Welcome back, Fairfield. This is my second of three Daily Republic columns about Fox being so wrong about so much, so often. Last week, we saw how Fox botched the call on the presidential election, the Keystone pipeline and the gasoline price spike. This week, we’ll look at Fox’s take on Fast and Furious and the Benghazi attack and see how those stories actually played out.
Fast and Furious was a gun-running program set up by the Arizona branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. For background information, simply refer to my June 25 and July 2, 2012, Daily Republic columns, which should be attached to your refrigerator.
Fox entertainers were quick to tag Fast and Furious, “Obama’s Watergate,” because their previous proclamations of Solyndra being “Obama’s Watergate” and the Gulf oil spill being “Obama’s Watergate” never really caught on.
Over the course of the year, Fox News repeatedly presented the theory that Fast and Furious was part of an elaborate Obama scheme to make guns look bad in order to promote gun control laws. After many months, the Republican-led congressional panel investigating Fast and Furious finally came up with their recommendations: fire the four ATF field managers who were responsible for instituting this failed program. Now Fox guests are promoting the idea that the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was “staged” by President Obama to make guns look bad in order to promote gun control laws. Sandy Hook could be Obama’s Watergate.
September’s Benghazi embassy attack, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, occurred at the same time as violent protests in Muslim countries over an anti-Islamic video. Fox was quick to blame President Obama for the deaths and, since there was some initial confusion about the attack, they took a giant mental leap, declaring he was trying to cover-up the incident.
“This is gonna go down as the biggest cover-up in history,” said Republican Sen. James Inhofe on Fox News. “The administration deliberately covered this up and misrepresented what happened in Benghazi.” This Fox story headlined show after show, from September through December.
In my Oct. 22, 2012, Daily Republic column, “Romney does the Benghazi shuffle,” I listed 26 U.S. embassy attacks during the terms of the past five presidents. I can’t recall any other president ever being blamed for any embassy attack or accused of trying to cover them up.
This Fox cover-up storyline was killed when congressional investigators released their findings. On page A9 of your Jan. 1, 2013, Daily Republic, The Associated Press reported: “The FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies – but not the White House – made major changes in talking points that led to the Obama administration’s confusing explanations of the attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, a Senate report concluded Monday.”
Disturbingly, Obama’s cover-up still exists in a zombie-like state on Fox. Contrary to their all-seeing, all-knowing pundits, Hillary Clinton’s fake blood clot was real and Ambassador Susan Rice did not lie. Too bad Fox gutted her career for its entertainment value.
Fox does a great job of entertaining their right-wing viewers, but that is driven by their real goal of providing a large, gullible audience to eager advertisers. Unfortunately, many naive Fox viewers become enthralled with the performances and believe what they hear. It takes mere seconds for Fox’s entertainers to birth a lie, but as we’ve seen, often months to kill. Today’s hot Fox rumor rates page one in newspapers and on talk-radio and newscasts, but when yesterday’s scintillating headline turns to cold, hard facts and starts to stink, it typically ends up being buried six feet under, like on page A9.
Next week: Is Fox News hazardous to your health?
Mike Kirchubel grew up in Fairfield and is the author of “Vile Acts of Evil – Banking in America.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.