The official Obama 2012 campaign slogan is "Forward." The operational motto of the Obama administration is "Cheese." As in "say cheese." From hollow Greek columns to strategically released Situation Room candids, the Paparazzi President has put self-serving optics above all else.
What did we get after four long years of expertly staged Kabuki-theater-meets-Potemkin-village productions? Sixteen trillion dollars in debt, a pile of dead bodies, troops at increased risk and a gallery of tax-subsidized Kodachrome pictures creating the grand illusion of leadership.
When, ten minutes into the October 28 Meet the Press, guest panelist Carly Fiorina brought up Benghazi, host David Gregory cut her off, but promised: “We’ll get to Libya a little bit later.” The show proceeded for nearly another 50 minutes without another mention of Libya.
A full seven days later -- 168 hours to be precise -- Gregory made good on his belated pledge, raising Benghazi with Obama operative David Plouffe just over ten minutes into the November 4 Meet the Press, but only after trying to discredit administration critics: “A lot of misinformation about this and a politicization of this in the final days.”
New reports (and denials) that the CIA told its members in Benghazi to stand down during the embassy attacks are nothing but "an argument for ideologues" and no election game-changer, sounded CNN's Fareed Zakaria on Friday.
"I think this is a highly politicized set of charges and countercharges," added Zakaria. This from the man who reportedly was considered for a post in Obama's next administration if he was re-elected. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As the Big Three's evening newscasts ignored the latest in the controversy over the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya for seven straight days, their morning shows aren't doing much better. On Friday, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning together devoted less than two minutes of air time - 1 minute, 50 seconds - to the ambush that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American military veterans.
NBC's Today show mentioned the Libya attack only in passing, when Tom Brokaw noted it as one of a "series" of supposed October surprises in the presidential race, including "the President not showing up for the first debate, Benghazi", and Hurricane Sandy.
For the seventh night in a row, ABC’s World News, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News refused to give one single second of coverage to the Obama administration’s deceitful response to the terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11. According to the Media Research Center, the last time Benghazi was discussed on one of the flagship network evening news casts was the October 25 edition of CBS Evening News.
Since then, ABC News and CBS News have relegated coverage of the Benghazi terrorist attack to their websites. Jake Tapper’s November 1 report for ABC News landed on the Drudge Report, while a post from CBS News’ Sharyl Atkisson that same day was picked up by Real Clear Politics. But the millions of viewers who tune in to ABC’s World News and CBS Evening News were not permitted to hear these stories on the evening broadcasts.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacts:
Unlike the liberal media who are engaging in a full-scale blackout of the scandal in Libya, Friday’s Fox & Friends engaged in a vigorous debate over the attack on our Embassy in Benghazi.
Fox News Channel liberal contributor Geraldo Rivera engaged in a full-out shouting match with conservative-leaning co-hosts Steve Doocy and Eric Bolling. During the back-and-forth, Geraldo’s main argument was thus: [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
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.
Earlier today, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell accurately noted that the Big Three TV news networks are "as guilty in ... (the Benghazi) cover-up as is the administration." He did so based on the fact that "For the sixth night in a row, ABC World News, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News refused to give one single second of coverage to a Fox News report that the Obama Administration denied help to those attacked and killed by terrorists at the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11."
Not that it mitigates the legitimacy of Mr. Bozell's outrage, but one can take some comfort in the fact that fewer people are tuning in to the three nightly news broadcasts than were doing so a year ago, and that their ratings in the 25-54 demographic in the past five weeks are down by almost 20 percent from the same five-week period during the 2008 presidential cycle. A table containing individual results from the past two weeks and the average results from the past five is after the jump (a previous NewsBusters post on the first three weeks is here).
For the sixth night in a row, ABC World News, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News refused to give one single second of coverage to a Fox News report that the Obama Administration denied help to those attacked and killed by terrorists at the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11. According to a Media Research Center analysis, ABC, CBS, and NBC have failed to cover this devastating story - not to confirm it, not to knock it down, and never mind do their own investigation. The story broke last Friday, long before Hurricane Sandy swamped the news cycle. Further, neither The Washington Post nor The New York Times has committed a single inch of their newspapers to a news story about this report.
According to Fox News, “sources claim officers at the nearby CIA annex in Benghazi were twice told to stand down when they requested to help those at the consulate. They later ignored those orders. Fox News was also told that a subsequent request for back-up when the annex came under attack was denied as well.”
NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacts:
The heroic actions of Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty on September 11 in Benghazi, Libya, are a "riveting story" that the broadcast networks should be clamoring to cover, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told FNC's Sean Hannity last night. Similarly, the criticism of the Obama administration by Woods's father has been ignored by major media outlets other than Fox News, Hannity observed.
"There's a massive coverup going on," Bozell noted. "I think it is huge, it's bigger than most people realize it is. I believe that if the truth came out, it would cost Barack Obama his reelection. And the media are so vested in his reelection, they are flat-out complicit in this coverup. They are refusing to report news," the Media Research Center told the audience of the October 31 Hannity. [watch the "Media Mash" segment here]
The Tonight Show host began a series of jokes about the President during his monologue with a jab at the Commander-in-Chief dodging questions about what really happened at our consulate in Benghazi last month (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
NBC’s David Gregory isn’t always a news reporter. As we're seeing with increasing frequency on that network, he's squashing stories. Call him an unreporter. On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” he showed the extent to which he'll vaporize any suggestion that Team Obama failed to offer adequate protection from terrorists at our consulate in Benghazi.
Businesswoman Carly Fiorina slammed Obama’s Libya response: “That attack went on for seven hours…[with the] Secretary of Defense saying he denied requests for help over that seven hours.” Gregory cut her off: “We’ll get to Libya a little bit later.” Surprise: It never came up again.
The Media Research Center is out with the latest edition of our Notable Quotables newsletter, a compilation of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes from the liberal meda. This week's lowlights: Liberal pundits insist that the unfolding details of Obama's incompetent handling of the September 11 attack in Benghazi is an "utterly contrived" story, an "October Mirage."
The ever-wacky Chris Matthews is even sticking with Team Obama's now discredited first response: "Everybody knows it's about the video. It's all about the video."
This week's best quotes are after the jump; you can read the entire issue at www.MRC.org:
On Saturday, NewsBusters asked if it would be fascinating if Barack Obama's interview with MSNBC's Morning Joe ended up being an easier one than he recently got with the ladies of ABC's The View.
We got our answer Monday, and in the end, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski asked absolutely nothing of the President that could be perceived as a hardball (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary).
Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume upbraided the press for its lack of interest in pursuing the Obama administration’s misstatements and dissembling on what they knew before and after the Benghazi terrorist attacks, lamenting on Fox News Sunday that “one of the problems we’re having here is, that it has fallen to this news organization, Fox News and a couple others, to do all the heavy lifting on this story.”
A “couple of others” may be generous. CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson is about the only other major news outlet journalist showing any interest. “The mainstream organs of the media that would be after this like a pack of hounds, if this were a Republican President,” Hume observed, “have been remarkably reticent.”
It's hard to find a benchmark against which to compare remarks delivered by Vice President Joe Biden, but here's one from a past administration. In June 2004, Bush 43 Vice President Dick Cheney was greeted on the Senate Floor at the annual Senate photo op by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. Leahy had previously been flogging the left's phantasm over alleged "profiteering" by Halliburton, the company at which Cheney had served as Chairman and CEO from 1995-2000. At the end of a testy exchange, Cheney either said "(F-word) you" or "(F-word) yourself."
After watching the third presidential debate, are you clear on America's foreign policy? I thought not. That's because there appears to be no singular foreign policy, rather a series of foreign policies, which must be tailored to fit each nation.
I expected Mitt Romney to go after President Obama on his most recent foreign policy failure, the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including the U.S. ambassador. The president had no explanation as to why there was inadequate security in Benghazi, preferring instead to say only that we are "going after the killers." Romney refused to press him on it. Some may have viewed this as a missed opportunity, but I think it was designed to show Romney's restraint and to counter the "do you want to get us into another Middle East war?" charge.
ABC News has mostly ignored the blockbuster revelation that the Obama White House knew, within hours, about the terrorist connection to the September 11, 2012 attack in Libya. Instead, shows such as World News and Good Morning America have focused their attention on more pressing subjects, such as yawning dogs, "mystery monkeys" and a woman who only eats three different foods.
On Wednesday Night, World News allowed a scant 20 seconds to e-mails showing that the strike on the Benghazi embassy was, indeed, a pre-planned assault. Yet, on Thursday, Diane Sawyer devoted a minute and 47 seconds to answering this pressing question: "...We know how contagious yawns can be among people, but have you ever wondered if your dog is yawning because you did?" [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
During the past almost seven weeks, the establishment press has dug itself a deep credibility hole thanks to its disgracefully selective, negligent, and politically twisted reporting on the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 and its determined attempt to defend the Obama administration's ever-evolving and contradictory stories about the attack's origins. Along the way, legitimate questions have been raised about the administration's willingness and ability to protect those who serve us overseas.
Now the question is whether the press will let that hole get even deeper now that Jennifer Griffin at Fox News is reporting that the CIA requests for help during that attack were rejected. The first four paragraphs of the "read the whole thing" report follow:
During a 20-minute interview with President Obama aired on Thursday's NBC Rock Center, host Brian Williams devoted a total of 1 minute 36 seconds to the subject of the terrorist attack in Libya. At the same time, four segments of soft coverage of the President's re-election campaign received a combined total of 2 minutes 19 seconds.
The promotional fluff included the President stopping by a pizza shop in Iowa (1 min 3 sec), appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (30 sec), having singer Katy Perry perform at a rally in Las Vegas (31 sec), and him picking up some donuts at a Krispy Kreme in Tampa (15 sec).
Even after all the e-mails and information has come out over the past few weeks proving dissembling by President Obama himself and other administration officials on what they knew about the Benghazi attack and how their public pronouncements did not match reality, NBC’s Brian Williams, on Thursday’s Rock Center, treated President Obama as a victim of bad intelligence who is struggling to find the truth.
Incredible. The perfect definition of “in the tank.”
Williams spent a couple of days with Obama for campaign travelogue pieces which consumed the first 25 minutes of the prime time hour. In Colorado with Obama on Wednesday afternoon, Williams posed this obsequious question:
CBS This Morning brought on liberal Colin Powell on Thursday so he could break his endorsement of President Obama and boost the Democratic candidate that he supported in 2008. Norah O'Donnell spotlighted Powell's service with "several Republican presidents" and wondered if he was "still Republican." When the former secretary of state claimed that he's a "Republican of a more moderate mold," Rose pressed him if he "may have to leave the Republican Party, if it continues in the direction that it's going."
Despite noting Powell's past service as secretary of state and national security advisor, and asking for his "concerns...about Governor [Mitt] Romney's foreign policy," neither Rose nor O'Donnell once mentioned the ongoing issue of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. They decided instead to joke with their guest about his love of the viral musical track, "Call Me Maybe."
It appears as though MSNBC has gone into overdrive covering up for the Obama administration over the terrorist attack on our consulate in Libya. Following emails uncovered by CBS News late Tuesday evening showing the White House knew within two hours that the attack was terrorist related, MSNBC has run a grand total of two stories on these shocking developments.
Unlike yesterday, NBC's Today did provide a news brief on the emails Thursday morning as well as a story during Wednesday night’s Nightly News, but their sister cable network MSNBC has only covered the story once today, on The Daily Rundown at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.
This morning the Washington Post website announced that the paper had decided to endorse President Barack Obama for reelection. That endorsement should hit the print edition tomorrow. But make no mistake, endorsing the president is not the only cover the paper is granting the president. Witness the Post's treatment of the latest, damning development in the Benghazi fiasco.
Buried at the bottom of page A5 in the New York Times International section Thursday: "E-Mails Offer Glimpse at What U.S. Knew in First Hours After Attack in Libya." Intelligence reporter Eric Schmitt's text was as mild as his story's headline on the matter of the leaked emails, which proved the White House had intelligence suggesting the attacks in Libya were planned terrorism, not a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muhammad clip on YouTube, as the president maintained a full two weeks after the attacks.
Schmitt provided some cover for the president by suggesting a "lag between turning often contradictory and incomplete field reporting into a finished assessment" and showed the administration and intelligence officials "trying to put into context the e-mails sent by the State Department operations center...."
Every other network has produced at least one major story. While not enough, in some cases, it’s something. From ABC, it’s nothing.
ABC is aiding and abetting the Obama administration’s cover-up of their deceitful response to the Benghazi terrorist attack. There is no bigger story than Obama’s Benghazi lie, and ABC, a so-called news network, has absolutely no excuse for hiding the truth from the American people.
**UPDATE** At 2:30 p.m. EDT, MSNBC mentioned the damaging emails for the first time, coupling it with breaking news of an arrest in the attack on our Libyan consulate.
Following in the footsteps of its sister broadcast network, MSNBC has continued to ignore the shocking revelation that the White House knew on September 11 that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was under a well-coordinated terrorist attack.
As NewsBusters’ Matthew Balan noted, NBC's Today was the only broadcast network morning show this to ignore the story altogether, with MSNBC following suit by remaining silent as well throughout the day. In contrast, both Fox News and CNN have run numerous stories Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday evening, CBS broke wide open a story on State Department e-mails showing the White House knew on September 11 that the consulate in Benghazi was subjected to a terrorist attack, and that terrorists took credit on Facebook and Twitter. But by Wednesday, the three network morning shows weren't leaping to follow up. ABC and CBS combined devoted just over a minute to the story, while NBC completely ignored it.
By contrast, all three newscasts showed that they were more interested in helping the Democrats in Indiana, aggressively spotlighting Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's faith-based affirmation that he did not support abortion even in the case of rape, that even those are children "God intended." Mourdock's "controversial comments" drew more than seven and a half minutes of coverage.
At the Associated Press Tuesday evening, the wire service re-posted verbatim Eileen Sullivan's "Why It Matters" report from October 15. One of that report's core assertions is that It "injected the issue of diplomatic security into the presidential campaign and renewed questions about the quality of U.S. intelligence." At my related NewsBusters post that day, I noted that President Obama and administration had "lots of intelligence within 24 hours of the attack, and that there was no reason to doubt its accuracy."
Reports Tuesday evening from other news sources -- notably not picked up by AP as of 6:45 this morning Eastern Time (the better to possibly keep it from appearing on the morning TV News shows which rely heavily on AP for content) -- indicate that the White House knew that the Benghazi attack was terrorism within minutes of its beginning. Excerpts from Reuters and CBS News follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):