ABC Ignores House Voting for Special Investigation of Benghazi; CBS Focuses on Democratic Uproar
Soon after the House voted to create a special select committe to investigate the Benghazi attacks, ABC ignored the story on Thursday evening. NBC spent just 27 seconds on the development, and CBS focused its report on Democratic disgust with the "partisan" move.
ABC's World News instead spent over two minutes reporting on former teen star Jason Patric's custody battle and another two minutes on how online stores vary their prices for different customers. [Audio here.]
CBS's Nancy Cordes began her report highlighting Democratic complaints: "Even before the vote to create it, Democrats were threatening to boycott the new Benghazi committee." And despite quoting Republicans saying otherwise, Cordes claimed evidence to support the Democratic talking points.
"That argument is being complicated by a fund raising plea on the website of the National Republican Congressional Committee. 'You can become a Benghazi watchdog right now,' it says for a minimum suggested donation of $25," Cordes reported.
NBC's report was balanced, but brief. Anchor Brian Williams spent just 27 seconds on the story, noting that "the House has voted to establish a select committee on Benghazi, put together to investigate how the State department handled or mishandled the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya September 11th, 2012."
Below are transcripts of the May 8 CBS and NBC segments:
CBS Evening News:
JEFF GLOR: Tonight on Capitol Hill, the House voted to set up a special committee to investigate the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012. Four Americans, including ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed. Republicans accuse the Obama administration of stonewalling the investigation. Democrats claim Republicans are just trying to keep the issue alive before the midterm elections. Nancy Cordes is on Capitol Hill.
NANCY CORDES: Even before the vote to create it, Democrats were threatening to boycott the new Benghazi committee. Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly –
Rep. GERRY CONNOLLY (D-Va.): I urge all members to oppose this cynical, exploitative, partisan ploy that is not worthy of this House.
CORDES: Republicans insist they are only trying to obtain information they believe is being withheld by the White House. Texas Republican Pete Sessions –
Rep. PETE SESSIONS (R-Tex.): This is not political. This is public policy at its most important level.
CORDES: That argument is being complicated by a fund raising plea on the website of the National Republican Congressional Committee. "You can become a Benghazi watchdog right now," it says for a minimum suggested donation of $25. At a press conference today, House Speaker John Boehner sidestepped a trio of questions about the fund raising effort.
Rep. JOHN BOEHNER (R-Ohio), Speaker of the House: Our focus is on getting the answers to those families who lost their loved ones, period.
CORDES: Republicans say they want to examine why the Obama White House initially described the Benghazi terror attack as a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video. Democrats say that's what early intelligence suggested, and that it's already been explored in half a dozen congressional reports. Missouri Democrat William Clay –
Rep. WILLIAM CLAY (D-Mo.): The majority has alleged multiple conspiracy theories, each of which has been dispelled by the facts.
CORDES: The committee is designed to be made up of seven Republicans and five Democrats, and, Jeff, while Democrats debate whether to even be part of the panel, we're told dozens of Republicans are clamoring for a spot on it.
NBC Nightly News:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: In Washington late today, the House has voted to establish a select committee on Benghazi, put together to investigate how the State department handled or mishandled the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya September 11th, 2012. The vote was 232 to 186 along party lines. Republicans overwhelmingly supported it. Most Democrats were opposed. Four Americans were killed in that attack including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
— Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matt Hadro on Twitter.