The right is in high froth mode this afternoon because Jonathan Karl — who misled the American public by claiming he had Benghazi emails that implicated the Obama administration, when it turned out that he had actually relied upon notes taken by a Republican who misinformed him — is sure that this time he’s got President Obama. Wanna guess what he’s basing it on? Yep. Another “Benghazi email!!!” No kidding.
Watch his Daily Caller inspired performance aimed at White House Press Secretary Jay Carney during Wednesday’s presser:
Per their description of the video, conservatives once again think they have the smoking gun that proves, “White House senior aide discussing preparing then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice to blame the Benghazi attack on a YouTube video.” However, the actual email is about violence in the region.
Jonathan Karl accused the White House of knowing that the Sunday shows were going to be “dominated by the attack in Benghazi, right?” Thus, this proves that the Rhodes email was only about Benghazi and thus it’s Benghazi prep.
The reason Karl tried so hard to make this case is because Fox News has been trying to revive the Republican Benghazi narrative recently and just yesterday released emails from Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes to national security aides, with the claim via Media Matters, “New Benghazi Documents Lead Directly To The White House”. But of course, the new documents reveal nothing new, and thus there is no smoking gun.
Jay Carney tried to explain to Jonathan Karl how to read an email, and Karl, whose email reading skills are historically so low as to require a Republican aide to interpret them for him, failed to understand what words mean.
Carney tried. He explained that the email addressed the situation in the Middle East. Rice used talking points from the CIA. (Remember those? Republicans tried to claim the White House edited the talking points but it was their hero, then the head of the CIA General David Petraeus.)
Carney explained that even ABC (Karl’s network) promo was, “As American embassies throughout the region remain under fire, did the US do enough to prevent the attacks in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen?” THROUGHOUT THE REGION. EGYPT AND YEMEN TOO. Ugh. This is tiresome.
Carney tried to explain to Karl how the White House prepares for the Sunday shows based on what they think they will be talking about. The email addresses the Sunday shows and yeah… “What’s happening abroad” and “continuing anti-American protests overseas”.
How does this lead us directly to the White House?
Jonathan Karl took us down this road before, and Jake Tapper busted him for it. When Karl leaked the Benghazi emails claiming that they implicated the White House, Tapper got his hands on the full emails and determined, “The actual email from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes appears to show that whomever (sic) leaked it did so in a way that made it appear that the White House primarily concerned with the State Department’s desire to remove references and warnings about specific terrorist groups so as to not bring criticism to the department.”
Karl wasn’t alone in his gamesmanship. Guess who else mischaracterized the Benghazi emails? The Weekly Standard. Tapper noted that Karl at ABC and the Weekly Standard covered the leaked emails in such a way that they were “paraphrased” “inaccurately” and “inventing the notion” that the White House tried to protect the State Department.
Stephen Hayes, a senior writer at The Weekly Standard and a Fox News contributor, thought they had the President today too. So much excitement! Thus he tweeted to the official White House twitter account of Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications Dan Pfieffer, “If the Rhodes prep email for Rice wasn’t #Benghazi specific, why was there a section labeled “Benghazi?” @pfeiffer44″
White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz stepped in to reply…
“.@stephenfhayes you’re looking at a different document. The Rhodes email is pages14-18. @pfeiffer44”
— Eric Schultz (@Schultz44) April 30, 2014
Reading the wrong document? No wonder Republicans couldn’t find bin Laden. Here’s the right document.
Oh, yeah– a road leading directly to the White House!1!1!…..
…. And then taking yet another steep jump off of the reality cliff and dying a slow and painful death of conservative delusion.
It’s almost laughable that the same party that excused any and all abuses under the guise of “national security” has now been trying for a year to create a scandal out of how the White House and State Department chose to manage/handle a tragedy. If they had actually done what conservatives claim, it would be much less misleading than what the Bush administration did on a daily basis in the name of national security. This wouldn’t make it okay, but it would make it obvious hypocrisy on the part of big government Republicans.
But there is no “there” there. The only reason Fox is trying to revive Benghazi is because the fake IRS scandal they whipped up blew up in their face when it turned out that it was all designed to protect Karl Rove and big dark money types. Also, their big plan to run on ObamaScare isn’t working out too well, so Benghazi is all they have left.
So prepare to hear all about Benghazi yet again, as Fox News does its part to drive conservatives further into the fringe, which may result in more Karl Rove Ohio 2012 Fox News faces come this fall.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.