On Tuesday night, CBS and NBC led their evening newscasts with the arrest of the supposed mastermind of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya while ABC reported it right after two short stories on devastating tornadoes in the Midwest.
To their credit, CBS and ABC made a serious attempt at bias-free reporting but NBC’s Nightly News fell short. On top of that, the peacock network continued their biased perspective this morning on the Today show. [See video below. MP3 audio here]
CNN host Erin Burnett did her best to provide cover for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the issue of Benghazi during a highly combative interview with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Cruz appeared on Erin Burnett OutFront on Tuesday, June 17 and was immediately met with a barrage of questions from the CNN host in which she defended Ms. Clinton from numerous criticisms over Benghazi. [See video below.]
Hillary Clinton hit a "home run" with her performance in a live CNN "townhall"-style interview hosted by CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Chris Matthews enthused at the opening of his June 17 Hardball program.
MSNBC The Cycle co-host Krystal Ball enjoyed an extra hour with which to bash Republicans and puff the Obama administration today as she filled in on the 1 p.m. Eastern Ronan Farrow Daily program. Ball questioned whether breaking news of the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala, a terrorist wanted for organizing the Benghazi attacks, would “take away a sort of key talking point for Republicans.”
The failed congressional candidate invited Howard Fineman, of the Huffington Post, and Robert Costa of The Washington Post on to Farrow’s program to discuss Republican reaction to the news of the capture. Ball then proceeded to ask if why Republicans “have a huge problem with using our own justice system to go forward and prosecute terrorists,” and are “expressing a lack of confidence in our normal [civilian] justice system.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
In a passionate interview with host Brooke Baldwin on the June 17 edition of CNN Newsroom, Patricia Smith – mother of slain U.S. diplomat Sean Smith – voiced her frustrations about the lack of answers she has received from the Obama administration regarding Benghazi.
Smith had one basic request for Hillary Clinton, a simple phone call [MP3 audio here; video below]:
Liberal vs. neo-con. Isolationist vs. interventionist. The clash over Iraq strategy between John Heilemann and Bill Kristol on today's Morning Joe had it all.
Things got heated as Heilemann assailed Kristol's call for intervention as "absurd." Kristol responded by suggesting that Heilemann's invocation of "American blood" was a cheap "rhetorical line." View the video after the jump.
Q. How do you know that Barack Obama's feckless foreign policy poses a serious threat to the security of the free world? A. When a leading foreign policy voice of the Washington Post agrees with a leading foreign policy voice of the Wall Street Journal that such is the case.
It happened on today's Morning Joe, when WaPo's highly-respected David Ignatius agreed with a WSJ op-ed by Daniel Henninger, "While Obama Fiddles," that darkly concludes: "past some point, the world's wildfires are going to consume the Obama legacy. And leave his successor a nightmare." Said Ignatius: "those are harsh words from the Wall Street Journal, but I think there's a lot of truth to them." View the video after the jump.
Troubled by a recent poll number showing 52 percent of independent voters approve of a select congressional committee investigating the Benghazi fiasco, MSNBC's Chris Matthews offered former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton his messaging advice on the matter during a segment of the June 10 Hardball.
It boiled down to: "sometimes you get killed, and that's part of the business." The relevant transcript follows the page break (emphasis mine; MP3 audio here; video follows page break):
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell questioned Republican Senator Marco Rubio on Tuesday's CBS This Morning over the increase in the number of children illegally entering the U.S., and whether immigration reform is going to be revived in Congress. Rose spotlighted that Rubio received "some political pushback" on the immigration issue, and wondered, "When will we see thorough immigration reform?"
The PBS veteran also noted that the Florida politician is a "leading critic of the V.A. health system," but oddly didn't ask a question about the ongoing scandal. Instead, he ran to Hillary Clinton's defense on the extent of her responsibility for the security lapses leading up the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's New Day on CNN, Politico senior political writer Maggie Haberman laid down the groundwork for the media to show a double standard in not taking issue with Hillary Clinton's wealth as opposed to Republican Mitt Romney who was repeatedly hounded in 2012 as the dominant media grasped at straws to identify "gaffes" to paint him as "out of touch." The Politico writer also bolstered Clinton's attempt to preempt campaign questions about Benghazi by seeming to predict the strategy would have some effectiveness.
Haberman argued that Clinton's claim that she and husband former President Clinton were "broke" after they left the White House as they were purchasing multiple "houses" would not be a "consequential" gaffe because it does not fit "an existing narrative" of the former First Lady, unlike in the case of Romney. Haberman began:
In clips of her interview with Hillary Clinton aired on Monday's Good Morning America, World News anchor Diane Sawyer was surprisingly tough on the issue of Benghazi: "Is there anything you personally should have been doing to make it safer in Benghazi?...I wonder if people are looking for a sentence that begins from you, 'I should have...' 'I should have...'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After the clip, Sawyer explained to GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos: "So many questions on Benghazi because we know a lot of people think it's a central question of leadership if she runs for president."
During a fawning segment on Thursday's NBC Today promoting Hillary Clinton's People magazine interview, co-host Savannah Guthrie parroted the former Secretary of State's spin on the 2012 terrorist attack in Libya: "On Benghazi, Clinton said the chance to testify was the most important thing to her, despite a fall and concussion that's brought some Republican hard knocks on her health." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie touted Clinton's thinly-veiled attempt to question the health of Republican Congressman Paul Ryan: "Clinton told People that 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan told her he had suffered three concussions, one serious." Guthrie then noted: "Team Clinton has set up a rapid response team to address criticism about Benghazi during her book tour."
On Tuesday, June 3 the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 51 percent of Americans support the formation of a select committee to investigate the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Despite the new polling, the June 3 ABC World News with Diane Sawyer ignored the poll completely but had time to run a full story on the strength of different cell phone cases. [See video of MSNBC's Chris Matthews commenting on the poll below.]
Susan Rice, former U.N. Ambassador and current National Security Advisor for President Obama, sat down with CNN’s Candy Crowley and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, June 1 to discuss a variety of foreign policy topics, yet Stephanopoulos refused to ask his guest about the latest surrounding the Benghazi investigation.
Rice appeared on both This Week and State of the Union to talk about the decision by the United States to release 5 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the Taliban releasing an American soldier held captive and only CNN's Candy Crowley brought up Benghazi to Ambassador Rice.
Hillary Clinton is managing to do what conservatives cannot: get Benghazi into the news – but only to showcase her heroic efforts to take on those awful Republicans. ABC anchor David Muir on Friday night heralded how she “is ready to fight back on Benghazi,” trumpeting how a selective release from a chapter of her upcoming book shows “she’s taking on her critics.”
Reporter Martha Raddatz touted how “she comes out swinging. Her anger aimed at congressional Republicans who she accuses of politicizing the tragedy.”
On Thursday, Charlie Rose spent the entire commercial-free hour of his PBS show interviewing Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, yet never asked her a single question about the 2012 Benghazi attacks or her role in disseminating faulty talking points afterward. In fact, the B-word never escaped Rose’s nor Rice’s lips during the entire show. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
There were, however, a few moments when a question about Benghazi would have seemed appropriate. Early in the interview, Rose asked where in the world America’s core interests were under attack at the moment. Rice pointed to the ongoing terrorist threat:
On Friday, both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning dutifully promoted quotes from Hillary Clinton's new memoir leaked to Politico of the former Secretary of State blasting critics of her mishandling of the Benghazi terrorist attack. Today co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "If there was any doubt Hillary Clinton's clearly ready to go on offense on this." Political director Chuck Todd agreed: "There's no doubt at all. In fact, there's a concerted campaign effort." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On CBS This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes declared: "...the former Secretary of State strikes a defiant tone about the attack and all the investigations into it..." Moments later, Cordes observed: "Democrats are going to see this as a kind of template for how to talk about the Benghazi attacks. In fact, the Clinton team is reportedly meeting with Democratic groups to explain her tone in the book so that everyone is on the same page."
Comedian Jodi Miller took on the Obama administration's VA and Benghazi scandals in the May 27 edition of NewsBusted. "America just celebrated Memorial Day. Or, as it's called for veterans at VA hospitals: “Take a Number and Wait” Day," she quipped, adding, "The White House is under fire for long wait times at most VA hospitals. And the administration promised to get help quickly to all our veterans, just as soon as they get around to telling the whole truth on Benghazi."
To watch the full NewsBusted episode, click on the play button in the video embed below. To subscribe to NewsBusters on YouTube, visit NewsBusted's channel here. To get NewsBusted delivered to your email inbox, sign up here.
The Associated Press's Charles Babington went so far over the top in his Monday morning dispatch on Republicans, the Obama administration's scandals, and the fall electoral landscape that it's hard to know where to begin.
The fingerprints of Obama administration operatives appear to be all over Babington's report, both in what's included and what's left out. Most notoriously, there is no mention whatsoever of the Veterans Administration scandal. Ah, but there's a specific reference to Democrats who complain that the Benghazi and IRS scandals have been "fading from national headlines" except at the specifically named Fox News. Excerpts from Babington's babbling follow the jump (bolds are mine):
In early May, CBS's morning and evening newscasts spotlighted congressional Democrats' vehement opposition to the formation of a select committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 Islamist attacks on the U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya during 10 minutes and 14 seconds of reporting.
However, when Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named five Democrats to the committee on Wednesday, the CBS news programs minimized their coverage of the development. Wednesday's CBS Evening Newsset aside 23 seconds to the story, while Norah O'Donnell gave a 14-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning about the story: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
It’s been over a month but NPR has finally decided that the Benghazi scandal is worth covering. On Wednesday, May 21 House Democrats chose five members of Congres to participate in the House Select Committee on Benghazi and NPR’s Morning Edition covered the story on Thursday, May 22. NPR didn’t bother giving full a news report to the actual formation of the Select Committee, but deemed the Democratic response worthy of full coverage.
The latest NPR story was the first full news story to air on Benghazi since an April 3. In fact, since February 26, NPR has only aired two full news reports and one news brief on the subject.
During the Obama administration, the Associated Press has annually gone through the motions of noting its lack of transparency in responding to Freedom of Information Act requests. In March, its coverage of 2013 FOIA results led with the following sentence: "The Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data." Then everyone went back to work defending the administration against the information seekers.
Part of that defense includes mischaracterizing the legal hurdles those who file FOIA requests must overcome to get the administration to do what it is legally required to do right off the bat. Three sentences from recent coverage of Judicial Watch's attempts to pry information out of the State Department will make my point.
If there was ever drop-dead obvious proof that it's more than fair to call the Associated Press the Administration's Press, it's in the opening phrase of the first sentence of the wire service's Monday morning report on the House's select committee on Benghazi: "Republicans hoping to ride their Benghazi investigation to a November election sweep ..." As far as reporters Donna Cassata and Bradley Klapper are concerned, there can't possibly be any other motivation for holding the hearings.
Cassata and Klapper's agenda-driven drivel makes several trips into the land of "Republicans say," when the correct words should be: "The facts are." More crucially, Klapper completely ignored two reports he filed on October 10, 2012 which showed that the State Department "never believed" that the murder of Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in the Benghazi attack was inspired by an anti-Muslim video (bolds numbered tags are mine throughout this post):
At the end of a live radio interview earlier today on WMAL's Mornings on the Mall, Benghazi whistleblower attorney Joe diGenova was asked by co-host Brian Wilson to "help poor Chuck Todd out and maybe give him one question that you think has not been answered?"[listen to the full interview by clicking play on the embed below the page break; the relevant portion begins at 7:15 in]
DiGenova, obliged, rattling off a handful of questions [see transcript below page break] while noting occasions where administration officials lied, including in the Obama/Clinton State Department's Accountability Review Board (ARB), which, you may recall, failed to interrogate Mrs. Clinton. What's more, the former federal prosecutor promised the WMAL audience:
There seems to be a concentrated effort on MSNBC lately to dismiss certain legitimate concerns raised by Republican political figures as loony or unworthy of serious consideration. On Wednesday’s edition of PoliticsNation, Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune killed two birds with one stone by simultaneously linking concerns over Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s health to the “birther” conspiracy theories. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Host Al Sharpton played a clip in which Comedy Central host Jon Stewart mocked Karl Rove’s question about the health of Hillary Clinton’s brain. Stewart dubbed the concern “Brainghazi,” and Page loved the term:
The Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift is at it again, this time tripling-down on her ridiculous assertion that Ambassador Chris Stevens “was not murdered” in the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Clift penned a May 15 article inThe Daily Beast entitled “My Benghazi Scandal” where she proclaimed “I may be under fire from conservatives for saying Ambassador Stevens wasn’t murdered in Benghazi, but I’m not backing down. Here’s why I said what I did.” [Update included below.]
"A number of once popular network TV shows such as Suburgatory and Community were canceled last week. However, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS have all renewed the series Ignoring Benghazi for another season!"
Watch Jodi Miller zing the liberal media and liberal politicians in the latest edition of NewsBusted, embedded below the page break. Sign up for NewsBusted in your email here. Subscribe to the NewsBusted channel on YouTube by visiting here.
After slamming Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for defending himself against claims that he has exploited Benghazi to aid his reelection campaign, MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz continued with his favorite form of political slander on the May 2 edition of The Ed Show. Schultz called on Graham to apologize for blasting the administration’s “scumbags,” and promptly began ranting about the GOP.
“This is who they are,” Schultz asserted as he segued to his cell-phone poll question of the day. As is his habit, the wording was so over-the-top as to be funny, albeit perhaps not in the way that Schultz intended it. “Are Republicans angrier than two black labs fighting over a toy?” he asked as his producers rolled video of two dogs fighting over a chew toy. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing on The Steve Malzberg Show on Newsmax, Eleanor Clift, writer for The Daily Beast, repeated her assertion that Ambassador Chris Stevens “was not murdered” in the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Clift made her initial comments on the PBS program The McLaughlin Group on May 11 and despite being pressed by Malzberg on Tuesday, May 13, she insisted that Ambassador Stevens was not murdered: “Dying of smoke inhalation in the safe room of a CIA outpost has a slightly different feeling.” [See video below.]