Fox’s “objective” reporter Ed Henry twice got together with prime time hosts to make the Charlie Hebdo terror attack about Benghazi last night. Because on Fox, even a tragedy in France is about smearing President Obama.
I noted yesterday how Fox’s Andrea Tantaros used the Paris attack to smear Obama over Benghazi. But at least Tantaros is an opinion host. Megyn Kelly calls herself a “straight news anchor.” She introduced Henry as “Chief White House Correspondent,” suggesting he is unbiased as well.
KELLY: While the president today called the murders, quote, cowardly and evil, the administration found itself defending remarks made by the White House two years ago. That’s when then-Press Secretary Jay Carney questioned why this exact magazine decided to publish those controversial cartoons in the first place.
Carney was shown saying that the White House questioned the judgment of Charlie Hebdo in publishing its controversial anti-Islam material. However, Carney also stressed that the administration did not question the right to do so.
So what was Kelly’s point? That Obama is in secret cahoots with Muslims? She didn't say.
Henry, however, may have earned a raise for all the Obama swipes he worked into his brief comment:
HENRY: The bottom line is the president today wanted to take a little victory lap on the economy at a campaign style event in Detroit, he wanted that to be the focus (notice how Henry avoided mentioning that the auto industry is now booming since the bailouts), that’s part of the reason they were caught off guard with this terror attack. Initially, Josh Earnest, the current White House spokesman not calling it terror, the president cleaning that up as you noted earlier… He did call it terror.
Henry continued with something “also interesting” about Obama’s defense of Charlie Hebdo. To Henry, Obama saying that “all Americans need to just stand up for free expression” is significantly different from Obama's comments after the Benghazi attacks. “Listen to the contrast,” Henry urged.
Henry played a clip of Obama saying yesterday, “Our universal belief in freedom of expression is something that can’t be silenced because of the senseless violence.” Then, Obama two years ago: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated.”
There’s a big difference between Charlie Hebdo, a satiric magazine close in spirit to our South Park, and the video, which was designed to malign Islam, not satirize it. But even so, it’s clear Obama was not aiming to silence the “slander” but calling for reason and even-handedness.
Henry continued harping on Benghazi: “That was the speech at the U.N. where the president blamed Benghazi on that anti-Mohammed video. But we should point out, in that same speech, the president said he would not ban the video because of free speech.”
Henry should have also pointed out that one of the Benghazi ringleaders also blamed the video.
So what’s the point? Kelly never explained.
Yet, the same meaningless report was repeated almost word for word on Fox’s next prime time show, Hannity.
Again, Henry was asked “to explain the White House’s response” to the Charlie Hebdo attack – with the same talking points: Earnest was “slow to the uptake in terms of calling this terrorism” (as Hannity said), how Obama was “caught off guard,” as Henry said. And it was once again “interesting” that Obama “spoke out strongly on behalf of freedom of expressions” for Charlie Hebdo when “just days after the Benghazi terror attacks, the president was not quite as aggressive about speaking out about freedom of expression.”
Again, Henry noted that Obama had said he would not ban the anti-Muslim video. But this time, Henry also said, “A week earlier, before that U.N. General Assembly speech, the then-White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said that the French newspaper had the ability to publish these anti-Mohammed cartoons. But, interesting, he questioned their judgment in publishing them, Sean.”
But Fox is in no position to be casting stones about freedom of speech. Just recently its pundits blamed Mayor de Blasio's comments for the deaths of two NYPD officers, e.g. And Hannity has repeatedly accused liberals of undermining our troops and emboldening our enemies when they spoke out against George W. Bush.
As for Benghazi, what kind of “news” outlet uses one terrorist attack to smear the president over another one?
Watch it below, from last night's The Kelly File and Hannity shows.