CBS Highlights FBI's Latest Benghazi Development; NBC Yawns

Thursday's CBS This Morning singled out the FBI's pursuit of three persons of interest who could provide information on the September 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Margaret Brennan touted how "what happened that night is still the topic of debate in Washington", and noted that members of Congress "want to speak to those Americans evacuated from Benghazi, but claim the White House won't release the names."

ABC devoted a news brief to the FBI's investigation on Wednesday's World News, but didn't cover the development the following morning on Good Morning America. NBC apparently didn't find the story newsworthy, as they failed to cover it on their evening and morning newscasts.

Margaret Brennan, CBS News Correspondent; Screen Cap From 2 May 2013 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgBrennan led her report by outlining how "the FBI wants to speak to three unidentified men...who appear to be holding weapons on the grounds of the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi...the men may provide information about the attack that killed four Americans. Members of Congress are also after more information from the White House." She continued by playing a sound bite from Senator John McCain, who accused the Obama administration of "not providing the Congress...with the information that's needed for us to conclude this tragic chapter in American history."

The CBS correspondent later pointed out that "McCain and his Republican colleagues have held more than 20 hearings focused on the attack during the past eight months. Now, they want to speak to those Americans evacuated from Benghazi, but claim the White House won't release the names. The administration argues that they have answered all relevant questions." She provided balance to the McCain clip by playing an excerpt of President Obama's comments on the attack from a Tuesday news conference.

Near the end of the segment, Brennan reported that "eight months later, there are no suspects and no arrests", and added that "the union representing the Foreign Service says some of its members also have questions about how these deaths could have been avoided."

Just over a week earlier, CBS also stood out in covering a "blistering report criticizing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton" with regard to the Benghazi attack, while NBC and ABC punted on covering it on their morning and evening newscasts. However, the Big Three still haven't covered the allegations of a Benghazi whistleblower who claimed that U.S. special forces could have responded to the September 11 assault on the consulate.

The full transcript of Margaret Brennan's report on Thursday's CBS This Morning:


CHARLIE ROSE: Taking a cue from Boston, the FBI is now releasing photographs from last year's attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Margaret Brennan is at the State Department. Margaret, good morning.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Good morning to you, Charlie, and to Norah. The FBI wants to speak to three unidentified men who were on the grounds of the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi on September 11. What happened that night is still the topic of debate in Washington almost eight months after the attack.

[CBS News Graphic: "Benghazi Photos Released: FBI Searching For Three Men"]

BRENNAN (voice-over): These images show three unidentified men who appear to be holding weapons on the grounds of the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi. The FBI says the men may provide information about the attack that killed four Americans. Members of Congress are also after more information from the White House.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R), ARIZONA: I'm not accusing them of a cover-up, but I am accusing them – and am very strongly accusing them of not providing the Congress of the United States with the information that's needed for us to conclude this tragic chapter in American history.
                           
BRENNAN: McCain and his Republican colleagues have held more than 20 hearings focused on the attack during the past eight months. Now, they want to speak to those Americans evacuated from Benghazi, but claim the White House won't release the names. The administration argues that they have answered all relevant questions. President Obama said Tuesday he remains focused on finding out what happened.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (from press conference): Our job with respect to Benghazi has been to find out exactly what happened, to make sure that U.S. embassies – not just in the Middle East, but around the world – are safe and secure, and to bring those who carried it out to justice.

BRENNAN: But eight months later, there are no suspects and no arrests. This week, the families of the fallen will see the names of their loved ones unveiled here at the U.S. State Department. Added to the list: Ambassador Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Ty Woods, and Sean Smith.

BRENNAN (on-camera): The union representing the Foreign Service says some of its members also have questions about how these deaths could have been avoided. Secretary [John] Kerry and Vice President [Joe] Biden will honor the victims and other fallen service officers at a ceremony held here tomorrow.

NORAH O'DONNELL: All right. Margaret Brennan, thank you.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center