Partisan Journalism Downplays Benghazi Mismanagement

by Aspen Coons

At this point, we’ve all heard about the crisis in Benghazi and the scandal that ensued, but in case you need to refresh your memory, here’s the quick and dirty version. On September 11th, 2012 the U.S. consulate in Libya was attacked and four Americans were killed. On September 16th, Susan Rice appeared on several news networks and asserted that the attacks appeared to be unplanned, spontaneous and a result of an anti-Islamic video that had just been released. By September 20th, the White House began to admit that the attack was almost certainly a pre-planned terrorist attack, and something that the administration could have and should have prepared for – other U.S. officials outside the White House were asserting the likelihood of the event being a terrorist attack as early as September 13th. With the presidential election less than two months away, many Republicans alleged that the White House purposely blamed the video with little to no intelligence to back it up, in order to keep the attack from harming Obama’s foreign policy reputation.

The most recent evidence to come to light is a set of e-mails that have recently been released to Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, after the group went to court to have these documents released. It appears that these e-mails differ from the copies of the same e-mails that were handed over to the House Oversight Committee. Not only were the e-mails categorized under different levels of classification, but the newly released e-mails also contain the names of the people sending and receiving the e-mails, whereas the original copies given to Congress did not. What’s more is that another e-mail from Susan Rice to members of the United States team at the UN was retroactively classified on April 16, 2014, one day before it was released

There is a lot of controversy over whether or not the actions of the White House after the Benghazi attack are suspect. My question is: if the White House did nothing wrong, why bother trying to cover anything up? In fact, the administration should want as much information as possible to be made public in order to vindicate themselves from any alleged wrongdoing. It has redacted and classified all relevant material and yet it insists that it has nothing to hide. Well if you have nothing to hide, why bother hiding it?

Questions of whether or not the Obama Administration acted suspiciously aside, the most illuminating thing to come out of the entire Benghazi debacle, in my opinion, is just how far the liberal media is willing to go to protect their president. There can be no doubt that the Benghazi attack was a big deal. Four Americans were killed, and the consulate was torched to the ground. The fact that the administration was doing anything other than being as open and honest as possible is reproachable.

Yet, the mainstream media largely refuses to report on Benghazi or dismisses the whole thing as a “fake-roversy.” By contrast, Chris Christie’s alleged involvement in a glorified traffic jam in New Jersey of all places is a Watergate-scale scandal, and gets a “-gate” added to its title to prove it. CNN and MSNBC were relentless in covering the so-called “Bridgegate” story, yet when it comes to the Obama Administration’s potential foul play in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, coverage of the event either ignores the accusations or summarily dismisses them, as Sally Kohn did in her piece for CNN.

In her article, Kohn ignores all evidence against the White House and treats the GOP watchdogs as if they’re blustering idiots. Kohn asserts that, indeed, the White House did politicize the events surrounding Benghazi but that this is to be expected since the President is a politician after all. Although she makes no mention of the fact that this is incredibly disrespectful to the dead and their families.

Next, Kohn points out that there have been countless hearings and investigations on the matter and so at this point we should lay the matter to rest. In her eyes, the case is closed and the President is still God’s gift to humanity. The problem with this logic is that most of the key evidence in these hearings has been redacted, rendering it entirely useless. They have been more for show than anything else since the White House has been very uncooperative in handing over key evidence.

She ends on the thought made famous by Hillary Clinton, “What difference at this point does it make?” This is the most flawed logic yet. It does make a difference, even at this point, what actions the Administration took, what their motivations were, and what really happened. It matters because the American people have a right to know why four of their fellow citizens were killed that day. It matters because if the Administration botched this, who’s to say they’ll be able to prevent the next foreign crisis?

Kohn’s article is just one example of the mainstream media’s extremely biased coverage of the Benghazi scandal. As media outlets grow increasingly entangled with party politics, we the people need to decide if we’re okay with having our news handed to us with a heaping slice of opinion. We need to decide if we think the press should be serving as cheerleaders or referees, and if we’re not happy with the press playing favorites, we need to demand that they become more neutral or else threaten to take our business elsewhere. If nothing else, the Benghazi event—scandal or not—has illuminated just how biased the media has become. It is time for us to take action and demand a less biased media.

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