S.E. Cupp Slams Media/Politicians: No ‘Basic Curiosity’ for Niger Ambush

During Wednesday’s edition of HLN's Unfiltered, host S.E. Cupp was outraged over the fact that much of the media coverage this week in and around D.C. has centered around what President Trump may or may not have said to a Gold Star family instead of demanding answers for the ambush in Niger.

It's a little empty to be outraged over what the President did or didn't say to these gold star families. If you're not also asking: Why they are now Gold Star families,” she lamented to her panel.

As they were discussing the ridiculousness of the current 'he said, she said' feud going on between the President and Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (Fla.), Cupp declared that she was “disappointed on a number of levels.” And she compared the Niger ambush to the 2012 attack on an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya in how there was a hunger for answers after that attack:

I'm appalled that today is day 14 and we still don't have basic answers as to what happened … By day 14 the press and the public had already debunked the [Obama] administration's video retaliation theory. Sean Hannity was on his radio show calling out the liberal media for believing it. Today on day 14 many are busy pointing fingers on who called whom.

I was watching a lot of different news coverage, and there were very good journalists trying to uncover answers to this. But too few, far too few were asking this question: Why-- what happened,” she added in frustration.

 

 

The first panelist to speak up was liberal journalist John DeVore. He claimed that much of the outrage over Benghazi was political, but admitted that the discussion about why we were there in the first place was important. “No one was ever really discussing the strategy, why we were there, what are our goals. Right now in Niger (…) I want to know why we have soldiers there. What are our objectives? What is happening there,” he asked.

The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney also took issue with the lack of government transparency in explaining why the U.S. had a military presence in over 100 counties around the globe. “This is not something we've had a public debate over. This is my main objection when we talked about Benghazi was: Obama went into war without congressional approval and we didn't get to have a debate over it.” He also noted that it had become a big problem because we’re now losing soldiers with little to no explanation as to why.

Retired Army Captain Sean Parnell recalled that the main driver of Benghazi inquiries was the Obama administration’s lies about what caused it. “I think the reason why Benghazi was a huge controversy is because the Obama administration came out and immediately lied about it, made it about a video, arrested some -- the video maker in California, ruined this guy's life.

And I’ll take the slowness of this investigation over the immediate obfuscation of Benghazi, I will” Cupp stated. But I'm just looking for some equivalent outrage – basic curiosity from people in my party, from people in the media, from lawmakers.

This was the kind of discussion that was so desperately needed because the media and political leaders were not adequately demanding answers. Four Green Berets were dead because of some kind of failure or betrayal but the partisan media and political system were busy arguing over phone calls. They would all rather be fixated on Trump than do their jobs and find critical answers.

Transcript below:

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HLN
S.E. Cupp Unfiltered
October 18, 2017
7:18:20 PM Eastern

(…)

S.E. CUPP: I'm disappointed on a number of levels. But I want to bring up Benghazi for a minute. Republicans were accused of fake outrage for demanding answers and accountability on that attack. And I'm sure some of that was political. But my outrage was real then. It's real now. I'm appalled that today is day 14 and we still don't have basic answers as to what happened.

I will remind you on day two of the Benghazi attack every major news outlet was covering multiple angles and Republicans were in unison demanding answers. By the Sunday following the attack, day five, Face the Nation had the president of Libya's national congress, Susan Rice, and John McCain on to discuss the attacks and what with he knew. By day 14 the press and the public had already debunked the administration's video retaliation theory. Sean Hannity was on his radio show calling out the liberal media for believing it. Today on day 14 many are busy pointing fingers on who called whom.

It's a little empty to be outraged over what the President did or didn't say to these gold star families. If you're not also asking: Why they are now gold star families?

I don't know if you guys were watching today. I was watching a lot of different news coverage, and there were very good journalists trying to uncover answers to this. But too few, far too few were asking this question: Why-- what happened? I know some of this is going to take some time, but if we're doing a direct comparison, and I know Benghazi is different, but where is the outrage?

JOHN DEVORE: You know, without getting into the nuts and bolts of why Benghazi was political theater, there's one comparison, and that is when Benghazi was happening, I was also curious as to what was happening in Libya. No one was ever really discussing the strategy, why we were there, what are our goals. Right now in Niger (…) I want to know why we have soldiers there. What are our objectives? What is happening there?

CUPP: It was my first question of the show to Coronal Layton because you're right. It is important that we start from there. Why are we there? Why were we there under W? Why are we there under Obama? Why are we there now? What are we doing? It’s why it was the first question and I heard too the of that today.

TIM CARNEY: It’s a broader question. There are U.S. troops in over a hundred countries. I mean, and a lot of them there, some of them are there guarding embassies, but a lot of them are there in these operations. This is not something we've had a public debate over. This is my main objection when we talked about Benghazi was: Obama went into war without congressional approval and we didn't get to have a debate over it. So in all these little operations where now there are deaths we don’t have a debate.

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CUPP: Right. And I will say Benghazi was slightly different in that we were talking about diplomats in Libya and the deaths of diplomats. And now we're talking about the deaths soldiers.

SEAN PARNELL: So there is a qualitative difference there. But I think the reason why Benghazi was a huge controversy is because the Obama administration came out and immediately lied about it, made it about a video, arrested some -- the video maker in California, ruined this guy's life. So the controversy was less about, of course, failed operation, which was a travesty in and of itself, but sometimes I've been in those situations before, bad things happen.

CUPP: And I’ll take the slowness of this investigation over the immediate obfuscation of Benghazi, I will, but I'm just looking for some equivalent outrage – basic curiosity from people in my party, from people in the media, from lawmakers.

ANDY LEVY: Yeah, basic curiosity. I think you hit the nail on the head.

CUPP: To start.

LEVY: That would be a nice place to start because a lot of the same people who were outraged whether for real or theatrically over Benghazi don't seem to be very curious about this.

CUPP: And a lot of the same people in the media who were saying: “Obama is fine, he did nothing wrong, he didn't lie,” are now outraged over what Trump has said.

(…)


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