On Tuesday, CBS's Sharyl Attkisson broke on Twitter that the Obama administration "has indicated that it will not be answering Benghazi question we've been asking since Oct." Attkisson, who has provided hard-hitting reporting on the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, listed many of the questions that the executive branch has yet to answer about the story.
The journalist noted in a later Tweet that "CBS News FOI'd Benghazi info from State Dept, CIA, FBI and Defense Dept. None has been provided." Attkisson also pointed out a false claim by the administration:
Jay Leno continued his comedic assault on the White House Tuesday.
During the opening monologue of NBC's Tonight Show, the host said David Petraeus's mistress Paula Broadwell had more information about Benghazi than United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In her "Sunday Roundup" post at the site which bears her last name, Arianna Huffington supported that notion that "This week, America finally began questioning the judgment of its generals," but lamented that the scrutiny is over "sexual conduct rather than military conduct."
Fine, that's her opinion. But what's really odd is that she apparently thought that referencing a headline found at the Onion would be seen by readers as meaningful support for her argument (HT to a NewsBusters tipster):
How I look forward to Rachel Maddow's chummy chats with Bay Area soulmate Nancy Pelosi -- especially when it turns awkward.
On her MSNBC show last night, Maddow showed clips of her "exclusive" interview with Pelosi earlier in the day. It was during their discussion of the Petraeus scandal that matters took a turn toward hilarity, an outcome always on the horizon whenever Pelosi is involved. (video clip after page break)
As more information comes to light regarding the attacks on our embassy in Benghazi, now seems like a perfect time to examine how an objective journalist deals with the Obama administration's evolving view of the attack as opposed to how an Obama-boosting one does. Viewers of the 10 a.m. hour of MSNBC programming got to see such a sharp contrast this morning.
Speaking with fill-in host Richard Lui on Jansing & Co., Joy-Ann Reid of TheGrio.com and Ron Fournier of National Journal were brought on to discuss the recent revelations that former CIA Director Petraeus knew within 24-hours that the attack on our embassy was an act of terrorism. Hearing the responses from Ms. Reid and Mr. Fournier could not offer a better contrast between Reid's bias and Fournier's dissatisfaction with swallowing whole the media's storyline. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair has raised and will continue to raise a number of questions.
First among them (OK, maybe not first, national security being more important, but stay with me) is why should he have resigned? I am always amused when journalists use the words "sex scandal" when writing about such things. Having abandoned most standards for what used to be called "upright behavior," culture now "tsk-tsks" when someone is caught in a compromising position.
As the discussions about sex and sex scandals dominate the media due to the Petraeus affair, one affair the media are strangely silent about is that of New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, who was handily reelected last week despite shocking allegations that his idea of an Easter vacation was flying to the Dominican Republican to soliciting sex from prostitutes. Oh, and, like Secret Service agents in Colombia before him, the hookers are saying that he stiffed them on the tab.
The latest development in the Menendez saga, according to Scott Wong at Politico is that:
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell took turns hammering Senator John McCain on Wednesday's CBS This Morning over his promise to block any potential nomination of Susan Rice to be secretary of state. Rose grilled McCain after the Republican slammed Rice for blaming a "spontaneous" mob for the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi: "Didn't Susan Rice say that...all the information was not in, and she did not know everything there was to be known....what should she have said, based on what she knew at the moment?"
O'Donnell also tried to shift blame away from Ambassador Rice to a "failure with the intelligence coming out of the CIA." She later pointed a finger at former CIA Director David Petraeus and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. When the Arizona senator confirmed that Petraeus and Clinton deserved scrutiny, Rose interjected, "But why not wait for them before you make a judgment about Susan Rice?" [audio available here; video below the jump]
Unless today is a total surprise and runs contrary to most of what we've seen during the past four years, President Obama will go through another "news conference" without a great deal of difficult or aggressive questioning from the assembled press corps.
Carrie Budoff Brown and Josh Gerstein at the Politico seem to think otherwise, and have produced a lame list of seven questions they think Obama will be asked -- so lame that one of them has to do with recently passed marijuana-legalizing initiatives in the states of Washington and Colorado:
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Tuesday said the White House used David Petraeus’s affair to get the CIA director to give testimony about the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that was in line with the administration’s position on the matter.
Appearing on Fox News's Special Report, Krauthammer said, "The sword was lowered on Election Day" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The shocking revelation of CIA Director David Petraeus's adultery has rocked Washington and has thrilled the media, perhaps a little too much.
Forget the pain that adultery causes and which Holly Petraeus must be feeling right now. For the Daily Beast/Newsweek's Lizzie Crocker, the whole situation is the perfect news peg to offer aspiring philanderers lessons they can learn from the ex-CIA chief's "rookie mistakes."
During a eight minute interview, Tuesday's CBS This Morning helped left-wing radical Oliver Stone promote his latest project - a revisionist documentary and book on World War II and the beginning of the Cold War that credits the Soviet Union for winning World War II and indicting the United States for its supposed "history of aggression."
Anchor Charlie Rose omitted a key part of the New York Times critique of Stone's project when he noted that the liberal newspaper "called your series 'a ten-part indictment of the United States that doesn't pretend to be even-handed'." Reviewer Alessandra Stanley had also charged that the documentary "sounds almost like a parody, a sendup of that filmmaker's love of bombast and right-wing conspiracy." The leftist director flatly denied he wasn't being even-handed. [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
Not surprisingly, NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno made a lot of jokes about David Petraeus Monday evening.
He began a series of them during his opening monologue by saying, "Hope everybody went out today and hugged a veteran - unless your name is Paula Broadwell" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On everyone's mind this morning was the resignation of CIA Deputy Director David Petraeus on Friday. Liberal radio talk show host Bill Press did his best to catch his listeners up on the details of the scandal, but then went on a rant asking why it's even an issue.
At no point in his defense of the former Army general and CIA chief did Press bring up the impending hearing concerning Libya on Capitol Hill that Petraeus was scheduled to appear before, nor did he think an FBI investigation was necessary -- despite the confidentiality agreement Petraeus submitted to before accepting one of the highest, if not the highest-level security clearance job there is in the federal government [ video below, MP3 audio here ]:
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Sharyl Attkisson filed a hard-hitting report on the possible ties between former CIA chief David Petraeus's resignation and the continuing controversy over the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Attkisson spotlighted how Petraeus told several members of Congress that "video of the Benghazi attack supports an element of spontaneity, as the administration first claimed."
Anchor Charlie Rose also hyped Rep. Peter King's theory on General Petraeus's resignation: "The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says the timing of the resignation suggests a cover-up. Petraeus was scheduled to testify to Congress this week about the attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya." [audio clip available here; video below the jump]
Andrea Mitchell was willing to peddle the Obama party line regarding the Petraeus matter . . . but Joe Scarborough wasn't buying. On today's Morning Joe, Mitchell dutifully reported that "according to all the officials involved," President Obama was not informed about Petraeus until the Thursday after the election.
Scarborough dropped something of a bombshell, saying he "heard about something like this coming several weeks ago." Said Scarborough emphatically: "don't tell me the White House didn't know. That is not true." View the video after the jump.
Greta Van Susteren on ABC's This Week Sunday took exception with a cheap shot at Fox News from Nation magazine's Katrina vanden Heuvel.
This came after vanden Heuvel said of former CIA director David Petraeus, "Don't forget that over at your network at Fox, he was your candidate for a while" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Friday that the revelations concerning CIA Director David Petraeus's affair will now make what happened at our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, back in September "the hottest story around."
As Krauthammer noted on Fox News's Special Report, this goes in stark contrast to how the media buried this story before Tuesday's election (video follows with transcript and commentary):
One obvious double standard in network coverage of the War on Terror came in stories on Gen. David Petraeus, who was maligned by left-wing activists as “General Betray Us” under Bush. The media didn’t really object to a MoveOn.org full-page ad in The New York Times using that epithet, although they did report President Bush’s objection to it.
On the September 10, 2007 World News, reporter Jonathan Karl related: “War critics inside and outside the hearing room attacked Petraeus, saying he had manipulated statistics – failing, for example, include many killings in his calculation of ethnic violence. The anti-war group MoveOn.org went further, accusing the General of cooking the books for the White House.”
Controversy ain't what it used to be, not at MSNBC.
The network's Rachel Maddow cited two odd examples of what she deems controversial on her show Thursday, in the first and only time both examples will ever be cited as controversial (video after page break) --
President Obama announced last night that he will withdraw his entire 30,000 troop surge from 2009, bringing home 10,000 troops from Afghanistan this year, and an additional 20,000 troops by the end of next summer.
The plan is a much more aggressive withdrawal than recommended by the Gen. David Petraeus and other Pentagon officials, who recommended one more fighting season against the Taliban to maintain the recent gains American troops have made.
Check out a video of his speech after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Fox News haters love to advance the myth that the network pushes exclusively conservative views and the anchors surround themselves with right-leaning yes men who never question them.
On the latest installment of "Fox News Sunday," liberal political analyst Juan Williams challenged host Chris Wallace's view of the public's support for the war in Afghanistan leading to a humorous exchange (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Just as quickly as Ed Schultz revealed he is capable of cognition, the liberal radio host and aspiring MSNBC arsonist regressed to himself.
Here's Schultz on his radio show yesterday talking about criticism from General David Petraeus, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama of an obscure pastor's vow to burn copies of the Koran, thereby elevating it to international news (link here for audio) --
Christiane Amanpour on Sunday asked a rather surprising question of her "This Week" panel concerning President Obama's speech earlier in the week about the troop draw down in Iraq:
Do you think everybody is taking a lot of credit but not giving credit where credit is due?
Obviously, "everybody" in this instance meant the current White House resident who chose not to give credit to former President George W. Bush for the success in Iraq or to even mention "the surge" in his address.
After former Bush speechwriter now Washington Post contributor Michael Gerson said, "I didn't find the speech to be a particularly generous speech...he's attempting to take credit for something that he opposed," some truly shocking statements were made by Amanpour and Politico's John Harris (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN, host Howard Kurtz played a portion of a video montage that was posted both on NewsBusters and on NB’s parent organization the Media Research Center’s Web site showing that correspondents on several broadcast and news networks lavished excessive praise on President Obama by calling his decision to replace General Stanley McChrystal with General David Petraeus a "brilliant" move. The CNN host played the portion of the clip that was shown on Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC.
But, as he brought up the montage with guest Lara Logan of CBS News, Kurtz missed the point as he suggested that the MRC/NewsBusters was somehow complaining that the "liberal media are in love with David Petraeus and they’re falling into line," when, in reality, the point was journalistic infatuation with Obama illustrated by so many media figures using the same word, "brilliant," and that since Petraeus is so obviously well qualified for the position it hardly takes genius to name him to the post.
Logan, accepting Kurtz’s flawed premise, responded: "Well, if they had said it was a bad decision, then it would be 'the liberal media hate David Petraeus and they’re not falling into line.'" She later concluded that the decision was, indeed, "brilliant" on Obama’s part: "The only way he had to ensure, to silence the critics and really to move on, this reassured the troops, this reassured the commanders, this reassured people who were in favor of it – the Afghans, the allies. That’s why people are calling it brilliant, maybe because it was brilliant."
While the television networks were doing an Obama Superiority Dance, proclaiming the president's firing Gen. Stanley McChrystal and replacing him with Gen. David Petraeus was "brilliant," something was missing in the coverage. That was a sense that if Petraeus is universally honored as the savior of Iraq, why do the networks all forget it was Obama and Biden who suggested Petraeus and his surge was a bad idea a few years ago?
On NBC, Chuck Todd was promoting it as a "commander-in-chief moment." Mr. Todd, please read a piece of this Meet the Press interview from September 7, 2008, with appreciation for fill-in host Tom Brokaw actually pushing new V.P. nominee Joe Biden about whether the surge and its architect deserved any credit for improvements in Iraq. Biden didn't want to cry uncle:
BROKAW: Here you were, just one year ago, on Meet the Press. This was your take on the surge at that time, so let's listen to that, Senator. "I mean, the truth of the matter is this administration's policy and the surge are a failure," you said, "and that the surge, which was supposed to stop sectarian violence and - long enough to give political reconciliation, there has been no political reconciliation."
In a classic example of liberal hypocrisy, the far-left leaning, George Soros-funded group MoveOn.org has removed its controversial "General Betray Us" ad from its website.
For those that have forgotten, shortly after General David Petraeus issued his report to Congress in September 2007 concerning the condition of the war in Iraq and the success of that March's troop surge, MoveOn placed a full-page ad in the New York Times with the headline, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?"
This created quite a firestorm with media outlets on both sides of the aisle circling the wagons to either defend or berate both the Times and MoveOn.
Now that President Obama has appointed Petraeus to replace the outgoing Gen. Stanley McChrystal to lead the war effort in Afghanistan, the folks on the far-left that castigated Petraeus when he worked for George W. Bush have to sing a different tune.
With that in mind, the ad, which has been at MoveOn's website for years, was unceremoniously removed on Wednesday as reported by our friends at Weasel Zippers: