As part of its 9/11 commemoration, Fox & Friends First welcomed back Kris “Tonto” Paronto, and called him a “Benghazi hero,” just two days after he told viewers he wanted to “reach through the screen” and “grab … and choke” former President Barack Obama – for remarks about Benghazi Obama never made.
In my last post, I noted that Paronto’s desire to inflict violence on Obama was based on a false characterization of his comments about Benghazi. Obama had decried “wild conspiracy theories, like those surrounding Benghazi,” in a speech last week that kicked off his efforts to help Democrats in the midterm elections. Although on Sunday, Fox played a clip of Obama’s actual words, Paronto and Fox host Pete Hegseth mischaracterized them as a claim that Benghazi, itself, was a conspiracy theory.
Today, Fox host (and birther) Heather Childers pulled the same stunt. She also deceptively accused Obama of “referring to that tragedy as a conspiracy theory” as she played a clip of Obama’s statement that did not say that.
Ignoring Paronto’s past threats to Obama, Childers was clearly set on using the anniversary of Benghazi to get her guest to further smear Obama. She never asked Paronto, a then-CIA contractor who was part of the response to the attack, for his recollections or for memories of his fallen comrades.
Instead, Childers introduced Paronto as “a hero” and asked for another “response” to Obama.
“You know that it happened, you know that it was not a conspiracy theory,” Childers prompted.
Paronto expressed the same sentiments as before, minus the explicit desire to commit violence. He called Obama’s remark “just another slap in the face” that “makes all of us tremendously angry because he’s trying to rewrite history and say that Benghazi didn’t happen.”
Childers pressed for more: “What struck me is using it … as a way to campaign and not really thinking about the words that you’re saying.” This from the woman who promoted a hideous conspiracy theory in April, 2012, a presidential election year. She had asked her Twitter followers for “thoughts” on whether Obama had threatened to have Chelsea Clinton murdered in order to keep her parents “silent” about his birth certificate.
“It’s just disgraceful and sickening,” Paronto said about Obama.
“Yeah,” Childers agreed.
“It really does anger me. It angers me immensely,” Paronto continued.
Instead of asking Paronto to walk back his threats, Childers painted him as a conservative Twitter martyr. She referenced how, also on Sunday, Paronto attacked a liberal account and liberals, in general, for crediting President Obama with killing Osama Bin Laden. Paronto was suspended for 12 hours over it. Via The Daily Dot:
That just made Paronto a bigger patriot to Childers. “What about that great American spirit and that patriotism?” she asked, without bothering to reveal how Paronto had smeared the large group of his fellow Americans who consider themselves liberals. “What is happening to that when you have things like what went on Twitter? … Take us through that. What happened?”
Paronto gave a sanitized description of his tweet, saying he had “pointed out” liberals’ “stupidity, their ignorance and I was blocked for that.” He complained about not being able to “point out their mistakes” and “they acted like a bully and they blocked me.” He claimed that “validate[s] that Twitter is a liberal group that does censor … conservative thoughts.”
Rather than challenge Paronto’s inflammatory hostility, Childers suggested he had done the world a favor because now people “know the true history and who these people are.”
Watch Childers exploit 9/11 and the death of four Americans in Benghazi for the sake of scoring cheap political shots below, from the September 11, 2018 Fox & Friends First.