On Thursday evening, ABC was the only broadcast network to cover the day's congressional hearing on the Benghazi attacks. Both CBS and NBC ignored the hearing. ABC only covered the story for 46 seconds; they gave twice that amount of coverage to the U.S. Olympic speedskating suits.
World News quoted retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell, at the U.S. Africa Command headquarters during the attacks, telling Congress that the military "should have done more" to respond. ABC also included the White House's response that according to top military brass, no units were close enough to respond. What ABC didn't include was Lovell's implied answer to that excuse: "The point is we should have tried."
The general added that "We didn’t know how long this would last when we became aware of the distress, nor did we completely understand what we had in front of us, be it a kidnapping, rescue, recovery, protracted hostile engagement, or any or all of the above."
NBC ignored the hearings after it was the only network on Thursday morning to even touch the latest developments in the Benghazi story – and it focused the White House's response to accusations of a cover-up, giving the story just 28 seconds.
All three broadcast networks covered Thursday's hearing in online reports. However, the story made it into only one evening news cast, the World News.
Below is a transcript of the short item on the May 1 edition of ABC's World News:
DIANE SAWYER: We turn to news tonight about the tragedy in Benghazi, the attack on the U.S. consulate that killed four Americans including a U.S. ambassador. Today, retired Brigadier General Robert Lovell testified that before Congress that the U.S. military should have tried to do more to fend off that attack.
Rep. JASON CHAFFETZ (R-Utah): What would you say to the mother of one of the people that was killed?
Brig. Gen. ROBERT LOVELL (Ret.): I would say sorry for your loss. And your sacrifice. We should have done more.
(End Video Clip)
SAWYER: The White House pointed out today that the top military officials have repeatedly said there were no U.S. military forces close enough to fight back.