compound in Benghazi, Libya, in the months leading up to the 9/11/12 attack. The solidity of that thesis has never been in question. President Obama himself has said publicly that the security resources in Benghazi were “inadequate.”

    Furthermore, I know you’re familiar with the ‘ARB’ – the independent review of the Banghazi attack – which concluded the same thing as the 60 Minutes report: that repeated requests for additional security were ignored for months leading up to the attack and, as a result, the Benghazi Compound was left vulnerable. The State Department long ago embraced the findings of the ARB.

    Of course, by “botched,” there’s no doubt you’re referring to the inclusion of the British contractor, Dylan Davies, in the 60 Minutes story. If we could, let’s put Davies contribution to the report into quick perspective: two parts of his personal story have been called into question, while the rest of what he said on 60 Minutes remains undisputed. To this day, as you know, the FBI will not confirm on the record what is in Dylan Davies’ “302 report.” However, what has been confirmed is that the FBI contacted Davies multiple times during their investigation and considered him a “credible source” about what happened the night of the attack.

    But more importantly, Davies was just one of three main interviews in the 60 Minutes piece, as you remember; the other two interviewees, whose contributions to the story were more substantive, had nothing to do with him whatsoever.

    Perhaps, by “botched,” you are also referring to the references to Al Qaeda’s involvement in the Benghazi attack. It was indeed ahead of the curve at the time, but, in recent months, as you have no doubt seen, 60 Minutes’ reporting on that front has been validated by the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Benghazi and further validated by the State Department’s own decision in January 2014 — more than 2 months after the 60 story — to formally designate Sufyan Ben Qumu (a deeply entrenched Al Qaeda figure named in the 60 Minutes report) as a global terrorist and three Libyan Ansar al Shariah organizations as global terrorist entities.

    The State Department’s own designation stated that the Ansar al Shariah terror group headed by Sufyan Ben Qumu was involved in the Benghazi attack. Ben Qumu was identified in a 2012 report published by the Library of Congress in conjunction with the Pentagon as the “new face of Al Qaeda” in Libya.

    Just earlier this week, I bet you noted the testimony of former CIA deputy director, Mike Morell, in Washington, DC. With regard to the Benghazi attack and Al Qaeda, he said: “the (CIA) analysts said from the get-go that al Qaeda was involved in this attack.” He explained why the CIA wasn’t able to publicly disclose that information at the time: “The only way we knew that anybody who was involved in that attack that night was associated with al Qaeda was from classified sources.”

    Taken together, these are not the hallmarks of a “botched” story. Poynter is an academic institution with a fine reputation and a well known commitment to fostering fairness and accuracy in journalism. With so much of the media coverage driven by politics and hype, Poynter has the opportunity to lead the way to a more substantive and fair-minded discourse. Thank you again for your work.