September 11. Today’s date is synonymous with two different terror attacks on America. Leading up to the ominous anniversary, both were largely absent from news reporting.
The first was understandable. The 9/11 attack happened 12 years ago, an odd-year anniversary seldom marked by media no matter the reason. But the assault on our embassy in Benghazi happened just one year ago and cost the lives of four American heroes, including our ambassador.
Ordinarily, journalists would be all over it.
They’d repeat what happened.
They’d talk about the cover-up (at least if Republicans were involved). They’d even interview the widows and family and friends to hear how they crave justice and a full inquiry.
Instead, we’ve had a full year of media (and White House) misinformation and propaganda. It’s hard not to think it’s deliberate. Because it was. First the White House and UN Ambassador Susan Rice lied and blamed an obscure film for the attacks. And the media didn’t just let her. They helped.
Then Hillary Clinton (D-2016) went to the Hill in January and made an outrageous statement about the cause of the attack. “The fact is we have four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans. What difference, at this point, does it make?”
Many who heard it were shocked.
After all, since Hillary had famously lied about her own combat experience, at least she might have pretended to care about others. No, network Hillary duffs said she “fiercely defended the office that she will soon be leaving” and called her “the political pro.”
Nice and neutral.
According to London’s Daily Mail, Hillary went even further. “‘Two days after this attack,’ said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, ‘we were in a briefing with Hillary Clinton and she screamed at a member of Congress who’d dare suggest that this was a terrorist attack.’” Kinzinger is such a right-winger that the Post lauded him for siding with Obama and supporting an attack on Syria. Still, the Hillary lie to Congress didn’t gain media traction.
That misbehavior went on all year. Now we mark the anniversary and coverage has been largely bogus.
Even Sharyl Attkisson, who has done an extraordinary job covering Benghazi for CBS, hasn’t been heard from on her story in months.
Her last mention came in June and that was only because of reports about her computer being hacked.
Real news organizations encourage star reporters to keep after stories that they break, not hide from them.
When stories are reported, they gloss over what happened. National Security Advisor Rice just went to the Hill to recite talking points on Syria and journalists failed to connect it to her previous lies.
That idea was so incredible even Post liberal columnist Dana Milbank mocked it. “So what do the big brains in the White House do? They put Susan Rice in front of TV cameras to read CIA talking points. Yep, that’ll seal the deal,” he wrote Sept. 9. “If that didn’t irk lawmakers enough, Rice will be on Capitol Hill to brief them on Wednesday – a year to the day after the Benghazi attack.”
When even liberal journalists understand, it shows just how out of touch network news has become.
But when NBC interviewed Rice on Sept. 3, they ignored Benghazi entirely. That same day, “CBS This Morning” previewed the anniversary by talking to the author of “Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi.”
CBS went out of its way to avoiding pointing fingers or even using Obama’s name. Norah O'Donnell asked a nice nebulous question: “Why haven't we been able to catch them?” There’s no “I” in team when the media report Benghazi. But there sure was when SEAL Team 6 killed Usama bin Laden.
Obama got tons of credit for that.
The only people are mentioning Libya now are defending the president’s actions in Syria – either Obama himself or the network run exclusively for his benefit.
Obama went on the Sept. 9 “World News with Diane Sawyer” and brought up the missing word, “Libya.” “This is not Iraq. This is not Afghanistan. This is not Libya,” he told viewers about Syria.
Certainly not. He and the media are both willing to discuss Syria.
Over at MSNDC... er... MSNBC, on the Sept. 9 “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” the host used the “L” word to back Obama and complain how opponents “hate” our dear leader. “Hate, it's not too serious a word for those who say he purposely let Americans die in Libya,” he ranted.
At least he said “Libya.” Most of the media have white-washed it out of existence, just like any responsibility Obama might have for what happened.
Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.