Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has gone, hat in hand, to health industry officials, asking them to make large financial donations to help with the effort to implement President Obama’s landmark health-care law, two people familiar with the outreach said. Her unusual fundraising push comes after Congress repeatedly rejected the Obama administration’s requests for additional funds to set up the Affordable Care Act, leaving HHS to implement the president’s signature legislative accomplishment on what officials have described as a shoestring budget.
Tennessee Republican [Sen. Lamar Alexander] compared the HHS secretary's requests for donations from insurance companies to the Iran-Contra scandal. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius might have broken the law by asking insurance companies to donate to outside groups promoting President Obama's healthcare law, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Saturday. Alexander compared the fundraising to the Iran-Contra scandal. "Secretary Sebelius’s fundraising for and coordinating with private entities helping to implement the new health care law may be illegal, should cease immediately and should be fully investigated by Congress," Alexander said in a statement.
I realize scandal investigations are backing up like cars on the Beltway in rush hour, but this one seems like it should go close to the front of the line. We have an unpopular health-care bill with gross implementation and design problems that exceeds its budget. The solution? Stiff arm the industry for “contributions.” It’s apparent that both Obamacare and the HHS secretary operating it are out of control. Congress should investigate and any monies obtained in this fashion should be returned. Then we should pause, assess where Obamacare stands and figure out if it can be implemented without inflicting harm on 300 million Americans — or should I say, any more harm.
"I want to wish Hillary a Happy Mother's Day. She has her child. I don't have mine because of her."
If this scandal had occurred under a Republican president, Pat Smith would be a household name, a la Cindy Sheehan, with "absolute moral authority" to slam the White House. The difference, of course, is that Sheehan's son volunteered to take up arms and fight, and the Bush administration never misled anyone about the circumstances of his death. Smith's bitterness and lasting pain is difficult to watch. Her frustration over being lied to by numerous administration officials -- "nose-to-nose," as she put it in another interview -- is palpable. Like the rest of the American people, Smith still lacks satisfactory answers. Indeed, during his mendacious Friday press briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney stretched, strained and violated the truth on numerous occasions:
In response to a question about why he and others at the White House repeatedly pointed to a YouTube video as the cause of the attacks in Benghazi, Carney claimed that he was working from the same talking points as U.N. ambassador Susan Rice. But the video was not mentioned in any of the dozen drafts of talking points. Carney also claimed that Rice devoted some of her time on five Sunday shows September 16 talking “about the possibility that al Qaeda might be involved or other al Qaeda affiliates might be involved or non-al Qaeda Libyan extremists.” But as BuzzFeed notes, that’s not really true. “Outside of a brief mention on CBS’s Face the Nation, Rice mostly did not discuss the involvement of al Qaeda or al Qaeda affiliates.” Carney claimed that there was no hard evidence before Susan Rice’s television appearances on September 16 that terrorists linked to al Qaeda were involved in the attacks. That’s simply not true. Beth Jones, acting assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs at the State Department, sent an email on September 12 reporting “the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.” Within 48 hours, the U.S. government had multiple streams of intelligence indicating that Ansar al Sharia was involved...
So the months-long misinformation campaign continues apace. Another frequent Carney assertion was that despite 12 separate revisions to the talking points, the final product still reflected the "best assessment" of the intelligence community. This is patently untrue, as re-confirmed by ABC News this morning. In fact, the White House's desired talking points were so "useless" that the CIA director personally rejected them the day before Susan Rice made her infamous talk show rounds:
RADDATZ: About those. How about CIA Director David Petraeus? How did he respond to these talking points? And I know you have new information on that.
KARL: Yeah, this is fascinating. Because Mike Morrell, who was the deputy director, was the one that ultimately signed off on this one. Petraeus finally saw the final version of the talking points. This is the Saturday afternoon before Susan Rice’s appearances on the Sunday shows. He looks at these and says they’re essentially useless. And direct quote from his e-mail. He says, I would just as soon not use them. But it’s their call, meaning the White House’s call.
RADDATZ: And they got the talking points out there.
It’s a cliché, of course, but it really is true: in Washington, every scandal has a crime and a coverup. The ongoing debate about the attack on the United States facility in Benghazi where four Americans were killed, and the Obama Administration’s response to it, is no exception. For a long time, it seemed like the idea of a coverup was just a Republican obsession. But now there is something to it...the mere existence of the edits—whatever the motivation for them—seriously undermines the White House’s credibility on this issue. This past November (after Election Day), White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.” Remarkably, Carney is sticking with that line even now...This is an incredible thing for Carney to be saying.
*SEE UPDATES BELOW*
One of the mainstream media journalists whose pursuit of the truth has been truly tenacious and nonpartisan is CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson. Her tough reporting has made life difficult for everyone from Hillary Clinton to the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans. She's also been relentless on the Obama administration's Fast & Furious gun-running scandal -- and, of course, Benghazi. As we mentioned this week, Attkisson's tough investigative journalism is starting to bother unnamed CBS News executives. Here's Politico's scoop, in case you missed it:
But from where Attkisson is sitting, there are actually two Goliaths, one of which is almost entirely absent from the Post profile. The second Goliath is CBS News, which has grown increasingly frustrated with Attkisson's Benghazi campaign. CBS News executives see Attkisson wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue, network sources have told POLITICO. Attkisson can't get some of her stories on the air, and is thus left feeling marginalized and underutilized. That, in part, is why Attkisson is in talks to leave CBS ahead of contract, as POLITICO reported in April. Farhi mentions "internal conflicts" in the final paragraph, though he seems to dismiss them. The "internal conflicts" are indeed real -- Attkisson is still eyeing an exit, according to sources -- and provide important context for today's piece.
My analysis of this report was highly critical of CBS News. The network appears to be penalizing one of its best correspondents because she's doing her job too aggressively. Conservatives quickly imputed a political motive to CBS News' internal drama, but the Daily Caller has uncovered a connection that suggests there's a striking personal angle to this controversy, as well:
The brother of a top Obama administration official is also the president of CBS News, and the network may be days away from dropping one of its top investigative reporters for covering the administration’s scandals too aggressively. CBS News executives have reportedly expressed frustration with their own reporter, Sharyl Attkisson, who has steadily covered the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack in Libya since late last year...On Friday, ABC News reported that the Benghazi talking points went through 12 revisions before they were used on the public. The White House was intimately involved in that process, ABC reported, and the talking points were scrubbed free of their original references to a terror attack. That reporting revealed that President Obama’s deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes — brother of CBS News president David Rhodes — was instrumental in changing the talking points in September 2012. ABC’s reporting revealed that Ben Rhodes, who has a masters in fiction from NYU, called a meeting to discuss the talking points at the White House on September 15, 2012.
The son of a conservative-leaning Episcopalian father from Texas and a more liberal Jewish mother from New York, Mr. Rhodes grew up in a home where even sports loyalties were divided: he and his mother are ardent Mets fans; his father and his older brother, David, root for the Yankees. “No one in that house agreed on anything,” said David Rhodes, who is now the president of CBS News.
The White House held an off-the-record briefing with reporters on Friday afternoon to discuss recent revelations about the Benghazi investigation, sources familiar with the meeting tell POLITICO. The meeting began around 12:45 p.m. and postponed the daily, on-the-record White House press briefing to 1:45 p.m. White House press secretary Jay Carney did not respond to a request for confirmation of the meeting. The off-the-record session was announced to reporters in the wake of an ABC News report showing that White House and State Dept. officials were involved in revising the now-discredited CIA talking points about the attack on Benghazi.
Just how "over" is the Benghazi saga? Not very, it seems. Oh boy:
The CIA’s talking points, the ones that went out that Friday evening, were distributed via email to a group of top Obama administration officials. Forty-five minutes after receiving them, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed concerns about their contents, particularly the likelihood that members of Congress would criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.” CIA officials responded with a new draft, stripped of all references to Ansar al Sharia. In an email a short time later, Nuland wrote that the changes did not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership.” She did not specify whom she meant by State Department “building leadership.” Ben Rhodes, a top Obama foreign policy and national security adviser, responded to the group, explaining that Nuland had raised valid concerns and advising that the issues would be resolved at a meeting of the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee the following morning. The Deputies Committee consists of high-ranking officials at the agencies with responsibility for national security?—?including State, Defense, and the CIA?—?as well as senior White House national security staffers.
Credibility: The White House has long maintained that the talking points were drafted almost exclusively by the CIA, a claim that gave cover to both President Obama and his potential successor, Clinton. “Those talking points originated from the intelligence community,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in November, adding that the only editing by the White House or the State Department was to change the word "consulate" to "diplomatic facility." The emails prove him wrong. Significant edits were made to the talking points after a meeting at the White House the day before Rice's appearance on five Sunday shows, said the official familiar with Nuland's thinking, who added that she did not attend the meeting. As I wrote yesterday (“Why Benghazi is a Blow to Obama and Clinton"), Obama has earned the trust of most Americans but credibility is a fragile thing.
Throw Hillary under the bus? In a statement to ABC, Carney notably insulates the West Wing and not the State Department by saying “the only edits made by anyone here at the White House were stylistic and nonsubstantive.” And, with no apparent regard to hypocrisy, Carney criticized the GOP for attempting to “politicize the talking points.”
Drip, drip, drip: There is almost certainly more to come....
Congrats, fellow paranoiacs -- you were right. The AP reports:
The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status, a top IRS official said Friday. Organizations were singled out because they included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups. In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.
"That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review," Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association. "The IRS would like to apologize for that," she added. Lerner said the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias. After her talk, she told The AP that no high level IRS officials knew about the practice. Agency officials found out about the practice last year and moved to correct it, the IRS said in a statement. The statement did not specify when officials found out.
Let me see if I'm understanding this correctly. We're told that (a) "low level" IRS workers in Cincinnati established the practice of deliberately flagging "tea party" and "patriot" groups for further scrutiny, (b) this was somehow not "motivated by political bias," and (c) zero IRS higher-ups were aware that this was going on. What a tale. Did this become a national policy, or was it limited to southwest Ohio? The story linked above says that 75 different conservative groups were affected by this supposedly "grassroots" IRS procedure. Also, if the IRS brass discovered the malfeasance last year (coincidentally, an election year), why is the public just finding out about it now? And how can they make the "no political bias" claim with a straight face when it appears that only groups on the Right were ensnared by this? In any case, heads will have to roll over this, right? Wrong:
IRS on conf call saying no disciplinary action against employees who targeted tea party groups for extra scrutiny.— Karen Tumulty(@ktumulty) May 10, 2013
The senior IRS official briefing the press just said: "I'm not good at math."— Zachary A. Goldfarb (@Goldfarb) May 10, 2013
“Today’s acknowledgement by the Obama administration that the IRS did in fact target conservative groups in the heat of last year’s national election is not enough. Today, I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not underway at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views. Last year, amid reports that the Obama administration was using the levers of executive power to harass conservative political groups in Kentucky and elsewhere, I issued a very public warning to the administration that the targeting of private citizens on the basis of their political views would not be tolerated. Today’s apology by the IRS is proof that those concerns were well founded. But make no mistake, an apology won’t put this issue to rest. Now more than ever we need to send a clear message to the Obama Administration that the First Amendment is non-negotiable, and that apologies after an election year are not an sufficient response to what we now know took place at the IRS. This kind of political thuggery has absolutely no place in our politics.”
As we've seen in numerous polls over the last two years, opposition to abortion isn't merely a "mainstream" American position. It's a majority one. Gallup's new national survey on the question is packed with fascinating data. Especially interesting is the break-down of public opinion split among four options: Abortion should be always legal, legal in "most" circumstances, legal "only in a few" circumstances, or never legal. The former two viewpoints represent the traditional "pro-choice" stance. The latter two are where the "pro-life" movement plants its policy flag. A few highlights from the findings:
(1) On the nominal "pro-life" vs. "pro-choice" question, pro-lifers narrowly outnumber the other side, 48-45.
(2) Fully 58 percent of adults say abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, or only permitted in "a few." Just 39 percent say the practice should be legal in "all" or "most" circumstances.
(3) On that same question, 57 percent of women adopt a pro-life view; 40 percent adopt the more doctrinaire "pro-choice" position, which is supposed to be the official stance of their entire gender.
(4) Millenials (aged 18-34) are the most likely group to believe abortion should be outlawed in all circumstances. Overall, 57 percent of these young voters select one of the pro-life options.
(5) By partisan break-down, 59 percent of independents oppose abortion in all or most cases, as do 43 percent of Democrats. The pro-life positions are adopted by 78 percent of Republicans.
(6) Seventy-four percent of the public is paying little or no attention to the trial of late-term abortionist and accused serial killer Kermit Gosnell. A paltry 25 percent are paying "very" or "somewhat" close attention.
(7) Pluralities believe the media isn't giving the Gosnell case sufficient coverage, though a majority admits it doesn't know enough to say either way. Kermit Gosnell is still an unknown among most of the populace. One wonders how people's abortion views might shift if they were made aware of the horrors that took place at his Philadelphia clinic.
Keep these statistics tucked away for the next time someone who supports taxpayer-funded, late-term abortion-on-demand tries to cast pro-lifers as "extreme." Also, be sure to read this post about how the Cleveland kidnapper is being charged with the deaths of five unborn children. One of his captives became pregnant five times; he beat her stomach until she miscarried in each case. Because those were "wanted" unborn children, their killer faces multiple charges, making him eligible for the death penalty. But if those unborn children had been poisoned and suctioned out by an abortionist, it would have been perfectly legal. Should the "wantedness" of a child determine her humanity?
UPDATE - Per the Susan B. Anthony List, Gallup also notes that overwhelming majorities of Americans oppose late-term abortions; 80 percent reject third trimester abortions, and 64 percent do the same in the second trimester. This is why Live Action's ongoing expose is so important.
This week's revelations have only prompted more questions. Why have there been no arrests, eight months after the fact? Why did State Department leaders deny requests for increased security, even as attacks on Western targets in Benghazi were escalating? Why were two stand-down orders issued to the reinforcements in Tripoli, and who made that call? And who was responsible for the bowdlerized, dishonest "spontaneous protest" talking points -- which were disseminated even after Sec. Clinton herself was made explicitly aware of the true nature of the attack as it transpired? (Also, what massive, classified "omission" was Sen. Tom Coburn talking about here?) To treat the 9/11 Benghazi assault as a proxy fight in a distant election is to ignore the importance and relevance of all of these questions. As I noted in the clip, Sec. Clinton has more to answer for than ever before, on a number of fronts -- from the lax security presence, to the talking points, to the intimidation and demotion of Greg Hicks. But the biggest political risk she presently faces is an issue of legacy management. If Benghazi leaves an indelible stain on her tenure at State, Clinton's strong approval ratings will be exceedingly susceptible to erosion. Indeed, it was Clinton's desire to avoid questions about her preparedness that may have prompted the false talking points in the first place. There's another interesting element to the political side of this story that I barely grazed at the very end of the interview. In 2008, Hillary Clinton's campaign released an attack ad implying that Barack Obama wasn't prepared to field an emergency "3 am phone call" due to his lack of experience:
I mentioned above that Clinton received a 2 am phone call of her own from Benghazi, and botched it. (Where was Obama? We still don't know). But there's another layer to this irony. Do you recall which surrogate Team Obama dispatched to respond to Hillary's attack at the time? That would be their trusted foreign policy aide...Susan Rice, who argued that Obama and Clinton were "both not ready" to handle that hypothetical 3 am call:
The Benghazi phone calls weren't hypothetical, and you know something? Susan Rice was absolutely right back then -- as the very existence of her own falsified talking points last September demonstrated in stark relief.
We're a few days late to this story, but it's astounding stuff. Shot (via the US Bureau of Justice):
Firearm-related homicides declined 39 percent and nonfatal firearm crimes declined 69 percent from 1993 to 2011, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. Firearm-related homicides dropped from 18,253 homicides in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011, and nonfatal firearm crimes dropped from 1.5 million victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 in 2011. The number of firearm homicides declined from 1993 to 1999, rose through 2006 and then declined through 2011…In 2004 (the most recent year of data available), among state prison inmates who possessed a gun at the time of the offense, fewer than two percent bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show. About 10 percent of state prison inmates said they purchased it from a retail store or pawnshop, 37 percent obtained it from family or friends, and another 40 percent obtained it from an illegal source.
The federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004, after which point gun crime and murders continued their sharp downward trajectories. Weird, right? Allahpundit underscores that second bolded statistic, which demonstrates that Democrats' obsessions with gun shows is driven more by emotion than empirical data. In any case, gun crime is way, way down over the last 20 years. So say the official government numbers from the Obama Justice Department. But what about Newtown and Virginia Tech? The numbers show that school shootings are down by 33 percent over the same time period. Which brings us to the chaser (via Pew Research):
Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.
(3) Secretaries Clinton and Rice (the president's hand-selected messenger on Benghazi to the American people) repeatedly stated that the attack arose from "spontaneous protests" over an obscure YouTube video. This was never true. Hicks called the YouTube a "non-event" in Libya. He and others on the ground -- including Amb. Stevens -- recognized the raid as a coordinated terrorist attack from the very beginning. Hicks testified that he personally told Sec. Clinton as much at 2 am on the night of the attack, along with her senior staff. [UPDATE - Rep. Trey Gowdy also revealed an email sent on 9/12 in which Assistant Sec. Jones confirmed to a Libyan official that the attack had been carried out by terrorist organization Ansar al-Sharia]. Days later, Rice recited bogus talking points on five American television networks, and Clinton denounced the video while standing next to the flag-draped coffins of the fallen. Hicks said there he never mentioned any "spontaneous demonstrations" related to a video in his phone call with Clinton:
Questions: How, why, and by whom did the administration's talking points get scrubbed and re-written? Why did the president refuse to identify the attack as terrorism in an interview with CBS News on September 12, and why did he allow Sec. Rice to disseminate patently false information on his behalf?
(4) A small, armed US force in Tripoli was told it did not have the authority to deploy to Benghazi in the midst of the attack. Twice. Flight time between the two cities is less than an hour. Members of the would-be rescue contingent were "furious" over this obstruction. The witnesses said they did not know who ultimately gave the "stand down" orders, or why. If it was not the Commander-in-Chief calling the shots, why not, and where was he? Whistle-blower Mark Thompson, a career counter-terrorism official at State, said he called the White House to request the immediate deployment of a Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) to Benghazi. He was told it was "not the right time" to do so, then was cut out of the communications loop.
(5) The US' security chief in Libya, Eric Nordstrom, averred that Sec. Clinton "absolutely" would have been briefed on his (and Stevens') repeated requests for an increased security presence in Libya. This claim undercut committee Democrats' nitpicking over whether Clinton's signature appeared on the memo denying those requests:
Furthermore, the Benghazi compound was operating below the bare minimum global security standard for US diplomatic missions -- despite being in an exceedingly dangerous place, and having been subjected to previous attempted attacks. Only the Secretary of State has the authority to grant exemptions for minimum security requirements.
(6) Amb. Stevens was stationed at the vulnerable Benghazi compound on a dangerous symbolic date at the behest of Sec. Clinton, who wished to make that diplomatic mission a permanent outpost. This detail should only intensify questions as to why the consulate was so poorly protected (see item #7).
(7) Nordstrom stated that elements of the lightly-armed Libyan militia group tasked with protecting the consulate were "certainly" complicit in the attacks. No US Marines were present at the time. Hicks estimated that at least 60 terrorists swarmed into the compound during the attack. Eight months later, zero arrests have been made.
(10) Despite committee Democrats' repeated claims and leading questions, reduced funding or "austerity" had absolutely nothing to do with the inadequate security presence on the ground. The State Department itself made this fact crystal clear at previous hearings, as did the administration's internal "ARB" review. Why did multiple Democrats flog an obsolete, thoroughly-debunked explanation, if not to muddy the waters?
(11) Oversight Democrats tried to cast doubt on Mark Thompson's credibility, suggesting that he'd declined to participate in the administration's ARB probe. Thompson corrected the record, noting that he "offered his services" to those investigators, who in turn did not invite him to testify. Democrats also claimed that the House hearings were slanted because the leaders of the ARB investigation were not invited to participate. In fact, Chairman Issa explicitly did invite them, as confirmed by letters obtained by ABC News. They chose not to participate. Democrats were dead wrong on both counts.
(12) During her Congressional testimony on Benghazi, Sec. Clinton memorably asked, "what difference does it make?" in regards to the provenance of the administration's incorrect talking points. Gregory Hicks and Eric Nordstrom both attempted to answer that question. Hicks did so in granular detail (the false explanation opened a nasty rift between the US and Libyan governments, impeding the FBI's investigation for weeks). An emotional Nordstrom was more general (we lost friends; the truth matters):
One of the few points of bipartisan agreement was that the number of unresolved issues merit additional hearings on Benghazi.
* An earlier version of this post stated that Cheryl Mills directly instructed Hicks not to meet with Rep. Chaffetz. Though Mills likely had a hand in that edict, Hicks testified that unnamed higher-ups at State actually issued it. Both Mills and Beth Jones subsequently dressed Hicks down for defying the effective gag order.
The biggest Benghazi-related story that took place outside of the House Oversight Committee's hearing room today is this item in Politico, regarding CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. She's the reporter who famously drew White House officials' profane ire over her unapologetic pursuit of the Fast & Furious scandal story; now she's apparently facing searing criticism from another source: Her own bosses. Why? Because she's been covering the Benghazi story too aggressively. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you media bias:
"Attkisson, who holds a third-degree black belt in taekwondo, takes a fighting stance when she feels she’s being stonewalled. Which is exactly what she thinks the White House has done to her on Benghazi," Farhi writes. But from where Attkisson is sitting, there are actually two Goliaths, one of which is almost entirely absent from the Post profile. The second Goliath is CBS News, which has grown increasingly frustrated with Attkisson's Benghazi campaign. CBS News executives see Attkisson wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue, network sources have told POLITICO. Attkisson can't get some of her stories on the air, and is thus left feeling marginalized and underutilized. That, in part, is why Attkisson is in talks to leave CBS ahead of contract, as POLITICO reported in April. Farhi mentions "internal conflicts" in the final paragraph, though he seems to dismiss them. The "internal conflicts" are indeed real -- Attkisson is still eyeing an exit, according to sources -- and provide important context for today's piece. Today, CBS News is celebrating Attkisson's commitment to the Benghazi story. It's good press. But that support is an aberration.
"Dangerously close to advocacy"? That's how CBS News apparently views the work of a reporter who is doggedly seeking truth about an issue of enormous importance that many of her colleagues have scrupulously ignored. Remarkable. And as Ed Morrissey noticed, Attkisson's Twitter feed went curiously silent very early on during today's hearings. What happened? Allahpundit thinks he knows what's going on here, and I agree with him:
[The media establishment and liberals] can’t stop conservative media from existing, but they can ghettoize it as illegitimate and “partisan” in a way that their own partisan garbage isn’t....Skepticism about Benghazi is fine for the wingnuts at Fox, but bringing such unhelpful nonsense into an “impartial,” i.e. pro-Obama, outlet like CBS risks lending credence to the GOP’s accusations. The proper line to take on Benghazi is to dismiss the new hearings with a sneer, a la Joe Klein, or, in the case of “impartial” news coverage, to dismiss them more lightly by referencing Hillary’s long-ago whining about a “vast right-wing conspiracy” to discredit the Clintons. “Going where the story leads” is unhelpful to liberalism in this case, ergo it’s advocacy by definition.
Who's tweeting about Benghazi? Rich, middle-aged men and Chick-fil-A lovers wapo.st/18YFgKP— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 8, 2013