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It seems the ongoing revelations of inconvenient truths about the Benghazi attack are going to drag the mainstream media into addressing the problem that Mitt Romney so famously brought up in the October 13th presidential debate; the ‘spontaneous demonstration’ designation being irreconcilable with evidence of it as a terrorist act. The mainstream media came to President Obama’s rescue when he claimed he’d called it an act of terror, first in debate moderator Candy Crowley’s on-the-spot (but erroneous) fact-checking, then in CBS’ 60 Minutes clip after the debate of an unaired portion of a 9/12 interview where the President seemingly confirmed that he’d called it an act of terror, and also in an October 17 ‘fact-check’ segment on the PBS NewsHour where the President’s debate point claim was seemingly upheld by references to his 9/11 Rose Garden remarks.
This is a pair of huge problems. The 60 Minutes clip egregiously left out – as was disclosed just three days before the election – the President’s statement that it was ‘too early to tell if the event was a terrorist attack. Meanwhile, I already detailed right here at RedState in my 10/17/12 article how the NewsHour’s defense of Obama falls apart when we look into their own 9/12 broadcast archive.
Worse, the very recent revelations about the eroding narratives of UN Ambassador Susan Rice implodes the notion floated by one media outlet, MSNBC, about Senator McCain having racial prejudice against Ms Rice. National Urban Policy Action Council (NuPac) founder Kevin Fobbs examines the Rice ‘race card’ in a very good essay here. But did we see any such examination by members of the mainstream media after the McCain / Graham / Ayotte news conference?
So, what we see is the mainstream media apparently taking the side of the Administration without questioning any part of it in the face of legitimate, plausible criticism. Is it sheer negligence? Or willful breaches of journalistic integrity in the pursuit of a political agenda?
To further illustrate how endemic this problem may be, take Mitt Romney’s surprised reaction to what President Obama said at the debate about Benghazi and apply that same reaction to the way skeptic climate scientists reacted in the late 80s / early ’90s to news of global warming erasing a decade’s worth of concern over global cooling.
If the number of red flags that the mainstream media overlooked in the Benghazi situation is highly troubling, then what was missed in the global warming narratives is a gargantuan problem. Skeptic climate scientists would offer mountains of dispute about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change if news outlets like the PBS NewsHour would allow that. But if the mainstream media chose to ignore such skeptics because information was fed to them about the skeptics being “corrupted” by fossil fuel industry money, this may be the most crippling problem of all considering the red flags seen in this small sampling:
When Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein showed how narratives in Watergate did not remotely add up right, they ultimately became journalism legends. The narratives in the Benghazi situation still aren’t lining up right, and they most certainly do not line up in any form when it comes to the notion that skeptic climate scientists operate in a manner that is supposed to be a parallel to the way ‘expert shills’ worked for the tobacco industry.
People like CNN’s Wolf Blitzer revere the doggedness of Watergate reporting, yet he and his fellow reporters seem oblivious to their failures to emulate that, and they might actually look like deer caught in the headlights if the public skewers them on Benghazi and global warming by demanding to know “Where are the Woodwards and Bernsteins?”
Russell Cook has nine previous RedState articles on the global warming issue, and his entire collection on the issue can be seen at “The ’96-to-present smear of skeptic scientists” . Follow him at Twitter via @questionAGW