Networks Allow a Scant Two Minutes on Benghazi Lawsuit Against Clinton

The three network morning shows on Tuesday allowed a scant minute and 59 seconds to a lawsuit filed against Hillary Clinton by the grieving parents of Benghazi victims. This is out of a total of eight hours of possible air time. ABC, CBS and NBC continued their pattern of showing very little interest in Pat Smith, the mother who condemned Clinton at the Republican National Convention. 

NBC’s four-hour-long Today allowed just 36 seconds to Smith’s wrongful death lawsuit. CBS This Morning managed 40 seconds and ABC’s Good Morning America provided 43 seconds.  On CBS, Nancy Cordes quickly explained, “Charles Woods and Patricia Smith allege the attacks resulted from Clinton’s, quote, ‘extreme carelessness in handling confidential and classified information.’”

After noting that “Smith came down hard on Clinton” at the convention, Cordes then spent the rest of the very brief news repot providing Democratic spin: “The Clinton campaign says the lawyer behind this lawsuit has been unsuccessfully attacking the Clintons for decades adding, quote, ‘that there have been nine different investigations into this attack and none found any evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton.'"

Over on Today, Savannah Guthrie summarized the same information and then parroted, “In response to the suit, a Clinton campaign spokesperson said none of the multiple investigations found any evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton.” 

ABC’s GMA provided the most coverage, two news briefs. Tom Llamas echoed: 

TOM LLAMAS: The Clinton team responding this morning saying, "While no one can imagine the pain of the families of the brave Americans we lost at Benghazi there have been nine different investigations into this attack and none found any evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton." 

Back on July 19, the day after Smith’s speech at the RNC, the networks showed a similar lack of interest. The address, in which Smith said Clinton “deserves to be in stripes,” was covered for a shocking three seconds on CBS. ABC managed 13 seconds. NBC offered 20 seconds. This totaled 36 seconds out of a possible eight hours of air time. 

A Media Research Center study found that the grieving Khizr and Ghazla Khan, who spoke at the Democratic Convention, received 50 times more coverage than Smith’s critique of Clinton. 

Transcripts of Tuesday’s news briefs are below: 

CBS This Morning 
8/9/16
7:08
40 seconds 

NANCY CORDES: Clinton’s e-mails are also at the heart of a new wrongful death suit brought against her by the parents of two Benghazi victims. Charles Woods and Patricia Smith allege the attacks resulted from Clinton’s, quote, extreme carelessness in handling confidential and classified information. Smith came down hard on Clinton at the Republican convention. 

PAT SMITH: She deserves to be in stripes. 

CORDES: The Clinton campaign says the lawyer behind this lawsuit has been unsuccessfully attacking the Clintons for decades adding, quote, ‘that there have been nine different investigations into this attack and none found any evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton.’” 

Today
08/09/16
7:17 AM  

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: In the meantime, the parents of two Americans killed in the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hillary Clinton.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Benghazi Parents Sue Clinton; Claim Private Email Server Contributed to Attack] 

<<< Please consider helping NewsBusters financially with your tax-deductible contribution today >>>

The parents of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods claim that Clinton's use of a private e-mail server contributed to the attack. The lawsuit cites Clinton’s, quote, “extreme carelessness in handling confidential and classified information,” such as the location of State Department employees in Lybia. 

In response to the suit, a Clinton campaign spokesperson said none of the multiple investigations found any evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton. 

7:12
24 seconds  

LLAMAS: Also overnight parents of two of the four Benghazi victims are now suing Hillary Clinton in their suit they claim Clinton's, quote, “reckless handling of classified information contributed to their deaths.” The Clinton team responding this morning saying, “While no one can imagine the pain of the families of the brave Americans we lost at Benghazi there have been nine different investigations into this attack and none found any evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton.” 

GMA
8/9/16
8:04
19 seconds 

PAULA FARIS: And the parents of two Americans killed in Benghazi are filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Hillary Clinton. Patricia Smith and Charles woods claim Clinton's, quote, extreme carelessness in handling classified information on a private e-mail server contributed to the deaths of their sons. Smith is a Trump supporter, who spoke at the Republican convention.

Tell the Truth 2016

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.