Fox News Carries Benghazi Hearing Wall-to-Wall; CNN Joins at Noon and MSNBC Is Last
Of the three cable networks, Fox News on Wednesday offered the most substantial coverage of whistleblower testimony on the September 11th terrorist attack in Benghazi. Fox broke in first at 11:36am and has been airing the hearings mostly unobstructed since. CNN followed at noon. Anchor Wolf Blitzer appeared and introduced coverage.
The cable network stuck with the testimony for 15 minutes before leaving to feature discussion by Blitzer and Jake Tapper. MSNBC, unsurprisingly, was last. It wasn't until 12:17pm, after spending copious amounts of time on the Cleveland abduction case, that the network finally showcased the hearings.
At that time, Now anchor Alex Wagner featured Democrat Elijah Cummings to dismiss: "What we have seen over the past two weeks is a full scale media campaign that is not designed to investigate what happened in a responsible and bipartisan way, but rather to launch unfounded accusations and smear public officials."
Wagner sneered, "The hearing is officially entitled, 'Exposing Failure and Recognizing Courage.' But, hey, don't call it a witch hunt."
The rest of the 12pm MSNBC hour allowed almost no time to airing actual testimony. Instead, Wagner and her liberal guests discussed the topic, dismissing the idea that there could be much to Benghazi.
The three networks, CBS, NBC and ABC, did not break into regular coverage to air the hearings.
On Monday's Nightly News, NBC/MSNBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell summed up the attitude of some in the journalistic community to Libya: "There is an obvious political undercurrent. Republicans are taking direct aim at Hillary Clinton, the country's most popular Democrat and a possible presidential contender."