Only CBS Covers Benghazi Emails Suggesting White House Cover-Up, NBC and ABC Ignore

After White House emails released on Tuesday showed the Obama administration had a direct hand in crafting false talking points about the Benghazi terrorist attack in 2012, Wednesday's CBS This Morning was the only network broadcast to cover the latest developments in the ongoing scandal. None of the network evening newscasts covered the story Tuesday night, with NBC and ABC continuing to be out to lunch Wednesday morning.  

Introducing a full report on the Benghazi emails, This Morning co-host Charlie Rose announced: "New emails are renewing controversy this morning over the Obama administration's response to Benghazi. The documents were obtained by the conservative organization Judicial Watch. Four Americans died in the 2012 assault, including Ambassador Chris Stevens." [Listen to the audio]

In the segment that followed, White House correspondent Bill Plante informed viewers: "Judicial Watch says that the emails, which they obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, suggest that the White House, in shaping its talking points on the Benghazi attack, deliberately twisted the facts so that the President would look good in his reelection campaign."

Plante cited one email that appeared to be a smoking gun of the White House engaging in a cover-up:

One of the emails was sent from Ben Rhodes, a White House communications advisor and the brother of CBS News president David Rhodes. It was addressed to White House officials, including spokesman Jay Carney, who would help prepare then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to present the administration response.

It listed several goals for Rice. Among them, "To underscore that these protests are rooted in an internet video, and not a broader failure of policy." Also, "To reinforce the President and the administration's strength." Rice, on all the Sunday interview shows, linked the consulate assault to protests against an anti-Islam video, not a terrorist operation.

After playing soundbites of Rice, Carney, and Hillary Clinton all defending the administration's handling of Benghazi, Plante pointed out: "Republicans in Congress now say that the newly released emails are evidence that the White House was trying to protect the President as he faced reelection." Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz explained: "It demonstrates for the first time that the direction on the talking points came directly out of the White House."

Plante wrapped up the report by touting administration spin:

But a National Security Council spokesperson said the Rhodes email reinforces a consistent White House message, saying in a statement, "This email contains general topline talking points. There were protests taking place across the region in reaction to an offensive internet video, so that's what these points addressed."

Now, White House officials  continue to insist that they had every reason to believe at the time that the demonstrations inspired the attack.

Here is a full transcript of Plante's April 30 report:

7:01 AM ET TEASE:

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN [REPORTER]: New emails suggesting that Susan Rice was prepped to blame the Benghazi terror attack on a video.

JON SCOTT [FOX NEWS]: With the help of senior White House advisors.  

KELLY AYOTTE [SEN, R-NH]: We always said, where did the video reference come from?  Now we know it came from the White House.

7:15 AM ET SEGMENT:

CHARLIE ROSE: New emails are renewing controversy this morning over the Obama administration's response to Benghazi. The documents were obtained by the conservative organization Judicial Watch. Four Americans died in the 2012 assault, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Bill Plante is at the White House with reaction. Bill, good morning.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Benghazi Emails; New Questions About How White House Shaped Story]

BILL PLANTE: Good morning. Judicial Watch says that the emails, which they obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, suggest that the White House, in shaping its talking points on the Benghazi attack, deliberately twisted the facts so that the President would look good in his reelection campaign.

One of the emails was sent from Ben Rhodes, a White House communications advisor and the brother of CBS News president David Rhodes. It was addressed to White House officials, including spokesman Jay Carney, who would help prepare then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to present the administration response.

It listed several goals for Rice. Among them, "To underscore that these protests are rooted in an internet video, and not a broader failure of policy." Also, "To reinforce the President and the administration's strength." Rice, on all the Sunday interview shows, linked the consulate assault to protests against an anti-Islam video, not a terrorist operation.

SUSAN RICE [FACE THE NATION, 9/16/12]: We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.

PLANTE: Benghazi went on to become a flashpoint during a fierce election year. The White House insisted it was simply stating the facts known at the time.

JAY CARNEY [WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY]: There are no unanswered questions about Ambassador Rice's appearance on Sunday shows.

PLANTE: Facing further scrutiny, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton strongly defended both Rice and the White House.

HILLARY CLINTON: With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?

PLANTE: Republicans in Congress now say that the newly released emails are evidence that the White House was trying to protect the President as he faced reelection.

JASON CHAFFETZ [REP. R-UT]: It demonstrates for the first time that the direction on the talking points came directly out of the White House.

PLANTE: But a National Security Council spokesperson said the Rhodes email reinforces a consistent White House message, saying in a statement, "This email contains general topline talking points. There were protests taking place across the region in reaction to an offensive internet video, so that's what these points addressed."

Now, White House officials  continue to insist that they had every reason to believe at the time that the demonstrations inspired the attack. Republicans in the House who disagree will have a chance to bring the matter up again at hearing tomorrow. Norah.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Alright, Bill, thank you.

— Kyle Drennen is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.