Topic: Media Research Center
Matthew Sheffield set the template at the Media Research Center: He read President Obama's mind, and has decided that while Obama referenced "acts of terror" in denouncing the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi during a Rose Garden speech, he was not calling the attack itself an "act of terror" because "this is not what he meant by it."
Now, the rest of the MRC is doubling down on Sheffield's version of transcript trutherism to launch an attack on presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley for pointing out that Obama did, in fact, call the Benghazi attack an "act of terror."
Brent Bozell ranted, pretty much is only mode of operation, in an Oct. 17 MRC press release:
Candy Crowley was an utter disaster last night, and was, by far, the worst moderator of the 2012 election.
The Libya cover-up continues, and the national news media need to start asking some tough questions – including questions about one of their own. If Obama was correct that on Day 1 he said it was a terrorist attack, why did his UN ambassador say on five different national interviews that it was a YouTube video that was responsible, and who put her up to it?
If he saw this as a terrorist attack from the very beginning, why did the president himself blame it on a video six times during a UN speech? Why has he made the statement so many times, as has Hillary Clinton, as has Jay Carney, as have others?
And why did Candy Crowley validate this lie?
If the national media don’t start asking these questions soon, they also will be guilty of enabling a massive cover-up.
The rest of the release reiterated Bozell's remarks, while providing absolutely no evidence to back it up:
Last night, in what was the most stunning and disgraceful single example of moderator malpractice in the history of presidential debates, CNN’s Candy Crowley allowed Barack Obama to lie to the American people about his administration’s Libya cover-up. Even worse, she then validated this lie of extraordinary magnitude by certifying it as honest and by attacking Mitt Romney when he pressed the president on his administration’s cover-up. Crowley robbed tens of millions of Americans of the truth on national primetime television. Real journalists – who were fed the Obama Administration’s Libya lies for two weeks – should be furious.
The release went on to reference a MRC item that supposedly "documented that since 1992, moderators have called upon voters with a liberal agenda twice as often as those with a conservative agenda." But if you look at the Oct. 16 item, write Rich Noyes fails to document his methodology for categorizing the "agenda" of debate questions. Without that, Noyes' piece is meaningless as "media research" and is nothing more than partisan electioneering.
Noyes echoed this in an Oct. 17 NewsBusters post in which he purported to relay "The Facts" regarding the debate. He repeated his unsubstantiated claim that "since 1992, moderators have called upon voters with a liberal agenda twice as often as those with a conservative agenda," going on to declare that "Obama only speaking generically about how 'no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation,' not assigning that label to the violence in Benghazi." But Obama did not specifically exclude the Benghazi attack from the "acts of terror" he was referring to, so word-parsing works both ways.
Other MRC writers have joined in the doubling down:
- Clay Waters declared that "it's quite correct to say that Obama did not call the attack an 'act of terror.'" He also complained that New York Times writers " falsely insisted that President Obama had called the Benghazi attacks 'an act of terror.'"
- Tom Blumer ranted: "Candy Crowley, her establishment press excuse-makers (for her and President Obama), and supporters of the President are going to have to resort to finding penumbras emanating from Obama's September 12 Rose Garden appearance -- y'know, the one during which the press and Democrats insist that the President really, really did call the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya a terrorist attack." Like the rest of his MRC bretheren, Blumer ignores that Obama did not specifically exlude Benghazi from his reference to "acts of terror."
- CNSNews.com communications director Craig Bannister declared that "Obama did utter the words 'act of terror' - saying that such acts will not 'shake' America - but, did not specify that the attack on the U.S. embassy was such an attack."
That's the MRC's story, and they're sticking to it, no matter how much reality they have to ignore in the process.