Tuesday, May 6, 2014

All Benghazi! All The Time

Fox News will cover nothing else.  Via Steve Benen:

On Friday, President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted a joint press conference from the White House Rose Garden, and the two world leaders had quite a bit of ground to cover. They fielded questions on the Ukrainian crisis, surveillance policies, and a variety of current events.

But Fox News wouldn’t show its viewers the press conference unless reporters asked about the Benghazi attack from nearly two years ago.

Today, something very similar happened.

It happened again on Monday, when Fox anchor Jon Scott promised to cover a White House presser if and only if the topic shifted to a House select committee on Benghazi, which will be headed up by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).

With White House aide John Podesta delivering a presentation on energy and climate during the press briefing, Scott couldn’t hide his shock.

“Jay Carney is normally at this podium. This is one of his understudies, you might say,” Scott said referring to Podesta, who is not actually one of Carney’s understudies.

This is getting a little weird.

A little weird?  Actually, it’s both laughable and pathetic.  Those poor folks at Fox News spent all those years demonizing Obamacare, summoning up the dregs looking for the real birth certificate, and then spent a couple of weeks spooning with a deadbeat racist out in Nevada only to have everything blow up like a popcorn fart: Obamacare is working, Glenn Beck is too nutty even for them, and Donald Sterling upstaged their desert freeloader.  They have to have something to fill the 24-hour news cycle and CNN has cornered the market on missing planes.

Rep. Gowdy, the designated hitter who makes Foghorn Leghorn sound like Laurence Olivier, is going to be the featured player on Fox News.  Hilarity will ensue.  Sam Ervin he ain’t.

For those of us of a certain age, a Washington scandal brings with it memories from forty years ago of intrepid journalists searching for the truth in a coverup an administration bent on keeping its illegal activities from view, knowing that it would bring ruin.  Ever since then there have been would-be Woodwards and Bernsteins desperately trying to find something just as vast and corrupt so that they can expose it.  Not because it would bring justice to the criminals but because then they could sell the book and get their name in lights — and maybe have Robert Redford direct the film.  So the hunt for scandal goes on.

This isn’t just a Fox News bit; they’ve jumped the shark so many times the shark is suing for overtime.  It’s the GOP’s desperate search to find anything at all to stay relevant when they have nothing whatsoever to show for themselves.  Digby in Salon:

The point of this strategy isn’t to bring down a politician with one scandal although they’d be perfectly happy if it did. These are such small-bore narratives that they know it’s unlikely. No, the point is to create an atmosphere of scandal, a sense that something’s not right, even though the worst they can prove is that there was miscommunication or confusion. (That becomes part of the narrative as well — a sign of incompetence.) It’s all in service of manufacturing a sense among the people of “where there’s smoke there’s fire,” something into which anyone can be seduced when a byzantine, contentious scandal is in the news. Regular folks have better things to do than parse official statements or, frankly, even read long explanations by good clear-thinking journalists. (And let’s face it, if a scandal takes off, the ranks of good, clear-thinking journalists thin considerably.) If the scandal-mongers can keep it going long enough and can find enough hooks to reengage on a regular basis, it takes on a life of its own.

It’s going to be a long summer of re-runs.

2 barks and woofs on “All Benghazi! All The Time

  1. Maybe I’m just being charitable, but I think Dana Perino was kidding about meteorologists asking Obama about Benghazi. There was a smile there. She’s still a partisan hack with little if anything of substance to contribute to the debate on, well, anything.

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