This afternoon (late morning Pacific Time), Roger Simon at PJ Media had several reactions to the latest developments in the Benghazi saga, as new evidence surfaced of a White House "effort to insulate President Barack Obama from the attacks that killed four Americans." Simon's press-related assertion: "We will now see if there is even a figment of honesty in our mainstream media ..."
Though it's still early (but just barely), it's not looking good, my friend. Matt Hadro at NewsBusters indicated as much earlier tonight in noting that the TV networks have thus far ignored the news. Later, I'll show that other key online establishment press sources are also ignoring this bombshell story.
On the Thursday edition of WMAL's Mornings on the Mall radio show, Sharyl Attkisson spotlighted the Obama administration's many inconsistencies in their claims about the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. Attkisson outlined, in detail, "all of the different stories told about the talking points" about the terrorist attack.
Former Fox News anchor Brian Wilson and Breitbart.com's Larry O'Connor turned to the former CBS News journalist for her take on former deputy CIA director Mike Morell's congressional testimony on the Benghazi issue on Wednesday. She zeroed in on how Morell and others were trying to minimize any perception that the talking points were altered for political considerations: [MP3 audio of the full Attkisson segmentavailable here]
Because the United States should "focus... on preventing more war, terrorism and [nuclear] proliferation," it's probably time that we just "get over" the Iranian hostage crisis, argues Barbara Slavin in her April 2 Voice of America column, "Can We Ever Move on from the Hostage Crisis?"
The career journalist was expressing her annoyance with how there is consternation in Washington over the prospect of the Obama/Kerry State Department granting a visa to an Iranian diplomat who was a figure in the student-led seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979. To Slavin's mind, this is a cynical ploy to scotch Iranian nuclear talks and, besides, haven't we Americans also upset Iranians with some of the things we've done in the past? (emphasis mine):
It must be nice for a major news network to self-congratulate itself by bringing on someone to give them an award. Such was the case on Wednesday April 3, when “CBS This Morning” brought on Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Ira Glass to present co-host Charlie Rose with a Peabody Award for an interview he conducted with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
Hunter-Gault hyped the “surprise” she had for Rose before proclaiming that “This amazing get of one of the arch villains of the world whom you treated with respect and yet you didn't back off, you pressed him, and we all got to see what this man is made of and how he thinks.” [See video below.]
Imagine, if you will, it's the midterm election year of 2006 and President George W. Bush's secretary of state making careless remarks which seem to lend moral validity to an economic boycott of the United States's staunchest ally in the Middle East. The Washington Post would surely glom onto such an embarrassing gaffe and play it up as much as possible.
Yet when John Kerry made such remarks about the State of Israel, the Post's William Booth spun the gaffe as best he could, seemingly exasperated that Israeli statesmen were even complaining about the remarks. For their part, Booth's bosses dutifully shuffled to story to page A8 of the February 3 edition, rather than give it more prominent coverage (emphasis mine):
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts have yet to report about the bilateral squabble between the Obama administration and Israel over Secretary of State John Kerry's warning on Saturday that the U.S. ally faces "an increasing delegitimization campaign that has been building up....There are talks of boycotts and other kinds of things."
The war of words comes days after actress Scarlett Johansson ended her eight-year affiliation with Oxfam due to their opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Johansson appeared in a Super Bowl ad for SodaStream, a company based in Israel that runs a large facility on the West Bank. On Monday, CNN anchor Michaela Pereira devoted a news brief on New Day to Kerry's remark and the Israeli government's reaction: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday's All In show, MSNBC's Chris Hayes ended the show with a commentary appealing to 16 Senate Democrats who are joining with Republicans to push more sanctions on Iran, as the MSNBC host blamed the pro-Israel group AIPAC for influencing these Democrats, and accused the Senators of being "intent on sabotaging the President's peace talks and pushing us towards another war."
As he listed out a number of public figures who oppose the Obama administration's deal with Iran, Hayes also framed skeptics of the deal as being "apoplectic at the thought of peace."
In a disgusting display of just how far the liberal media will go to preserve Hillary Clinton's presidential prospects, Katty Kay has blamed Ambassador Chris Stevens for his own death, while letting Hillary off the hook.
On today's Morning Joe, the BBC's Kay called the newly-released Senate report on the Benghazi attack "sad" because it showed that Stevens was "fallible." Kay claimed that "he didn't ask for and even rejected some of the security he might have had." This flies in the face of the report's findings that "State, then under Hillary Clinton, refused requests to boost security despite warnings from the CIA and its own staff about the danger of militant attacks." View the video after the jump.
On January 7, CNN's national security analyst Peter Bergen wrote on CNN.com that "al Qaeda appears to control more territory in the Arab world than it has done at any time in its history." However, CNN only mentioned his eye-opening piece once since it was published online.
In contrast to its virtual ignorance of Bergen's article, CNN reported on Dennis Rodman's bizarre visit to North Korea on nine different news hours last Wednesday.
Discouraging headlines are appearing about the deterioration of the situation in Iraq, the war U.S. troops won in 2008. Bloomberg News notes, "Al-Qaeda Fighters Take Fallujah as Iraqi Army Attacks." The Washington Post reports that an "Al-Qaeda force captures Fallujah amid rise in violence in Iraq."
At the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, the headline writers are apparently more interested in making sure that as few readers as possible take an interest in the story, based on the non-descriptive headline they have chosen to employ:
Brent Bozell sent this to me marked "Terrific." Cliff May wrote about "The Disinformation Age" for National Review Online.
May found that "mainstream" journalists and their "Newseum" can't seem to tell the difference between a journalist and a communications operative for an Islamic terrorist organization. With more information sources than ever, some of them are interested in spreading jihad, not in providing accurate information:
On MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes show, host Hayes tagged opponents of President Obama's deal with Iran over its nuclear program as "extreme" and "nefarious' even while acknowledging that the opposition is bipartisan. Hayes began the segment:
On Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank reacted to GOP complaints about President Obama's Iran deal by cracking that Republicans "would have reflexively disapproved" even if Obama made a "deal to promote motherhood, baseball and apple pie."
But later, Milbank still predicted that the Iranian government "probably are not for real," as he recommended making the effort at a six-month deal anyway. Host Al Sharpton surpisingly also seemed to think it more likely than not that Iran would cheat as he asserted that "it's likely they may not live up to it."
After Sharpton introduced the segment complaining about a "deranged" response from conservatives who have attacked the deal, he went to Milbank, who began:
On Monday's All In show on MSNBC, as he celebrated the "truly historic" news of President Obama's deal with Iran, Chris Hayes mocked "neocons" for having a "dark day" and played the part of liberal caricature by suggesting that "neocons' nefariously wanted war with Iran for the "muscular assertion of military dominance."
A bit later, as he admitted that even Democrats in Congress are skeptical of the plan, he fretted about the possibility of Congress imposing more sanctions on Iran as he referred to doing so as "bonkers" and "ridiculous."
In response to several outlets contending with basis that the Associated Press sat on its knowledge that the United States and Iran were conducting secret diplomatic discussions, the AP's Paul Colford has published a "Back Story" item defending its conduct, claiming that it could not "confirm, to its standards, what had happened." My related NewsBusters post is here.
Breitbart had a related item earlier today. In it, Larry O'Connor posted a tweet from a specific person at another news organization indicating that "both had versions of it independently early & were asked to not publish til end of Iran talks." Barring a better explanation from AP than what readers will see after the jump, the tweet by Laura Rozen at the Washington-based, Middle East-focused Al-Monitor presumptively refutes AP's claim that it didn't have enough information to justify publishing a story (if they didn't, why would the government bother to ask them to not publish?). Colford did not address Rozen's relayed claim, even though his item more than likely went up several hours after O'Connor's Breitbart post and roughly 48 hours after Rozen's tweet (depending on its time zone). Colford's full AP post follows the jump (links and italics are in original):
My previous post (at BizzyBlog; at NewsBusters) dealt with Pace's blind acceptance of unsupported assertions about the reason for the Obama administration's delay of 2015 Obamacare enrollment until November 15, 2014 and her willingness to parrot long-discredited talking points about why the HealthCare.gov website initially crashed. Before that, she bragged about how her organization, which didn't exactly have a track record of sitting on news about secret Bush administration efforts, sat on what it knew about the existence of secret negotiations between the U.S. and Iran (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe credited Hillary Clinton with a "monumental effort" in "recovering from" the Bush administration's alleged mistakes as he responded to conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer's assertion that the former Secretary of State had no significant accomplishments she could point to in a presidential run. Wolffe:
I think we have the winner in the "If a Republican or conservative had said it" media bias category this year, if not this decade.
In the book "Double Down" by liberal journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann (reviewed by Peter Hamby at the Washington Post on Friday), President Barack Obama, while discussing drone strikes in 2012, reportedly told aides that he's "really good at killing people." This would have been headline news three seconds after Hamby's review, and Hamby would have headlined it himself instead of casually mentioning it in Paragraph 11. A Google News search on an obvious search string ("really good at Killing people" obama; sorted by date) at 6:45 p.m. returns only 11 items, none of which are establishment press outlets. Michael Kelley at Business Insider, which did not show up among the search items returned, had some interesting thoughts on Obama's alleged remark Saturday evening (bolds are mine throughout this post; Update: important links relating to CIA practices which can only be considered barbaric are in the original):
On Monday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC host Al Sharpton bizarrely devoted his regular "Nice Try" segment to Dick Cheney denying that he and Wyoming Republican Senator Mike Enzi are "fishing buddies," which the former Vice President did on Sunday's ABC This Week during a discussion of daughter Liz Cheney's bid for the Senate.
As he mocked the former Vice President, Sharpton managed to bring up the Iraq invasion and repeated the false assertion from the left that Cheney had claimed Iraq should be invaded because an Iraqi agent met with one of the 9/11 hijackers. Sharpton:
On Friday's All In show on MSNBC, as host Chris Hayes was joined by fellow MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow to gush over President Obama being the first American president since 1979 to speak with an Iranian president, Hayes at one point drew an analogy between former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's more radical faction and former President George W. Bush's "kind of neocon cowboy who liked to go around the world inflaming the world with rhetoric."
After making the obnoxious link, Hayes then clarified that he did not intend to suggest that Bush was "morally equivalent" to Ahmadinejad. Hayes:
On Tuesday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes twice asked California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee if Israel is an "obstacle" to a "diplomatic settlement between the U.S. and Iran," as the two discussed the possibility of a meeting between President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations gathering.
After playing a clip of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealing for help to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, Hayes posed:
The Big Three broadcast networks made their slanted priorities clear on their Thursday evening newscasts, as they fawned over Caroline Kennedy's Senate confirmation hearing earlier that day, but failed to cover the emotional congressional testimony of Pat Smith. Smith is the mother of Sean Smith, who died in the 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. post in Benghazi, Libya.
ABC's Martha Raddatz was awestruck over JFK's daughter: "For one brief shining moment, senators from both sides of the aisle seemed to harken back to the so-called Camelot days." NBC's Harry Smith gushed that "history and legacy were more important this morning than party or partisanship. The daughter of a president said she wanted to fulfill her father's wish." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Monday's The Last Word show, after former chess champion and Russian political activist Garry Kasparov charged that President Obama had "blown up [the] reputation of his office" by allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to talk him down from his "red line" warning against Syria, MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell tried to argue that Obama had not really lost face since he never specifically promised military action, even though the President warned of "enormous consequences" if chemical weapons were used.
The back and forth started after O'Donnell asked "what advice" the Russian activist had for Secretary of State John Kerry's "day to day negotiations" on the matter, prompting Kasparov to respond:
Expecting Syria to live up to an agreement between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for the cataloging, inspection, removal and eventual destruction or sequester of chemical weapons is a subtle seduction.
Why would a dictator like Bashar al-Assad relinquish his most potent weapon in the midst of a civil war? President Obama and his sycophants claim it was the threat of military action against Syria that focused Assad's mind. That hardly seems credible after Kerry's promise that any U.S. missile strike would be "unbelievably small."
In a 66-paragraph masterpiece, Journal reporters Adam Entous, Janet Hook, and Carol Lee gave a behind-the-scenes look of how, "Through mixed messages, miscalculations, and an 11th-hour break, the U.S. stumbled into an international crisis and then stumbled out of it." Among other things disclosed, "The same day [Secretary of State John] Kerry made his fateful remark" that Syria could simply give up its weapons to the international community, "the State Department sent Congress a memo detailing: 'Russian Obstruction of Actions on Syria.'" It really is a great exploration of the Keystone Kops nature of the Obama team's bungling of Syrian foreign policy. Here's a taste (emphasis mine):
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Sharyl Attkisson pointed out the "potential conflict of interest" in the ongoing controversy over the Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. Attkisson detailed how congressional Republican are scrutinizing Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy's involvement in naming staff to the Accountability Review Board, even as it was investigating his role in the lead-up to the September 11, 2012 attack. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
It was Attkisson's first report about Benghazi on CBS's morning and evening newscasts since the May 8, 2013 edition of CBS This Morning. Her report that day was the first time in over five months that the journalist reported about the story on the air.
While the liberal media predictably focus on the domestic political ramifications for President Obama as regards his strange and ever-evolving policy on Syria, the real story worth reporting is how Obama may actually be strengthening Bashar Assad's hand, even making him "a national hero" who can not only survive but thrive as a result.
In her September 12 front-page story "Syrian Rebels Hurt By Delay," The Wall Street Journal's Nour Malas has an excellent story to that effect. Filing from Istanbul, she quotes Mohammmed al-Daher, "a commander in the rebels' Western backed Free Syria Army" as lamenting that he "wouldn't be surprised if the end result of these negotiations is that [Assad] remains as president and beyond that, turns into a national hero who saved his country." Malas continued (emphasis mine):
"One does not sharpen the axes after the right time; after the time they are needed." -- Russian Proverb
The late Ukrainian violinist Mischa Elman is considered one of the greatest of all time, but he has nothing on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has played the Obama administration better than any musician.
As of Thursday morning, CBS's morning and evening newscasts have yet to mention a revelation made by their own investigative correspondent, Sharyl Attkisson, on Tuesday – that Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress "he will not honor the request to make Benghazi survivors available for questioning."
Wednesday's CBS Evening News aired a full report on the State Department's slow progress in upgrading security at U.S. diplomatic posts in the aftermath of the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack, but failed to mention Kerry's refusal. Margaret Brennan also let the Obama administration and Senator Robert Menendez hint that congressional Republicans were to blame for not appropriating the $2.2 billion needed for the security upgrades. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]