The journalists at Good Morning America on Monday worried that 13 Hours, the new Benghazi movie, is a “political hot potato.” Reporter Juju Chang trumpeted that the “untold version of events in Benghazi [is] also sparking fresh controversy.” Talking to Michael Bay, who she introduced as “known for killer Transformers,” the journalist fretted that it has "turned into a political hot potato."
Hillary Clinton conducted interviews on four of the five major Sunday morning talk shows (the lone omission being Fox News Sunday) and while CNN’s Jake Tapper, NBC’s Chuck Todd, and even CBS’s John Dickerson asked questions of substance, the fourth interview offered a stark contrast with former Clinton official and Clinton Foundation donor George Stephanopoulos giving her a measly three questions on ABC’s This Week.
During the 1980s, a favorite talking point of liberals was that President Reagan tended to confuse movies with reality. In a Friday article, Zack Beauchamp accused a current Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, of doing something similar, and alleged that the GOPers who took part in Thursday’s prime-time debate stand for a “view of the world [that] is as much a work of fiction as” Michael Bay's new film, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
Towards the end of the debate, Cruz touted 13 Hours. Beauchamp commented, “The movie portrays politicians as ‘abandoning’ the Americans in Benghazi. But in reality, that is a conspiracy theory that has been roundly debunked…This moment, Cruz citing a fictitious movie as truth, was of a piece with the debate as a whole. In it, much of conversation about world affairs existed in a make-believe world, and a terrifying one at that, in which the very existence of America is in perilous danger. In other words, it wasn't just Ted Cruz who was living in a fiction last night — it was the entire stage.”
Paramount Pictures is releasing 13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi nation-wide on Friday. It tells the story of the attack on two U.S. diplomatic outposts in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 that took four American lives, including that of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya. Despite claims from Paramount and director Michael Bay that the film isn’t political (the book on which it’s based certainly wasn’t), The Hollywood Reporter has noted that it’s being marketed specifically to conservatives.
So they’re specifically targeting one side of the political aisle while more or less neglecting the other? Well, yeah. You don’t shop kryptonite to Superman.
On her MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell derided the film 13 Hours, opening in theaters nationwide on Friday: “That new film about Benghazi coming out this week could give wider circulation to conspiracy theories, despite denials, that CIA operatives were told to stand down and not rescue four Americans, including an ambassador, who died in that assault.”
In an interview with actor John Krasinski about his role in the new movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi on ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday, co-host Lara Spencer fretted over the political impact of the film set to be released on January 15: “Do you feel like this movie will re-open the wound, the debate of what happened in Benghazi?”
Bill Scher runs a website called Liberal Oasis, which makes it unsurprising that his Monday RealClearPolitics column celebrated President Obama’s avoidance (so far) of the “second-term curse” that supposedly afflicted George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and some of their predecessors in the White House.
Scher exults that Obama “has not been knocked off course by scandal” and lauds him for “master[ing] the art of scandal management, while his Republican opponents lost credibility by transparently politicizing every investigation…Instead of following the facts before drawing conclusions, [Republicans] proclaim the worst—and then fail to prove their allegations. That’s why the pursuits of wrongdoing in Fast and Furious, Solyndra, the IRS audits and Benghazi have all fizzled.”
CNN's New Day on Monday actually spotlighted Hillary Clinton's false claim on Saturday that ISIS is "showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists." Chris Cuomo asserted that "it's very hard to translate it any other way...we can't find the videos." When liberal pundit Errol Louis speculated that Clinton's campaign would "migrate towards some kind of clarification," Cuomo replied, "How could you clarify it? How is it anything but wrong?"
On Wednesday's CNN Tonight, left-wing analyst Rula Jebreal and Columbia University's Ahmed Shihab-Eldin unleashed against the Republican presidential candidates, in the wake of Tuesday's CNN debates. Jebreal asserted that Ted Cruz was "nostalgic for Arab dictators," and concluded that "this is racist. This is pure bigotry." She later likened the GOP contenders to the Nazis: "What you are hearing from these people is a criminalization of an entire group of people — something that, actually, we heard...in Europe before World War II."
On Friday, ABC and CBS's evening newscasts touted how Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "personally welcoming Syrian refugees" as they flew into Toronto. ABC's David Muir heralded, "Trudeau greeting fathers, mothers, and children — telling them — quote, 'You're home.'" CBS's Scott Pelley spotlighted the "noteworthy landing — 163 refugees escaping the war in Syria were welcomed to Canada by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau."
From the woman who brought you Benghazi, the Russian reset, the bungling of the Arab Spring, and the disregard for national security that compromised classified email material . . .
Yet , incredibly, Joe Scarborough today extolled Hillary's foreign policy credentials, claiming--not a typo--"what an amazing brand she would have to offer the American people right now. Even Republicans that are in search of a unifying, strong leader against ISIS." Scarborough did so after citing Trent Lott and David Petraeus' praise of Hillary's hard work and knowledgeability as a senator. That might be. But how can anyone possibly look at Hillary, one of the most polarizing figures of our times, and someone responsible for a series of foreign policy flops, as a "strong, unifying leader against ISIS?"
For viewers of the “big three” networks on Monday and Tuesday, coverage of the latest Hillary Clinton e-mail dump was all but non-existent as ABC has censored it from both their morning and evening newscasts while CBS and NBC have only given abbreviated nods in their morning shows. All told, the three news cycles combined for a measly one-minute-and-45-seconds of airtime with one minute and 24 seconds coming from a segment on the Clinton campaign on Tuesday’s Today.