Media let Hillary off the Benghazi hook
By L. Brent Bozell III
January 25, 2014 | 12:25am
CNN anchor Jake Tapper blandly admitted the obvious in a radio interview with conservative host Hugh Hewitt. The same reporters that insist their former GOP favorite Chris Christie is ruined for 2016 by traffic jams on a bridge are letting Hillary Clinton skate for embassy-security neglect that led to four dead government employees at Benghazi.
Why would so-called watchdogs of government suggest Clinton is a shoo-in in 2016 as if Benghazi never happened? Tapper strangely suggested that Benghazi always seemed like more of a White House scandal than a State Department scandal, and I don’t blame him, because Clinton didn’t grant him an interview.
‘‘Hillary Clinton was on her way out, and you know, I can’t tackle her,” he said in self-defense. “I haven’t had a chance to interview her since Benghazi happened. I don’t even know, has she done interviews? I think she did some interviews on her way out.”
That’s awfully coy. In fact, after Clinton’s ridiculous “what difference does it make” defense a year ago, lapped up by media lapdogs as some kind of “riveting” triumph, she quickly gave interviews to ABC, CBS and NBC. All three networks now pounding away at Christie were, and continue to be AWOL on Hillary. They’ve punted the chance to be watchdogs.
The most infamous one is Steve Kroft’s joint Barack Obama-and-Clinton interview for “60 Minutes,” when Kroft asked two questions on her Benghazi testimony. First, “You had a very long day. Also, how is your health?” And second, “Do you feel guilty in any way, at a personal level? Do you blame yourself that you didn’t know or that you should have known?”
This let Clinton express regret for her “personal loss” and insist against all the evidence that she was tremendously interested in embassy security.
NBC State Department correspondent Andrea Mitchell interviewed her pal Clinton, but the network only showed snippets in two news accounts. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss the Benghazi seconds. Clinton said, “Well, Benghazi went wrong. You know, that was a terrible example of trying to get the right balance between being in a threatening place or not being there.”
Mitchell had one question: “In retrospect, shouldn’t a cable warning of a security threat from an ambassador in a conflict zone, shouldn’t that get the highest possible attention immediately?” Clinton responded, oh well, maybe next time: “Well, that’s what we’re hoping to make sure does happen in the future.” Then it was on to Clinton’s work for women’s rights.
ABC’s interview of her was performed by “Nightline” host Cynthia McFadden, a perennial Clinton toady who informed America that Clinton was “doubling down” on her Senate testimony. McFadden began: “It seemed as though you lost your temper at the hearing.” Clinton said anyone trying to hold her accountable was using a “partisan lens.”
‘‘When someone tries to put it into a partisan lens, when they focus not on the fact that we had such a terrible event happening with four dead Americans, but instead, what did somebody say on a Sunday morning talk show? That, to me, is not in keeping with the seriousness of the issue.”
McFadden nudged: Does she regret the “what difference” comment? Hillary repeated herself about the Sunday show questions and added: “I believe in transparency. I said, you know, let the chips fall where they may. Put it all out there. And I don’t want that to be politicized.”
Always pay attention when a Clinton says you can’t proceed with a “politicized” line of questioning. It means you’re getting close to asking a tough question.
None of these interviewers wondered what some reporters have: If Clinton believed in transparency, why didn’t she do the Sunday morning shows after Benghazi instead of Susan Rice?
In fact, most journalists really don’t feel Clinton should be held accountable. Time magazine had a cover story titled “Can Anyone Stop Hillary?” Nancy Gibbs, now Time’s managing editor, was asked on MSNBC by Mitchell how long Clinton can delay making the official declaration for the White House. Gibbs responded, “I think she can postpone it almost longer than anyone we have seen. It allows her to not have to answer every controversy that comes up, the latest obviously being the Benghazi report today.”
Gibbs told Mitchell that only Hillary can stop Hillary. That must be because her liberal media bootlickers can’t muster one tough question about how she mismanaged embassy security in Libya.