NBC News and CBS News on Thursday night offered no coverage of a congressional hearing held that day on the White House’s handling of the deadly 2012 assault on U.S. facilitates in Benghazi, Libya.
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 01: U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Lovell (Retired), former deputy director for the Intelligence and Knowledge Development Directorate (J-2) of U.S. Africa Command and former deputy commanding general of the Joint Task Force Odyssey Guard, testifies during a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee May 1, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC (Getty Images)
ABC News covered the hearing for all of 46 seconds, about half the time it dedicated to coverage of U.S. Olympics speedskating suits, NewsBusters reported.
Retired Brigadier Gen. Robert Lovell testified Thursday that he knew almost immediately that the assault in Benghazi was a coordinated terrorist attack and not a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video as the White House initially claimed. As a former military official who present at the U.S. Africa Command headquarters during the attack, he testified before Congress that Washington, D.C., “should have done more” to help the trapped Americans.
ABC News’ “World News” covered this notable moment from the hearing, adding the White House’s response that military units weren’t close enough to respond.
“The point is we should have tried,” Lovell said Thursday during the hearing, perhaps in anticipation of the White House response.
"We didn’t know how long this would last when we became aware of the distress, nor did we completely understand what we had in front of us, be it a kidnapping, rescue, recovery, protracted hostile engagement, or any or all of the above,” he told Congress.
Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens. Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith and Glen Doherty, were killed in the attacks.
The three major broadcast networks covered the hearings in online print, but only ABC News offered coverage on television.
Here’s a transcript showing the extent of ABC News’ coverage:
DIANE SAWYER: We turn to news tonight about the tragedy in Benghazi, the attack on the U.S. consulate that killed four Americans including a U.S. ambassador. Today, retired Brigadier General Robert Lovell testified that before Congress that the U.S. military should have tried to do more to fend off that attack.
Rep. JASON CHAFFETZ (R-Utah): What would you say to the mother of one of the people that was killed?
Brig. Gen. ROBERT LOVELL (Ret.): I would say sorry for your loss. And your sacrifice. We should have done more.
(End Video Clip)
SAWYER: The White House pointed out today that the top military officials have repeatedly said there were no U.S. military forces close enough to fight back.
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter