We all agree that Benghazi!™ is just an electoral bitchmeme so Fox News doesn't have to talk about how pathetic Republicans are, right? As long as there's Benghazi!™ they don't have to deal with jobs or anything that looks like responsible governance. They got the memo, and we understand what they're doing.
Evidently someone forgot to send the memo over to National Journal in time for them to pull James Oliphant's extended whine over progressive bloggers, Obama, and Benghazi!™
Oliphant is quite sure that Jay Carney pulls all of our strings.
When Jay Carney was grilled at length by Jonathan Karl of ABC News over an email outlining administration talking points in the wake of the 2012 Benghazi attack, it was not, by the reckoning of many observers, the White House press secretary's finest hour. Carney was alternately defensive and dismissive, arguably fueling a bonfire he was trying to tamp down.
But Carney needn't have worried. He had plenty of backup.
He had The New Republic's Brian Beutler dismissing Benghazi as "nonsense." He had Slate's David Weigel, along with The Washington Post's Plum Line blog, debunking any claim that the new email was a "smoking gun." Media Matters for America labeled Benghazi a "hoax." Salon wrote that the GOP had a "demented Benghazi disease." Daily Kos featured the headline: "Here's Why the GOP Is Fired Up About Benghazi—and Here's Why They're Wrong." The Huffington Post offered "Three Reasons Why Reviving Benghazi Is Stupid—for the GOP."
What? No mention of Jon Karl's own complete screwup over Benghazi!™? That was the one where Karl accepted a Republican staffer's paraphrase of the legendary emails, only to discover they did not say what he thought they said. ABC News had to issue a retraction and Karl offered a weaksauce apology.
But wait, there's more.
The hope, from the White House's perspective, is that progressive media elites sway the mainstream press. "Obviously, all journalists are reading each other on Twitter," says Tim Miller, executive director of the conservative America Rising PAC and a former spokesman for Jon Huntsman. "If you've got very articulate, passionate bloggers on the left who are making arguments why something shouldn't be news, that might have a shaming effect on other journalists who might not want to be mocked or who might be convinced by their arguments."
Oh, if only. If the White House hopes for that as their defense against right wing nonsense, they're going to be holding their breath for a long time.
Simon Maloy puts this into perspective over at Salon:
And while we’re talking about bad reporting based on false Republican messaging, let’s recall the new bit of information we learned this week about Lara Logan’s disastrously inaccurate 60 Minutes report on Benghazi. Logan claimed in her story that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attack – a disputed allegation that she did not source. It turns out that, according to New York magazine, Logan met with longtime Benghazi antagonist Sen. Lindsey Graham several times while researching her story, and Graham told her “it was ‘a fair thing to say’ that there was a ‘build-up of Al Qaeda types’” in Benghazi.
Much of the pushback to Karl’s and Logan’s stories came from progressive reporters and media outlets who were completely justified in being skeptical of their bad reporting. They weren’t so much “in the tank” for the White House as they were “correct.”
If James Oliphant were interested in reporting instead of whining about progressives nasty tendencies to fact-check, perhaps he, too, would have realized who is "in the tank" for who.
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