Every now and then, something happens at Fox News that shakes up the established narrative. Friday was one of those days.
After weeks of hyperventilating spin-coverage of the tragic events in Libya nearly two months ago, Geraldo Rivera on Friday finally had his fill and lashed out at his coworkers’ “misleading” claims, calling the network’s narrative about the attack “misinformation” designed to support an outright “lie.”
“You are misleading the American people because you want to make a political point,” Rivera told fellow Fox News host Eric Bolling. “We have never in the history of the United States of America mounted a raid on the circumstance described here. We have never done it. The Israelis rescued their people in Tevi — seven days to mount that operation. This was seven hours.”
Detailed new reporting on the attack based on a newly released CIA timeline showed Friday that no order was ever given for support to stand down, and the CIA actually did dispatch a security team to the embassy during the 90-minute assault. However, The Wall Street Journal reported that they were delayed by Libyan officials. ABC News added that the security operatives also came under enemy fire outside the embassy.
Ever since Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney claimed that President Barack Obama’s first reaction was “to sympathize with those who waged the attacks” — a statement made before it was known that a U.S. ambassador and three others had been killed — Republicans on the conservative network have become insistent that Obama or someone in his administration refused to support the embassy while Obama instead went campaigning in Las Vegas.
Bolling was trying to repeat that claim on Friday, but Rivera just wasn’t having it. “When I heard Charles Woods call the president of the United States a murderer and a liar, it broke my heart,” he said, specifically citing a video that aired on “Hannity” several days ago featuring the father of a Navy SEAL who was killed in the attack.
“How many parents of GI’s lost in conflicts that were screwed up have said of the president of the United States that he murdered my child?” Rivera asked. “I love Charles Woods. I kissed him on television. But he is being led down a primrose path by misinformation that is making it look as if the president of the United States went gambling in Las Vegas when he could have been saving our people in Benghazi, and that is a lie!”
For what it’s worth, The Washington Post drew the same conclusions as Rivera after taking a detailed look at Fox News’s coverage of the attack in Benghazi. “[The] mainstream media have largely declined to follow Fox’s reporting, leaving it on something of a limb,” Post media columnist Erik Wemple concluded. “A reckoning is coming.”
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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