Also: When Chris Hayes met Anne-Marie Slaughter: As we told you in real time, David Ignatius broke every rule in the book when he defended Susan Rice’s statements concerning Benghazi.
Within the Village, Ignatius has surely been pounded hard since he committed that outrageous act. And sure enough! In this morning’s Washington Post, he skillfully rights the balance, with several early nods to the genius of those at Fox.
Let’s be clear: There have always been perfectly valid questions about what happened at Benghazi. Obama avoided one such question at the town hall debate—at which point, Romney saved him via his bungled one-act play concerning the term, “act of terror.”
That said, for the bulk of the past six weeks, Susan Rice’s unremarkable statements have been the focus of the attack. Disgracefully, Ignatius took her side several weeks back.
This morning, the requisite reaction! In the NFL, this is known as a make-up call.
Concerning someone who actively bungled this story, Chris Hayes offered a modified limited hang-out about his past errors this Sunday. We checked to see if he had self-corrected earlier, or if he had been more specific.
Hayes did bungle Benghazi, quite badly, as we noted on October 21. By coincidence (our post appeared later), Hayes had offered this mea culpa at the start of that morning’s program:
HAYES (10/21/12): Heading into tomorrow night’s foreign policy debate, the details of what happened in Benghazi on September 11 are, I have to say, more confusing to me as a consumer of news than they have ever been.Good God. This pitiful child was still trying to figure if he had been punked by the right! He was beginning to think that the right may have ginned this whole shitstorm up!
We talked about this pretty early on, and I will put myself in the category of people who were troubled—category of people who were troubled by what seemed to be a distance between what the reporting and what the intelligence agencies seemed to be saying and what was coming out of the White House. And I thought that gap was worrisome. And we talked about it on the show.
I don’t know what to think anymore because what looked like at first was—the official U.S. government line was that this was spontaneous and in reaction to the video. And there was a parallel channel of reporting seemed to be indicating this was premeditated, it was the work of possibly al Qaeda militants and had nothing to do with the video. In fact, there was no protest of the video. So that, that was—that was what happened.
Now we have reporting from the LA Times and the New York Times who were talking to people in Benghazi who were all saying, “No, dude, it was the video.” Here’s, here’s the LA Times—the assault was opportunist, no evidence of an al Qaeda link. "The assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last month appears to have been an opportunistic attack, rather than a long-planned operation, and intelligence agencies have found no evidence that it was ordered by al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials and witnesses interviewed in Libya."
Here’s my question to you. Has the media been punked by the right? I mean, did conservatives essentially generate a controversy where there was none? Because I am now beginning to think that was the case. And I am someone who on this program thought this is a very important issue. It seems there’s this distance. And now I really don’t know what to believe.
Our analysis? Hayes should stop being “a consumer of news” and turn into a tough-minded analyst. Perhaps he should develop a small tiny clue about the way these lynch mobs work. About the way these lynch mobs have worked for at least the past twenty years!
Hayes was still trying to figure it out! He really didn’t know what to believe! At this point, he threw to a former speech-writer for Condi Rice; she of course extended the bullshit.
But the worst moment on Hayes’ program this day involved one more gruesome howler implicitly concerning What Susan Rice Said. Hayes had welcomed a ranking scholar to that morning’s program:
How could a talk show host go wrong with Princeton’s Anne-Marie Slaughter?
Here’s how a host could go wrong! In her very first oration, Slaughter recited the standard bogus account of what the administration (i.e., Rice) had said.
The professor wandered the countryside. No challenge or attempt at clarification followed:
SLAUGHTER (10/21/12): No, and well, and there is a way to square the circle here, where it— Originally, if you said it was a spontaneous thing from a protest, what that sounded like was there’s a protest going on outside the consulate, and then suddenly, that escalated into a, “Hey, let’s take over the consulate and let’s kill them.” Then they realized they had RPGs. And people do not demonstrate on the street—Question: When did someone “originally” say that “it was a spontaneous thing from a protest?” In repeating that Standard Romney Canard for perhaps the ten millionth time, Slaughter was getting “punked by the right,” just as Hayes got punked earlier.
HAYES: With RPGs, right.
SLAUGHTER: —about a video with RPGs. So then it looked like, “OK, it must have been an attack.” Then there was evidence that it could have— I mean, certainly, you had the head of al Qaeda calling for an attack. There were—it looked like there were links.
But then, ultimately, it is in reaction to the video, according to the people on the ground, but it was an attack that was spontaneous that day, not premeditated for weeks. So I—you know, the people I talked to in Washington right after all said privately, “We’re still trying to figure out—”
SLAUGHTER: “—what was going on.” This was really hard to figure out.
Admittedly, Hayes is earnest and adorable, but he needs to learn to stand and fight. He needs to acquire a minor clue about the way these lynch mobs work. He needs to get rid of guests who emerge from the hallowed halls with Fox News scripts spilling from their lips.
“This was really hard to figure out,” Slaughter said. Guess what, script-ass? We’ve noticed!
The moral of our story: This is the way the liberal world works. We urge liberals to take note.