On the Tuesday, May 14, All In show, Chris Hayes linked former President Ronald Reagan to a former Guatemalan dictator convicted of genocide as the MSNBC host seemed to suggest that the story was as worthy of attention as Benghazi and ended up sarcastically challenging Fox News to give attention to it.
After playing a clip of Reagan from 1982 praising the then-ruler of Guatemala, Hayes continued:
He's talking about a guy that tried to extinguish an indigenous people. So, Fox, you want to take it from here?
Hayes cited an article from the Washington Monthly which suggests that the media are more likely to devote attention to presidential scandals during a President's second term at a time when there is less political news outside of an election cycle. After reading from the article, he added:
So there you have it. Republicans don't like the President; we have an empty news cycle; the President is in his second term. We've got the perfect storm. In fact, it is predetermined that reporting on an overblown scandal is what the media are going to be doing.
Of course, these conditions don't excuse what the IRS has done to Tea Party groups. These conditions do not excuse the outrageous overreach by the DOJ and what they did to the AP. Both of those stories should get the media's full attention and scrutiny. That's why we've been covering them.
He then brought up the former Guatemalan dictator:
Yet, it is still worth noting that now that we are dealing with an empty news cycle, we are also getting stories about emails, about talking points when there is actual scandalous news out there. You know what, in fact? You want scandalous, how about this? This is my nominee.
Efrain Rios Montt, the ruler of Guatemala in the early 1980s. On Friday, he was found guilty of genocide. He oversaw the slaughter of nearly 2,000 indigenous people -- men, women and children. A Guatemalan court yesterday ordered the government to apologize for these atrocities.
The MSNBC host then tied in President Reagan:
CHRIS HAYES: It's a horrific, terrible story. Of course, no one pays attention to the story of a murderous dictator named Rios Montt in a place like Guatemala, unless, oh, I don't know-
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, DATED DECEMBER 4, 1982, CLIP #1: I know that President Rios Montt is a man of great personal integrity and commitment.
REAGAN CLIP #2: I know he wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to promote social justice. My adminitration will do all it can to support his progressive efforts.
He's talking about a guy that tried to extinguish an indigenous people. So, Fox, you want to take it from here? We'll be right back with "Click 3."