Benghazi Bias on One Page

The controversy over the attacks at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, is a great test of the right’s tired claim that the corporate media have a liberal bias. If that were true, then this “scandal” would exist almost entirely on Fox News Channel and conservative talk radio.

That, of course, isn’t true. The right’s claims about some sort of Obama White House cover-up–with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the center of it all–is  treated as if it might actually be true. And in lavishing so much attention on the story, the press are showing that they have a healthy appetite for promoting right-wing causes. usat-benghazi

That much was clear on one single page of USA Today (5/10/13). The first story, by Susan Page, was headlined “Sen. Graham: Hillary Clinton Should Testify on Benghazi.” The Senator Graham in question is Republican Lindsey Graham, and he gives Page a blow-by-blow on how he helped to orchestrate the most recent round of congressional hearings. The main purpose of the story, if it has one at all, is that he thinks Clinton should be forced to testify to Congress about the matter (to which one might ask, “Didn’t this already happen?”).

It’s not clear what the news is here, except to rehash the case that Graham and other Republican lawmakers have been making all along.

usat-benghazi-2The other Benghazi article on the page: “Analysts: Benghazi Questions Still Linger.” There are exactly two “security analysts” who feel like there are some lingering unknowns: James Carafano, of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, and Gary Schmitt, who the papers identifies as “staff director of President Reagan’s intelligence advisory board.” He is currently at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, and was previously the executive director of the neocon Project for the New American Century. So right-wing think tankers believe that this story championed by the right needs more attention. Got it.

It’d be a lot easier to just label this “Stuff Republicans and Conservatives Say About Benghazi.” Actually, that’s probably a good characterization of much of  what you read about Benghazi.


About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.