American Elephants

Nothing to See Here — Just Move Along. by The Elephant's Child

Spin, Spin, Spin. by The Elephant's Child


The suck-up leftist media has gone into full-fledged spin control. How these people can live with themselves or even face themselves in the mirror is beyond me. As Dan Gainor wrote at Fox News:

In the real world, when you cover up four murders after the fact, you likely go to jail. In government, you retire with dignity and run for president with full media support.

Up until yesterday, that was the Benghazi scenario following the death of four Americans including our ambassador to Libya.

The Obama administration has lied, stonewalled, bullied, and intimidated – the true marks of an open and transparent administration. And, with a few notable exceptions, the American media haven’t just let them get away it. Heck, they’ve helped.

Let’s be clear here. Yes, the administration has tried at all levels to cover-up the murder of four Americans; but that is not all. The administration is deeply complicit in those deaths. The disgusting media is not interested in murders, but in attempting to attack Republicans for noticing the whole thing which was “a long time ago” (Jay Carney).

Republicans are now “engaged in a witch hunt” (Eugene Robinson), who said “the hearing convened by Rep.Darrell Issa (R-CA) produced a riveting narrative of the chaotic events in Libya last September. But what was the supposedly unforgivable crime?”…The three diplomats who testified at the hearing gave no evidence that this failure sprang from anything other than the need to use limited resources as efficiently as possible.” Gosh, maybe they could have taken a few bucks out of State’s $4.1 million fund for embassy art.

Frank Rich in New York Magazine emphasized that nobody was paying attention and nobody cared, or will care, and if you dare to care, you will be attacked, and made fun of by late night “comedians.” He even dragged up the original 9/11, the Bush lied, the Iraq War that “drained resources from the battle against al Qaeda and the search for bin Laden” — the one truly noble effort of the past century.

The New York Times headlined their editorial “The Republicans Benghazi Obsession.”

Before Wednesday’s hearing on the attack in Benghazi, Libya, Republicans in Congress promised explosive new details about the administration’s mishandling of the episode. Instead, the hearing showed, yet again, that sober fact-finding is not their mission. Common sense and good judgment have long given way to conspiracy-mongering and a relentless effort to discredit President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The whole thing was dismissed as “thoroughly covered” by the independent inquiry by Thomas Pickering and Adm. Mike Mullen.  Their “unsparing report” concluded that:

“systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels” in the State Department’s bureaus of diplomatic security and near eastern affairs resulted in a “security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.” Mrs. Clinton took responsibility for the security failures when she testified at a Congressional hearing in January.

Splendid example of bureaucratese. Bet the State Department really got a scolding for that. The Washington Post tweeted “Who’s tweeting about Benghazi? Rich, middle-aged men and Chick-fil-A lovers.” NBC said there was an “obvious political undercurrent” to the hearings and accused the GOP of going after the “most popular Democrat”, Hillary Clinton. (She is? Who knew?) The CBS network held back Emmy award-winning reporter Sharyl Attkinsson from writing about Benghazi “CBS News executives see Attkisson wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue.” Attkisson is now in talks to leave CBS ahead of contract.

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank treated the testimony as if the witnesses were lying. His column called the sworn testimony a “yarn” and referred to our No. 2 diplomat in Libya as a “virtuoso storyteller.”  He added “Hicks didn’t lay a glove on the former secretary of state on Wednesday.”

It is not bias. It is complete abandonment of the basic principles of journalism, which is supposed to be about curiosity, the search for truth and understanding, and an impartial observation of government activities and actions to inform the people in a free society. They have traded that in for the opportunity to write political advocacy and puff pieces. More fun. You don’t have to investigate, dig, consider, or even do any hard thinking — you can just feel — and wallow in your emotions.

The Infamous Friday News Dump by The Elephant's Child

Fridays are famous in the news cycle as the day to release foul and disreputable tidbits since everyone is occupied with weekend plans and finishing up at the office.  Apparently if it’s a particularly nice weekend that is promised, they can even release bigger news. If people happen to hear, hopefully they will forget.

So in the course of events, the Internal Revenue Service has apologized for “inappropriate targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. IRS agents singled out dozens of organizations for special review because they included those dangerous words “tea party” or “patriot” in their exemption applications.  In some cases these groups were asked for lists of their donors, which “violates IRS policy.”

Terribly sorry if that kept you from raising money, caused you problems, low-level employees, no high-level officials involved. Apologies. White House flack Jay Carney said it was indeed “inappropriate” (there’s that word again), but the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration has been investigating ever since last summer and his report is due next week.  (Also “insensitive”) Nobody’s fault really, low-level employees, just move along. Jay Carney, White House flack, added that one of the directors of the IRS was appointed by George W. Bush.

And of course there is Benghazi. The press has noticed that there is something funny about the talking points and ABC’s Jonathan Karl has obtained 12 different versions of the CIA talking points as they evolved from the first draft written entirely by the CIA to the final versions distributed to Congress and UN Ambassador Susan Rice. Is this an indication that the story of Benghazi is to be all about talking points? Wasn’t there something about people dying, perhaps unnecessarily, because of administration malfeasance?

The news that the Secretary of State in the most transparent administration in history had her chief of staff warn a Benghazi whistle-blower not to spill the beans on Benghazi. Hillary had long experience with “handlers” delegated to deal with the “bimbo eruptions.” People who dare to speak out need to be intimidated. Gregory Hicks, the deputy chief of mission in Libya, a career foreign service officer for 22 years, said that after he talked to investigators about Benghazi, he received a searing phone reprimand from a very angry Cheryl Mills, chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Hicks was told not to talk to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) when a congressional delegation  visited Libya after the attack. When he did anyway, a long string of glowing performance reviews morphed into criticisms of his management style and leadership and he was demoted to desk officer. Hicks said he had never before been told not to meet with a congressional delegation. Far from trying to find out what happened, Hillary Clinton and the State Department sought to suppress the truth and punish anyone who would speak the truth.

So, an efficient administration, being on top of the news cycle and aware that accusations of an attempted cover-up of events leading to the murder of our Ambassador, his aide, and two SEALS are floating around, what do you do? Why you have an off-the-record briefing for the White House press corps, so the reporters can’t repeat anything even if they want to.  Why would the press agree to that?

Simple. They changed the language describing the meeting from “off-the-record” to: Though the existence of the meeting was off the record, it was conducted on “deep background.” “Deep Background” apparently means that the information presented by the briefers can be used in reporting, but the briefers can’t be quoted.”

Ari Fleischer tweeted : “Time Magazine reporter Jay Carney would have been the 1st person to object to how the WH is handling the press today.”

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