Michelle Malkin visited Fox & Friends yesterday to
jeer discuss Hillary Clinton's Benghazi testimony in front of Congress Wednesday. The Los Angeles Times noted that the Republicans were so intent on “resurrect(ing) a specious political attack that got them nowhere in the final days of the presidential campaign,” they missed opportunities to get real answers as to how to prevent such tragedies from happening again. And, in the process, made Clinton look “stronger than ever.”
Malkin and her Fox News hosts were so busy following in those footsteps that they failed to consider how they missed the mark in just the same way
Malkin began her “analysis” by sneering that the hearings seemed all about “Hillary 2016.” But that's all the Republicans at both hearings were focused on, too -- getting a sound byte to use against her potential candidacy.
Malkin gave special attention to the widely-seen clip of Clinton responding to Republican Senator Ron Johnson in which he beats the political dead horse alleging that the Obama administration deliberately oversold an anti-Muslim YouTube video as the cause of the attack. Clinton's forceful and persuasive answer: "Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”
“It makes all the difference in the world,” Malkin said contemptuously. But she never explained why. She became too caught up in attacking Republicans for having “squandered the opportunity to really stick it, not only to Hillary and the State Department, but to this entire lying administration.”
She continued, “Now I understand that there are a lot of staffers and a lot of Republicans on Capitol Hill who have been so steeped in this that they don't realize that the basics still need to get out to the American public and that was the missed opportunity, I think.”
What are those "basics?" Calling the State Department liars, apparently. Her head thrown back and eyes wide with scorn, she ranted, “The key questions about how this administration lied and lied and lied to the American public and used this YouTube video as a ruse really needed to get out there, but I think you could count on the (she started sputtering) number of fingers on your hand how many times Republicans mentioned the video! Hello! Did they take an oath of office not to mention it yesterday?”
Host Alisyn Camerota said, “There were other questions that weren't answered.” She then purported to play a montage of those questions but, as even she acknowledged, the video was all about Republicans speechifying attacks on Clinton and the State Department.
Malkin then disparaged Clinton as out of touch and incompetent for, supposedly, not reading cables requesting more security in Libya. But nobody mentioned what the New York Times reported: “Mrs. Clinton acknowledged that she had been briefed on a series of events that indicated that security in Benghazi was deteriorating in the months before the attack... But she said she had gone along with a recommendation from subordinates that the Benghazi post be kept open and assumed that they would take the necessary steps to protect it."
Nor did “fair and balanced” Fox point out, as the Times did, that Clinton “has committed herself to putting in place all of the recommendations of an independent review that was led by Thomas R. Pickering, a former American ambassador, and Mike Mullen, the retired admiral who served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
Furthermore, the LA Times pointed out that “a productive hearing” would have “also included examining why Congress not only consistently underfunds the State Department, but has blocked expenditure of money that has already been appropriated to shore up American diplomatic efforts in several international trouble spots.” Or explored the facts and procedures that caused the overemphasis on the YouTube video in the first place.
Instead, Congressional Republicans – along with Malkin - chose anti-Clinton/anti-Obama grandstanding that got them face time on Fox News-- and probably very little else.