Jon Stewart shines withering spotlight on right-wing noise machine’s hysteria over Benghazi
It speaks ill of the so-called serious news media in this country when a political satirist does a better job than all of them in putting a controversy in proper perspective.
Such was the case last night when it took Jon Stewart a mere 10 minutes to expose the vacuousness of the scandal-mongering by the Republican right over the Benghazi tragedy.
THIS PIECE includes two video clips from Stewart’s devastating treatment of the subject:
Jon Stewart tonight took on today’s big Congressional hearing on Benghazi, and specifically on how it’s become the latest way Fox News has gone all-out in covering a potential Obama administration scandal while wondering where the rest of the media is. But Stewart pointed out that no one else is quite on board because everyone’s basing their outrage on speculation, and, frankly, “the denizens of Bull[bleep] Mountain have cried wolf before.”
Stewart pointed out how Fox News has repeatedly highlighted how each different testimony in the past few months would be the big game-changer on Benghazi, and this one would be no different. He pointed out that there was already an accountability report released, and that the GOP seems to be more outraged about this attack than any attack on Americans abroad during the Bush administration.
Stewart also reminded viewers that pretty much every potential Obama administration scandal has been described as worse than Watergate, with one Republican congressman saying Benghazi is worse than Watergate plus Iran Contra times ten. But Stewart had to point out that the reason no one else is as outraged as Fox is that while they’re “at DefCon ‘this definitely happened,’” no one actually knows what happened, and so everyone’s just speculating. Stewart mocked all the speculation, saying “if dingleberries were diamonds, I could open a Kay Jewelers in my pants.”
UPDATE: Meanwhile, Kavin Drum offers THIS:
Well, the big Benghazi hearings have finished up for the day, and as near I can tell we learned…..nothing. We heard testimony about the following:
- The Pentagon didn’t dispatch fighter jets to patrol Benghazi following the initial attack.
- A 4-man special ops team was stationed in Tripoli, but wasn’t dispatched to Benghazi the morning after the attacks to help with rescue and evacuation.
- In interviews on the Sunday after the attacks, Susan Rice said things that contradicted Libyan President Mohamed Yusuf al-Magariaf.
None of this is even remotely new. The Pentagon has said before that they believed it was best for the Tripoli team to stay in Tripoli.1 General Carter Ham has testified that he didn’t think deploying F-16s over Benghazi would be helpful, and he still doesn’t. And Rice’s interviews were litigated to death long ago. If you actually review the evidence, it turns out that her language was careful; it was based on CIA talking points; there was (and still is) evidence that the “Innocence of Muslims” video played a role in the attacks; and al-Magariaf was almost certainly wrong about whether the attacks were a long-planned operation.
Was Benghazi mishandled? Maybe. Are there lessons to be learned? Probably. Is there a scandal or a coverup? There’s never been any evidence of it, and there still isn’t. This is a show that goes on and on without end, but it never delivers a payoff. Issa and his colleagues need to start paying more attention to stuff that actually matters, and give up on the Fox-friendly conspiracy theories that never pan out. Enough’s enough.
UPDATE II: And then there’s this snarky image: