Networks Yawn at Second Benghazi Hearing; Find Time for Royal Twins in Monaco, Slovakian Lake Instead

The House Select Committee on Benghazi that is looking into the 2012 terror attacks in Libya held another hearing on Wednesday and focused on the lack of sufficient security that was in place in Benghazi which, based on the hearing, remains the case across many State Department facilities.

When it came to the major broadcast networks reporting on the hearing, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC all punted and refused to cover it in any capacity during their evening newscasts. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

An article in USA Today recapped the hearing this way. 

The hearing focused on security at diplomatic posts around the world, including the State Department's implementation of safety recommendations made by the independent Accountability Review Board in the wake of the Benghazi incident.

While the networks skipped this story, a full report aired on the Fox News Channel’s (FNC) evening newscast, Special Report with Bret Baier by chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge, who included multiple soundbites during her story from both witnesses that testified and members of Congress.

Herridge said that the lack of sufficient security at Benghazi “was not the exception but part of the broader pattern” across State Department facilities around the world. Further, she noted how “no witness could explain why State Department personnel were in eastern Libya and whose policy made it was okay to bypass physical security standards.”

Also included was mention that the committee’s chairman, Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), wants to have additional hearings in the future with testimony from numerous Obama administration advisers. Those individuals include then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who infamously went on the Sunday morning talk shows to blame an video on the attacks, former acting CIA Director Mike Morell, and Obama adviser Ben Rhodes.

Instead of covering the hearing, ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir informed viewers how Google was named the best place to work in America and showed video of hikers walking across a lake in Slovakia where the ice was clear enough to see to the bottom.

Over on NBC Nightly News, that program spent 21 seconds promoting the birth of twins for Prince Albert and Princess Charlene in Monaco and how the boy, Jacques, will be ahead of his sister, Gabriella, even though she was born minutes ahead of him.

The complete transcript of the tease and segment that aired on FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on December 10 can be found below.

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
December 10, 2014
6:28 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]


BRET BAIER: Next, how embassy security overseas has not gotten any better since the Benghazi terror attacks.


6:31 p.m. Eastern


BAIER: The security at many American installations overseas is not much better now than it was in Benghazi, Libya, the night of the deadly terror attacks there in 2012. That was one of the takeaways from today's House Select Committee hearing into the situation. Chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge tells us what happened. 

STATE DEPARTMENT INSPECTOR GENERAL STEVE LINICK: The Department is at increased risk because it lacks sufficient processes and planning. 

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: The State Department watchdog found some standard security at the Benghazi Consulate was not the exception but part of the broader pattern. During the Benghazi Select Committee’s second public hearing, witnesses testified the U.S. personnel are operating out of warehouses with inadequate security and vetting local guard forces remains a problem. 

REPUBLICAN CONGRESSWOMAN MARTHA ROBY (ALA.): Of the six embassies reviewed, did any of them allow guards to work before being fully vetted?

LINICK: Ah yes, a number of them allowed them to work without betting. 

ROBY: I just – I – I just – Mr. Chairman, I do not understand how this can be, after two years, four Americans were killed in Benghazi. 

HERRIDGE: And no witness could explain why State Department personnel were in eastern Libya and whose policy made it was okay to bypass physical security standards. 

REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN JIM JORDAN (OHIO): When you deviate from the standards, there's a waiver process you're supposed to adhere to, was the waiver process followed?


HERRIDGE: New State Department emails, obtained through a federal lawsuit, amplified the point. On September 11, 2012, the Benghazi guard force was in such disarray that the security status was described as an “emergency.” 

JUDICIAL WATCH’S TOM FITTON: The situation, in terms of security, was toxic on September 11, 2012. The Blue Mountain Group, the Benghazi security team had no license to operate in Libya. 

HERRIDGE: The Republican Committee chairman says he wants to hear from key players in the talking points fiasco, including then U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who blamed the anti-Muslim video on national television, former acting Director of the CIA Mike Morrell, who heavily edited the talking points and the President's Deputy, Ben Rhodes, who prepared Rice for the Sunday talk shows. 

HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON BENGHAZI CHAIRMAN TREY GOWDY (R-S.C.): You cannot the surveillance video from that night in Benghazi and have the word spontaneity come anywhere near entering your mind. So, yes, it was politics.

HERRIDGE: Asked if Rice and Rhodes would appear voluntarily, the White House spokesman questioned the motivation of Republicans, adding the administration would continue to cooperate, but only with legitimate oversight. Bret? 

BAIER: Catherine, thank you.

HERRIDGE: You’re welcome.

— Curtis Houck is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Curtis Houck on Twitter.