FrontPage Magazine has a story about Judicial Watch — through court order — getting emails that show collusion on the part of the White House… and ultimately, media cover-up. After quoting and email, some FP commentary about Benghazi is worth noting:
…This revelation appears to contradict written testimony given by Morell to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence last April, during which he insisted that “there is no truth to the allegations that the CIA or I ‘cooked the books’ with regard to what happened in Benghazi and then tried to cover this up after the fact.” Morell also claimed it was Rice, not the CIA, who linked the video to the attack. “My reaction was two-fold,” he told Committee members, “One was that what she said about the attacks evolving spontaneously from a protest was exactly what the talking points said, and it was exactly what the intelligence community analysts believed. When she talked about the video, my reaction was, that’s not something that the analysts have attributed this attack to.”
Rhodes’ email blows Morell’s allegation out of the water, but a critical question remains unanswered: who did brief Rice in the aforementioned “prep call”?
Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, who believes the newly released emails completely undermine President Obama’s 2012 campaign narrative (i.e. “Al Qaeda is on the run”), also believes a more thorough investigation of Benghazi is warranted. “I think the Republicans have something here that really ought to be looked at,” he said Tuesday. “I just don’t know if there’s gonna be any interest in the mainstream media. They should, because this exposes a cover-up of a cover-up. The fact that it was redacted when the documents were asked for and only revealed by a court order is telling you this is a classic cover-up of a cover-up, and that is a serious offense.”
What Krauthammer is referring to is the reality that Rhodes’ email wasn’t included in the 100 pages of emails released by the administration last May, when Republicans refused to confirm John Brennan as CIA director until the “taking points” memos were released.
Yet Krauthammer’s other point about a lack of mainstream media interest is just as germane. Some of that lack may be driven by the reality that Ben Rhodes’ brother is CBS News President David Rhodes, who was not enamored with former CBS investigative report Sharyl Attkisson’s reporting on the attack, despite the fact that she had been one of the few reporters to follow the story wherever it led. Yesterday in interview with Glenn Beck, Attkisson said she was glad to see “a little more light” shed on that relationship, even as she bemoaned the incestuous relationship between Big Government and Big Media, and the increasing level of intimidation aimed at journalists who refuse to abide that collaboration.
Unfortunately, many in the media are still willing to carry water for the White House. The George Soros-funded Media Matters insists Fox News is “distorting” the use of Ben Rhodes’ memo “to falsely suggest that the administration was lying about the Benghazi attacks for political gain.” Slate’s Dave Weigel claims the email “was largely redundant” and that the talking points blaming the attacks on a video “came from the CIA,” apparently ignoring Morrel’s testimony. Politico Magazine Deputy Editor Blake Hounshell tweeted, ”Can you point me to a credible, authoritative story saying the WH knowingly pushed a false narrative?” demonstrating a willful obliviousness to the efforts undertaken by Attkisson, Karl and Fox’s Catherine Herridge.
That’s water-carrying by commission. There’s also water-carrying by omission. On Tuesday, when this story first broke, CBS This Morning was the only network broadcast to cover it. ABC, CBS and NBC completely omitted the story from their evening broadcasts.
Many left leaning — influential — bloggers on the left sway their larger counterparts to the progressive agenda:
When Jay Carney was grilled at length by Jonathan Karl of ABC News over an email outlining administration talking points in the wake of the 2012 Benghazi attack, it was not, by the reckoning of many observers, the White House press secretary’s finest hour. Carney was alternately defensive and dismissive, arguably fueling a bonfire he was trying to tamp down.
But Carney needn’t have worried. He had plenty of backup.
He had The New Republic’s Brian Beutler dismissing Benghazi as “nonsense.” He had Slate’s David Weigel, along with The Washington Post’s Plum Line blog, debunking any claim that the new email was a “smoking gun.” Media Matters for America labeled Benghazi a “hoax.” Salon wrote that the GOP had a “demented Benghazi disease.” Daily Kos featured the headline: “Here’s Why the GOP Is Fired Up About Benghazi—and Here’s Why They’re Wrong.” The Huffington Post offered “Three Reasons Why Reviving Benghazi Is Stupid—for the GOP.”
It’s been a familiar pattern since President Obama took office in 2009: When critics attack, the White House can count on a posse of progressive writers to ride to its rescue. Pick an issue, from the Affordable Care Act to Ukraine to the economy to controversies involving the Internal Revenue Service and Benghazi, and you’ll find the same voices again and again, on the Web and on Twitter, giving the president cover while savaging the opposition. And typically doing it with sharper tongues and tighter arguments than the White House itself.
While the bond between presidential administrations and friendly opinion-shapers goes back as far as the nation itself, no White House has ever enjoyed the luxury that this one has, in which its arguments and talking points can be advanced on a day-by-day, minute-by-minute basis. No longer must it await the evening news or the morning op-ed page to witness the fruits of its messaging efforts.
Joan Walsh, an editor-at-large at Salon, brought this tension to a head last year when she slammed Klein for being too critical of the Obamacare rollout and, in essence, giving aid and comfort to the enemy. “On one hand, yes, it’s important for Democrats to acknowledge when government screws up, and to fix it,” Walsh wrote. “On the other hand, when liberals rush conscientiously to do that, they only encourage the completely unbalanced and unhinged coverage of whatever the problem might be.”
Unbalanced. Interesting word for a card-carrying member of the progressive media to use.