CNN Guest Admits Panel Is Playing Into Democratic Hands

On Friday's New Day, the CNN panel was discussing whether or not Republicans are politicizing the Benghazi tragedy and The Atlantic's Molly Ball admitted the subject matter was playing right into Democratic hands.

"This is exactly the story that Democrats would like us to be talking about, right?" she asserted. "Instead of talking about the facts, instead of talking about an investigation that seems serious and that is unearthing new information, we're talking about how political it is."

NewsBusters has documented how the media, when actually covering the Benghazi special investigation, have put much of their focus on Democratic disgust with the GOP supposedly politicizing the tragedy. Ball's observation casts light on how CNN was boosting the Democratic agenda in that segment.

Earlier in the show, co-host Chris Cuomo let DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) claim that Republicans should focus on "priorities" like the economy rather than Benghazi. He encouraged her to "fight the good fight" and have Democrats participate in the special investigation rather than boycott it.

"So go fight the good fight. So let's say everything you're saying is true. Go fight the good fight. Go ask about yellow cake. Go ask about the weapons of mass destruction and where the anger was and outrage from these same people who are so outraged now about Benghazi?" he told Wasserman-Schultz. 

Below is a transcript of the segments:

CNN
NEW DAY
5/9/14
[7:03 a.m. EDT]

CHRIS CUOMO: Let's move on to the Benghazi committee. Let's just get right to it. Congresswoman, you can't boycott the committee. Why even suggest it? You can't boycott the committee.

Rep. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-Fla.): Well, what the thing that has been lost in this farce that the Republicans have stirred up yet again is that we have four Americans who have died. Their families have been through a tragedy. And their families deserve more than the political ploy that this is, and then to be treated, for their loved ones to be treated like a political football.

We have to make sure that we focus on the priorities of this country, creating jobs, getting the economy turned around. And the Republicans are now turning to Benghazi because the Affordable Care Act repeal obsession that they've had has lost its luster. It's not quite as getting their base quite as ginned up as it was. And so they need something that they can get their folks latched on to –  

CUOMO: So go fight the good fight. So let's say everything you're saying is true. Go fight the good fight. Go ask about yellow cake. Go ask about the weapons of mass destruction and where the anger was and outrage from these same people who are so outraged now about Benghazi?

(...)

[7:30 a.m. EDT]

JOHN KING: It's perhaps inevitable in the world we live in, Molly. Maybe the Democrats would do the same thing if they were in power. We don't know. We know Democrats in the past have raised money off things as they're trying to try to say we're investigating them. But if you want to have legitimate Congressional oversight, and I'm a big fan, have too much versus too little. I think that was one of the lessons of weapons of mass destruction and the Iraq war, let's have a lot of Congressional oversight. No matter who is president, no matter which party controls Congress. But can they now say this select committee, doesn't it a huge opening for Democrats to say it's not credible? They're using this as a fund raising tool to turn out their base, not to find information?

MOLLY BALL, The Atlantic: Absolutely. This is exactly the story that Democrats would like us to be talking about, right? Instead of talking about the facts, instead of talking about an investigation that seems serious and that is unearthing new information, we're talking about how political it is. And it's very difficult for Republicans because, you know, they do want this to look like a legitimate investigation but their base loves this issue. Their base really eats it up.

There is a lot of advantage for them to be gained from their base from it. And so – and for Democrats it's a difficult situation as well. You talk about them deciding whether to participate. It's a really tough decision for them. Are they going to legitimize this versus are they going to give Republicans an unopposed forum where there's no moderating voice?

KING: I think that's the decision in the end, are you there to say hey wait a minute, or do you just let them have it.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014