What do these current news stories have in common: the World Series, Hurricane Sandy and Benghazi? Answer: Each has been covered by the news media in a way that reminds us why we trust journalists even less than we trust bankers, politicians and used-car salesmen. Recently the press has embarrassed itself with boldly mistaken predictions about the Series; courted skepticism by relentlessly hyping “Frankenstorm”; and disgraced itself as never before by deliberately ignoring an apparent White House cover-up of the attack on America’s diplomatic mission in Libya.
Will Sandy, Too, Be a Dud?
Will Hurricane Sandy prove to be as big a dud as Justin Verlander was on the mound versus the Giants? With the storm set to engulf New York City today, we’ll lay even odds that it fails to live up to its sensational billing as the possible Storm of the Century. Just a hunch. We grew up on the Jersey Shore ourselves, on a small island just two blocks wide at its narrowest, and so we are not unfamiliar with the destructive power of hurricanes and, even moreso, Nor’easters. But when we checked with some of our old neighbors by phone yesterday, they were planning to ignore evacuation orders and ride it out. A childhood friend who lives just a block from the ocean, an experienced sailor and denizen of many powerful storms, says a few sandbags piled in front of her door will probably be protection enough.
Which brings us to Benghazi. Nowhere on the front page of Sunday’s New York Times, which yesterday endorsed Obama, do we find even a passing mention of this growing political scandal, perhaps the biggest since Watergate. Unlike Watergate, however — a story the news media pursued relentlessly only because they hated Nixon so much — in Benghazi, quite possibly because of gross negligence directly attributable to the President, Americans actually died: Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and two former Navy Seals, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, who evidently defied orders in a heroic attempt to defend the mission.
Obama slept on the news and went to Las Vegas the next day to campaign, even as his lackeys continued to insist that the September 11 firebombing in Libya was a spontaneous attack by Islamists angered by an anti-Mohammed film that had surfaced on the Web.
We now know not only that the attack was planned in advance by al Qaeda to coincide with 9/11, but that earlier attacks had prompted requests for additional security at the mission. The requests were ignored, but Obama is insisting they never reached his office.
We shall see. In the meantime, another story has surfaced suggesting that the President himself may have denied support requested by the Benghazi mission when it was under siege. This would have happened while U.S. drones were monitoring the fiery attack in real time. f someone did indeed let a mayday plea from the mission go unanswered, CIA director David Petraeus says it wasn’t him. “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need,” a CIA spokesman told the press.
With a week to go before the election and Obama slipping badly in the polls , don’t expect the New York Times and other left-leaning purveyors of the news to press the White House for answers.
But their reputations and credibility will be further damaged, and badly, if Fox News and Matt Drudge continue to pry loose details that implicate the President in the needless deaths of four Americans who evidently had feared for their lives.
It would be an ironic end to Hillary Clinton’s political career if Fox and Drudge back her into a corner before next Tuesday, forcing her to cough up an account of Benghazi that dooms Obama’s reelection bid. Earlier, presumably at the President’s behest, she took blame for the lapse of security at the mission. While this allowed the President’s zealous partisans in the New York Times newsroom to back off the story, Fox and Drudge have continued to pursue it. Now, they appear close to breaking a scandal that will make Watergate look like penny-ante stuff. It seems possible that even with an unashamedly biased news media going all-out to suppress the Benghazi story, enough details will emerge in the days ahead to fully embroil Obama in scandal by the time voters go to the polls.