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The Mainstream Media – A Betrayal Of Trust

In June 1972, five men broke into the Watergate offices of the Democratic National Committee. Initially treated as an ordinary crime story with only a little extra interest because it took place in the offices of the Committee to Re-elect President Nixon, the five men were soon arrested and shortly thereafter, all hell broke loose. Eventually, after repeated denials and attempts to cover-up the truth by the administration, the unrelenting investigation by the media eventually uncovered a scandal that led all the way to the Oval Office.

What broke this story was the hard work and persistence of the news media, in particular Bob Woodward and Karl Bernstein of the Washington Post. They were the first to recognize that this was not a small-time criminal act and through their stubborn refusal to let the story die and the support they received from Ben Bradley and the Washington Post, Woodward and Bernstein were successful in uncovering more facts which eventually led to the mainstream media overall getting involved.

Eventually, the story became so big; it led to impeachment proceedings against the President, his subsequent resignation and the arrest and conviction of 43 people, including many of his top advisors.

Contrast that to what is happening with the reporting about Benghazi.

Earlier today, Fox News released new revelations regarding what happened the night of Benghazi. Not one of the other news organizations has given the story any prominence, if they mentioned it all.  They’ve buried it. It is no longer coincidence that much of the news media which support President Obama gave any prominence to this breaking news.

There was a time when journalism was a noble, if somewhat annoying, profession but those days appear to be long gone. Now it is entertainment-driven, biased opinion. It is unconscionable that any true journalist would let the circumstance around Benghazi get such short shrift or allow the Administration to get away with constantly changing its story every time the facts contradict what it had previously stated.

It is the role of the fourth estate to keep the truth before the people by guaranteeing that no administration will ever be able to successfully lie about or cover up negligence or corruption. That is the role of the media and almost to a person, the people working for the major networks have broken faith with their profession and with the people.

“…democratic consolidation is strengthened where journalists in independent newspapers, radio and television stations facilitate greater transparency and accountability in governance,by serving in their watch-dog roles to deter corruption and malfeasance…”   – Driving Democracy, – Harvard Kennedy School

The professional pride and journalistic integrity of,  and heritage created by, people like Edward R. Murrow, Don Hewitt, Dorothy Thompson, Walter Cronkite, Ed Bradley, Mike Wallace and Francis FitzGerald among others has been demeaned and denigrated by arrogant, self-absorbed and biased media personalities. What passes for journalism today has more in common with the National Enquirer or a media spin arm of the White House than it does with its own respected heritage.

We already know that the administration knew about the attacks in Benghazi as they were happening. We know that  deliberately lies were told about it for two weeks after the attacks as the Administration tried to blame the situation on a demonstration over a video. We know that a demonstration didn’t take place and we know that the administration was aware of that within an hour of the attack beginning.

We know that contrary to public statements to the contrary during the election campaign, Al Qaeda was not decimated, that security in Libya was poorly supported and that the Administration did not properly anticipate any direct threats on the anniversary of the Twin Towers. We also know that the Administration’s response has been about damage control and that to this day, the President has failed to lead his nation by standing in front of the American people to tell them everything he knows. Instead, he offers up insincere tough-talk rhetoric while his administration continues to spin, defend. deflect and even intentionally mislead, as much as possible.

We also know that he has been aided and abetted in that by most of the major news networks.

Objective, professional journalism would be more than just disturbed by the Administration’s response to the attack in Benghazi. It would be suspicious that the deliberate attempt to cover-up the truth meant there was more to the story than has been revealed and they would be hounding the administration demanding answers?

We know that there are now documents that support the possibility that the administration was running guns into Syria from Libya through Turkey and arming the most radical of the insurgents including Al Qaeda operatives. True journalists would be constantly digging for more information and demanding from the administration to know if it was true.

We know that every time the White House has put out an explanation, new revelations have proven that explanation to be false but no one in the mainstream media seems overly concerned about it or what the dishonesty might in fact be hiding. Instead, they report it, rationalize it and move on.

And today we learned that three times, those at the consulate who were under attack asked for military support.

The consulate attack lasted between four and seven hours and that support was only one hour away by air but it was twice denied and ignored the third time.

Defense Secretary Panetta, who along with other key members of the Administration first tried to spin the idea that the administration did not have a clear indication that an attack had taken place, now is stating that military support was denied because there wasn’t enough intel to confirm the scope of the attack and,

“the basic principle here … is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.”

I always thought that the basic principle was “no one left behind”, that you never stood by and simply watched your comrades be slaguhtered.

There were two drones in the air over Benghazi,, ongoing regular situation reports from the bureau security chief and three requests for military support while the consulate was under attack but today’s mainstream media didn’t believe that is sufficient information to challenge and question Secretary Panetta.

CNN, MSNBC and none of the major networks are demanding answers for any of it, no doubt rationalizing that it is unconfirmed and therefore not worth investigating or reporting. Instead, even though it was released today, the new revelations don’t  appear on the front page of one of their web sites.

The attack started at 5:00pm Washington time.

Defense Secretary Panetta and the President were meeting at the White House when the attack started.

The Situation Room at the White House had been informed of the attack and was being updated by report and by live video in real time.

The first request for military support came into the White House Situation Room and State at 6:00 pm.

Shortly after the attack began and while it was still in progress with Americans fighting for their lives, the President boarded a helicopter and traveled to New York City for an appearance on the David Letterman Show. The next day, he stood in the Rose Garden before the American people and blamed the attack on a demonstration over a video; a demonstration that he and his entire administration already knew had never taken place.

The President, Hillary Clinton, Jay Carny and Susan Rice all stated for two weeks that the attack in Benghazi was the result of a demonstration over a video rather than the first successful terrorist attack on the United States since 9/11. The media do not feel that kind of fabrication and cover-up is worthy of serious reporting.

Just as with Watergate, there are so many questions that demand answers, questions that go far beyond incompetence and border on cynical politics and possibly even deliberate attempts to corrupt the truth.

There are far more questions than answers but the mainstream media are not asking the questions. Instead, they have become spin doctors for the election campaign, accusing white voters for Romney of being racist and interviewing everyone from each other to Honey Boo Boo.

It is a disgrace.

Freedom of the press is not merely a right enjoyed by the media; it is an absolute responsibility and that responsibility is not even close to being met. It has been ignored by too many who have no understanding of the trust they have been given and the responsibility they have to report the truth no matter where it leads.

Four Americans are dead and the major networks have have abrogated their responsibility to uncover the truth about an administration that not only allowed the attack to happen but which has lied about it since it happened.

Some will claim to be working diligently to hold the administration accountable but it isn’t true. In this video clip from earlier in the day, the President is twice asked a question about the attack which he does not answer. At that point, the interview simply moved on to other topics.

Four Americans are dead and to this day, the President of the United States has refused to stop campaigning for reelection long enough to speak to the nation openly and transparently. He has never apologized for the misinformation put out by his own people and has refused to accept responsibility for the inept handling of it all from before the attack to this point in time.

For all of his flaws, even George W. Bush was more presidential than that!

Instead, President Obama, as he always does now, has blamed others and avoided answering direct questions. He continues to offer up promises of tough action after the fact instead of forthright answers and the national media have, for the most part, given him a free pass on the entire mess.

Four Americans are dead and the press pays lip service to the story but carefully and skillfully avoids any attempt to elicit answers from the President or the Vice-president. Instead, they criticize Mitt Romney for questioning the administration’s response and accuse Mr. Romney of politizing the issue rather than risk embarrassing the President or hurting his reelection chances.

Led by psuedo-journalists like Candy Crowley, they quibble over the semantics of whether or not the President called the attack an act of terror on September 12. So policized is journalism today that Ms Crowley, when she moderated the debate finally told the President and Mr. Romney that they were both right even though they had made statements that were diametrically opposed to each other.

Four Americans are dead but these days, there are no Karl Bernsteins or Bob Woodwards who are committed to uncovering the truth.; no Susan Sontags prepared to do whatever it takes to uncover the truth as she did when she moved to Sarjevo to uncover the truth about the horrors of Bosnia. Even the Washington Post is failing to live up to its once proud heritage when under Ben Bradley  it stood tall against the administration and resolute in its pursuit of the truth.

But if we do not have answers to all of the questions about what happened and is happening regarding Benghazi, we do have the answer to one question;

What happened to American journalism?

The answer is simple. Benghazi has proven once and for all that in America, unbiased, objective and investigative journalism no longer exists. The quest for the truth is dead and the media are now merely another part of the political spin machine, just one more gang of arrogant, well-dressed pimps feeding at the table of the powerful.

Think I’m wrong? Below are the top 10 news headlines on each of the main network’s websites on October 26, 2012, the same day as the new revelations came out. You won’t find mention of Benghazi on any of the lists despite the revelations that came out on October 26.

It is not journalism’s finest hour; it is instead a disgraceful betrayal of responsibility and trust by people who lack the professionalism and character to know better.

The Top 10 Headlines on the Main Page of Each of the Major Network’s Web Sites: October 26, 2012

ABC News
Poll: Romney Catches Obama in Voter Outreach
US Growth Improves to 2 Pct. Rate
Berlusconi Convicted, But Jail Unlikely
Nanny Slashed Herself in Front of Mom
Meningitis Death Toll Climbs to 25
Harry Reid Okay After Car Crash
Man Gets Romney ‘R’ Tattooed on Face
Top 25 Worst Passwords Revealed
Sprint Lost 400K Customers ‘By Design’
Spending $7,800 to Lose Baby Weight

CBS News
Five big moments from the campaign trail this week
Justin Timberlake apologizes for wedding video
Enchanted” figurine is Spain’s oldest
Mass. man allegedly booby trapped ex-wife’s clothes dryer
Malala’s father: “She will rise again”
Brothers accused of killing N.J. girl remain held
Disney: Newest princess not really Latina
Authorities: Fraud scheme aimed to bilk Facebook
Send in the clowns: Mexico hosts Laughter Fair
NYC nanny suspected of killing 2 children

NBC News
Romney promises to deliver ‘real change’
Ad spending on presidential race surpasses $900 million
Actress Lena Dunham discusses her ‘first time’ in new Obama ad
Meat Loaf screams rendition of ‘America the Beautiful’ for Romney
Poll: Youth less enthusiastic about voting this year
‘Greenish-black’ growth found at site tied to meningitis
French ministers take anti-sexism lessons
Plane truth: Millions spent on rarely used airport
N.Y. man accused of trying to cheat Facebook
Police: Nanny stabs 2 children to death in NYC home

MSNBC News (MSNBC only had 8 top stories listed on the first page of the web site)
Abducted baby found dead; suspect in custody
Texas students tracked with ID computer chips
Hot, dry winds raise fire danger for San Diego
Plane truth: Millions spent on rarely used airport
Danger on nation’s fastest highway: feral hogs
Teens accused of killing girl still held as juveniles
Lawyers: DNA proves Gacy victim was misidentified
Video: Porn-star-turned-teacher pleads to keep job

Italy’s ex-PM gets 4 year prison term
Body of kidnapped Pa. baby found
Armstrong’s titles won’t be awarded
Kennedy trial left in judge’s hands
Heads up East Coast! Big storm brewing
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U.S. economy picks up steam
Syrians strain to mark key holiday
Rejoice, bloggers: Tumblr is back up

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  • Bubba Brown

    “Nobody wants to find out more than I do”?? What a stone cold excuse for a human being this is.
    Sounds to this old guy eerily like Orinthal Simpsons promise to look for “the real killers”.
    Four Americans died while Barry, Barack whatever he is styling himself this week while he is playing a celebrity pretending to be a President while he is busy campaigning.
    I guess he no longer believes it was some crack-pot video if he ever did.
    The other thing that died at Benghazi was any belief that this was anything other than an empty chair sitting behind a teleprompter.
    Kudos to Kyle Clark for asking the question twice of the empty chair.
    He certainly does speak fluent weasel.
    I am hearing of bus loads of Somalis being driven to advance polling stations, real Chicago style politics.
    I think there is much more to this Benghazi story that is still to be told.