The headline writers for Bradley Klapper's story early Wednesday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, about the September 11 attack which destroyed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya and killed four Americans, including Libyan ambassador Christopher Stevens, had a real problem on their hands: How do we make our headline so boring that people who see it won't feel like clicking over to the story itself (or, if they're reading a newspaper, not moving on to it)? Their answer, which was pretty effective given their apparent goal: "State Dept reveals new details of Benghazi attack."
Zzz ... zzz ... Oh, excuse me, I needed a second cup of coffee to get past that snooze of a headline. Klapper's story wasn't any better, as he atrociously buried the lede -- that there never was a protest over the 14-minute anti-Mohammed video before the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya took place -- and was incredibly vague in his reference to this breathtaking story change when he finally did bring it forth (bolds are mine throughout this post):
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All was quiet outside the U.S. Consulate as evening fell on Benghazi andPresident Barack Obama's envoy to Libya was retiring after a day of diplomatic meetings.
There was no indication of the harrowing events that night would bring: assailants storming the compound and setting its buildings aflame, American security agents taking fire across more than a mile of the city, the ambassador and three employees killed and others forced into a daring car escape against traffic.
Senior State Department officials on Tuesday revealed for the first time certain details of last month's tragedy in the former Libyan rebel stronghold, such as the efforts of a quick reaction force that rushed onto the scene and led the evacuation in a fierce gun battle that continued into the streets. The briefing was provided a day before department officials were to testify to a House committee about the most serious attack on a U.S. diplomatic installation since al-Qaida bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenyaand Tanzania 14 years ago.
The account answers some questions and leaves others unanswered. Chief among them is why for several days the Obama administration said the assault stemmed from a protest against an American-made Internet video ridiculing Islam, and whether the consulate had adequate security.
Klapper never worked up the nerve to write that "there never was a protest" or anything near it.
Just as I was preparing this post, AP reporters Klapper and Larry Margasak released a separate story with what I believe was an opening time stamp of 8:37 a.m. and a crystal clear headline:
STATE: NEVER FELT LIBYA ATTACK DUE TO FILM PROTEST
The State Department now says it never believed the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was a film protest gone awry, giving congressional Republicans new fodder for criticizing the Obama administration's initial accounts of the assault.
The State Department's extraordinary break with other administration offices came in a department briefing Tuesday, where officials said "others" in the executive branch concluded initially that the protest was based, like others in the Middle East, on a film that ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad.
So Klapper, Margasak and whoever at AP might be reviewing their work apparently believe that only Republicans have a problem with the Obama administration lying to the American people for several weeks, and with seeing the "filmmaker," who now has been shown not to have had any role in motivating the jihadists who destroyed the consulate and killed Stevens and three others, arrested. The AP pair effectively smears the many independents and outside the Beltway Democrats who certainly care about this creepy and now utterly failed attempt to hide the truth.
The AP's new report doesn't negate the misdirecting value of the early morning version; instead, it proves it.
Klapper and AP's headline writers deliberately held back on information they now admit in a later report they had yesterday. This early-AM misdirection more than likely minimized the damage which would have occurred had the later headline and story been available for Wednesday newspaper print editions and this morning's national and local TV and radio broadcasts.
Don't be surprised if by late tonight, if not sooner, the damning information about no pre-attack protests in Benghazi will be considered "old news," and still won't get the visibility AP should have been giving it since Tuesday evening.
What a disgraceful bunch of manipulators we have at the self-described "Essential Global News Network."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.