Networks Ignore John Kerry's Refusal To Let Benghazi Survivors Testify to Congress
The Big Three network morning shows on Wednesday briefly noted the
one-year anniversary of the Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in
Benghazi, Libya, but not one pointed out the latest development in the
ongoing controversy over what happened. On Tuesday, CBS correspondent
Sharyl Attkisson reported on Twitter that Secretary of State John Kerry "tells [C]ongress he will not honor the request to make Benghazi survivors available for questioning."
Norah O'Donnell highlighted on Wednesday's CBS This Morning that "Republican Congressman Darrell Issa wants to interview survivors" and that "he's giving the State Department until Monday to meet his demand", but didn't mention Kerry's refusal. [MP3 audio available here; video below]
ABC's Amy Robach devoted a 20-second news brief to the anniversary of the terrorist attack in Libya on Good Morning America, but omitted Rep. Issa's request and Secretary Kerry's denial. The ABC news anchor merely mentioned that "to this day, no suspects have been arrested. U.S. officials accuse the Libyan government of standing in the way."
Robach concluded the brief by mentioning a "powerful explosion ripped
through Libya's foreign ministry building in Benghazi" on Wednesday
morning. Almost an hour later, she gave another 14-second news brief on
the latest attack.
NBC correspondent Peter Alexander referenced the Benghazi anniversary in passing during the lead report on Today about President Obama's Tuesday evening address on Syria: "The remarks came [from President Obama] on the eve of today's anniversary, 12 years since 9/11 and just 12 months since four Americans were killed in Benghazi." Several minutes later, news anchor Natalie Morales gave a 20-second brief on the Wednesday terrorist attack in the Libyan city. But like Robach, Morales didn't mention Issa's request.
O'Donnell also mentioned the bombing of the Libyan foreign ministry's facility in Benghazi during her 30-second brief. The CBS anchor devoted 14 seconds to latest attack, and additional 16 seconds to Issa's "demand" of the State Department. However, O'Donnell ignored her own colleague's scoop about Kerry:
O'DONNELL: A powerful blast this morning in Benghazi, Libya – it comes
on the anniversary of the deadly attack at the U.S. consulate there.
Officials say a car bomb exploded outside the foreign ministry offices
this morning. No serious injuries are reported.
One year ago today, four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed on the assault on the U.S. mission. The chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, wants to interview survivors. He's giving the State Department until Monday to meet his demand.
After her Twitter post on Kerry, Attkisson subsequently Tweeted
that "House oversight republicans say they may issue subpoenas if sec
Kerry doesn't change his mind." On Wednesday, the CBS investigative
correspondent posted a lengthy item on CBSNews.com
about the one-year anniversary of the attack that killed Ambassador
Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. She outlined that "the Obama administration continues to keep a great deal of information under wraps
citing an ongoing investigation, national security and other reasons.
The secrecy is an ongoing point of contention with Republicans in
Congress." But like much of her past reporting on Benghazi, her reporting didn't make it on the air.
Back on August 20, 2013, CBS This Morning was the sole Big Three network morning newscast to report that Secretary of State Kerry cleared four mid-level diplomats to return to duty, after they were placed on leave by his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack. Neither Good Morning America nor Today devoted any air time to the former Democratic senator's move. Instead, the ABC and NBC morning shows aired full reports to the Obama family's new dog.
The transcripts of the briefs from ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today on Wednesday:
07:06 am EDT
ABC – Good Morning America
AMY ROBACH: Well, today also marks one year since the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which took the lives of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador. To this day, no suspects have been arrested. U.S. Officials accuse the Libyan government of standing in the way. Just today, a powerful explosion ripped through Libya's foreign ministry building in Benghazi.
08:04 am EDT
AMY ROBACH: Also, breaking overnight, a powerful explosion destroying the foreign ministry building in Benghazi, Libya. It comes one year after the attack on the U.S. consulate in that city. There's been no claim of responsibility for today's attack.
07:10 am EDT
NBC – Today
NATALIE MORALES: And some bad news, a powerful explosion this morning in Benghazi, Libya on the one-year anniversary of the attack that killed four Americans.
Today's car bomb blast caused serious damage to Libya's foreign ministry building in Benghazi, as well as a bank. Windows in buildings in the area were blown out. Several people nearby at the time of the blast were hurt.