The PJ Tatler

NPR's Ari Shapiro Shows How Media Bias is Done

NPR’s Ari Shapiro — nope, I’d never heard of him before either — has written a nice little tidy story on how Republicans are politicizing Benghazi. That’s the first and most obvious evidence of bias. The entire point of his story is to downplay the event’s significance, even though he has this juicy quote up near the top.

On Tuesday night in Rock Hill, S.C., Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney met with his constituents. When he opened the floor for questions, one man brought up Benghazi, and Mulvaney spoke about it with passion.

“There were times in our nation’s past where, if our ambassador was killed, it was cause for going to war,” he said. “We’re treating it like it was a cause to, you know, go down and order a pizza. And that’s just not — that’s not right.”

That’s meaty, and it is a fact that the Obama administration so far has held no terrorist to account for the attack. It’s also a fact that the Obama administration initially didn’t even call it an attack. It was a response to a movie that offended Muslims. Never mind that hardly anyone saw the movie before the attack.

First, Shapiro follows the money, in a way that suggests the whole furor over Benghazi is political.

Now Benghazi helps Republicans raise money, fire up the base and take a whack at the guy in charge.

Then he puts good-guy and good-government hats on the Democrats.

And in this case, unlike with Obamacare or Solyndra, the administration acknowledges it screwed up.

“We need to make sure that never happens again,” says Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman. “We all have a role in this. And when the focus gets politicized — when words like ‘cover-up’ are used, when we’re focused only on talking points, not what do these individuals need to keep them safe — that’s when I think we kind of miss the runway.”

Then he pits Republican against Republican, to cast anyone who still cares about Benghazi as a crank.

Beyond the pressure cookers of Congress and AM talk radio, even many Republicans agree that the debate over Benghazi has moved away from substance into a political hall of mirrors.

“I missed the meeting among Republicans where it was decided this would become an angry cause célèbre that should be pursued at all costs and with no holds barred,” says Republican strategist Ed Rogers.

Whoever he is. Now, he’s in the position of being the Reasonable Respectable Republican.

Here’s another one.

Juan Zarate, who was a counterterrorism adviser to President George W. Bush, says people could be asking meaty questions about the nature of the evolving terrorist threat, but they’re not.

“I think it’s been substance that’s lost amidst the debate about talking points and the way that the administration portrayed the incidents in the early days after the attacks,” Zarate says.

Then Shapiro goes in for the kill.

There was a substantive investigation into the attacks. Retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering co-chaired the independent commission. The State Department accepted all of his recommendations and fired four people. That was two months ago.

That paragraph is the heart of the mainstream media’s Benghazi narrative. It’s also a huge lie.

Pickering was Hillary Clinton’s hand-picked investigator. It’s like allowing Bernie Madoff to choose his own prosecutor. They’re not very likely to get to the bottom of the story, and Pickering didn’t. His board didn’t even determine where Clinton was or what she was doing during the attack. Ditto for the president. We still don’t know. As for the four who Shapiro reports were fired, they weren’t. Clinton herself acknowledged that during her testimony. Shapiro must have been absent the day she ranted “What difference, at this point, does it make?” And indeed, now, what difference does any of it make? Obama is re-elected, and Clinton will command $200,000 per speech to go out there and tell more lies. She’ll make more from lying in one shot than most Americans make in a couple of years of honest work. What that says about the state of our country, I don’t even want to contemplate.

You can read the rest if you want, since you paid for it with your tax dollars. To the average NPR consumer out there, who likely has not been paying much attention to Benghazi, Shapiro’s is a definitive account. Republicans are politicizing a story to raise money despite the nice Democrats admitting fault and firing people.

The “al Qaeda is on the run” lie is never discussed. The blame for a movie is never discussed. The assault on free speech, and the fact that a man remains in jail as a result of that assault, is never discussed. The stand down during the battle is never discussed. The president’s and Clinton’s absence during the battle is never discussed. The fact that those responsible remain at large, and are laughing at us, is never discussed.

And in all likelihood, it never will be. Benghazi isn’t like ordering a pizza now. To most Americans, it’s even less significant than that. At most, it’s a reason for some liberals to oppose any federal budget cuts. Beyond that, it’s nothing. Four people including a US ambassador died, the president did nothing to help them, he and his team lied about the attack to save his election afterward, and it’s all not even really yesterday’s news. And Ari Shapiro is living off your tax dollars making sure it stays that way.