In an Oct. 16 NewsBusters post, Matthew Sheffield ranted that presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley "disgraced herself" by her "incorrect seconding of Obama's statement that he declared the Libya terrorist attacks to be 'terror.'"
Sheffield then asserted: "While Obama did indeed use the word, this is not what he meant by it. Instead, he was simply referring to 'acts of terror.' There was no mention of Al Qaeda or any of its affiliates with respect to the actual attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi."
Sheffield is not only parsing words, he's reading minds. How does he know what Obama "meant" by his reference to "acts of terror" in his Rose Garden speech? He doesn't. Nor can he prove has later assertion that Obama was "willing to deliberately misquote himself."
Sheffield also doesn't provide any evidence that it was known by anyone in the immediate aftermath of the attack that Al Qaeda was involved. If it wasn't, there would have been no reason for Obama to mention "Al Qaeda or any of its affiliates."
If Sheffield is going to play this sort of word-splicing game, he should also acknowledge that Obama did not specifically exclude the Benghazi attack from his references to "acts of terror," and that one can reasonably conclude that because he did not, Obama considered the Benghazi attack to be a terrorist act.
But Sheffield doesn't care about facts, he cares about trying to score political points and cares even more about Obama being defeated. He goes on to rant: "If Obama truly believed it was terrorism, he likely would have inserted this. He also wouldn't have gone on multiple fund-raising trips after the incident happened nor would he (and his underlings) have repeatedly blamed an internet video for the attacks for 2 solid weeks."
In fact, the video did play a role in the attack. The New York Times reported:
To Libyans who witnessed the assault and know the attackers, there is little doubt what occurred: a well-known group of local Islamist militants struck without any warning or protest, and they did it in retaliation for the video. That is what the fighters said at the time, speaking emotionally of their anger at the video without mentioning Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or the terrorist strikes of 11 years earlier. And it is an explanation that tracks with their history as a local militant group determined to protect Libya from Western influence.
Sheffield wasn't done screeching about Crowley, though -- he called her essentially accurate claim "offensive," hyperbolically asserting that "America had just witnessed one of the most outrageous acts of liberal bias in history."
Sheffield isn't engaging in media analysis -- he's trying desperately to spin for Mitt Romney, repeating conservative talking points without regard for their accuracy. That's the mark of partisan activist, not a media analyst.