SAN DIEGO, May 10, 2013 — Unlike CNN and MSNBC, Fox News offered extensive live coverage of Wednesday’s House Oversight Committee hearings. Three courageous whistleblowers gave testimony that contradicted previous reports from the White House and State Department about exactly what happened in last September’s Benghazi attack killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
At the beginning of the hearings, several flips of a television remote control showed CNN and MSNBC focusing on another major news story of the week, Ariel Castro’s rape and kidnapping of three women, recently rescued after close to a decade of captivity. A heart wrenching story to be sure, the Castro incident certainly qualifies as major news, but it is not as important as evidence of a major scandal and cover-up from our highest government officials. More interested in occupying the Obama administration’s cheer leading section than doing their job as responsible journalists, CNN and MSNBC probably found the Castro story convenient.
As the hearing moved on, CNN finally offered some Benghazi coverage. MSNBC showed us nothing in real time.
Had these “news networks” been a little more interested, they would have heard from Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya, Eric Nordstrom, former regional security officer, also stationed in Libya, and Mark Thompson, former deputy coordinator for operations in the State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau.
Thompson testified that his Foreign Emergency Support Team was set to launch a rescue but permission was denied from somebody higher in the chain-of-command. His fellow whistleblowers also offered damning contradictions to previously spun stories.
Describing the Obama administration’s official investigation, spear headed by a retired diplomat, Thomas R. Pickering, Nordstrom said, “They stopped short of interviewing people who I personally know were involved in key decisions.”
When asked for his opinion of U.S. Ambassador Susan E. Rice’s statements on five Sunday morning news shows claiming that the Benghazi attack was spontaneous violence inspired by a video criticizing the Prophet Mohammad, Hicks said, “I was stunned, my jaw dropped and I was embarrassed.”
Hicks also testified that he was demoted for daring to challenge the State Department’s version of Benghazi events.
Whether one believes these testimonies or not, they deserved the attention of 24 hour cable news networks.
While not offering live coverage, MSNBC eventually mentioned the testimony at the hearing as somewhat of a non-news event. Evening Hardball host Chris Matthews, in his never ending effort to spare citizens the ordeal of watching hearings for themselves and making up their own minds, declared that Republicans want to “blame President Obama and Hillary Clinton for this thing called Benghazi.”
Never mind the reasons for suspicion. Never mind the evidence. According to Matthews, it’s all about partisanship. And Matthews is never partisan, his program a paragon of hard hitting, objective journalism.
Even if all networks devoted more attention to this story, most Americans have displayed only a microscopic interest in the Libya attack. Chances are, Benghazi will have little or no effect on Clinton’s 2016 election bid. Neither will it diminish President Obama in the eyes of his groupies.
Both politicians seem to have one thing in common: Teflon. Nothing sticks to them. Part of the reason is fear. People want to avoid being called “sexist” or “racist.” PC talking points are careful to explain that Hillary’s adversaries simply have a problem with female presidential candidates, even if they supported Michele Bachmann in 2012. And of course, people who do not march in step with Obama can only be motivated by venomous disdain for African-American presidents. Never mind that they might be hoping to see Dr. Ben Carson run in 2016 because they appreciate his values.
Accusation and demonization of opponents is only half of the recipe to Democratic success. Charismatic personality is also a key ingredient. All Obama has to do is give another speech about how he has left no stone unturned to get to the bottom of Benghazi. If people believed that drivel before the election, if they also believed him when he promised that Obama Care would never fund abortions, they are likely to follow this pied piper every time he plays his flute.
Hillary gives good speeches too. “What difference does it make?” she shouted passionately in January’s senate committee hearing while being questioned about the State Department’s role in the Benghazi disaster. “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”
Actually Mrs. Clinton, if makes quite a difference. Strong evidence suggests that a request for better security was denied before the attack, military personnel were ordered to stand down during the attack, and the American public was lied to about what actually happened after the attack. A government which gets away with this can get away with anything. When news networks enable such cover ups, it makes even more of a difference.
This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious, obvious.
Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and columnist. Bob sometimes selects reader’s comments and responds to them on his radio show. Readers are free to call in and challenge Bob’s response over the air. Details of his program can be found at www.bobsiegel.net.
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