The Obama administration continues to suppress documents that could finally explain why U.S. officials lied to the world that the September 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, occurred as a protest over an American-made anti-Muslim video. And the families and friends of the four brave Americans murdered there continue to suffer without answers, reasons or justice. Is there not a shred of heart left in Washington?
USA Today explained this past week how the watchdog group Judicial Watch blew the whistle on the White House's withholding of documents and obtained a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice under the Freedom of Information Act. In it, the Justice Department tries to justify its withholding of further Benghazi documents.
There was a real dust-up on today's Morning Joe over Benghazi and the House select committee empanelled to investigate it. In the move-on-nothing-to-see corner were Chuck Todd and Donny Deutsch. Opposing them was Nicolle Wallace, who made an impassioned case that the Obama admin's cover-up of the talking points that the White House furnished to Susan Rice, falsely blaming the attack on an internet video, merits anger and investigation.
As MRC's Jeffrey Meyer has noted, Todd has been on a tear trying to downplay Benghazi and disparage the select committee. But in his determination to defend all things Obama, Todd today ran badly afoul of the facts. He claimed that the false talking points weren't worth caring about since the Obama admin stopped citing the internet video within "two days." Could Todd truly have forgotten that two weeks later, in a formal address at the United Nations, President Obama was still talking about that infernal video? View the video after the jump.
PBS NewsHour analyst Mark Shields started with an admission on Benghazi on Friday night: “Has the White House been transparent? Absolutely not.”
But he lamented that the House special committee hearings “will be a disaster. It won’t be good for the country.” It’s only being done for the Tea Party and Fox News. Apparently, hearings are only productive and wonderful when run by liberal Democrats like Henry Waxman:
Among other things, Cain talked about his political leanings -- socially liberal but conservative on foreign, military, and economic policies -- as well as his disagreements with the Obama administration. "A president's job is supposed to be to enforce our laws, which, it seems to have gone by the wayside at this point in time," Cain observed. After Bevan asked what Cain's biggest "gripe" was with the Obama administration, the actor replied [emphasis mine; watch video below page break]:
Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent, political director, and host of The Daily Rundown on MSNBC is at it again minimizing the investigation into the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Appearing on The Daily Rundown on Monday, May 12, Todd proclaimed thatthe recent scandal engulfing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) “has legs and is very dangerous for the White House, much more so frankly than the partisanized Benghazi.” [See video below.]
On Monday, May 12, FNC's Fox and Friends exposed Democratic hypocrisy in accusing Republicans of trying to raise money off the deaths of Americans from the Benghazi attack, when Democrats themselves have a history of linking fundraising to deadly events.
Referring to Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy explaining this hypocrisy on the previous day's Fox News Sunday, FNC co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck began listing the history of Democrats:
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) had some harsh words for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she plans to run for president in 2016.
Appearing for a pre-taped interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl which aired on This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, May 11, Senator Rubio gave Secretary Clinton a grade of “F” for her time at the State Department and stated “I don’t think she has a passing grade.” [See video below.]
Ed Schultz has once again demonstrated his unerring penchant for opening mouth and inserting feet, this time on his radio show while talking with Rep. Adam Schiff, Democrat of California and a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Schultz and Schiff were in vigorous agreement on Tuesday that the new House committee investigating the deadly attack in Benghazi in September 2012 is nothing but a partisan effort to smear the Obama administration. (Audio after the jump)
On Thursday’s NewsHour, PBS ran a full-length segment on the new special committee created by House Republicans to investigate the September 2012 Benghazi attacks. However, anchor Judy Woodruff and her guest, Robert Costa from The Washington Post -- formerly of the National Review -- pushed the idea that Republicans are exploiting the tragedy by fundraising off of it. The thing is, the network didn’t seem to care back in 2012 when President Obama gave a brief Rose Garden statement after the attacks and then dashed off to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraiser. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Woodruff brought up the issue of fundraising near the end of the interview:
Chuck Todd, NBC's political director, Chief White House Correspondent and host of MSNBC's The Daily Rundown appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Wednesday, May 7 to pour cold water on the new Benghazi select committee.
Todd appeared on Morning Joe during two separate segments Wednesday morning to suggest that the Benghazi special committee “ has a whiff of politics to it. To some people more than a whiff.” [See video below.]
The Daily Beast on Tuesday drew attention to an important story that has been under-reported by the major broadcast networks. According to an article written by Eli Lake, Libya has become a hub for al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists since the September 2012 Benghazi attacks. This information came from various “current and former U.S. counterterrorism officials.”
Lake summarized the situation in his second and third paragraphs:
Appearing as a guest on The Steve Malzberg Show, Democratic strategist and Newsmax contributor Hank Sheinkopf critized the GOP investigation of Benghazi claiming it will actually help Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for president in 2016.
Sheinkopf argued that the GOP will “commit electoral suicide” by “pillaring her [Hillary Clinton] now” on Benghazi before asserting “setting her up to morally castigate her will only create a heroine and by that they will elect her president.” [See video below.]
Forget about the newly released White House emails – MSNBC personalities will never admit that the Benghazi scandal is anything more than a Republican talking point. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, fill-in host Richard Lui at least brought up the new revelations in the scandal, but he and his guests continued to treat it like a big, fat nothing burger. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Noting that the House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed Secretary of State John Kerry to testify about Benghazi, Lui skeptically asked Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, “[I]s this about 2014? Because we're just really months away from the election.” Sweet, being the liberal Obama acolyte she is, answered in the affirmative:
Appearing on Monday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, Washington Post reporter Dan Balz touted Democratic spin that the ongoing Benghazi scandal could actually help Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign: "I talked to somebody over the weekend, a Democrat, who said, you know, this could actually be good for Clinton because the degree to which the right is really after her helps her with her left....if she's under attack by the right, the Democrats across the spectrum will be more forgiving of her." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Host and NBC political director Chuck Todd led off the exchange by wondering if the House GOP was just "playing politics" with the issue by announcing a select committee to investigate the 2012 terrorist attack. Balz declared: "I mean, I think the base of the Republican Party is very stirred up and continues to be very stirred up over Benghazi." Todd whined: "And they believe the worst in this conspiracy about the White House. And they believe it to the core."
Michael Hirsh is the recently named National Editor at Politico Magazine, an effort which turning is out to be to the left of the crumbling Time Magazine and the for-now defunct Newsweek. One of Hirsh's career lowlights — he probably thinks it's a highlight — is his December 2008 contention that President George W. Bush having a shoe thrown at him in Iraq "was somehow appropriate."
Lest there be any doubt as to the possibility that there will be fair and balanced reporting on Benghazi on Hirsh's watch, I give you excerpts from "The Benghazi-Industrial Complex; Will the pseudo-scandal be enough to stop Hillary from running?" — wherein Hirsh plows new groveling ground (bolds are mine):
On Monday, the three network morning shows provided 12 minutes 24 seconds to Saturday night's White House Correspondents' Dinner but only CBS This Morning reported House Speaker John Boehner on Friday announcing a new investigation into Benghazi – a news brief that totaled a mere 47 seconds. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Charlie Rose noted: "Both parties on Capitol Hill are sniping over new a investigation of the deadly Benghazi attack." After a soundbite of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham discussing the scandal on Sunday's Face the Nation, Rose added: "House Speaker John Boehner is calling for a new investigation based on a White House memo released last week. Republicans say the document proves the Obama administration tried to spin the attacks for political gain." NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored the story on Monday.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Fox’s Brit Hume had some strong words for former Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA) over her dismissal of the seriousness of the latest revelations in the Benghazi scandal.
After Harman said that it was time to “move on" from Benghazi Hume swiped back “ I'm talking about the talking points used on that program that day which were monumentally misleading and were, and have since been shown to be false and based on no intelligence of any consequence that we know of.” [See video below.]
You may have seen Bret Baier’s interview with former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor on Fox News Thursday evening. The conversation dealt with the Benghazi attack, and it was combative at times. Vietor spun hard for the administration, even smugly calling Baier “dude” at one point. But Baier appeared to be well-prepared for Vietor’s spin with a wide array of relevant video clips and sound bites.
On Friday, Baier went on Mornings on the Mall, a Washington, D.C. radio program, to talk about the Vietor interview. [See YouTube video embedded below.] He explained to the hosts how he prepared so well:
On Friday, CBS Evening News caught up with its Big Three competitors and reported on the latest developments on the controversy surrounding the September 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya. CBS also finally mentioned its own president's family connection to a White House official involved in the Obama administration's handling of the immediate aftermath of the attack.
Nancy Cordes gave a full report on how the "the White House released previously unseen e-mails" about the federal government's response to the terrorist strike, which led to House Speaker John Boehner forming a new select committee to investigate the attack. Scott Pelley also disclosed that "Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security advisor mentioned in Nancy's story, is the brother of CBS News President David Rhodes." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
One day after accusing the press of ignoring the Benghazi scandal in order to protect President Obama, on Thursday's O'Reilly Factor, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly ripped into the media yet again: "Does it get any worse than that in our democracy?...The Obama administration was completely derelict in the Benghazi terror attack and was dishonest in the aftermath. And the national press doesn't give a damn? Disgraceful." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly cited desperate spinning of the controversy by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and observed: "While Carney may think the press corps is stupid, he knows the press corps doesn't care, and that's why he says these outrageous things. He knows the coverage will be minimal, except on Fox News."
CNN’s Jake Tapper had some strong words for White House press secretary Jay Carney on Thursday. Appearing on The Hugh Hewitt Show, Tapper accused Carney of making “dissembling, obfuscating,” and “insulting” comments regarding the September 2012 Benghazi attacks.
Hewitt came right out and called Carney a liar, but Tapper was not willing to go quite that far. He remarked, “[C]alling somebody a liar is – it’s not normally the kind of language I use. But I think that the comments that are being made are dissembling, obfuscating, and often, you know, insulting.” [Listen to MP3 audio here.]
Columnist Charles Krauthammer contended, on Thursday’s Special Report with Bret Baier, that the release of the Ben Rhodes memo has changed the media dynamic in interest toward the Benghazi scandal because journalists are now “embarrassed” over being “rolled” by the White House:
“What’s changed now, and we saw it in the briefing room, is I think the other media are somewhat embarrassed by the fact that, unlike Fox, they allowed themselves to be stoned and spun and rolled for a year and a half and now the memo appears and it’s obvious that they missed the story.”
On Wednesday night’s O’Reilly Factor, Howard Kurtz conceded the media are kind of allergic to covering Benghazi. But he would not agree that this “allergy” is about protecting Barack Obama. O’Reilly ticked off the media avoidance: no Benghazi e-mails coverage in the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal. “The Washington Post ran the story on page 17. Only USA Today was honest and responsible, putting the Benghazi email story on the front page.”
He added: “The network news last night didn't cover the Benghazi story. MSNBC, didn't cover it. Nor did CNN in primetime. And this morning, only the CBS Morning News [sic] mentioned the Benghazi story. That's a scandal. A scandal. That is proof the American press is dishonest. Period.” He couldn’t believe Kurtz didn’t find it political:
CNN and MSNBC failed to provide any live coverage of a Thursday morning House Oversight Committee hearing on the terrorist attack on Benghazi. Fox News provided 74 minutes and 25 seconds worth of live coverage of the hearing and had multiple interview and analysis segments talking about the revelations in the hearing. MSNBC provided a small amount of coverage but did not air the hearing live whereas CNN viewers were not made aware of the hearing until 1:15 p.m. Eastern.
During the hearing, Brig. Gen. Robert Lowell, who ran intelligence at the U.S. African command the night of the attack, argued that they knew immediately the attack was not in response to an anti-Islamic video. [See video of Fox News’ coverage of the hearing below.]
Former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson spoke to WMAL’s Brian Wilson and Larry O’Connor on their Mornings on the Mall radio show on Thursday, May 1 and had some strong words surrounding the latest revelations surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attack. Earlier this week, emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request showed that the Obama Administration had instructed Susan Rice to use talking points that an anti-Muslim video sparked the terrorist attack and that it was not a reflection of President Obama’s foreign policy.
Attkisson argued that “In the end, this is all the Obama Administration. I mean to me, it matters to some degree I guess who exactly did what. But the point is we now know the Obama Administration officials in whatever agencies at the White House were responsible for creating this narrative that was incorrect for whatever reason.” [Click here to listen to the entire interview.]
MRC president Brent Bozell appeared on “The Kelly File” with substitute host Martha MacCallum to discuss new e-mails about Benghazi and Fox News coverage of Benghazi.
The e-mails are between State Department PR operative Victoria Nuland and friendly Associated Press reporter Matt Lee, discussing the alleged “BS” on Fox during “The O’Reilly Factor” on September 13, 2012, two days after the consulate attacks. Bozell thought the Obama publicist and the AP reporter sounded way too much like each other. (Video, transcript below)
During a 28-second news brief on Thursday's NBC Today, anchor Natalie Morales seized on Obama administration spin downplaying newly-released emails suggesting a cover-up of Benghazi: "The White House is dismissing claims by Senator Lindsey Graham that a previously undisclosed talking points email is a smoking gun about the 2012 attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans....The White House says the email was explicitly not about Benghazi, but was about the overall situation in the region." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That parroting of White House talking points was the only mention of the ongoing scandal on the network morning shows on Thursday. CBS This Morning did a full report on the topic on Wednesday. ABC World News provided a full report Wednesday evening while NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams offered a mere news brief that glossed over key details.
The supposed newspaper of record for the nation's capital did not find fit to print a story this morning on the newly-released White House Benghazi emails and the White House's fevered attempt to dismiss the story.