Embassy Attacks

Salon: It's Conservatives' Fault if Benghazi Scandal Doesn't Have Legs. Er … What?

Pre-spin is the new spin


Maybe we can blame SNL parodies, too.
Credit: NBC

Well, here's an interesting way to respond to the Benghazi scandal, back in the spotlight again this week as whistle-blowers prepare to testify before Congress that the government always knew the assault on the consulate in Libya was a planned terror attack and not a spontaneous protest in response to an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube. Alex Seitz-Wald at Salon is pre-blaming conservatives should the scandal fail to take off:

The charges seem potentially damaging and the accusers credible, but those trying to fan flames of scandal have so embarrassed and discredited themselves by pushing bogus story lines on Benghazi that it may be hard for the media and American people to take any new allegations seriously. For instance, the last time we saw a "Benghazi whistle-blower," it was an anonymous Fox News source, but he seemed to know so little about basic special operations that military analysts called him a clown and an embarrassment.

Okay, that's one. Any others? It appears not. That's the only example he gives. I can't think of any other examples of embarrassing theories put forth seriously, other than, well, the one put out by the State Department.

In the Fast and Furious scandal, analogous in many ways to Benghazi in way it played out in the media, there was real wrongdoing, but conservatives grasped at straws to make wider, unsubstantiated allegations that let the actual problems largely escape notice.

If the three new witnesses don't get the attention they deserve, Fox News and its ilk deserves much of the blame.

Again, there's still only one example. We don't even know how seriously the public is treating this scandal yet, and somehow he's already blaming Fox News about it. Is the rest of the media not going to cover Benghazi because of something Fox did? That makes no sense. The two likely, actual reasons why the witnesses "don't get the attention they deserve" will be if: One, other news outlets don't follow the story, which will reinforce the narrative of the media as the Obama Administration's protectors; or two, if the general public simply doesn't care about the scandal as much as people in the media and pundit class wish they did (a very possible outcome).

It takes a bit of nerve to try to somehow spin a possible lack of attention on the Benghazi scandal by other media outlets or the public on the credibility of Fox News.

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  1. That’s right, conservatives are to blame for the media ignoring all of Obama’s fuck ups and shenanigans.

    1. It really doesn’t matter who screwed what up, it is always the conservatives fault in the eyes of the progladytes.

      1. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job Ive had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringin home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, http://www.Mojo50.com

    2. Well yeah, if conservatives weren’t against everything Obama (PBUH) wanted to do, the media would be free to investigate these minor failings, which must be blamed on the poor underlings that he has because the Senate wouldn’t approve the wonderful people who he originally nominated to the, yada,yada yada

  2. We don’t even know how seriously the public is treating this scandal yet

    What scandal?

    /the public

  3. I admire you, Shackford. It takes balls to call someone else out for saying something stupid when you’re the one linking to an article on Salon.

    1. I knew somebody would say this but I did it anyway.

      1. Hugh Akston is not a somebody, it is a something.

      2. So you’re trolling us the way Salon trolls the internet in general. Well played, Shackford.

  4. The Fast & Furious scandal didn’t take off in the media because the media supported the propaganda campaign the operation was intended to aid.

    If anything, the media was probably a little pissed off that they didn’t get to enjoy all the extra trips to Mexico for ride-alongs south of the border they knew they were due. And they were MORE than a little pissed they didn’t get the chance to run all the breathless “US guns are causing Mexican agony” stories you know they had all set in the queue.

    1. They are still trying Fluffy. Obama said in his Mexico speech last week that US guns are flooding into Mexico and causing violence there. Proving once again he is the most shameless and mendacious fuck ever to hold national office in this country.

      1. Hey, our offer wasn’t good enough; the Mexicans wouldn’t keep him.

      2. They are flooding into Mexico, John.

        The Mexican Army is buying them with the approval of the U.S. Govt, and then corrupt soldiers/cops are selling them on the black market.

        Obviously if private ownership of AR-15’s were outlawed, then the U.S. govt would *not* be approving the export of M-16’s to Mexico or something.

        Clearly it’s all the work of spies from Guilder the NRA!

      3. Nah, that makes him about average.

        1. Not even Bubba was this bad. This is like Bubba giving a speech in 1999 about the evils of oral sex.

  5. This is the world’s most pathetic jedi mind trick. The media loves to use it to protect Democrats. They did it for 8 years under Clinton. It goes like this.

    Step 1. Democratic Administration does something awful.

    Step 2. Media ignores said awful thing while right wing media reports it.

    Step 3. Media dismisses said awful thing as partisan politics because only right wing media are talking about it.

    Step 4. Time passes.

    Step 5. Evidence for said awful thing becomes so pervasive that the media can no longer call it just a right wing partisan attack.

    Step 6. Media admits said awful thing but then immediately changes the story to how the entire thing is just old news that had been known for months and the right wing really blew it again by failing to get the country to care about a scandal.

    It is sort of a double play of selective ignorance followed by concern trolling.

    1. I think you have hit the nail on the head here John.

    2. Beautiful analysis.

    3. HATER!!!!!!!

    4. Step 6 cracks me up. They are admitting that if you wanted real news, you should be watching Fox or reading internet sites like Reason.

    5. simply incredible. Even a progtard could understand this. But they wil throw a hissy fit if you suggest that there is any idea in the world than one that agrees with their ideas.

    6. That’s it, exactly.

    7. A Serbian Jew Double-Bluff?

    8. what does it matter at this point anyway?

    9. Isn’t it Jedi mind MELD?

  6. Salon: It’s Conservatives’ Fault if Benghazi Scandal Doesn’t Have Legs. Er ? What?

    I blame Bush

  7. If the cover-up–which this clearly is–can be shown to go up to the president, the House should impeach him and everyone involved. Yes, I know it won’t work, but that’s bad shit, even for today.

    1. The evidence for a cover up appears pretty clear. I can’t figure out WHY they let all this happen. If they knew the embassy was under attack, WHY NOT do something about it.

      The only theory I’ve heard is that a premeditated assault on the embassy would screw up the “Al Qaeda is dead” narrative for the campaign but that seems pretty thin.

      1. I think they had visions of the failed Iran hostage rescue. So, of course, the cover-up and the failure to take any active measures were based, as usual, on politics.

        I’d say that’s very likely the case.

      2. And why relieve the Africom Commander (Gen. Carter Ham) when he did try to get a rescue going?

        Because it was a blown CIA op.

        1. There’s also the persistent rumors that one of the guys on the ground lit up the attackers with a laser sight implying he had been led to believe an air strike was imminent.

          1. I suppose there could’ve been a response planned that got screwed up somehow. That may be what they want to keep a hat on.

        2. The idea that the Benghazi cover-up was to cover up what was really going on in Benghazi always seemed to me the most plausible explanation. This was a cover-up of a bungled response to an assault on a consulate? Why exactly was the consulate being assaulted? Why were the survivors of the assault kept away from any curious reporters? To keep them from telling what they knew about the response being bungled or to keep them from telling what they knew about why the consulate was targeted in the first place?

          Or does even asking what was going on in Benghazi that caused it to be targeted for attack just showcase my tinfoil hat?

          1. Therein lies the rub. No tin foil hat at all. The attackers targeted this facility for a very specific reason, and that’s what the focus should be on. Some people in the know have pointed out that the attack was not a happenstance or just al Qaeda being al Qaeda, but that it was done because the facility they targeted housed some illegal operation that would have been highly embarrassing for the Obama administration. Rumors circulated that there was a secret prison there or that negotiations were being conducted to give weapons to Syrian opposition guys that were themselves affiliated with terrorism. Had they responded, this would have resulted in validation that there was something bad going on there. The video was a convenient excuse to avoid having to deal with the fact that al Qaeda, which the Obama administration had declared defunct, was anything but.

          2. gun smuggling to syria via turkey. in particular, MANPADs, stingers, etc, expropriated from cooperative benghazi militia. it was an open fact congress allocated money to ‘disarm’ rebels. no one clarified where the weapons ended up.

            is anyone surprised that the admin has suddenly made ‘arming rebels’ a persistant talking point in 2013? IMHO its all just ex post facto ass covering because sooner or later the details will get out. why not prepare the public with the theme it was always a good idea/agreed-upon policy?

            oh course, this is ‘crazy conspiracy talk’…

          3. Somehow the TV news readers didn’t bat an eye at the coincidental location of the CIA “annex” that also came under fire.

            Just the most natural thing in the world to have a CIA annex next to a consulate – nothing to do with the gunfire and mortar shelling.

      3. The evidence for a cover up appears pretty clear. I can’t figure out WHY they let all this happen. If they knew the embassy was under attack, WHY NOT do something about it.

        I can’t shake the suspicion that the consulate was being used as a prison/torture chamber, and State/CIA were terrified of the news getting out.

    2. If Hillary agrees to never again run for elected office or serve in appointed office, I’ll take it as a win.

      1. What he said. This needs to bring down either Hillary or Barack, and I don’t really care which.

  8. This has started, I think, because of the release of the non-edited talking points. They are damning, but only in a country that cares about truthfulness from it’s government. This is team blue signaling that team blue fucked up and the team blue members need to turn off the portion of their brains that deals with the importance of honesty and accountability in social structures and close ranks to keep the evul team red from gaining any kind of advantage because of it.

    1. ^^THIS^^^

      This is Salon saying “sure this is a pretty horrible fuck up, but that is not important right now. What is important is how badly the aftermath was handled by the Republicans”. Or to put it another way, “don’t let the fact that Obama did something horrible and dishonest result in Republicans ever getting their way about anything. Always remember what is important.

  9. Is the rest of the media not going to cover Benghazi because of something Fox did?

    That’s the excuse, yes.

  10. my buddy’s half-sister makes $79 every hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for 7 months but last month her paycheck was $20625 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site… http://www.up444.com

    1. I don’t have the legs to pull off what your buddy’s sister can do.

    2. $20625/ $79 per hour = 261.08 hours per month/ 30 days per month = 8.70 per day without a day off. No thanks, I like weekends.

    3. Khimki forest dot com. You will care.

    4. Re: EstherBatz,

      She has been fired from work for 7 months

      And her family is cursed for 2 years.

  11. I started ready Salon maybe 15 years ago. It had a mix of alt-culture, high-tech, sports, and flaming liberal politics. Patrick Smithss “Ask the Pilot” was brilliant.

    It has now devolved into nothing but flaming liberal politics. And all the smart writers have left, so now it’s all stupid flaming liberal politics.

    1. Concurring here, I recall reading it around 13-14 years or so ago and not feeling compelled to constantly roll my eyes.

    2. Salon was always a SWPL bo-bo mag, but it didn’t really become a DNC propoganda organ until Joan Walsh got her oily hooks into it.

  12. FEAUX NOOOOOZZZZZZZ!!!!!11!!!! /prog-derp

  13. As Kyle Broflovski would say, really?

  14. Is the rest of the media not going to cover Benghazi because of something Fox did?

    Well, yes. This is the same media that pretended Obama said something in a speech that he didn’t really say. Even Candy Crowley’s re-read transcript showed that.

  15. While I wholeheartedly agree the vast majority of the media is in the bag for Team Blue, there is a grain of truth in this.

    I do turn on teh teeeveee and bounce back and forth between FOX, CNN and MSNBC just to get a perspective on how events are being spun or what stories are being pushed/ignored by whom.

    I also admit to listening to Rush and Hannity in the truck.

    And I’ve been saying this for YEARS. The right leaning media tries to turn every little fuckup into a conspiracy or cover up, hoping it will grow legs and defeat their mortal enemies so that THEY might retake the throne of power and once again lead this great nation to the trough of true conservatism…. It gets old, and they have lost all credibility. Now when actual conspiracies and cover ups occur, half the country falls back to the position it’s just Limbaugh trying to make hay again, and you can COUNT on the left leaning media to ignore it.

    1. I get what you’re saying and it’s not so much wrong, as it is buying into leftist spin. The left leaning media “tries to turn every little fuckup into a conspiracy or cover up” even more than the right leaning media. The difference is in how it’s portrayed – the left is “speaking truth to power” and the right is indulging in “paranoid conspiracy theories.”

    2. You know maybe if we had a national media that was honest and did its job, it wouldn’t matter what the right wing media said? It is pretty fucking rich for the media to totally cede the field of holding a Democratic administration accountable to the the right wing partisan media and then blame the lack of accountability on the fact that partisan media doesn’t have any credibility.

      Fuck that. Yeah, there is and always have been partisan media. And just like tabloid media, they get a lot wrong. But occasionally even partisan have a point.

    3. so what credibility does the left-leaning media have? Its lack thereof is the whole reason that Fox, Rush, and others have found the audiences they have. Your line about “the right leaning media tries….” works equally well if you ascribe it to the non-right leaning media.

      1. so what credibility does the left-leaning media have?

        Oh, none. Don’t get me wrong. All I’m saying is if Hannity and Limbaugh would stop trying to blow every little thing up into Watergate, they might actually get some traction when Watergate actually happens.

        1. I don’t listen to Hannity and Limbaugh. So I will take your work for it. But even if they were Edward R. Morrow and played everything straight, they would still be labeled right wing and everything they said that didn’t fit the liberal narrative would be ignored.

          I think you are a bit naive if you think there is anyway the liberal media is every going to credit anything but outright liberal bias as “credible journalism”.

          1. See Woodward, Bob, and his recent deep-sixing by the gatekeeper media.

        2. The probem is that democrats have been doing things that make Watergate look like child’s play, for decades now, and the media has let them get away with it. Seriously, Nixon got the shaft over something idiotic and inconsequencial, while others have gotten away with real criminal shit.

        3. That explains why the media made a bigger scandal out of the Gulf of Tonkin ruse, LBJ bugging Goldwater’s campaign airplane and undead voters in Chicago than they made of Watergate. Back then, without the pressure of right wing media, they could report objectively.

  16. This is why the Koch brothers buying newspapers is a national disaster. Imagine how much news the rest of the media will have to ignore after that happens?

  17. I love the SNL Fox and Friends corrections list. I was LMAO at last weeks:
    “Peaking at ladies’ butts is not a background check.”
    “Syria is not Arabic for “serious.””
    “Anytime minutes don’t let you call the future”

    complete list:


    1. This was probably my favorite though:

      “Jason Collins was not turned gay by a Washington Wizard.”

      1. “4 and 3 are not basically the same thing”

  18. I can’t think of any other examples of embarrassing theories put forth seriously, other than, well, the one put out by the State Department.

    I believe that Salon is saying that the theory that some actions might have been done for political reasons, and that there’s a coverup of that is an embarrassing theory (as opposed to a theory of simply “honest operational mistakes were made.”)

    Granted, claiming that the response to the attack was attenuated for political reasons, and that a filmmaker was thrown in prison for political reasons is a very severe charge. However, I think it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

    1. The film maker was perp walked and had his probation revoked for a pretty minor offense. He is still in jail by the way. That theory is not just in the realm of the possibility, it is the only reasonable explanation of the facts at hand.

      What is the alternative? That State and the CIA somehow didn’t realize it was a terrorist attack even though all of the available information said it was?

      1. Father of one of the dead service members said that Hilary came up to him at the airfield send off and told him, to paraphrase, ‘we’re going to get the son of a bitch responsible for making that movie.’
        The very fact his claim didn’t make the headline of every paper in the country just on the bases of being good copy can only be explained by grotesque partisanship.

        1. It is amazing how they can just change history. They were all saying it was the filmmaker. It was the talking point. And every liberal troll and hack was repeating it. And now they pretend that never happened.

          1. Look, they’re not going to let paltry reality get in the way of being smug about being in the “reality-based community”.

            1. I like to call it the community-based reality.

  19. The one true idiot in all of this is Romney. He had the PERFECT opportunity to bring this to a head during the final debate. There were Obama officials claiming it was the video 10-14 days after the event. Had him dead to rights. Incontrovertible proof, of an attempted cover up, and the idiot chose to remain silent on the subject.

    He’d be in the White House right now if he had engaged on this issue. I’d have pounded him all night on it.

    1. He let some fat chick interrupt him in the debate and back down. Yeah, the man really has no balls. He should have stood up and eaten Crowley and Obama’s lunch during that debate and laid out the case in such a way the media had to report if for no other reason to try to challenge his narrative. Instead he sat there with his dick in his hand because he didn’t want to be impolite to the fucking hack they sent to run the debate. Just sad.

    2. At first, I thought it was just something polite to say at family gatherings, that Romney didn’t have his heart in it or his mind on it, but now I think it’s also true. It was also clear, from early in the primary season, that he would need to overcome the perceptions of those who tried to watch and listen, but couldn’t help feeling reminded of the guy who laid them off.

      1. The Republicans have a bad habit of nominating rich, happy guys who really have nothing to lose. These sorts of people, like McCain, Dole and Romney, lose and go back to their lives counting their millions and banging their hot wives. For this reason they don’t really want it that bad. And they certainly don’t want it bad enough to get anyone in Washington to think they are a bad person.

        Contrast this with the winners the Republicans have nominated. George W. Bush hated Washington and the media for what they did to his father. So even though he was rich and happy, he didn’t give a fuck about offending people and wanted to win. Same with Reagan. Reagan was an over the hill actor. If he didn’t win in 1980, it was the rubber chicken circuit for him. And he campaigned like his life depended on it.

        This is why conservatives and Libertarians don’t do as well at politics as liberals do. Conservatives and Libertarians have lives. They view politics as kind of disgusting and nasty and real life to be preferable. Liberals in contrast live and die by politics. They look at winning in politics as a life and death matter. They play politics to win because if they don’t win they don’t eat. Politics is all they have and all t hey care about.

        1. You’re even closer to the truth than you realize. Look at how liberals drag their fscking politics into everything. Remember when the weather was the safe topic of conversation?

  20. “Is the rest of the media not going to cover Benghazi because of something Fox did? That makes no sense.”

    Sure it does. We don’t have a traditional news media, we have palace guards who are nothing more than liberal political operatives running the media.

  21. Then there are people like me who have stopped paying attention because we already know essentially what happened, and we know what is, or rather isn’t going to happen as a result.

    A) The administration lied about the demonstration, for political reasons, and got caught with their pants down and on fire. They eventually came clean about the demonstration, but refuse to admit to the lying.

    B) The liberal media establishment, collectively, en-masse refuses to give a shit.

    C) The Republicans want to make this a bigger scandal, but mostly to make Hillary Clinton look bad, and just cause they feel like making a stink, not because they really give a shit.

    D) While it would be entertaining to see the Obama administration admit that they are inept liars, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. Mealy-mouthed excuses about “wrong information” are the best we’re going to get.

  22. LOL, what a clown…the only good thing is with every word they type, they make themselves even more irrelevant.

    1. Except they’re not irrelevant, they steer the nation by steering the outline of the permissible political conversations that we can have. If they were irrelevant, you’d have known this latest revelation already.

  23. This is like how Michael Moore made an ass out of himself criticizing Bush from 2001-2009 so no other lefties did it!

  24. The story just proves my thesis: The sociopaths are in charge of everything. Corporations, banks, politicians, bureaucrats… Pick a town or neighborhood near you. You’ll find a sociopath in charge of something, if not several of them who are in charge of everything.

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