Fox News Cites Email to Take Victory Lap Over Shoddy Benghazi Coverage
Research ››› ››› MICHELLE LEUNG
Fox News is using a newly released White House memo disclosing media talking points for Obama administration officials as vindication of its campaign of lies and misinformation about the Benghazi terror attacks.
White House Released Email Used To Prepare Susan Rice For Sunday Talk Shows
NY Times: White House Releases Emails Sent To Susan Rice Before Media Appearances. On April 30 The New York Times reported that the White House had released an email dated September 14, 2012, from Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes to other national security aides including then-ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, that included "goals for Ms. Rice's appearances on the shows and advice on how to discuss the subject of the protests that were raging in Libya and at other American diplomatic posts in the Middle East" during appearances on the Sunday talk shows. [The New York Times, 4/30/14]
Slate's Weigel: Rhodes Email Relied On CIA Talking Points. Laying out a timeline of events, Slate's David Weigel pointed out that the Rhodes email came after "hours after the CIA and State Department were urging that the assault on the U.S. consulate be blamed on a protest." Weigel added that "it's just lazy journalism or lazy politicking to blame Rhodes for a talking point that was fed from the CIA." [Slate, 4/30/14]
Slate's Dickerson: Emails Show "White House Believed The Story They Were Pushing." Slate chief political correspondent John Dickerson wrote that while the newly released documents "clearly show that the White House pushed the video story," they also show "proof that the White House believed the story they were pushing," given that the CIA "made spontaneity its first and most durable claim that weekend" by initially blaming the video. [Slate, 4/30/14]
Fox Distorts Emails To Falsely Hype "Conspiracy"
Fox's Steve Doocy: "We Now Know That The White House Had A Conspiracy." During the May 1 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy claimed that the newly released emails proved that the White House "had a conspiracy," and was engaging in a "cover-up":
DOOCY: With that email that was released by the White House to Judicial Watch after they sued them, we now know that the White House had a conspiracy, where essentially what they were trying to do was change the story -- let's blame that video, right, on what happened over in Libya, in Benghazi, on that night where four brave Americans died.
Well, now we know that there was a cover-up as well because they had redacted, they crossed out all the stuff, and then finally we got to see it. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/1/14, via Media Matters]
Fox News Uses Emails To Vindicate Its Continuous Shoddy Coverage Of Benghazi
Fox's MacCallum: "Fox Deserves An Award For Our Coverage." On May 1, Fox News host Martha MacCallum argued that the network deserved an award for its coverage of Benghazi,while contributor Monica Crowley claimed Fox was the only network "reporting the truth on Benghazi":
CROWLEY: The fact that Fox News was reporting the truth, and we were roundly mocked and attacked [crosstalk].
MacCALLUM: Absolutely. You go through the stories that were broken in our Washington bureau about how quickly this was understood to be, and all of this is being is corroborated today and yesterday in the Rose memo [sic] and in this testimony, I think Fox News deserves an aware for their coverage in this, not to be mocked. [Fox News, America's Newsroom,5/1/14, via Media Matters]
Fox's Kooiman: Fox News "Has Been Right All Along." During the May 1 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, guest co-host Anna Kooiman used the Rhodes email to push debunked Benghazi myths, and claimed that the email "proves that FNC has been right all along." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/1/14, via Media Matters]
Fox's Kilmeade: "Will The Rest Of The Media Follow Fox To The Benghazi Investigation NOW?" In a May 1 tweet, Fox co-host Brian Kilmeade asked if the rest of media would now, after the email release, start to cover Benghazi like Fox's shoddy reporting of the event:
Fox's Powers: Journalists Who Didn't Cover Benghazi Like Fox "Just Didn't Do Their Job." On the May 1 edition of Fox's Outnumbered, co-host Kirsten Powers used the newly released email to criticize other journalists for not covering Benghazi like Fox News claiming this was proof "they just didn't do their job":
POWERS: Anybody who thought that Benghazi was a scandal was a crazy tunes, right? And now we see this email that was interestingly not released and was in fact redacted in previous requests, and we only know about it because Judicial Watch [crosstalk] got to the bottom. So all the journalists who just walking the White House line that this was just a Fox News crazy scandal just -- they didn't do their job. They just didn't do their job. [Fox News, Outnumbered, 5/1/14]
Fox's Benghazi Coverage Has Been Littered With Falsehoods, Conspiracies, And Bias
Fox Pushes Baseless Attacks, False Benghazi Claims. Fox News has repeatedly promoted falsehoods and baseless conspiracies regarding the Benghazi attacks, including the discredited claim that there was a stand-down order that prevented the military from responding to the attacks, falsely claiming President Obama was nowhere to be found the night of the attacks, and that questions about the attack that in fact were answered long ago have not been answered. [Media Matters, 5/14/13; Media Matters, 3/2/14; Media Matters, 4/1/14]
Fox Regularly Cut Away From Democratic Questioning During Benghazi Hearings. A hallmark of Fox's live coverage of congressional hearings on Benghazi has been to air questions asked by Republican members of Congress while cutting away from those asked by Democrats. [Media Matters, 5/8/13; Media Matters, 4/2/14; Fox News, America's Newsroom, 5/1/14 via Media Matters]