Fox aired an inaccurate timeline of what President Obama said about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Fox's timeline left out a key date, September 13, when Obama labeled the attack an "act of terror" twice.
The right-wing media have repeatedly made the false claim that Obama did not call the Benghazi attack an act of terror until well after the attack. Mitt Romney repeated the falsehood in the second presidential debate. After moderator Candy Crowley fact-checked his error, she was attacked by the right-wing media.
But Crowley's correction didn't put the issue to rest for Fox. Here is their bogus timeline:
From the October 17 edition of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show:
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Fox News has launched a cover up of Mitt Romney's debate falsehood that President Obama waited 14 days before calling the deadly September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, an act of terror.
While debate moderator Candy Crowley immediately corrected Romney's falsehood during the October 16 presidential debate, pointing out that Obama called the attack an act of terror during his first public comments after it occurred, Fox anchor Bret Baier started the Fox cover up during the network's post-debate coverage. Baier claimed Obama wasn't "specifically speaking about Benghazi" when he referred to the attack on September 12 as an act of terror, but rather was speaking "generically."
Sean Hannity followed suit, claiming that Obama was actually referring to the September 11, 2001, attacks. Straight news anchor John Roberts said that because the remarks "came at the end" of his speech, it's unclear that Obama was referring to Benghazi.
Fox's effort to cover up Romney's debate falsehood continued throughout its October 17 coverage. Watch:
At the same time Fox was trying to deflect from one Romney debate falsehood, they were completely ignoring many other Romney falsehoods from the debate, including his debunked boast that his economic agenda will be responsible for creating 12 million new jobs in 4 years.
From the October 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the October 17 edition of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight:
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From the October 17 edition of Fox News' The Five:
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Fox News furthered its efforts to protect Mitt Romney from fact checks, claiming today that moderator and CNN host Candy Crowley interrupted a "major moment" for Romney during the presidential debate when she corrected his lie that President Obama did not immediately characterize the September 11 attack in Benghazi an act of terror.
During the October 16 debate, Crowley stepped in to debunk Romney's claim that it took 14 days for Obama to characterize as terrorism the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. As she noted, Obama "did call it an act of terror" the day after the attack.
Addressing the nation on September 12 about the attack, Obama said: "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America."
The next day in Colorado, Obama again referred to the Benghazi attack as an act of terror.
But during today's broadcast of Fox's America Live, host Megyn Kelly faulted Crowley rather than Romney, saying that Crowley "interrupted Governor Romney in the middle of an exchange with the president about the terror attack in Libya."
Mitt Romney's not a prosecutor, but at Tuesday's debate he seemed to be setting up Barack Obama for a courtroom-like gotcha moment, trying to catch the president in an embarrassing contradiction regarding his public comments about the recent terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Instead, by bungling the facts and relying on right-wing misinformation, it was Romney who was crowned the loser of the tense debate showdown.
The semantics dispute centered on how long it took Obama to refer to the deadly attack as an act of terror.
From Obama [emphasis added]:
The day after the attack, Governor, I stood in the Rose Garden, and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror.
I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.
Debate moderator Candy Crowley pointed out what other journalists did last night, that Obama mentioned "acts of terror" while addressing the Benghazi attack in the Rose Garden on September 12, the day after Americans were killed in Libya.
And for the record, the next day Obama said the same thing: "I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished.
So how could the Republican candidate be so misinformed about what Obama had said about the attack on Americans? And why did Romney cling to the false claim that the president had refused to call it an act of terror?
Short answer: Fox News.
Fox correspondent John Roberts claimed that "it's unclear" whether President Obama was referencing the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, when he spoke of "acts of terror" in a speech on September 12, even though Obama was making the speech only because of the attack.
During the October 16 presidential debate, Mitt Romney denied the fact that Obama called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror on September 12. As transcript of the speech shows, on September 12 in the Rose Garden, Obama said of the Benghazi attack, "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America."
On the very next day, September 13, Obama again called the Benghazi attack an "act of terror" while speaking in Colorado: "So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice. I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished."
Still, right-wing media have pushed the transcript-truther line, claiming that despite this evidence, Obama never called the Benghazi attack an act of terror.
Today, the transcript trutherism moved on to one of Fox's "straight news" programs, America's Newsroom. After airing video of the candidates sparring over Libya during the debate, Roberts said, "So what was it that the president actually said at the Rose Garden on the 12th of September? He said, 'No act of terror -- acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation.' " Roberts then claimed, "But that came at the end of his remarks, and it's unclear, at least in many people's minds, whether that was a direct reference to the attack on the Benghazi consulate."
In fact, Obama spoke in the Rose Garden on September 12 solely to address the attacks on the Benghazi consulate. The White House transcript of the speech is titled "Remarks by the President on the Deaths of U.S. Embassy Staff in Libya."
From the October 17 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
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Conservative media outlets including The Weekly Standard, The Daily Caller, The Blaze, Breitbart.com, and the Drudge Report have claimed that Michelle Obama broke the rules by joining audience applause at one point during the debate. Fox Radio's Todd Starnes went so far as to call Michelle Obama unbecoming. These attacks come despite the fact that Mitt Romney repeatedly violated the debate rules.
Prior to the debate, the campaigns agreed to a rule stating that "the candidates may not ask each other direct questions during any of the four debates."
Nevertheless, Romney repeatedly asked Obama questions during the debate on a variety of subjects including oil drilling, the investments in Obama's pension, and the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
All of which leads to the possibility that the conservative media is less concerned with the debate rules than they are with changing the subject from the substance of the debate.
CNN's Candy Crowley is debunking a claim pushed by the right-wing media that she walked back a fact check of Mitt Romney's remarks about the attack in Libya during the second presidential debate.
During the debate, Romney expressed disbelief that President Obama referred to the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi as an "act of terror" the day after the attack occurred. Crowley noted that the president did in fact use those words, and she has consistently made that same point since the debate.
Here's the exchange at the debate:
ROMNEY: I -- I think interesting the president just said something which -- which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.
OBAMA: That's what I said.
ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror.
It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you're saying?
OBAMA: Please proceed governor.
ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.
OBAMA: Get the transcript.
CROWLEY: It -- it -- it -- he did in fact, sir. So let me -- let me call it an act of terror...
OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?
CROWLEY: He -- he did call it an act of terror. It did as well take -- it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.
ROMNEY: This -- the administration -- the administration indicated this was a reaction to a video and was a spontaneous reaction.
CROWLEY: It did.
Crowley was correct. The day after the attack, Obama addressed the nation from the White House Rose Garden and said:
As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.
No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.
From the October 17 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Fox News cherry picked President Obama's comments to try to rehabilitate Mitt Romney's false suggestion during the debate that Obama had not referred to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya as an act of terror.
On September 12, Obama said: "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America." Obama also referred to the Benghazi attack as an "act of terror" while campaigning in Colorado on September 13 when he said: "To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished."
But in a report on Fox & Friends First, national correspondent Steve Centanni ignored Obama's September 13 statement. After airing Obama's September 12 comments, Centanni aired other statements in which the president referenced an anti-Islam video. Based on this skewed record, Centanni concluded that weeks later "the President was still talking about a response to the videos" rather than terrorism.
In addition to cherry picking of Obama comments to hide Obama's repeated reference to terrorism, Centanni's comments about the anti-Islam video is also dishonest.
There is no contradiction between Obama labeling the attack an "act of terror" and him discussing the anti-Islam video. A recent article by The New York Times reported that the consulate assailants said that they were "moved to act because of the video." Libyans "who witnessed the assault and know the attacks" also said the video was the catalyst for the attack.
Furthermore, State Department security officer Eric Nordstrom testified before Congress that the same extremist group that is suspected of targeting the U.S. consulate in Benghazi had previously attacked a Tunisian consulate in that city over "what they claimed was an anti-Islamic film."
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney rehashed at least 11 previously debunked claims during the second presidential debate that ranged from the economy to gun rights. This continued dishonesty, coming on the heels of a campaign official saying they would not be "dictated to by fact checkers," presents a challenge to the media.