By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media
As we look back on 2016, we would like to highlight some of the American media’s worst abuses that occurred during the past year, including coverage of the very divisive election campaign. We have picked ten stories in which the media were either derelict in their duty to report the truth, or sold a false or biased narrative to the public that furthered the left’s agenda. In other cases, the media missed the story altogether or made excuses for their own biased reporting. We could easily have picked additional stories that meet those criteria, but arbitrarily chose to look at ten, in no particular order.
- Presidential Election Coverage
- Hillary Clinton Email / National Security Scandal
- Clinton Foundation / Pay for Play
- Rigged FBI Investigation
- Obama’s Legacy Failures
- Iran Nuclear Deal
- The Economy
- Terror Attacks in the United States (Islamic Terror)
- Presidential Election Coverage
Erroneous Election Predictions
The mainstream media repeatedly predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election—and by a wide margin. The New York Times, in particular, gave Clinton an 85 percent chance of winning on election night. “Hillary Clinton today is more likely to win in a landslide that would not only have an impact on this race but realign the country politically to some extent, than Trump is to win at all,” argued Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin. Similarly, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said that “This could be tight, or it could be a landslide for Hillary.” The media pundits were all, very, very wrong.
Now that Clinton has lost, postmortems of the election abound: media pundits blame fake news, FBI Director James Comey’s FBI investigation, WikiLeaks, and the alleged Russian interference in the election. Hillary apparently had nothing to do with her own defeat. The fact that she won by more than 2.5 million votes means that the Russians failed, if their goal was to help Trump win the most votes. Surely they didn’t expect that Trump would be the winner if he lost the popular vote by such a margin. The mainstream media have become “election results deniers.” This fuels their anti-Trump bias and demonstrates why they called the election for Clinton, who was a very flawed candidate, even in the eyes of most Democrats.
“The inescapable fact is that most of the mainstream media got it wrong because they simply couldn’t believe that Americans would elect someone like Donald Trump,” wrote Mathew Ingram for Fortune. “Denial can be a powerful drug.” Yet even Ingram blames fake news for the outcome.
Many in the mainstream media have also been guilty of reporting their own fake or misleading stories. Their fascination with exposing fake news writers revolves around the desire to prove that their own reporting is above reproach, and should be trusted. That is especially true now when their credibility is in short supply after their flawed election predictions.
The so-called mainstream media have no corner on the truth, and it’s clear that when someone challenges their left-wing agenda, their first reaction is to try to destroy the challenger at any cost. The name-calling, caterwauling, crying and disgust will continue on the left, as they figure out how to pick up the pieces and move forward.
Kellyanne Conway, the First Successful Female Presidential Campaign Manager
Kellyanne Conway is the first woman in the United States to lead a presidential campaign to victory, and she did so by selling a Washington outsider who so many in the media predicted would lose. Granted, her campaign scuttled the possibility that there would be the first female president, but Conway is establishing a first of her own. Yet the mainstream media have been virtually silent about this historic accomplishment.
Conway has a “terrific life story,” according to Peter Roff of U.S. News & World Report. Although she was born to a single mother household, she “is largely a self-made success due to her intellect, her ability to relate complicated ideas in ways that can be understood by a large general audience, because she’s never been afraid to take risks and because when she wants something she’s gone for it rather than waiting for someone to hand it to her,” he writes. Conway has a stable marriage and four children.
“Of course there’s always the possibility that the progressive men who really run things in the Democratic Party can’t stomach the fact they got beat by a girl,” writes Roff. “But really, who would believe that? It’s so…sexist.”
The sorry truth is that members of the Democrat-media complex aren’t interested in women’s successes—they are only interested in celebrating leftist and progressive women’s successes. Is it asking too much for the mainstream media to celebrate a woman’s victory against the glass ceiling if the heroine of the story isn’t Hillary Clinton?
Media Abandon Objectivity in Reporting on Trump
The mainstream media were never objective regarding Donald Trump, but what was notable in this election cycle was that they openly advocated abandoning their journalistic impartiality in order to prevent Trump from winning. The most notable admission that this was true came from New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg, who wrote a front-page story back in August titled, “Trump Is Testing the Norms of Objectivity in Journalism.” Rutenberg’s main point was that Donald Trump is so uniquely crude, provocative, and dishonest that reporters can’t and shouldn’t be expected to stay neutral. Similarly, New York Times reporter Thomas Friedman called Trump outright “disgusting.”
“How balanced do you have to be when one side is just irrational?” asked MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough.
After Trump won the election, the deputy publisher and executive editor of the Times wrote that they believed that they had reported “on both candidates fairly during the presidential campaign,” and that they would “hold power to account, impartially and unflinchingly.” In other words, the Times is signaling more of the same: it will hold the president to account through misinformation and misreporting, just as it did during the campaign season.
The media accused Trump of using “dog whistles” to incite violence and racism, but it was, in fact, that same media that signaled, on a daily basis, to attack Trump. He was vilified as a fascist, a racist, a xenophobe, sexist, and many other of the same sort of crimes. Yet the prevailing narrative is that Trump is the one attacking the media. “Donald Trump keeps up media attacks with misleading tweets about New York Times,” reported The Washington Post in November. Similarly, “Donald Trump Prepares New Attack on Media, Clinton,” reported The Wall Street Journal in October. And in October The New York Times also reported that “Partisan Crowds at Trump Rallies Menace and Frighten News Media.”
The media would like to play the victim in its face-off with Trump, but Rutenberg’s column and other admissions by reporters make it clear that media played the bully during the election cycle, and will likely continue its oppositional and adversarial journalism for the next four years.
- Hillary Clinton Email/National Security Scandal
As we have argued, Hillary Clinton’s email scandal is not just about the misuse of a private email server—it is a national security scandal. Mrs. Clinton, despite denials to the contrary, wrote over a hundred emails containing classified information. “In roughly three-quarters of those cases, officials have determined that material Clinton herself wrote in the body of email messages is classified,” reported The Washington Post in March.
Contrary to the mainstream media’s reporting, the number is actually much larger—with thousands of emails later deemed classified by the government. Politifact and Mrs. Clinton consider these emails “retroactively” classified. However, it is impossible to know how many of the 33,000 emails that Mrs. Clinton deleted also contained classified information. And, as we have repeatedly cited, whenever this classified material involved confidential communication from foreign governments, it thus was “born classified”—requiring no markings.
According to the State Department Inspector General, Mrs. Clinton’s failure to turn over those 33,000 emails was a violation of the Federal Records Act.
The media consistently labored to repair Mrs. Clinton’s reputation by creating, along with the campaign’s help, a false equivalency between Mrs. Clinton’s actions and other government officials such as former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. Powell himself denied telling Clinton to use a private email server. Rice commented via email that “I don’t think Hillary’s—‘everyone did it,’ is flying.”
Neither Powell nor Rice set up a private email server to manage their emails. Mrs. Clinton’s actions were a shameless attempt to evade accountability to the public during and after her time in office—and she continued to lie about it, repeatedly, throughout the course of her campaign.
While the reports on Hillary Clinton’s email server spanned over a year and a half, some details garnered little attention from the mainstream media. For example, in 2015 we reported that there were signs that Mrs. Clinton had edited her emails before sending print versions to the State Department. Another underreported fact was, as Select Committee on Benghazi Chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC) noted, that there were gaps of months in those emails. When close confidant Sidney Blumenthal turned over relevant emails to the Select Committee, it became evident that Mrs. Clinton had deleted work-related content.
Each of these revelations happened in 2015, providing evidence of the enduring scandal and Hillary’s web of lies. Yet, as soon as these revelations broke, the news media buried these stories as fast and as thoroughly as it possibly could. The mainstream media had “Hillary Clinton Scandal Amnesia.” As we observed in our special report, The Hillary Clinton File, “While the search for smoking guns implicating Hillary Clinton in criminal activity continues, through a mountain of emails, there are more than enough smoking guns hiding in plain sight. In a way, the endless search for a single smoking gun clouds the issue and makes it seem as if nothing consequential enough has so far been found. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
- Clinton Foundation / Pay for Play
Hillary Clinton’s State Department was blatantly unethical and designed to serve Clinton Foundation interests. While evidence of the specific pay-to-play scandals abounds, this list will cover a couple of the most notable.
First, the Clinton campaign and the media repeatedly claimed that Donald Trump favored Russia. However, it was Hillary Clinton’s State Department that oversaw the Skolkovo effort, a Russian foundation and technology park which risked giving the Russians access to dual-use technologies that could enhance Russian military capabilities. Yet by 2014 the FBI had issued “an extraordinary warning,” according to the Government Accountability Institute report, that Russian members of Skolkovo were seeking to “gain access to classified, sensitive, and emerging technology from the companies.” As for Mrs. Clinton, not only did her State Department promote the Skolkovo effort, “17 of the 28 participating companies from around the globe had either donated to the Clinton Foundation or sponsored Bill Clinton’s speeches.”
Mrs. Clinton and her staff also thoroughly misused their influence to ensure that “Friends of Bill [Clinton]” had influence over the Haitian recovery efforts in 2010.
Haitian analyst Jake Johnston told ABC News in October that “I think when you look at both the State Department and the Clinton Foundation in Haiti, that line was pretty faint between the two…You had a lot of coordination and connection between the two, obviously. And I think that raises significant questions about how they were both operating.”
Emails released in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the Republican National Committee, confirmed by ABC News, show State Department official Caitlin Klevorick giving preferential treatment to “Friends of Bill” and “William Jefferson Clinton VIPs” in the immediate aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. “Need you to flag when people are friends of WJC,” she wrote. “Most I can probably ID but not all.”
And then there is Laureate Education. While many in the mainstream media sought to indict Trump over Trump University’s lack of quality and high pressure sales tactics, Laureate Education is, for the Clintons, a very similar debacle. A 2012 U.S. Senate report found that Laureate’s Walden University was spending more than half of its revenue on marketing and profit, and accepts students based on their ability to pay while offering, as Forbes reports, “no academic reputation and virtually no standards for admission.”
But the Clintons made millions off of Laureate. More than $16 million was paid to Bill Clinton through a shell corporation, after which more than $55 million American taxpayer dollars flowed out of Hillary Clinton’s State Department to a non-profit run by Laureate CEO Douglas Becker. Also, Bill Clinton resigned from his position as “honorary chancellor” of Laureate in April of 2015, right after the disclosure of the information from Clinton Cash was made public.
An Associated Press inquiry found that “More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money—either personally or through companies or groups—to the Clinton Foundation.…At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs…”
The AP report makes it evident that these are just a few of the many pay-for-play schemes that Secretary Clinton oversaw, and that this only scratches the surface of what is clearly blatant, endemic corruption and conflicts of interest. Secretary Clinton used her term to benefit Clinton Foundation donors, and to build good will for the Clintons that could be cashed in for her presidential run. I’m sure many of those donors would like a refund.
- Rigged FBI Investigation
While the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the leadership of Director James Comey, claimed to examine Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and misuse of classified information, the fix was in from the very beginning—but don’t expect the mainstream media to cover that fact. Director Comey said in a statement on July 5 that “110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received,” and eight of those were Top Secret.
Yet Comey then proceeded to claim that “no reasonable prosecutor” would make a case against Hillary Clinton for her misuse of classified information. Comey’s refusal to recommend prosecution of Mrs. Clinton had brought us one step closer to Banana Republic status.
No one should be above the law—as a presidential candidate or secretary of state, Clinton was equally responsible for safeguarding American secrets, but she broke that promise to the public and the Obama administration.
As more details surfaced it became clear that the FBI investigation was being run in a highly unusual manner. For example, as we reported, the Bureau granted immunity to five persons connected to the email scandal, and also refused to suspend the immunity agreement given to one witness after he lied to investigators. According to Andy McCarthy, writing for National Review, Secretary Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills and Clinton aide Heather Samuelson also received immunity agreements meant to ensure that they gave the FBI access to their laptops. However, the FBI could have just subpoenaed the computers or obtained a search warrant instead. And lastly, the FBI failed to call a grand jury and instead conducted light touch interviews. The fix was clearly in.
It became even clearer that the FBI would never recommend prosecution when the public discovered that the wife of the Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, had received campaign money from close Clinton ally Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee and the Democratic Party of Virginia. Naysayers noted that the money was given before Mr. McCabe became deputy director. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, “Before he became No. 3 at the FBI Mr. McCabe ran the bureau’s Washington, D.C. field office that provided resources to the Clinton probe. Campaign-finance records show that 98% of the McAuliffe donations to Mrs. McCabe came after the FBI launched its Clinton probe.”
Some news media, as well as Clinton supporters, claim that the last-minute reopening of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton after 650,000 emails were found on Anthony Weiner’s computer irreparably damaged her chances at becoming president. This ignores the fact that Mrs. Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate. However, as I wrote on the eve of the election, “While Comey did, in fact, argue back in July that he was not recommending an indictment or prosecution of Hillary, he also drew other ‘conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.’” Those conclusions were “that she lied when she said that she hadn’t sent or received classified materials on her private, unsecured server,” that “She lied when she said that nothing that she sent or received was marked classified,” lied “when she said that she only used one device,” and “lied when she said that she had turned over all of her work-related emails.”
This is what the Clinton campaign is wearing as a badge of complete exoneration, and a closing of the books on her so-called email scandal, which is actually a national security scandal. As we have often pointed out, others have gone to jail, been fined, lost their security clearances and were run out of public life for far less egregious examples of mishandling classified material.
Whether or not Comey’s last-minute re-opening of the investigation into Hillary’s email scandal, or his account of her many lies, influenced the election outcome is a question for the historians. But this FBI investigation was flawed from the very beginning.
- Obama’s Legacy Failures
As President Obama prepares to leave the White House, he is attempting to salvage his reputation by asserting that he inherited a financial mess from President George W. Bush, and that his policies have actually boosted the economy and provided greater access to health care. The complicit media, of course, continue to ignore or downplay Obama’s many failures.
The press considered few, if any, of the major Obama scandals—including the IRS targeting scandal, Benghazi, the Veterans Administration scandal, Fast & Furious, ransom cash sent to the Iranians—as real scandals. That is because the press has made excuse after excuse for Obama’s mismanagement or deliberate malfeasance, perennially ignoring and downplaying his scandals.
“As I told my staff, we should be very proud that their work has already ensured that when we turn over the keys, the car’s in pretty good shape,” said President Obama in his first press conference following the election. “We are indisputably in a stronger position today than we were when I came in eight years ago.”
If you think that sounds like a self-serving statement, you’d be right. President Obama is determined to make the case that as he leaves office, he is leaving the country in better shape than when he arrived. He claims to have saved the economy and left the world a more peaceful place, with America’s standing back on top. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In reality, the U.S. labor participation rate is comparable to the 1970s. There are 95 million people out of the workforce. Obamacare’s premiums are skyrocketing, and Americans are less safe because the Islamic State has expanded into more than two dozen countries and caused the death of thousands. The election of Donald Trump was a direct repudiation of President Obama’s failed policies. Whether the media choose to report it, Trump has inherited a popular mandate to roll back Obama’s signature legacies, including the unsigned Iran deal.
- Iran Nuclear Deal
While the mainstream media have known for over a year that the Iran Deal was never signed by the P5+1, they continue to print stories describing it as “signed.” This is true for media outlets ranging from The New York Times to ABC, NBC and CBS. The deal did pass, in altered form, through the Iranian Majlis, or parliament. However, if the parties have differing opinions about the terms of the so-called agreement, how can the United States hold Iran accountable?
The lack of a signature on the Iran deal means that the United States had a set of “political commitments” with Iran, according to Julia Frifield of the State Department. However, political commitments can simply be broken. There is no contract with the Iranians.
The media are obviously aware that this is not a signed deal, yet they keep calling it one as if that is an insignificant detail. Why? There is good reason to believe it’s because they see their role as trying to help President Obama secure his legacy as the Nobel Peace Prize winner who was able to finally tame the Iranian theocracy, and save the world from nuclear destruction.
President Obama has cited the Iran nuclear deal as one of his most important successes, claiming that he has shut the door on Iran’s path to nuclear weapons. But the truth is just the opposite. He couldn’t get Iran to agree to stop its nuclear enrichment or testing of ballistic missiles, so he published an unsigned document, made secret side agreements, and let Iran proceed unabated.
Iran has been enriched in the process.
The media have provided unending coverage about how Donald Trump has signaled his willingness to scrap this shoddy agreement. The New York Times goes so far as to recommend keeping the unsigned agreement: “As Mr. Trump decides in what direction he will take his Iran policy, countries that have until now partnered with the United States on Iran must draw a line,” states one of its opinion columns.
Trump’s pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency, Rep. Mike Pompeo, has called the agreement “nothing more than a press release and just about as enforceable.” Clearly the new administration has different priorities than Obama.
However, the mainstream media, rather than covering the deficits of this unsigned agreement, have repeatedly lamented the threat that Trump poses to Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement.
Reuters recently quoted Iranian president Hassan Rouhani as saying, “There is no doubt that the United States is our enemy.” Why should the United States continue to enrich its enemy? The Iran unsigned agreement is a bad deal for America, no matter what the press continues to claim.
Obamacare has been, and continues to be, identified by the media as President Obama’s signature domestic achievement. As such, it must be defended at all costs. However, while premiums are scheduled to skyrocket an average of 22 percent in 2017, liberal media elites continue to defend its value. Consider, for example, a recent CNBC report reiterating the administration’s claim that the scheduled price hikes are a “one-time adjustment.” The author quotes extensively from an administration-authored report regarding how the uninsured rate has decreased among “all income groups” since Obamacare was passed, and reduced “uncompensated care costs” by “$10.4 billion last year.” The article is blatantly political, beginning with the phrase, “Your move, Mr. Trump.” (Trump has promised to overhaul the healthcare legislation.)
Obamacare may have technically reduced the number of uninsured in this country, but this does not mean that care is now affordable for many. As of April 2016, a Pew Research Center poll showed that a majority of Americans disapproved of the law.
While Obamacare did change the law to allow those with preexisting conditions access to care, it has also had disproportionately negative effects in exchange for that benefit. Was the rise in the number of insured really worth the cost? After all, health care access does not always translate into better health care service. In fact, the real world effect is often quite the contrary.
Even Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that “we have built in some unfortunate incentives that discourage full-time employment” into Obamacare.
The deductibles for these health care plans remain outrageous: a Kaiser Permanente Bronze plan for a couple earning $30,000 in Maryland’s Montgomery County comes with a $13,000 annual deductible and a $14,300 out-of-pocket maximum for the year 2017. That is not everyday health care—it’s catastrophic care.
- The Economy
President Obama has repeatedly cited the dire economic situation that he inherited as an excuse for the delayed recovery. ‘“How people feel about the economy’…is influenced by ‘what they hear,’” he told The New York Times back in April. He then blamed the inability of the public to recognize the economic recovery on Republicans selling a narrative of failure.
The reality is, far from singlehandedly saving the economy, it continues to underperform under Obama. The mainstream media continue to cite the lowered unemployment rate of 4.6 percent as evidence of a real recovery. A December report co-authored by Obama’s former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, Alan Krueger, revealed that in the last decade, 94 percent of all jobs created in this country were part-time jobs, generally without benefits.
But the unemployment numbers ignore the plight of individuals who have been out of the workforce so long that they have stopped looking for jobs. These persons are not counted among the unemployed in Obama administration statistics. Yet, according to BLS, the labor participation rate was at 62.7 percent in November—comparable to the 1970s.
Younger job seekers have been disadvantaged by the ongoing economic malaise. “One of the starkest findings: An American born in the 1940s had between 80 and 90 percent odds of earning more than their parents did during their lifetime,” writes Rob Garver for The Fiscal Times. “Children born in 1984—today’s 32-year-olds—have just a 50 percent chance of doing better than their parents did.”
Our youth have also been absorbed into the part-time economy that has resulted from the boondoggle that is Obamacare. And, as we reported last April, the Times noted that average family incomes are “$4,000 less than…when Bill Clinton left office.”
President Obama has been trying to sell this same economic story time and again, claiming that he saved the country from sure destruction and that the economy has recovered under his watch. Like so many of his legacy issues, Obama is trying to sell a set of false goods with positive spin—and the media are buying it.
Indeed, the most recent reporting claims that the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates reflects a stronger economic outlook, despite the enduring low participation rate. This isn’t about reporting the truth—this is about the media bolstering Obama’s economic legacy and reputation before Trump takes office.
- Terror Attacks in the United States (Islamic Terror)
Whether it is due to an absence of moral clarity or feigned ignorance, President Obama seems to lack the ability to discuss the ideology of America’s enemies in a forceful and compelling manner. Instead, his administration initially dismissed the Islamic State as a junior varsity team and continues to maintain that it does not reflect the values of Islam. These are, in essence, just violent extremists—not Islamic jihadists—they argue.
“They are not religious leaders—they’re terrorists,” said President Obama this year. “And we are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”
Similarly, the media downplayed the Islamic character of Omar Mateen’s Orlando, Florida shooting rampage, which claimed the lives of 49 persons at a gay bar called Pulse. Instead of discussing the ramifications of terror worldwide and in our midst, the liberal media have reignited their quest for new gun control legislation and have sought to blame this attack on Republicans in general, and Donald Trump in particular. This is ludicrous: guns did not kill the victims, the terrorist did.
From Nidal Hasan, to the Boston Marathon Bombers, the Underwear bomber, the San Bernardino shooting, and now Orlando, the perpetrators of these attacks have drunk from the same poisonous well of sharia-compliant jihadist ideology demanding death to the infidels. But it is ludicrous to claim that these attacks have little or nothing to do with Islam, or come from a bastardization of that faith. After all, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has a Ph.D. in Koranic studies from Iraq’s Saddam University for Islamic Studies. These attacks clearly originated from a jihadist interpretation of Islam.
According to the Heritage Foundation, America has endured 12 plots or attacks in 2016 alone, and 93 since September 11, 2001. They have concluded that “14 successful Islamist terrorist attacks have occurred on U.S. soil since 9/11, five of which have been in 2016 alone.” Yet the media and President Obama refuse to recognize the real danger that al-Qaeda and Islamic State-inspired lone wolf terrorists pose to all Americans. We cannot simply wait idly by for the next attack to happen.
Despite the media’s lackluster enthusiasm for covering new developments in the Benghazi story, several key events occurred in 2016 in the search for the truth. In June, the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi released its second report on the Benghazi attacks of 2012. The report outlines how the Obama administration willfully and “materially aided known al-Qa’eda-linked militias to topple [Muammar Qaddafi’s] regime.” This, as we have argued before, demonstrated how the administration actively “switched sides” in the War on Terror. In addition, the new report revealed that the Obama administration sent aid to forces that would later coalesce into the Islamic State.
“Now, from [Ambassador] Christopher Stevens to the folks at the CIA Annex, they were in fact then relying on exactly the jihadist enemy that was eventually to turn on them and to kill four Americans and injure others so gravely,” said former CIA officer and CCB member Clare Lopez at our press conference detailing the report. Another CCB member, Lt. Colonel Dennis Haney (Ret.), said that Sean Smith’s uncle had read the new report, and said that others should “read this [CCB] report if you want to know the truth.”
That report, and the wealth of evidence that has been revealed since the attacks, makes it clear that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are greatly responsible for the chaos that now grips Libya. According to Clinton State Department aide Jake Sullivan, Secretary Clinton demonstrated “leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country’s [L]ibya policy from start to finish.” Yet Secretary Clinton has repeatedly lied about her own conduct, in particular what she said to the families of the deceased about the attacks.
These families claim that Mrs. Clinton lied about whether she told them the government would go after the filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who was later jailed. They also blame her use of a private email server for a lack of security. “Hillary’s statements have created animosity between her and the families of the victims…” we wrote. “Charles Woods and Pat Smith are suing Hillary Clinton for defamation for publicly calling them liars, as well as jeopardizing the security of those in Benghazi through her use of a private email server.” As of this writing, this lawsuit has not been resolved.
Trey Gowdy’s Select Committee released its final report in July, and it did not appear to significantly undermine the Hillary Clinton campaign. Yet even today the mainstream media remains on the attack, determined to tarnish this investigation as politicized, wasteful, and unnecessary. “The GOP’s Benghazi panel, duplicating the work that had already been done by six other congressional committees, spent millions of taxpayer dollars chasing down bizarre conspiracy theories, asking questions that had already been answered, and pulling together evidence that had already been exhaustively reviewed,” writes MSNBC. “The result was a committee that was needlessly partisan, needlessly secretive, and ultimately pointless.”
As we have written, the Select Committee on Benghazi did not need to break any further revelations regarding Benghazi because the current evidence was so damning. Far from a partisan exercise, the pursuit to reveal the complete dereliction of duty by this administration was necessary to hold those in power accountable for their actions.
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.