BENGHAZI BULLROAR: With friends like Chris Hayes!


The children have left Rice for dead: Right from the start, the attacks on Susan Rice have depended on those cherry-picked quotations.

Tomorrow, we’ll show you the way John King cherry-picked Rice last Friday night as he sat in for Anderson Cooper. Spoiler alert:

King performed the standard cherry-pick—the cherry-pick which has been mandated since this assault began.

Tomorrow, we’ll show you King’s cherry-pick—and we’ll show you the way this cherry-pick got its start on Fox. For today, let’s consider the way the children have dealt with Ambassador Rice.

Rice has been mercilessly attacked on Fox, with those cherry-picks leading the way. CNN has compliantly followed suit, pretty much from Day One.

On the One True Liberal Channel, the darling children have gamboled and played. Lawrence and Krystal have clowned and joked.

Rice has been thrown to the dogs.

It’s hard to believe, but Susan Rice hadn’t been mentioned on MSNBC’s nightly programs until this past Friday night. On that occasion, Chris Matthews did a short, clownish segment about this five-week assault.

The IQ of Matthews’ program is somewhere in the mid-double digits. To see the liberal world embarrass itself, just click this. Mercifully, the nonsense takes less than five minutes.

Good God! Aside from that embarrassing segment, the children on The One True Channel have completely ignored the assault on Rice. Her name still hasn’t been mentioned on Maddow’s show. So too with Lawrence and Al.

(Her name was mentioned once, in passing, on Eddie’s show. It happened last Thursday night.)

Rice has been eaten alive on Fox and CNN. As this assault has transpired, the darling children have joked and played. All except Christopher Hayes, who has mentioned Rice on three of his weekend shows—adopting the Fox line on this matter!

Good God. In this segment from last weekend, you see Hayes cherry-picking what Rice said on those Sunday shows, just as they do it on Fox:
HAYES (10/13/12): It’s been over a month since the attack in Benghazi and the details of what happened there are still trickling out day by day.

Let’s start from the beginning, because it can be a little confusing.


HAYES: On September 14, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney attributed all of the unrest throughout the region to the YouTube video:

CARNEY (videotape): The unrest we’ve seen around the region has been in reaction to a video that Muslims—many Muslims find offensive, and while the violence is reprehensible and unjustified, it is not a reaction to the 9/11 anniversary that we know of, or to a U.S. policy.

HAYES: Five days after the attack in Libya, it happened on September 16, Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, went on five Sunday talk shows, not this one, and reaffirmed this position:

RICE (videotape): Our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.
Good God. Among Hayes’ other errors this day, he offered the standard cherry-pick of what Rice said on the Sunday programs! In this standard cherry-pick, viewers are shown Rice’s statement about the way the alleged demonstration began. They aren’t shown the rest of what she said on those programs—that “extremists armed with heavy weapons” then came to the scene and “hijacked” events, producing the deadly violence.

Fox has cherry-picked Rice that way from Day One. On this god-awful program, Hayes did the same darn thing!

Soon, he was making these statements:
HAYES (continuing directly): Three days later, on September 19, a number of administration officials began to describe the attack on Benghazi as a terrorist attack. By September 27, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said it had become clear the attack was “planned.”

And on Tuesday of this week, the State Department explicitly contradicted the story told by the administration, saying there had been no protests outside the consulate in Benghazi on the day of the attack.

The attack continues to be a political issue because it is now clear to just about everyone that the story that we heard, the American people, in wake of the attack, was simply not accurate.


HAYES: We were told, we all read the reports and the government was saying this was in response to the video and now, it’s just clear that it wasn’t in response to the video. In fact, it was a pretty well premeditated plan. I’ve read some reports, that say 100 men overran the embassy with guns. I mean, this was a militarized attack.

The question is, why the gap? Why did the people who should have known not know?
Rice discussed those extremists with those heavy weapons back on September 16. Sadly, Hayes didn't show the part of tape where she made those statements.

Does Hayes sit around watching Fox all day? He seemed to be very sure of himself, just like many Fox viewers.

In our view, this self-admittedly brilliant fellow should be a bit more careful. Last week, the New York Times reported that the Benghazi attack was a reaction to the video. And we have now seen many reports denying the claim that the attack was “a pretty well premeditated plan.”

And we’re sorry, but it just isn’t clear—unless you watch Fox—that “the story that we heard, the American people, in wake of the attack was simply not accurate.” That isn’t clear unless you watch Fox—or Hayes' show on The One True Liberal Channel!

What actually happened in Benghazi? Like Hayes, we simply don’t know. But given the way Hayes has gone after Rice, he may as well go work for Fox.

With puppies like this on MSNBC, who needs the wolves on Fox? Who needs the cowardly lions who recite for the right on CNN?

Among all the children on The True Channel, Hayes is the only one who had ever discussed Susan Rice before that embarrassing Hardball segment.

The attack machine has gone after Rice (with Obama as the real target, of course). Laughing and playing and singing their songs, the children have left Rice for dead.


  1. still dubious (of somerby)October 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    "What actually happened in Benghazi? Like Hayes, we simply don’t know." b. somerby

    >>> so you want msnbc to jump into the middle of the benghazi controversey even when you yourself dont know what happened there? isnt that what you jumped on msnbc for doing with the martin/zimmerman story?

    1. Exactly, dubious. And do you recall Somerby trying to build Mt. McKinley out of the molehill that certain MSNBC hosts didn't wait to find out what Zimmerman's real weight was? That they merely went with the "best and only information available to them at the time" -- the documented evidence from his previous arrest record?

      "Our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video."

      How difficult is it to say that that remark, coming from a high-ranking diplomat, was a dumb thing to say?

      Obviously very difficult for someone locked into the position that Susan Rice couldn't have possibly misspoke, or spoke without knowing what she was saying would stand up later as the investigation proceeded.

      So he excuses that with, "Hey! All she was doing was going on the best and only information available to her at that time!"

      In other words, exactly what he accused certain MSNBC hosts doing with the supremely critical issue of Zimmerman's actual weight.

    2. They don't have to "jump in" to the "controversy." They can, at least, point out that Rice is being lynched. If a conservative was being attacked like that Fox would be in high dudgeon about "media bias," and defending their side. MSNBC isn't. And in the process, they also aren't informing people about what has become an important topic.

    3. til, I sure hope you are not saying that the left needs hacks like the right's hacks at Fox.

      But that said, Drum had an interesting post after the first debate about the "hack gap." He prophetically predicted that if Romney should get his butt whipped in the next debate, the Fox hacks wouldn't go into the conniptions that the MSNBC hacks went into after the first debate.

      I thought his tongue was firmly planted in cheek to an extent, but he had a point.

      My naive wish is that there were a lot less beauty contest judging following the debates and a lot more focus on what each guy actually said.

      Silly me.

    4. still dubious (about somerby)October 21, 2012 at 4:09 PM

      “They can, at least, point out that Rice is being lynched.” - til

      >>> what do you mean shes “being lynched” if even her biggest defender, somerby, says he doesnt know what happened in benghazzi? . . . i didnt follow the zimmerman/martin story very close so i have little sense of it although i was glad to see him finally charged, but lets say hypothetically it turns out that zimmerman is convincingly found not guilty. wouldnt that then make many of things msnbc said before the trial all the more bad for them as far as their credibility as a news organization? in other words, even if what msnbc said before trial made sense at the time -- given the limited number of dots which they had available to connect –- what matters in the end is the final picture created when all or most of the dots are available.

      “If a conservative was being attacked like that Fox would be in high dudgeon about "media bias," and defending their side. MSNBC isn't.” - til

      its obvious msnbc is partisan, but just as obvious they dont want to be fox. they wont just lie. they have some shame and journalistic credibility to protect. somerby has in the past railed against relatively minor movements of msnbc towards partisanship, so he should be glad about their reticence to get ahead of the benghazi story. but instead he attacks them like a dog.

    5. If they had "shame" and a belief in the importance of "journalistic credibility," they wouldn't sit silent while a fraud was being perpetrated on the American public by other "journalists," particularly during an important election. But they do sit silent. So they don't have these things. It's really that simple.

    6. They sit silently? They babble incessantly all day long, five days a week, and even repeat their evening babblefests all night long until Willie and Morning Joe and Mika start another day anew.

      Did it ever occur to you that the right-wing really wants to bait the administration into a fight on the battleground of a remark that really can't be defended?

      No matter how badly we want to excuse it with "the best information at the time", Rice was WRONG when she characterized the attack as a spontaneous reaction growing out of a protest that we later learned never happened.

      She was wrong. Period. Should be end of discussion, except here we are fighting the right on the ground of their choosing.

      If MSNBC is "sitting silent" on this, good for them. At least they are taking the fight to all the truly stupid things coming out of the Romney/Ryan campaign on a daily basis instead of obsessing about something stupid Rice said OVER A MONTH AGO!

    7. While they aren't shills for the Democrats, they do see their role as "taking the fight" to Romney/Ryan, while they don't see their role as informing the public about a key piece of disinformation, a piece of disinformation which is designed to make Obama look both weak and dishonest. Makes sense to me. They are playing journalistic chess, and doing it about as well as Obama played political chess.

    8. til, they are entertainers, looking for a niche audience in a fragmented TV market during an election year.

      They are not defenders of the free world, truth, justice and the American way.

      If you truly think that the fate of the republic rests on the shoulders of MSNBC gabfest hosts, you are giving them a lot more credit and power than they deserve.

    9. "If I truly think"? Where did I ever say that? I do truly think that these people have the potential to shift the public debate in a better direction, and that they often squander that potential. If you don't think that, I also truly think you're a fool for wasting your time by reading and posting in this blog.

    10. Perhaps you have a point. Why am I wasting time reading all this nonsense about how Chris Hayes not riding on a white horse to the defense of Susan Rice is likely to cause Barack Obama to lose?

      But then again, where else can I go for such brilliant insight?

      After all, it was a grand "liberal" media conspiracy, and nothing else, that cost his buddy Al 12 years ago, as he keeps reminding us.

    11. These mis-characterizations by the press are irrelevant.

      If you think they should be corrected, you a fool.

      They have no influence. Ignoring them is the best thing. Pretend they don't matter.

      If you think they could matter, that's because you're confused.


      "The fate of the republic" doesn't hinge on it (I say) -- so therefore, shut up about it.

  2. Bob, suggest you watch this morning's Chris Hayes show if you don't want to embarrass yourself any further.

    1. Oh. My. Gawd.

      But don't forget that this is the vile, evil Chris Hayes saying all that stuff Bob says he'll never say.

      The vile, evil AND rich and youthful Chris Hayes.

  3. Anon, they're not entertainers, they're allegedly journalists and, sadly, many people turn to them for knowledge so they can make informed choices. Parroting the Right's disinformation instead of debunking it leaves only the storyline favoring the Powerful. You may find that acceptable, but many don't.

    1. Jeff, what we are seeing is NOT journalism, at least as we know it.

      It goes like this, to borrow a worn-out analogy.

      ROMNEY: The earth is flat.

      OBAMA: The earth is round.

      POLITIFACT: The earth is not flat, but it's not perfectly round either. So both sides are half-true.

      HEADLINE: Dispute Rages Over Shape of Earth

      That's not journalism.

    2. It's not fact checking either. In fact Susan Rice's statements comport very well with the CIA talking points she was given about the current state of the intelligence.

      With her caveats, what she said was neither stupid, untrue, nor a poor choice of words. The partisans have grabbed it without pushback. That is the problem.

    3. It is stupid to rely on talking points when the investigation has barely begun.

    4. To extend my analogy further:

      HANNITY: Obama clearly wasn't referring to the earth when he said, "The earth is round."

      O'DONNELL: The liar Romney's comment about the shape of the earth is so vile, I'm challenging his son to a fistfight.

      RICE: According to the latest talking points from the CIA, the earth is a cube.

      SOMERBY: She wasn't wrong when she said the earth is a cube because that's what the CIA told her. And the end is near because nobody on MSNBC is defending her.

    5. That 834 PM Anonymous DouchebagOctober 22, 2012 at 7:26 AM

      It's funny, because in my analogy I have Rice saying something obviously false!!


      Why, yes, I am a douhcebag!

    6. Right. Rice saying that the whole thing was just a mob protesting the video gone wild was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but.

      And why do you know this? Because Somerby told you.

    7. YAA (Yet Another Anonymous)October 22, 2012 at 9:05 AM

      I haven't said anything about Rice.

      But you say: Rice said "the whole thing was just a mob protesting the video gone wild."

      Which is wrong. Rice didn't say that.

      So nobody is taking any lessons in how to think about things from you.

  4. A coupla hail marys: Could we maybe tone the snark down a notch or two in these threads? Maybe unfair to ask on TDH site, but once in awhile I do pick up things from posters, and this bitchier than thou stuff makes it tough. Also, I know Bob has no one to blame but himself for the Irish Catholic... whatever it is, but it is so goddamn boring.

    I hope the posters here are right about Hayes show today, but generally I think he he's been doing a good and important job with this. You need long no further than David in Ca stepping in it to know how badly the typical right wing tool has been conned by this, and we don't need to be helping them. Anyone who lived through Whitewater knows it doesn't take much to get get our TV liberals to play along with the worst nonsense.

    As Drum points out, the White House NOR Rice has anything to apologize for. Bob put it clumsily before the poster here pounced, we don't KNOW what happened, but there is some information on bits and pieces of it. It was a mob, get it?

    AND to point out the stunningly obvious: The party who fought for years, tooth and nail, for any accounting of 9-11 has a lot of goddamn nerve screaming for instant answers, and then crying scandal when they don't get them. kl

    1. It isn't snark -- it's the crowd you usually run with Greg. You recognize them, no?

      "Bob should just shut up, because it's all entertainment."

      You know that guy -- you ride with him everywhere.

      "Oh that Somerby he's such a chicken little. This isn't the End Of The World, you know."

      Pretty sure that's the same guy. You two are generally on the same page.

      "Asking for media to do their job, that's 'wanting someone to ride in on a white horse' and save you."

      I know, Greg! Yes, that is still the same douchebag! You and he go way back together, supporting the trashing of this site's comments.

      "Remember how we were supposed to be upset that MSNBC lied through its teeth about the Zimmerman case? Here we go again!"

      Yes, you are correct. Same douchebag, different suit.

      And what ARE you on about regarding "the Irish Catholic... whatever it is." It's not even alluded to here today by lowercaseguy, whose schtick this time is instead that, when MSNBC spouts the same bullshit as FOX that's just "their reticence to get ahead of the story," so Bob should cut them some slack. But Somerby brought this insane troll on himself, according to you.

      So, yes lowercaseguy and the douchebag, your old mates, are slinging their feces everywhere -- you call it "snark" -- you've encouraged it, and ridden along for months -- and NOW you want them to tone it down?

      Thanks for the contribution, Greg.

    2. And of course, your reaction to Greg's contribution is your only reaction to anything -- criticize those who dares question the guy to whom you have ceded what critical thinking skills you have left.

      And I am certainly not blaming Bob for that. Even garage bands have their groupies.

    3. Greg, by all means, go to his Web site and watch Chris Hayes' show. It is about as clear and reasoned an explanation that you will find.

      And the end of the show, however, you might have a certain sense of sadness that Joe Sestak is no longer in Congress.

    4. And to continue, it just amazes me how often we get baited into fighting battles on the other's field of his choosing.

      Right now, the right wing noise machine, picked up by some elements of the mainstream press, are saying that Rice was carefully scripted, wound up, and sent to national TV to tell a new story that is really the position of the entire administration.

      Never mind what Obama himself has before and since. Let's focus on what the Ambaassador to the U.N. said on Sept. 16. THAT is the real position of the administration.

      So do we debate that. Nope. We say, "Rice was right. The CIA was wrong." In other words trapped into defending a statement that isn't true by saying it was true at the time.

      And as Joe Sestak, who has some experience in these matters, said to horrible Chris Hayes, he's never known a "one-armed intelligence analyst.

      According to Sestak, they are always saying, "One hand, we have this. But on the other hand . . ."

      In other words, it is entirely possible that a person even of Rice's intelligence and position misinterpreted whatever briefing she got, which according to Sestak would have been heavily nuanced, reached her own conclusion, and got, as they say, "off-message."

      Please watch the debate tonight and see how a pro handles this. Obama won't get bogged down with what his U.N. ambassador said a month ago. Nor will he get bogged down in all the coulda, woulda, shouldas of how this was supposedly an entirely preventable event, except perhaps to note that Congress not only denied his administration's request for increased security, but in fact cut it.

      In fact, I will bet that he will continue to stress what he always has said consistently from the day this happened -- that those who dare attack our nation and kill our people will be identified, hunted down, and brought to justice.

      And he's got a pretty strong record on that.

    5. I hope you are right on that. The problem is, I think TDH is correct and it's still dubious that Rice said anything wrong. And The Mod will be trying to throw every point to Mitt.

  5. Bob,

    Thanx for the good work!

    Steve J.

  6. Actually, I agree with TDH when I think Bob's right and disagree when I think he is wrong. I think, even if score settling with Hayes, he's done fine work here and it's an important matter. On the Irish thing: I think Bob is mostly kidding around anyway when he started it way back in Clinton time. But it does sort of invite the overheated reaction he gets from posters.

    1. "...the overheated reaction he gets from a certain incontestably certifiable poster," you must have meant to say.

      But in any case one does not "invite" the lunatics, anyway.

      It is still the internets around here, you know -- The crazies and trolls *will* show up.

      But Greg, it is the better part of caution to not throw one's lot in with them.

  7. I think, even if ranking deciding with Hayes, he's done excellent perform here and it's an essential issue. On the Irish thing: I think Bob is mostly joking around anyway when he began it way returning in Clinton time.

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