The fuller transcript of what Brokaw said!


Gaze on your broken world: We once saw Tom Brokaw live and in person. We’re fairly sure it was Inaugural Day 2001. (It may have been Inaugural Day 2005.)

We saw him walk into a makeshift studio in DC surrounded by a small entourage. We noticed that he seemed to be wearing extremely nice clothes.

Money and fame will do that for a person. But what can those attributes do to a person?

We got our answer Monday morning, when Brokaw made a gruesome appearance on Morning Joe. To watch the whole segment, click here.

Four days earlier, ABC News had released twelve versions of the talking points which guided Susan Rice on the Sunday programs of September 16, 2012.

Thanks to ABC’s release, it was now perfectly clear why Rice said some of the things she said on those now-famous programs.

No one had to speculate about where her statements came from. But on Morning Joe, it was abundantly clear that Brokaw didn’t have the slightest idea what those various talking-points said. He also didn’t seem to know what Rice had said on those Sunday programs.

We discussed Brokaw’s gruesome performance in today’s first post. We have transcribed his fuller statement to show you the shape of your deeply fallen “journalistic” world.

At the start of this pitiful tape, Joe Scarborough goes on an uninformed rant about Rice’s statements on those Sunday programs.

This is what Brokaw said in reply. Gaze on the shape of your culture:
BROKAW (5/13/13): That’s the part that is still inexplicable to me...

You cannot explain away Susan Rice's performance on those Sunday talk shows in which she said it was not a terrorist attack, it grew out of a domestic demonstration of some kind. She completely underplayed it and rewrote the script with the help of someone—I think we deserve to know who that is. Because that’s what the American public really finally tuned into, it was the first public response, and we have not had any kind of an adequate explanation from the White House or anybody in the administration about why she was allowed to say what she did. Did flags go off in her own mind? I mean, she’s a sophisticated diplomat. Did she go down and say, “Wait a minute?” But nonetheless, she went on all those shows and, in a very emphatic way, said it was not a terrorist attack, this grew out of a demonstration, it was spontaneous. That turned out not to be true whatsoever.
We wanted to create a record of what Brokaw said. Again, a few basic points:

First point: Susan Rice never said that Benghazi was not a terrorist attack. That simply never happened. She said the attack had been carried out by “extremists with heavy weapons” who arrived at the scene of a demonstration and proceeded to “hijack events.” Again, we’ll show you what she said when Bob Schieffer posed a further question:
SCHIEFFER (9/16/12): Do you agree or disagree with [the Libyan president] that al Qaeda had some part in this?

RICE: Well, we’ll have to find out that out. I mean, I think it’s clear that there were extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al Qaeda itself, I think is one of the things we’ll have to determine.
In that exchange, Rice said the extremists who staged the attack might have been “al Qaeda itself!” And yet, Brokaw somehow believes that she said that this was not a terrorist attack. He even believes she made this claim “in a very emphatic way!”

Has Brokaw ever read the transcripts of what Rice said that day? The evidence suggests he has not. Such malfeasance would be nothing knew for the great men of our “press corps,” of course.

Second point: Last Friday, one fact became clear beyond any doubt. Why did Rice say the attack on Benghazi “grew out of a spontaneous demonstration” in some sense? (That isn’t what she actually said, but it’s close enough for now.) Duh. She said that because that’s what the CIA said it believed, right from its first set of talking-points, compiled on September 14.

As of last Friday, there was no longer any mystery about this particular matter. But three days later, Brokaw seemed to have no idea that this point had been settled. He still seemed to think that Rice’s statement was inexplicable—that she had “rewritten the script with the help of someone” on this particular point.

That was an ugly claim for a great man like Brokaw to make. Question: Has Brokaw ever looked at the talking points which were released last Friday? From what he said on Morning Joe, it seems that he has not.

Brokaw doesn’t seem to know what Rice said on those Sunday programs. Beyond that, he doesn’t seem to know what the release of the talking-points revealed.

From Brokaw’s pitiful effort, we gain a basic understanding of the tiny role played by facts in our ridiculous world.

Why was Brokaw still so clueless as of Monday morning? Easy! People like Brokaw rarely work from facts! He was still reciting a press corps novel, a novel he hears at cocktail parties and when he asks one of his aides to turn on his TV.

According to this familiar novel, Rice said it wasn’t a terrorist attack—and the CIA’s accurate claims were changed by politicized agencies.

Broken knew the novel by heart; he just didn’t seem to know any facts. He didn’t know what Rice had said in her basic presentation. He didn’t know what Rice had said when Schieffer asked about al Qaeda.

He didn’t know that her reference to the spontaneous demonstration had come from the CIA itself. He seemed to assume that Rice invented that claim with the help of somebody else.

In a moral world, people would want Brokaw’s scalp. Decent people would spit in the street when a person like Brokaw walked by.

But Brokaw has been like this for a very long time, as we have meticulously documented. (In our work, this dates back to his astonishing comments immediately after Candidate Gore’s acceptance speech at the Democratic convention.) Unfortunately, the children who go on TV to pose as our leaders will never tell you about this.

They’re stuffing big sacks of cash in their pants, just as Brokaw did.

Facts play almost no role in our journalistic world! That world is driven by novels. We’ve told you this again and again. This famous stuffed shirt is quite well-dressed, and he helps prove this point.

Rachel and Lawrence will never tell you! Tomorrow, we'll review what the children said Monday night when they discussed Benghazi.


  1. Brokaw talked about what was emphasized and de-emphasized in the talking points. It's clear by now there were efforts to gloss over any organization or involvement of al qaeda and push the video and spontaneity. Rice's comments do much more to feed into those suspicions than pointing to "exact words" out of the larger context does to reduce them. Organized terrorism was presented as an afterthought and remote possibility when asked about specifically, spontaneity, disorganization, and a video were aggressively advanced in her responses as more than some of many possibilities. Likewise, Obama's careful use of "act of terror" is not proof that the administration strenuously avoided acknowledging a "terrorist attack."

    1. What a complete package of bullshit.

    2. I just love the scare quotes around "exact words."

    3. Quaker in a BasementMay 15, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      "Organized terrorism was presented as an afterthought and remote possibility when asked about specifically, spontaneity, disorganization, and a video were aggressively advanced in her responses as more than some of many possibilities."

      Please be so kind as to provide an example.

    4. 1:02 IMO you've got a good reason to fear quotes.

      But just so we can all understand each other, could you rephrase this into a sentence in English:

      "Organized terrorism was presented as an afterthought and remote possibility when asked about specifically, spontaneity, disorganization, and a video were aggressively advanced in her responses as more than some of many possibilities."

    5. Anon 1:02 has no interest in what the facts actually are. As the entire edifice of falsehoods falls down around them, thanks in major part to TDH, people like 1:02 cover their ears and shout, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you, la, la, la, la, la . . . ."

      Now that the facts flatly disprove every single one of their complaints about the Rice interviews, they are desperately turning to the tone and emphasis as they wish to see it. For anyone with a brain listening, there was no de-emphasis on anything. There was the kind of carefully worded disclosure cognizant of diplomatic and security implications that any adult who has ever paid attention to fast-breaking crises should expect. But anyone paying attention knew that (1) it was by definition an act of terrorism, and (2) who was responsible was unclear but could be anyone, including al Qaeda or a local organization with local grievances.

    6. "Organized terrorism was presented as an afterthought and remote possibility when asked about specifically, while spontaneity, disorganization, and a video were aggressively advanced in her responses as more than some of many possibilities."

    7. Well, although "as more than some of many possibilities" certainly still grates on any native speaker of the language, and is ripe with the unsaid rather than actually saying anything (your MO, to a tee) -- we can at least tentatively parse you now.


      Turns out to be not worth the effort.

  2. I'm very happy that TDH was able to document the great and liberal Tom Brokaw speaking out of his ass.

    And note that not a single person on that panel that morning knew enough to challenge what Brokaw was saying.

    Just another sad example in a long list of sad examples of how these phony scandals work. Ignorant overpaid celebrities who are too busy booking their next vacation excursion to bother with learning the facts go on and pontificate based on the novel manufactured by the republican scandal mongers.

  3. "Joe Scarborough goes on an uninformed rant..." Now there's some news.

  4. I agree totally with the overpaid celebrities critique, but how do we fix something like that. Anyone who makes it onto national TV will be a flaming narcissist with virtually no self-awareness . How do we tap into that narcissism and make them scared to death not to start doing at least minimal homework? Maybe online petitions delivered with, if not millions, maybe a few hundred or a few thousand of signers.

  5. P.S. With those petitions being specifically focused on particular journalistic outrages that should be embarrassing to someone who claims that title?

  6. Tom is an amiable dunce who has played this role before; they probably just couldn't get him booked on Letterman. There may be a division at NBC and MSNBC not unlike the CIA and the State Department, but we'll see...

  7. I love Bob Somerby!!

  8. Bob, please bring your powers of analysis and clarity to bear on the whole IRS pseudo-scandal. It is going to be much more damaging than the Benghazi affair, and the entire country has already been horribly misled by the reporting. Even Jon Stewart and Obama failed miserably in their responses. They, and nearly everyone else, are going right along with the characterization that what the IRS did was politically motivated. There has been very little push back, even though there is a perfectly reasonable alternate explanation for why the IRS did what they did: after the Citizens United decision, there was a dramatic increase in the number of conservative/tea party groups applying for tax-exempt status, trying to pass themselves off as "social welfare" groups instead of primarily political groups.
    "...there are a few reasons why the additional reviews were biased against conservative groups. Media coverage ahead of and during the 2012 election was packed with allegations that conservative groups were abusing the Citizens United ruling in order to fund anonymous donation money toward political and non-socially-constructive goals. As a result of this coverage, activists called on the IRS to increase its scrutiny of such groups."

    Also, read this:

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