Fox News Looks for Smoking Gun on Benghazi, but Finds News Elsewhere in Clinton Interview

The news network favored by conservatives did not disappoint with its focus on the 2012 terror attack.

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - MAY 06: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks during the National Council for Behavioral Health's Annual Conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on May 6, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland. Clinton discussed various topics including mental health and social issues.
National Journal
Alex Seitz-Wald
June 17, 2014, 4:40 p.m.

Fox News’ right-lean­ing audi­ence and its lib­er­al crit­ics don’t agree on much, but both were ex­pect­ing that Hil­lary Clin­ton would get plenty of ques­tions on the Benghazi at­tack when she agreed to ap­pear on the net­work Tues­day night — and Fox did not dis­ap­point.

More than a third of the 30-plus minute live joint in­ter­view with an­chors Bret Baier and Greta Van Suster­en was de­voted to the Sept. 11, 2012, at­tack on the dip­lo­mat­ic com­pound in Libya. All came from Baier. He dove right in with his first ques­tion and didn’t let up on Benghazi for the next eight minutes.

“I have some more spe­cif­ic Benghazi ques­tions. You may have ima­gined that,” he said at one point mid­way through the seg­ment.

Clin­ton stood her ground throughout and did not de­vi­ate mean­ing­fully from pre­vi­ous an­swers she’s giv­en.

Next up was Van Suster­en, who steered clear of the at­tack and in­stead asked Clin­ton about Afgh­anistan, the re­lease of former Taliban pris­on­er Sgt. Bowe Ber­g­dahl, and Ir­aq. Clin­ton called then-Sen. Joe Biden’s 2006 ar­gu­ment to par­ti­tion Ir­aq in­to three states “cre­at­ive,” but “im­possible” at the time. She did not out­right dis­miss it, however.

After that, three minutes for com­mer­cial break.

When they re­turned, it was back to Baier and back to Benghazi. “Two quick fol­low-ups on Benghazi then I want to move to something else,” Baier said. Four minutes of back-and-forth and no news later, Baier asked his first non-Benghazi ques­tion: “Did Pres­id­ent Obama, dur­ing his first term, ever ser­i­ously dis­ap­point you in any way?” No, Clin­ton re­spon­ded.

Un­der ques­tion­ing from Van Suster­en, however, Clin­ton al­lowed some oxy­gen to reach the smol­der­ing con­tro­versy over the al­leged IRS tar­get­ing of tea-party non­profit groups. Obama has called it a “phony scan­dal,” but when asked about his re­mark, Clin­ton replied, “I think that any­time the IRS is in­volved, for many people, it is a real scan­dal.” She de­fen­ded Obama, say­ing “the cir­cus around these in­vest­ig­a­tions” can ob­fus­cate what’s really hap­pen­ing, but also called for more in­vest­ig­a­tions.

Van Suster­en also grilled Clin­ton on the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency’s data-col­lec­tion prac­tices, and got Clin­ton to agree that things needed to be re­bal­anced in fa­vor of pri­vacy a bit. “The emer­gency is over…. We want to get back to reg­u­lar or­der,” Clin­ton said, while avoid­ing spe­cif­ics. She also called the tap­ping of Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel’s phone “ab­so­lutely un­called for.”

Asked about wo­men in polit­ics, Clin­ton replied, “I do be­lieve that sex­ism is still a prob­lem. It’s not just in polit­ics. It’s in journ­al­ism and busi­ness and all kinds of hu­man en­deavors in our coun­try.” Van Suster­en agreed, say­ing she has wit­nessed Clin­ton get­ting at­tacked for her gender, but chided fe­male Demo­crats — without nam­ing the former pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate spe­cific­ally — for fail­ing to come to Sarah Pal­in’s de­fense in 2008 when some blog­gers sug­ges­ted her young­est child was not ac­tu­ally hers.

Al­to­geth­er, about 13 minutes on Benghazi and 20 minutes on all oth­er top­ics com­bined.

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
When It Comes to Mining Asteroids, Technology Is Only the First Problem
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Obama Reflects on His Economic Record
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Reagan Families, Allies Lash Out at Will Ferrell
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."

Source:
PEAK CONFIDENCE
Clinton No Longer Running Primary Ads
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-ex­pec­ted primary battle be­hind her, former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton (D) is no longer go­ing on the air in up­com­ing primary states. “Team Clin­ton hasn’t spent a single cent in … Cali­for­nia, In­di­ana, Ken­tucky, Ore­gon and West Vir­gin­ia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “cam­paign has spent a little more than $1 mil­lion in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone back­er in the Sen­ate, said the can­did­ate should end his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign if he’s los­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton after the primary sea­son con­cludes in June, break­ing sharply with the can­did­ate who is vow­ing to take his in­sur­gent bid to the party con­ven­tion in Phil­adelphia.”

Source:
CITIZENS UNITED PT. 2?
Movie Based on ‘Clinton Cash’ to Debut at Cannes
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."

Source:
×