Yesterday I warned that GOP leaders on Capitol Hill could really drop the ball on the Benghazi investigation by making it a political issue. The best course of action for everyone involved here is to pursue the truth. Period. But before today's congressional hearing even begins, the media is gearing up to write the whole thing off as a political stunt.
With some carefully crafted language. Take a look at a sampling of this morning's news coverage... (all emphases mine)
CNN: This isn't really a news story...
The Obama administration's handling of the aftermath of the Benghazi terror attack has long sparked outrage from Republicans on Capitol Hill and fueled conspiracy theories on talk shows and across the blogosphere.
And those sparks are likely touch off fireworks Wednesday, when three current State Department employees are expected to contradict their leadership in testimony before Republican Rep. Darrell Issa's oversight committee.
The New York Times: Darn those pesky Republicans...
If there’s a story – or even a word – that’s more fraught with divisive American politics than “Benghazi,” I’m unaware of it.
The attacks last fall on an American diplomatic mission and C.I.A. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four American government employees, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, have become a flash point for critics of the Obama administration who see what happened as proof of the president’s incompetence, or worse. They see the aftermath as a cover-up.
NPR: The State Department would never lie to us...
The issue has become a cause celebre among conservative media outlets. On his radio show Monday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Hicks will testify that four special operations soldiers in Tripoli were not allowed to board a Libyan military cargo plane that was leaving for Benghazi.
"We now know that special forces were poised and ready and had repeatedly asked for permission to go in and try to intervene, and they were told to stand down," Huckabee said. "I know that Mr. Hicks will testify that his jaw dropped when later Hillary Clinton said she did not know of any requests for assistance and that there were no requests for assistance."
[Notice that they don't report the news about the special operations team as from Hicks -- they report it as something Mike Huckabee said.]
On the same show, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham predicted Wednesday's hearing could be a turning point.
"I think the dam is about to break, and you're going find a system failure before, during and after," he said. "You're going to find political manipulation, seven weeks before an election. You're going to find people asleep at the switch when it comes to the State Department, including Hillary Clinton."
The focus on Clinton comes amid speculation that the former secretary of state will run for president. Asked Monday whether the House investigation into Benghazi was purely political, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell replied: "It certainly seems so so far. I mean, this is not sort of a collaborative process where the committee is working directly with us and trying to establish facts that would help, you know, as we look to keep our people safe overseas in a very complex environment."
The Boston Herald: News isn't news if it comes from Republicans...
House Republicans insist the Obama administration is covering up information about last year's deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, rejecting administration assurances to the contrary and stoking a controversy with implications for the 2016 presidential race.
The Washington Post: Republicans have to "tie" the president to his own administration...
Republican lawmakers, who have spent months seeking to tie President Obama to last year’s deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, are increasingly focusing their probe on a new target: former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Four dead Americans. Countless unanswered questions. Yep, just politics as usual, or something.