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Tuesday, November 06, 2012


A CBS News Obama-Libya scandal? Certainly.

In a passionate post today, Bret Baier of Fox News hammers CBS News for waiting till Nov. 4 to post a bit of video quite relevant to all of this. In it, Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes” asks the president about Benghazi. The question was posed on Sept. 12, the same day of the Rose Garden address:

KROFT: Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya Attack, do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?
OBAMA: Well it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.
The president’s response packs it all: 1) Avoidance of the question; 2) refusal to use the term “terrorism”; 3) reliance on talking points about bringing people to justice. In other words, big news.

Had this clip embedded itself in the news cycle after the town-hall debate, the following would have happened:

1) CBS News would have reaped millions of page views;

2) Mitt Romney’s slip-up in the town-hall debate over this issue would no longer look like as a slip-up; it’d look like a quest for accountability;

3) Team Obama would have had to spend days responding to questions about the discrepancy between what he said in the town-hall debate and what he’d told Kroft; and

4) After that town-hall debate, Romney pretty much dropped Libya as a talking point. In a strategic move much observed by pundits, he declined to pound away on the topic in the final presidential debate, which centered on foreign policy. Had CBS News released what it had on hand, perhaps Romney would have had charged ahead with a Libya message.

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