Where There's Smoke, There's ... Absolutely Nothing to See
On Friday, I wondered whether the new allegations that our men on the ground in Benghazi had been denied potentially life-saving support from somewhere up the chain of command would finally open up the Obama Administration's handling of Libya to greater media scrutiny. Short answer: nope. Here's Richard Benedetto, writing at Fox News:
On Friday, FoxNews.com reported that it “learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command... -- who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.”
That’s a very chilling story. And if correct, it could be very damaging to the President Obama’s re-election chances. But looking at the websites Friday of other major news outlets, the story is mostly ignored.
It was not picked up or reported by The New York Times. The Washington Post didn’t cover it either. Same for USA Today. Neither did NBC, CBS, CNN or ABC.
CNN had a link on its Website front page to a story that says “doubts surface” on whether claims of responsibility for the Benghazi attacks was the work of terrorists. The story mostly supports administration accounts and refutes Republican critics such as Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz.)
NBC’s only Friday story on Libya said in its headline. “Libya Disappears from Romney Stump Speeches.”
CBS’s latest story on Libya had House Speaker John Boehner asking Obama for “answers” about the attacks.
Look, I've never been one to get that worked up about media bias, mainly because I don't have any expectation of it changing from within. My attitude has always been that there are two appropriate responses: (1) ridicule it and (2) counter-program it. I'd rather beat them than be outraged by them.
In this case, however, the scandal of the media's virtually complete silence is dwarfed only by the scandal of the underlying story from Benghazi. Where is that generation of avenging angels who supposedly went through journalism school for no purpose other than to hold those in power accountable? Do they assume that, because the story originated with Fox, it's not worthy of mainstream reporters? And if so, why aren't they making their bones refuting the particulars of the Fox story?
I thought this was the generation of journalists who were drawn to the craft by "All the President's Men"? So why are they acting like that film's title is emblazoned on their business cards?