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Thursday, 08 November 2012 06:56

The Romney Campaign and FOX News' Shameless Exploitation of Benghazi

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DOUG BASHAM FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

The president came out the next day and called it an act of  terror. Shortly thereafter, the administration said it was motivated by the anti-Mohammed video. Let me break down in detail what happened after that.
 
The conservative, corporate controlled media decided to make Benghazi a big deal and their “narrative du jour.” Why? Because the GOP needed it to be a big story. If this wasn’t an election year and their candidate wasn't trailing, (or if a republican had been president when Benghazi happened), this story wouldn’t have survived one 24 hour news cycle.
 
And what'd the media come up with? Firstly - they completely ignored the fact that Obama had called it an act of terror and decided to criticize him for not calling it a "terrorist attack." Reality check. In the real world (not the fringe world) an "act of terror" and a "terrorist attack" are one and the same. You can parse it and play semantics until you're blue in the face, but in the real world, reasonable, intelligent people call them the same.
 
None the less, the first part of their narrative then became that he didn't call Benghazi a "terrorist attack." And if that wasn't dumb enough, the media THEN decided to double down on stupid for the second part of their narrative. They decided they'd criticize the president for blaming the attack on the video.
 
Step one. Make the first part of narrative a lie - the president didn't call it a terrorist attack.
 
Step two. Make the second part of the narrative a false equivalency, as in, he blamed the attack on the video.
 
Allow me to elaborate on my false equivalency statement... 
 
When you label something or give it a name - be it an act of terror or a  terrorist attack - whatever name you come up  with... that speaks to the actuality of whatever it is you are naming. It  describes what this thing you're labeling actually is.
 
When you seek to attach responsibility to this entity you just gave a name to, or attach blame for it, that speaks to the motivation of the actuality you just named. 
 
But here's the thing. Labeling and motivation are 2 completely different dynamics. And it is both incorrect and ridiculous to say that one should've been said INSTEAD of the other. They can be said simultaneously, at different times, or just one without the other. But that's exactly what the media did. They somehow managed to convince a great contingency of the American population that these two were mutually exclusive.
 
And the ridiculous narrative then became, "He didn’t call it a terrorist attack. He blamed it on the media." Think about this. These 2 statements do NOT fit an either/or paradigm. One is an apple - the other is an orange. One does not cancel the other out, nor refute, contradict or alter it. They are not equal - except in this ridiculous, conservative narrative.
 
It would be the same thing if Obama came out after Hurricane Sandy and said we're not supposed to understand all of God's actions, and later made a reference to climate change. And then the media formulated a narrative that went "He didn't call it an act of God. He blamed it on climate change." Again... a lie, and a false equivalency - two things that are NOT mutually exclusive.
 
But when you hammer on something day after night after day after night - and your audience is already conditioned to accept what you say as gospel and not question either the logic or truth of it - (and no-one questions the basic premise of the narrative like I'm doing now), you can get away with selling the public a ridiculous, non-sensical narrative. Which the media did.
 
But that doesn't change the fact that it was a false - and stupid - narrative. The president first called it an act of terror. The fact that he then blamed it on the video is irrelevant to his original statement. You can call something an act of terror AND blame it on the video. These two statements are not incongruous or conflicting. Therefore this has been a dumb, NON story all along.
 
And WHY was this narrative created in the first place? To make the president somehow look weak when it comes to terror. Really? The guy who had Osama bin Laden killed? You want to make THAT guy look weak on terror? Much to the chagrin of many liberals like myself, Obama kills anything that peeks out from behind a rock in the Middle East.
 
Bin Laden was public enemy #1 when George W. Bush was president. The right is LIVID that Bush couldn’t take credit for catching him in 8 years, and Obama received credit for eliminating him in three. So in their minds, this latest development just could not stand. It was time to take that uppity, black foreigner down a peg or two. Hence, the false, dishonest and desperate Benghazi narrative that failed. As it should have.
 
And just for gits and shiggles, let’s just surmise that Obama WAS wrong when he blamed the video. OK… so he got the motivation wrong. False information, faulty intelligence perhaps. Or maybe it WAS the video. (Does anyone think Muslims are above killing when someone slanders their beloved Prophet? See earlier cartoon episodes.) The bottom line is - or SHOULD have been - who cares?! Seriously. WHO CARES?! Especially considering most of the perpetrators have already been caught or killed.
 
And now let's take it one step further. Let's assume that 10 seconds after he learned of the Benghazi attack, Obama had gone before the nation and uttered the words "Terrorist Attack!!" 27 times. What would've been different, hmm? What exactly would've been different? Answer... absolutely nothing. Therefore... manufactured outrage. Non-story.
 
Here's another question. Do you really think the corporate media cared about these 4 deaths in Libya? Their lack of outrage after 9-11-01 provides the clearest answer. If they truly cared about the Benghazi deaths, they wouldn't have shamelessly exploited and politicized their deaths. Their job was to keep repeating the narrative to the point their audience - the professionally offended - would become properly outraged. It's almost like a combination mass hypnosis/brainwashing. But whatever you call it, it's effective.
 
The two things we've heard said repeatedly over this incident are 1) I’m upset that 4 Americans died; and 2) Benghazi speaks directly to the president’s ability to protect American citizens. Now… you WILL forgive me for doubting the motives of the corporate media and their audience - BUT - for everyone who’s getting all hysterical over 4 deaths in Benghazi - I would ask - we know where you’ve been for the 7 weeks after 9-11-2012. Where the Hell were you in the 7 weeks after 9-11-2001?
 
Were you calling talk radio shows getting all hysterical over George W. Bush’s inability to protect 3,000 Americans who died right here in this country? Of course not, because he was a republican president.
 
And forget 9-11 for a moment. There were 31 people who died under Bush’s watch in similar attacks to Benghazi. Most people don’t even know that. Why? Because it was a republican president and therefore, the republican media didn’t create a narrative designed to brainwash you into thinking you cared about those 31 American deaths – like they did with Benghazi.
 
Therefore, your professed concern about 4 people dying in Libya with two months to go before a presidential election rings a little hollow. What the GOP is doing here is trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, while refusing to take similar responsibility for worse attacks under last republican administration.
 
The right was never goint to win this fight because they didn’t deserve to, as it was based on both dishonesty and pettiness - as well as a false equivalency - from the get go.
 
I think majority America sees Benghazi less as a failing of this president, and more as manufactured outrage and the shameless exploitation/politicizing of 4 American deaths to try and make a Democratic president look bad. And I think the outcome of this year's election will reflect that notion.