Part 1—One of the two sounds sincere: Yesterday, two journalists turned on the mainstream press corps, behaving like traitors to their class.
One of these journalists sounds sincere. To our ear, the other does not.
This morning, in the 5 o’clock hour, CNN started right in on Benghazi all over again. Transcripts haven’t been posted yet. But the reporting was done by Elise Labott, CNN’s tremendously awful “foreign affairs reporter.”
This morning, Labott has already posted a “CNN Wire.” For unknown reasons, she misstated the time at which she posted.
As a reporter, Labott is a genuine nightmare—and she’s still got the Benghazi bug up her ass. This right-wing assault isn’t going away.
Labott’s post starts like this:
LABOTT (10/24/12): E-mails: White House knew of extremist claims in Benghazi attackAs before, so again today: Labott keeps suggesting that the administration has withheld and misstated various things it knew about the attack.
Two hours after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the White House, the State Department and the FBI were told that an Islamist group had claimed credit, government e-mails obtained by CNN show.
One of the e-mails—sent from a State Department address to various government agencies—specifically identifies Ansar al-Sharia as claiming responsibility for the attack on its Facebook page and on Twitter.
The e-mails raise further questions about the seeming confusion on the part of the Obama administration to determine the nature of the September attack and those who planned it.
The attack left U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead.
The day after it took place, President Barack Obama labeled the incident an "act of terror."
But in the days following the attack, White House spokesman Jay Carney maintained there was no evidence suggesting the attack was "planned or imminent."
The administration also suggested that an anti-Muslim video produced in the United States likely fueled a spontaneous demonstration in Benghazi as it had in Cairo, where the U.S. Embassy also was attacked.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland and Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, all cited the video as a motivating factor in the attack.
The White House “knew of extremist claims,” Labott’s says in her headline. In her text, she keeps suggesting that various spokespersons didn’t reveal the things they knew—and that they may have just made some shit up.
But alas! In her now-famous September 16 appearances, Susan Rice explicitly said that the violence began that night when “extremists” armed with heavy weapons came to the consulate. Rice kept using the very word Labott features in her headline!
Labott forgets to say that. (All along, this has been the key move in the disinformation war underway against Rice.) And Labott takes that statement by Carney completely out of context:
QUESTION (9/14/12): On the Libya attacks, was there any intelligence in advance that some kind of attack could take place, especially because so many embassies were taking precautions because of 9/11? Was there any advance warning at all?Carney said there was no prior knowledge of a planned or imminent attack. Nothing in the e-mails Labott goes on to quote contradicts this statement.
CARNEY: I have seen that report, and the story is absolutely wrong. We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent. That report is false.
One more point: Repeatedly, Labott suggests the White house was lying when it said that anti-Muslim video may have motivated the attack. On September 12, the New York Times reported that the attackers cited the video even as the attack was unfolding. Last week, the New York Times reconfirmed this report.
Labott doesn't tell us this, even as she implies that spokespersons must have been lying.
Labott, a genuine nightmare, has been doing this for weeks. Major anchors at CNN stare dumbly as she proceeds. But then, many major mainstream organs have actively pushed this unvarnished scam, especially with regard to Ambassador Rice.
As they've done this, Obama's ratings on foreign policy have dropped.
The mainstream press corps is up to its ears in the (successful) attempt to drive this poisonous scam. Unless you live in the liberal world, in which case you are constantly told that this whole scam belongs to Fox!
Can we talk? By and large, career liberals still refuse to tell the truth about mainstream press organs. They love to screech and wail about Fox, even as they cover for their associates in the MSM.
Yesterday, we followed a link from Digby to a detailed time line at ThinkProgress. The time line bears this headline: “What Everyone Should Know About The Benghazi Attack.”
The time line is quite informative. That said, it contains no information about the major mainstream news orgs which have grossly misreported this story. Reading that time line, a liberal reader gets no idea that a long string of major mainstream orgs have been pimping the right-wing line.
In fairness, ThinkProgress doesn’t focus on the press corps in its time line. Incomparably, we went to Media Matters to see what they have written about Benghazi.
At Media Matters, the press is their product—their only product. We conducted an experiment. You can conduct it yourselves.
Flawlessly, we entered “Benghazi” in Media Matters’ whirring search engine. These are the most recent headlines we got. We’ll give you an even dozen:
Who last track of the mainstream press: Headlines at Media MattersAt Media Matters, it has been all Fox and all right-wing all the time—except for one instance on which a right-wing pundit told a lie on CNN.
*Fox's Van Susteren Misrepresents State Dept. Emails To Rehash Tired Libya Talking Points
*WSJ Columnist Claims Benghazi Cover-up, Same Day WSJ Debunks Claims of Benghazi Cover-up
*On CNN, Jennifer Rubin Flat-Out Lies About Obama's Benghazi Statement
*Fox's Word Games Create Parallel Universe Of Obama Statements On Benghazi
*Libya Misinformation: Fox Anchor Dismisses Anti-Muslim Video That Sparked Global Riots
*Fox Omits Important Day From Benghazi Timeline To Attack Obama
*Fox's Tantaros On Obama's Response To Benghazi Attack: "He Makes Richard Nixon Look Like Billy Graham"
*Romney Gets Lost In Fox News Benghazi Bubble
*Fox Anchor Bill Hemmer Teases Segment On Libya: "The Secretary Of State Now Jumping Under The Benghazi Bus"
*Right-Wing Media Misrepresent Secretary Clinton's Comments About Benghazi Attacks
*Contrary To Right-Wing Media Claims, Report Confirms Anti-Islam Video Was Catalyst For Libya Attack
*Fox's Ingraham Misrepresents Clinton Comments On Benghazi
Who lost track of the mainstream press corps? For at least the past twenty years, the mainstream press has adopted poisonous attacks from the right and driven them hard against major Dems. Endlessly, the mainstream press corps behaved this way in the Clinton-Gore years.
This began with the Whitewater pseudo-scandal, a pseudo-scandal which got its start on the front page of the New York Times. It ended with twenty months of attacks against Candidate Gore, the attacks which sent Bush to the White House.
The career liberal world sat there and watched. Liberals of the rank and file got thoroughly scammed in the process.
In the past few weeks, many major mainstream news orgs have been playing the same dirty game against Rice—and through her, against Obama. But so what? If you live in the liberal world, you’ve been fed a steady barrel of shit in which you are only told you should hate Fox.
Darlings, cocktail invitations are at stake! CBS and the Washington Post and the New York Times get a pass. The Associated Press goes unmentioned.
That crap at Politifact doesn’t get mentioned. Neither does the disgraceful work being conducted at CNN. You're only told that you should hate Fox! You needn't look anywhere else!
Well good lord! Yesterday, two liberal journalists rose to complain about the way the mainstream press has behaved in the wake of this year’s debates. On face, these journalists made themselves traitors to their guild—traitors to their class.
In the next two days, we’ll examine the things these journalists said about major mainstream news organs. For once, two journalists stopped discussing Fox long enough to cite the mainstream press corps.
In a break from a long destructive tradition, these journalists sounded like traitors to their class. To our ear, Alec MacGillis sounded sincere.
The horrible Joan Walsh did not.
Tomorrow: What Alec MacGillis said