WaPo's Cillizza Thinks Media Paid Lots of Attention to Libya?!
In his "Winners and losers from Election 2012" feature filed at his paper's website on Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza concluded that foreign policy in general was a "loser" in the campaign, failing to move votes (emphasis mine), "Despite all of the media attention that Libya drew in the final month of the campaign, foreign policy was an afterthought — at best — for most voters," he noted, adding that "Just 5 percent of people in the national exit poll said foreign policy was their most important issue. Interestingly, Obama won that group by 20+ points."
But as we've noted in numerous places on this blog, the administration's ever-shifting storyline on Benghazi failed to get scrutiny in the media, and new, damning revelations were downplayed or ignored, especially as the election drew closer and closer:
- After Promising ‘We’ll Get to Libya a Little Bit Later’ in His Show, Gregory Does...168 Hours Later | (Nov. 4)
- Benghazi a Blip on Media's Radar - Less Than 2 Minutes of Coverage on ABC, CBS; NBC Punts | (Nov. 2)
And of course, my colleague Rich Noyes in his November 2 post, "The Media’s Coverage of the Libya Attacks: From Slanted to Suppressed," laid out a comprehensive review of the media's obfuscation on Libya:
Americans of all political stripes were distressed by the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador. But the reaction of the national broadcast networks has been demonstrably and shamefully partisan from the beginning of this story.
In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack, all three broadcast networks touted the political angle that the events would bolster President Obama — “reminding voters of his power as commander-in-chief,” as NBC’s Peter Alexander asserted on the September 14 edition of Today — while Mitt Romney would be damaged by his supposedly flubbed initial reaction.
But as the story progressed and reports indicated that the Obama administration knowingly misrepresented the nature of the attack, failed to provide adequate security, and refused to authorize a potential rescue mission to save those under fire, those same journalists have been either slow to report those developments, or altogether silent.
Taken together, the shifting coverage provides a case study in how the elite media will skew an important story to aid the political interests of the liberal incumbent.
You can read the rest of his post here.