At the Associated Press, Benghazi Is Just a 'PR Disaster'

Well, if the President himself can call a sacked consulate and four dead Americans who deserved adequate security and didn't get it "bumps in the road," why not?

Monday morning, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, presented a story in advance of United Nations ambassador Susan Rice's meeting today with certain Republican senators -- a meeting from which Rice, who engaged in serial falsehood peddling during the weekend after the September 11 Benghazi attack, apparently falsehood-peddling Rice emerged today even worse-off than before. In that story, both the headline and first paragraph of Anne Flaherty's coverage characterized Benghazi as a "PR (public relations) disaster."

Thus, it would appear that Flaherty and the AP's headline writers believe that Benghazi is more about political posturing than finding out the truth about why the administration and its foreign-policy apparatus first allowed four Americans, including ambassador Christopher Stevens, to die, and then, in the weeks before the November general election, lied and obfuscated about what really happened. In other words, it's really a political scandal. The press would certainly would be treating it as such in a Republican or conservative presidency.

Additionally, as might be expected, Flaherty engaged in more than a little historical revisionism (bolds are mine throughout this post):


The White House could finally have its chance to close the books on its Benghazi public relations disaster, as key Republicans signal they might not stand in the way of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to become the next secretary of state.

... Intelligence officials quickly amended their assessment to conclude the attack hadn't been related to other film protests across the Middle East. But that revised narrative was slow to reach the public, prompting Republicans to allege a White House cover-up ahead of the Nov. 6 election.

... One senior GOP Senate aide said Sunday that Republicans hadn't united against Rice and were not convinced she was worth going after. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the aide was not authorized to speak publicly on internal GOP deliberations.

Contrary to Ms. Flaherty flights of fancy, the CIA knew that Benghazi was a terrorist attack almost immediately, and never, ever thought that Benghazi had anything to do with film protests, because, well, as even the AP briefly acknowledged in a present-tense timeline on October 10 (proof here; the actual story link is now empty), "there are no protests." As to the revised narrative being slow to reach the public, well, gosh, that was because the people like Susan Rice and Jay Carney were relaying the administration's false narrative for well over a week after the terrorist attack. Only after the immediate attention to the story had long died down did the truth start coming out. At that point, the establishment press, including the AP, acted as if the news wasn't important enough to merit meaningful attention or coverage.

Speaking of lack of coverage, as of shortly after 4 p.m., as seen here, the AP carried the Monday morning story -- now 33 hours old -- at its "Top News" page. Meanwhile, the the of hot-off-the-presses story about Rice's very unhelpful meeting with GOP senators languishes.

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice told lawmakers Tuesday that her initial explanation of the deadly Sept. 11 raid in Libya was wrong, but her concession failed to mollify three Republican senators who signaled they would oppose her possible nomination to be secretary of state.

It's almost enough to make you think that the Administration's Press is awaiting instructions as to how to write it up before giving it truly wide attention.

Cross-posted at

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