THE BLOG
11/24/2014 11:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Fox News Story on House Benghazi Report Ignores House Benghazi Report

Let the words speak for themselves. First, take a look at how the Associated Press covered the House report on Benghazi released Friday. The AP's headline is "House intel panel debunks many Benghazi theories." What follows are the first three paragraphs of their article:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.

Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.

Clearly, the news here is that the House report concluded that no one in the Obama Administration, the CIA, or the military did anything wrong. Bear in mind that Republicans have been screaming "BENGHAZEEEEEE!!!!" for years, in particular aiming their attacks at Hillary Clinton. The AP article noted that Republicans accused then-Secretary of State Clinton of everything from ordering a military response team that could have prevented American deaths in Benghazi to "stand down," to a coverup after the fact, and much more. So this report's finding of no wrongdoing is a pretty big deal.

How, exactly, did Fox News cover the House Benghazi report? Fox's headline is "CIA gathered intelligence on weapons to Syria: Benghazi report." What the hell does that even mean? That's not burying the lede. That's changing the lede into a word salad. Here are the first three paragraphs from the Fox News article online:

A leading Republican wants to expand the House investigation into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack by adding a Senate probe, as a new House Intelligence Committee report Friday concluded that the initial CIA assessment found no demonstrations prior to the assault and a primary purpose of the CIA operation in eastern Libya was to track the movement of weapons to Syria.

The report described the attack as "complex" with the attackers affiliated with Al Qaeda. It also said the initial CIA assessment concluded there were no demonstrations outside the State Department Consulate in Eastern Libya.

Referring to the House Select committee Chairman, and the Democratic ranking member, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, said the current House investigation should be expanded.

You can read the whole Fox story for yourselves. Nowhere in it does it say anything about the report's main findings regarding a lack of wrongdoing by the Administration or the State Department, as reported not only by the AP but by NPR, ("House Panel Finds 'No Intelligence Failure' Before Benghazi Attack"), CNN ("Republican-led report debunks Benghazi theories and accusations"), the Wall Street Journal ("House Report Finds No Attempt to Mislead Public Over Benghazi"), and every other article on the report I could find. Oh, and Fox News' TV coverage of the report also ignored the report, unsurprisingly.

If this isn't journalistic malpractice by Fox News, I don't know what is. Furthermore, this is just another example of how Fox News viewers come to believe lies to be the truth.