MRC’s Tim Graham Slams Media for Using ‘Old Clinton Playbook’ on Benghazi Report

Making his latest appearance on the Fox Business Network (FBN), the Media Research Center’s News Analysis Director Tim Graham slammed the liberal media early Wednesday evening for using “the old Clinton playbook going back to 1992” in their reaction to the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s report and peddling Clinton talking points to absolve her of responsibility. 

Risk and Reward host Deirdre Bolton laid out the media’s narrative with a video compilation beforehand of the spin from the “big three” networks on Tuesday night and how it ran counter to what the report actually found. 

After introducing Graham, Bolton wondered how much the “mainstream media in your view brainwashed and just copying essentially the talking points from either the Hillary Clinton campaign or the Obama administration?”

“Well, it's quite obvious they sound have much alike. That she says there’s nothing, they say there’s nothing. She says it's a waste of money, they suggest it’s a waste of money. It really is remarkable,” Graham began. 

However, Graham made sure to add that the reaction has been complicated from the standpoint that “we have a report which tried so hard not to say anything about Hillary Clinton” so therefore, “it made it easy for them to say no new bombshells, no new this, no new that.”

The NewsBusters Executive Editor also noted the double standard if this had been a report about the response to a crisis by the Bush administration but, as they’ve done since the early 1990's, made sure the Clintons emerged unscathed:

[T]hat’s just the template that these people use. Everyone absolves Clinton. It's the old Clinton playbook going back to the 1992. Nothing’s ever right. It's always a vast right-wing conspiracy theory. It’s tiresome and it doesn't really rely on the facts.

Also asked by Bolton to respond to the latest New York Daily News cover which placed blame for the Istanbul terror attack on ISIS (and not the NRA since it occurred outside the U.S.), Graham quipped that “they probably had a meeting and said well, since the NRA doesn't have a strong presence in Istanbul, I guess we can't try to play the NRA card this time.” 

Graham also pointed to the paper’s inability in all the recent terror attacks to lay any culpability with the Obama administration before going to the segment’s final topic about a Quinnipiac poll finding a close race between Clinton and Donald Trump whereas a skewed ABC News/Washington Post poll found a 12-point lead for Clinton.

“The news media ought to say, well, that can't be right. It's way larger than other polls. Instead, they all jumped on that one and said look at this, 12 points. That’s the problem is they could easily say the new Quinnipiac poll today, well that's an outlier. That’s what we’re getting today, like on Twitter. So then, the ABC/Washington Post  poll is also an outlier. If you’re going to poll both, then you would say, wow, Trump’s really recovered, but they’re not going to do that line,” Graham concluded.

The transcript of the segment from FBN’s Risk and Reward with Deirdre Bolton on June 29 can be found below.

FBN’s Risk and Reward with Deirdre Bolton
June 29, 2016
5:31 p.m. Eastern

DEIRDRE BOLTON: The 800-page report reveals several critical failures by the Obama administration to protect American lives. One of the most damning, the Obama administration pushing the narrative that an anti-Muslim video was the catalyst for the attack. Another point revealed the military was not deployed until after another attack. Yet another, the surviving Americans were rescued by pro-Qaddafi and the state department helped overturn the Libyan dictator that led to chaos in that country. Media Research Center Director of Media Analysis, Tim Graham, is with me now. Tim, welcome back. To what extent is the media — mainstream media in your view brainwashed and just copying essentially the talking points from either the Hillary Clinton campaign or the Obama administration? 

TIM GRAHAM: Well, it's quite obvious they sound have much alike. That she says there’s nothing, they say there’s nothing. She says it's a waste of money, they suggest it’s a waste of money. It really is remarkable. Now, to some degree, the problem is we have a report which tried so hard not to say anything about Hillary Clinton. It made it easy for them to say no new bombshells, no new this, no new that. This is not the way that a news media would have reported if the Bush administration was on the other end of this. They would have found the bombshells and they would have talked about it. They would have said what a terrible event it was for Bush cause that’s just the template that these people use. Everyone absolves Clinton. It's the old Clinton playbook going back to the 1992. Nothing’s ever right. It's always a vast right-wing conspiracy theory. It’s tiresome and it doesn't really rely on the facts. 

BOLTON: Tim, speaking of slant, I just want to pull up these newspaper covers and the director’s going to that so our views follow. So, the Daily News blames ISIS for the terrorist attack in Istanbul. So, we’re showing this to our viewers now. You can see: “Baby killers.” Then, in another cover, that is to say in response to the Orlando terrorist attack two weeks ago, the cover reads: “Thanks NRA.” So, what do you make of the Daily News of it slamming — this is one paper. I hesitate to put too much focus on this one publication, but it’s an example.

GRAHAM: Well, they probably had a meeting and said well, since the NRA doesn't have a strong presence in Istanbul, I guess we can't try to play the NRA card this time. You know, look, it was ISIS in Istanbul, it was ISIS in Orlando. It was ISIS in San Bernardino and every time, it's ISIS in the United States, which should be a moment where we say why does Obama have such a dismal record of stopping attacks in the homeland. Instead, it's always these people are claiming the National Rifle Association like they are responsible for containing terror. That's what the federal government is supposed to be doing for us at this particular point and it's mind boggling Obama's approval rating seems to go up after an attack on the homeland. 

BOLTON: So let me ask you, speaking of approval. There is a new Quinnipiac poll that shows Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a technical tie plus or minus the 2 plus or minus percent, so 40 to 42 percent. ABC News posting a 12-point difference. Clinton at 51 percent, Trump at 29 percent. Donald Trump tweeted out his take. He tweeted out: “The “dirty” poll done by @ABC @washingtonpost is a disgrace. Even they admit more Democrats were polled. Other polls were good.” So, what is your take on modern polling. We saw a surprise in the U.K. There seems to be a lot of point swings and spreads during the primary season. What's your take on the methodology? 

GRAHAM: Well, it's quite clear that ABC's poll in the numbers that they put out sampled a lot more Democrats than Republicans. If you look at the party I.D, the Associated Press went asking in a poll in January, it was 29 percent identify as Democrats. 26 percent as Republicans. It was a much larger poll in The Washington Post poll. They’d say, hey it's a random poll. The problem is that was an outlier that there’s a 12-point continues. The news media ought to say, well, that can't be right. It's way larger than other polls. Instead, they all jumped on that one and said look at this, 12 points. That’s the problem is they could easily say the new Quinnipiac poll today, well that's an outlier. That’s what we’re getting today, like on Twitter. So then, the ABC/Washington Post poll is also an outlier. If you’re going to poll both, then you would say, wow, Trump’s really recovered, but they’re not going to do that line.

BOLTON: Which points are getting volume, which points are getting repetition. Tim Graham, thanks as always.

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