60 Minutes' Lebanon saga slammed as program says sorry
THE debacle that led to a handful of 60 Minutes crew being jailed in Lebanon is the program's "greatest misadventure" in 37 years, according to founder Gerald Stone.
Mr Stone appeared on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, following his investigation into the Lebanon incident that involved the TV program funding "child recovery agents" to snatch two children from a busy Beirut street.
The goal was to return them to their mother and bring them home to Australia.
The TV crew, the mother of the children, the recovery team and reporter Tara Brown were all quickly captured by Lebanese police and held in custody.
The saga ended with Nine bailing out its team and mother Sally Faulkner agreeing to never again seek custody of her two children.
Members of the child recovery team including former Australian soldier Adam Whittington are yet to face trial on kidnapping charges.
Mr Stone was the first ever producer at 60 Minutes.
He said it was "amazing to me that a program that bases itself on asking the right questions, didn't ask itself the right questions".
Show producer Stephen Rice has been sacked in the aftermath of the ordeal.
60 Minutes reporter Michael Usher formally apologised on behalf of the program.
He said since the saga began, "we've been asking ourselves how things could have gone so wrong".
In a statement from Beirut, Mr Whittington told NewsCorp he and his team were "scapegoats and fuel to burn for the channel's ratings".