Accuracy in Media
By: Roger Aronoff
On June 29, the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington to discuss the release of its new report on the events surrounding the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the Special Mission Compound and CIA Annex, resulting in the deaths of four Americans. As usual, the liberal media largely stayed away. Apparently, if The New York Times, CNN, the Associated Press and NBC don’t cover a story, no matter how important, it isn’t really news. So instead, the only representative from the mainstream media was The Washington Post’s designated hit man, Dana Milbank, who regularly trolls conservative gatherings to heap scorn, sarcasm and peddle misinformation to his waiting readers. That is the sad state of journalism in this country today.
Mr. Milbank’s penchant for playing fast and loose with the details has gotten him in trouble before, when he claimed that conservative speakers had “taunted” a young Muslim girl. These speakers had, in fact, thanked her for her presence. In the latest case, Milbank wrote an opinion piece, not a news story, with the online headline, “Benghazi Conspiracy Theorists Turn on Trey Gowdy.” The headline in the print edition of the paper was “Appeasing the far right? You’ll always end up wrong.”
During the course of Milbank’s article, he called the members of the CCB “a coalition of far-right foreign-policy types,” “conspiracy theorists,” and “agitators.” This is all part of the attempt to discredit the messenger, because Milbank can’t really dispute the message—although he has certainly tried. But at least he was there, and spelled the names correctly, though he was wrong about the number of members on the commission (it’s 14, plus two advisory, not 11). Apparently the Post’s Fact-Checker was busy on other stories that day. Maybe they should hire more.
Milbank found our report to be what he called “full of inventive accusations.”
“They found ‘troubling evidence that Obama and Clinton were deeply and knowingly involved in running guns to al-Qaeda in Libya,’” writes Milbank, “as well as ‘a clear case of official U.S. government submission to the Islamic Law on slander.’”
“They determined that the Obama administration ‘switched sides in what was then called the Global War on Terror’ and ‘benefited this country’s worst enemies,’” he continues. “They wrote that Clinton herself blocked U.S. military forces from attempting a rescue mission, and they attributed the decision to oust Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi in part to financial interests of the Clinton Foundation.”