Fox’s “objective reporter,” Ed Henry, might just win a Fox News award for Most Creative Way To Use Benghazi Against President Obama In 2012. In a report yesterday that was supposed to be about how President Obama was handling Monster Storm Sandy, Henry began by saying, “The President took a lot of heat for how he reacted to Benghazi so they are struggling and scrambling to stay on top of this storm with rain and winds still whipping around here in Washington." UPDATED
Let’s count the ways Henry smeared Obama in that one sentence:
- He made it a given that President Obama had mishandled Benghazi even though people like Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said she detected no breach of protocols and cautioned against jumping to conclusions before an official investigation has been made.
- Henry suggested that the only reason President Obama was working hard to “stay on top of” Hurricane Sandy was because he took so much “heat” over Benghazi.
- Henry’s use of the words “struggling” and “scrambling” suggested - without evidence - that the administration's storm response was not efficient or capable.
After playing a brief clip of Obama’s remarks about the storm, Henry reintroduced his bogus connection to Libya. Henry said:
The last time President Obama faced a crisis, the terror attack in Libya last month, he went ahead with campaign events in Nevada and Colorado. Given Sandy’s wrath even closer to the election, this time he’s intent on looking presidential, stopping at FEMA headquarters Sunday, then today canceling a series of campaign events and convening a high-level conference call in the White House Situation Room.
So let’s count this new round of sneers and smears:
4. Henry equated the Benghazi attacks with Sandy. As tragic as the attacks in Benghazi, Libya were, they were hardly the national emergency that Sandy became. But Henry nicely served the narrative of the Fox News/GOP witch hunt that Benghazi is the next Watergate.
5. Even if Obama was campaigning in Nevada and Colorado the day after Benghazi, he may well have been briefed and been responding to the Benghazi attacks at the same time. It hardly required the same level of presidential attention as a Monster Storm flooding and blizzarding millions in the U.S. We have a full-blown war going on in Afghanistan and nobody has suggested President Obama should be holed up the White House 24/7. But maybe that will be in Henry's next report.
6. Henry again suggested that Obama’s storm response was all about getting re-elected and photo ops and not about any actual concern for the country and its citizens.
Henry played another clip of Obama, this time saying, “This is going to be a big and powerful storm and all across the eastern seaboard, I think everybody is taking the appropriate preparations.”
Henry had a new sneer: “Except the President tried to get in one last campaign appearance.”
As a grand finale of smears, Henry gave cred to a GOP conspiracy theory that Obama was going to use the storm as an excuse not to release the latest (presumably bad) jobs report.
...(T)he Obama administration sa(id) today non-emergency employees at the Bureau of Labor Statistics are not working today and maybe not tomorrow, though a Labor Department official later said, "It is our intention that Friday will be business as usual regarding the October Employment Situation Report." Notes of wiggle room there with the word “intention.” It’s unclear whether the federal government will be back open in a few days or all week it will be closed. Very unclear right now but ANY delay to that jobs report, so close to the election would cause an uproar.
In addition to his Creativity Award for making Monster Storm Sandy about Benghazi, Henry has got to be a contender for most smears against Obama in a three-minute report.
If Henry retires on his prize money, maybe Fox can assign Sean Hannity to the White House beat for some more “fair and balanced” coverage of the Obama administration, Ed Henry style.
UPDATE: Either Henry was a trendsetter or he was just copying other conservative/GOP talking points because I heard the same apples to oranges comparisons of Benghazi to Sandy several more times on Fox. Not sure which reflects worse on "objective reporter" Henry.
I’ve noticed that most of the reporters from the field who have tended to be neutral and factual seem to have disappeared. I deeply regret that because they provided a refreshing moment of reality in a world-view marked by a mindless alternation of silliness and agenda-driven drivel.