A while back, I reported on the enemedia’s love affair with islamic terrorism.
Not much has changed since then.
The Other Benghazi Scandal: Journalists Worry Covering The Attack Threatens White House Access
As the one year anniversary of the deadly attack on an American consulate in Benghazi approaches, journalists have begun to take another look into the scandal surrounding the government’s response to that terrorist event. Last week, CNN aired two striking reports revealing that the Central Intelligence Agency had a large number of agents on the ground on the night of the attack and that a suspect in the attack has never been interviewed by investigators. Following these revelatory reports, which some in President Barack Obama’s administration believe represent a political threat, some CNN reporters now fear for their access to the White House. They are not alone.
On July 31, CNN’s The Situation Room broadcast a portion of an interview conducted by reporter Arwa Damon with a suspect in the Benghazi attacks. The suspect revealed to Damon that no investigator has attempted to contact him regarding his involvement in that deadly assault. The following day, CNN’s Drew Griffin broke the news that more than 30 CIA agents were on the ground in Libya on the day of the attack and they are being pressured by the spy agency to not reveal to reporters or congressional investigators what they know of the events of that night. Some CNN reporters are reportedly fearful now that their access to the White House will be hampered following their probing into a story that members of the Obama administration would prefer remain uninvestigated.
“Access is a very serious consideration when it comes to stories that could adversely impact a show, correspondent, or network’s relationship with the administration, a campaign, or any political leader,” one source with insider information told Mediaite.
“I would suggest it’s not an accident that those who have been given a lot of access to the president have generally been AWOL when it comes to stories that might reflect poorly on him,” the source, who did not wish to be identified, continued. “It’s the name of the game. And it’s bad for everyone trying to do this job the right way.” Those reporters have reason to fear for their access to America’s executive branch. Some suspect that reporters who soft-pedal or underreport stories uncomfortable to the administration receive preferential access to White House officials.
On September 12, 2012, less than 24-hours after the attack on the American consulate, President Obama sat down with CBS News reporter Steve Kroft for an in-depth interview on 60 Minutes. A critical portion of that interview, however, was omitted from broadcast only to be released online the Friday before the election. In that unaired portion of the interview, the president appeared to hedge about whether to declare that attack an act of terrorism.
CBS’s decision to hold this portion of the interview became a focus of speculation because, during an explosive presidential debate against Mitt Romney, Obama declared with much more force that he had always regarded the Benghazi attack as a terrorist event.
Some believe it was no coincidence that the president chose 60 Minutes to sit down with outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for an exit interview in January – one of several that she gave to every network news operation.
Unlike in the exit interviews on the other networks, the 60 Minutes interview’s focus on Benghazi – coming just days after Clinton testified before Congress about her department’s actions leading up to and following the attack – was decidedly limited.
“I want to talk about the hearings this week,” Kroft began.
“You had a very long day. Also, how is your health?” He digressed.
“As the New York Times put it, you accepted responsibility, but not blame,” Kroft asked in a follow up to the above grilling. “Do you feel guilty in any way, in– at a personal level? Do you blame yourself that you didn’t know or that you should have known?”
Both Clinton’s and the president’s response to this question was clinical, lawyerly, and retrospective. Of course, they were able to take this tone because the nature of the question implied that the Benghazi story was a closed book. Today, though, the persistent uncovering of new details relating to the federal response to that attack shows definitively that the Benghazi story is not yet fully understood.
CBS’ 60 Minutes is not the only venue which is protective of their access to the administration. Reporting by ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl in May surrounding how the administration formed the talking points relating to the terrorist event in Benghazi prompted a flurry of reporting and commentary which suggested that the White House was fending off unwarranted attacks from their political opponents.
Just days prior to Karl’s revelations, NBC News was granted a rare tour of the White House Situation Room as part of a retrospective report reflecting on the two year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.
In the days that followed Karl’s revelations, NBC News’ most visible personalities were far more hands-off than they had been in the days that initially followed that deadly attack.
“The whole issue of talking point, frankly, throughout this process, has been a sideshow,” Obama pointedly said of Karl’s story unveiling how the talking points were formed. “We dishonor [the fallen] when we, you know, we turn things like this into a political circus.”
Appearing on Nightly News, the NBC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd reacted to Obama’s prickly statement by twice calling the president’s response to those revelations a “defiant” showing. NBC News’ Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Andrea Mitchell, observed that there is no doubt a “political undercurrent” to Republicans questioning Clinton’s culpability in those attacks. “After all, those Republicans are taking direct aim at Clinton, the country’s most popular Democrat and a potential presidential candidate,” she said of the revelations surrounding the talking points on NBC’s Today.
“If you worry about access, you’re in the wrong business,” another insider with detailed information about how journalists and news networks react to reporting about Benghazi told Mediaite. “This shouldn’t be a consideration at all, but it is.”
This source, who also declined to be identified, said that the institution of journalism would be better served if reporters were less protective of their sources within powerful institutions. “If we all raised proper objections, they couldn’t do it to anybody,” the source said of the White House’s efforts to block access to reporters who pursue stories they regard as inconvenient. “We’re really playing the government’s game.”
Mainstream media now fully in bed with Obama
Full disclosure: I don’t expect to be hired by the Obama administration any time soon, but the chances are good a number of colleagues in the corporate media world could be any day now.
Because after all, that seems to be a prerequisite for administration posts, given the growing number of Washington elitist journalists making their way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The latest on this growing phenomenon, from The Daily Beast:
Former Washington Post writer Laura Blumenfeld on Monday became the latest in a long list of journalists who have joined the Obama administration when she took up an appointment in the State Department’s Middle East office.
A speaker of Arabic and Hebrew, Blumenfeld will now be in charge of strategic communications in the State Department’s office handling negotiations for Secretary of State John Kerry’s Middle East Peace Process. Kerry has tapped former Ambassador to Israel and Brookings Institution scholar Martin Indyk to lead that effort inside the Obama administration. …
With her move, Blumenfeld becomes at least the 16th journalist to join the Obama administration, following shortly after Richard Stengel left his post as managing editor of Time Magazine to become the Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy.
Others who came before Blumenfeld include former Time correspondent and now White House spokesman Jay Carney (who these days treats his one-time colleagues with all the contempt and derision as the boss he protects); Kerry senior advisor Glen Johnson, who came from the Boston Globe; the State Department’s new assistant secretary for legislative affairs Douglas Frantz, who used to be a national security editor for The Washington Post; and Shailagh Murray, the former Post and Wall Street Journal scribe who is now the communications director for Vice President Joe Biden.
Make no mistake, one of the primary intents of the First Amendment, as envisioned by our founding fathers, was to ensure a free press that would take care to inform the people in an accurate, timely manner and to serve as the people’s watchdog on government. Such a symbiotic relationship with liberal politicians and presidents makes it nearly impossible possible to fulfill that watchdog role, and it’s why the public treats both entities with suspicion, if not outright contempt.
You cannot be “fair” and “impartial” when there exists a rotating door between the press and the very government the media are supposed to be keeping in check.
But then, that’s the point, isn’t it?
“Whether the number is 15 or 19, the fact that this many so-called journalists from outlets as influential as CBS, ABC, CNN, Time, the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times want to work at the very same administration they are supposed to hold accountable is not only troubling; it also explains a lot,” writes John Nolte at Breitbart News.
“Why would anyone enamored enough with an Obama administration they want to go work for do anything that might make a potential employer uncomfortable — you know, like actually report on ObamaCare and the economy honestly, or dig into Benghazi and the IRS?”
“And don’t think the Obama administration isn’t doling out these jobs for a reason. What a wonderful message to send to the world of media: Don’t go too far, don’t burn a bridge, don’t upset us too much and there just might be a lifeline off the sinking MSM ship.
And obviously it is working.”
Our founders envisioned a separation of church and state for a reason – the two could not exist on the same plane, for one could not – and should not – have undue power and influence over the other. The same principle applies with the media and government; the two should never coexist on the same plane, and for the same reason.
Because when they do, the result is plain: The American people are deprived of the best of both institutions.