FNC’s Geraldo Rivera Clashes With Own Network Over Libya

Unlike the liberal media who are engaging in a full-scale blackout of the scandal in Libya, Friday’s Fox & Friends engaged in a vigorous debate over the attack on our Embassy in Benghazi. 

Fox News Channel liberal contributor Geraldo Rivera engaged in a full-out shouting match with conservative-leaning co-hosts Steve Doocy and Eric Bolling.  During the back-and-forth, Geraldo’s main argument was thus: [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

I think the Obama Administration is susceptible righteously to legitimate criticism, particularly if the investigation turns up what we expect it to, no security, they should have known. They didn't know. They should have responded. They didn't respond. And then after the fact, they should have known, they should have responded, you know, they should have been more clear in terms of describing what had happened. Now comes to the actual military response itself.  And that's where I take umbrage with what has been said.  

Following Rivera’s comments that to criticize the real-time military response to the attack was irresponsible, Eric Bolling began questioning why U.S. assets in the region weren’t deployed in a timely fashion to assist in thwarting the terrorist attack. 

While the segment ended up being a heated shouting match, to their credit, Fox News presented both sides of an argument on an issue the public will simply not hear from the rest of the broadcast and cable media. 

Steve Doocy concluded the segment by commenting, “Ultimately we can see the great frustration here on this set because people want answers.” 

Unfortunately the liberal media isn’t demanding such answers, and doesn't appear in any hurry to, at least until after next Tuesday's election. 

 

See relevant transcript below.


Fox News

Fox & Friends

November 2, 2012

8:00 a.m. EDT

STEVE DOOCY: We're going to talk about the problems around here in New York City area with Geraldo who’s got some boat damage in a moment.  But first let's talk a little bit about Libya.

GERALDO RIVERA: Okay.

DOOCY: So much more information out. New cables show that the militia charged with protecting the consulate apparently cable showed it likely was infiltrated with Islamists we couldn't trust them.  Also apparently the State Department declined to send this rapid response team, which has been sent in the past to help on the Cole and investigations and stuff like that. They could have actually gotten in sooner than the FBI did. It took them 24 days.  And finally, we were telling folks yesterday about the emergency meeting they had just about three weeks before September 11, 2012, where the consulate people said we really can't protect ourselves. There are all of these training grounds here. We are screwed.

RIVERA: That's a mouthful and I just have to say that for us to be probing this three or four days before the election guarantees that reasonable prudence will not be exercised because of the –

DOOCY: But Geraldo, Fox News has been looking at this for over a month.

RIVERA: Okay. Please, I didn't come to argue.

DOOCY: Okay.

RIVERA: I just want to –

DOOCY: But it's frustrating.

RIVERA: I think that this is -- remember, I named it Benghazigate.

DOOCY: You did. 

RIVERA: Why did I name it Benghazigate? The obvious reference to Watergate and the cover-up. There are three aspects to this story. One is the situation that existed prior to September 11th, the security at the compound in Benghazi, why the hell we were there. Why wasn’t it more adequately secured? Why there were no marines there.  Why the ambassador was there at all given the exigent circumstances that you describe. That's part one of the thing. Part three of the thing is what happened after the tragedy in terms of sending Ambassador Susan Rice to the United Nations, having her suggest that it was all about a vile anti-Muslim video and all the rest of it. I think that both one and three deserve real intense scrutiny and I think the Obama Administration is susceptible righteously to legitimate criticism, particularly if the investigation turns up what we expect it to, no security, they should have known. They didn't know. They should have responded. They didn't respond. And then after the fact, they should have known, they should have responded, you know, they should have been more clear in terms of describing what had happened. Now comes to the actual military response itself.  And that's where I take umbrage with what has been said. I have spoken extensively with four star General Jack Keane. The former Vice Chairman of the United States Army.  Our premiere military analyst. I am convinced that the military did whatever it could have done under the circumstances. I am similarly convinced that the state department and the CIA also did, once the attack happened, everything they could. That's where I really, really am extremely upset about the tone of the conversation. What happened? You had the attack on the consulate. The ambassador surrounded. He and Steven Smith in the safe room suffocated to death by diesel fumes. The initial attack happened. There is sound and fury and fatalities and now we've lost two people. Okay. The attack dies down. Everyone in Washington, everyone in Eurocom, Africom, everybody now believes that the worst is over. That's why there is -- to use a seven hour clock is wrong. Now the attack is over. And okay, the attack is over. Now we send our brave guys, or our brave CIA guys. Now Tyrone Woods and Glenn Dougherty and the other and there are three colleagues and they are joined by loyal Libyan militia men. They go from the annex, the CIA annex to the compound. They rescue the people. They bring them back. They're fighting, you know, sporadic fighting from the compound to the annex. Now they're back in the annex and aside from some odd, low caliber fighting, everyone thinks the worst is over. Now they're calling for help. Help is coming from Libya – I mean from Tripoli, the capital that lands at the airport.

ERIC BOLLING: And no one knows Geraldo.  So Washington, the State Department, the CIA does nothing. Sends no help. They have –

RIVERA: That is an obscene lie.  That is an absolute misrepresentation! You're a politician looking to make a political point –

BOLLING: Absolutely wrong. Where was the help? We had assets at the United States military.

RIVERA: They’re not a fire department they're not a swat team.

BOLLING:  We had assets in Tripoli. 

RIVERA: They aren’t sitting around with their backpacks on waiting to respond. 

BOLLING: True or not?  There were assets in Tripoli that could have helped.

RIVERA: The assets from Tripoli were sent to Benghazi. 

BOLLING: Where were they?

RIVERA: Who do you think arrived at the annex to take those people to the airport? That's not true. You are misleading the American people because you want to make a political point.

BOLLING: Navy ships in the area.  We had drones that could have been there.  We had assets that could have helped.

RIVERA: We have never in the history of this republic mounted a raid on the circumstance described here ever. We have never done it. The Israelis, when they rescued their people, it took them seven days to mount that operation. This was seven hours.

BOLLING: So they knew? They knew? Why did they blame a video two weeks later?

RIVERA: I want to say something else. When I heard and I interviewed this father of Tyrone Woods, when I heard Charles Woods call the President of the United States a murderer and a liar, it broke my heart. How many parents of GI’s lost in conflicts that were screwed up have said of the President of the United States that he murdered my child? I love Charles Woods. I kissed him on television. But he is being led down the primrose path by misinformation that is making it look as if the President of the United States went gambling in Las Vegas when he could have been saving our people in Benghazi and that's a lie.

GRETCHEN CARLSON: Geraldo, how do you separate though the difference between the State Department's reaction and the information that they had before?

RIVERA: But that, Gretchen goes back to what I said, the legitimate area for criticizing the Obama Administration is why in the world did we have our ambassador there in Benghazi when we could not protect him? That's a legitimate area of investigation and I think that therein lies vulnerability for them to explain.  Similarly, did they cover up, you know, the nature of the genesis of that attack after the fact? Another legitimate area of investigation.

CARLSON: I wish you would be as upset about those two aspects. 

RIVERA: But to blame the United States military for not responding under these circumstances I take severe umbrage at that. 

CARLSON: No, no, I'm separating the military from the State Department.

RIVERA: But we are not. 

CARLSON: I am. The military needs orders from somebody in order to go.

DOOCY: Ultimately we can see the great frustration here on this set because people want answers.

RIVERA: I love you guys. 

DOOCY: Geraldo, here’s the thing, after we got Bin Laden, within a couple of days, all the details of that secret mission, secret mission, on the front pages of all the papers. We just want some answers.

RIVERA: We want answers.

DOOCY: And we've been waiting for close to eight weeks.

RIVERA:  When I hear people with no combat experience suggest that oh, my goodness, we saw it in real time, it makes it sound like the bureaucrats scratching their belly and watching our people die and that's not what happened.

DOOCY: We get the frustration.

RIVERA: There was no snoopy AC-130 gun ship sitting on the gun strip.

DOOCY: We get where you're coming from.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.