Simon & Schuster Drops Book on Benghazi

CBS Corp. (CBS)’s Simon & Schuster withdrew a book about the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, following new information that undermined its credibility and a report on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

“We have withdrawn from publication and sale all formats of this book, and are recommending that booksellers do the same,” Jennifer Robinson, a spokeswoman for the publisher, said today in an e-mailed statement. “We also are notifying accounts that they may return the book to us.”

CBS News today apologized for a “60 Minutes” report on the attack, which aired on Oct. 27 and was based on information from a security contractor, Dylan Davies. He co-wrote the book, “The Embassy House,” and appeared on “60 Minutes” under a pseudonym, Morgan Jones, saying he was at the scene responding to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in which U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed.

“We were wrong,” “60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan said today on “CBS This Morning.” “We were misled and we were wrong, and that’s the important thing. We have to set the record straight and take responsibility.”

Davies’s account was questioned by The New York Times and other outlets. The Times reported yesterday that Davies told the Federal Bureau of Investigation he wasn’t present at the Benghazi attack.

Davies told The Daily Beast in a Nov. 2 interview that he didn’t write the incident report sent to the FBI and he hadn’t seen it.

Simon & Schuster has asked online booksellers including Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iTunes store to remove links to the book. Consumers can return the book to the retailer for a refund, said Adam Rothberg, a Simon & Schuster spokesman.

CBS’s publishing division contributed $80 million in operating profit last year, about 2.7 percent of the company’s $2.98 billion in profit, on $790 million in revenue.

CBS, based in New York and controlled by Sumner Redstone, rose 3.2 percent to $58.74 at the close in New York. The shares had advanced 54 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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