CPAC 2013: Consensus—Benghazi is a media scandal

Fox on Benghazi: Too much? (Esam Omran al-Fetori / Reuters)

The title of a Conservative Political Action Conference session appeared to promise a session heavy on policy talk: “Benghazi and Its Aftermath: U.S. Middle East and Southwest Asia Policy.”

And sure, the panelists at the session got into a fair bit of diplomacy.

But this is Benghazi! In the idiom of contemporary American partisan politics, Benghazi is shorthand for “massive, unmitigated, shameful media scandal.”

“American journalism is dead,” declared panelist Roger Noriega, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

“The media aided the cover-up” of Benghazi, said fellow panelist Joel Pollak, editor-in-chief of Breitbart.com

“There’s never been a point in time where I’ve seen a weaker media,” said John Solomon, a well-traveled investigative journalist and panelist in the CPAC discussion.

Indeed, the media has failed to secure answers to critical information on Benghazi. Contrary to the suggestion of the CPAC panelists, however, some tough questions have been submitted to the authorities. Thorough and detailed responses haven’t exactly come tumbling from officialdom, however.

The media’s inability to get the nitty-gritty on the ins and outs of Benghazi raised a great deal of hope and anticipation that House and Senate committees would pry some real facts and insights out of former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, who testified just before leaving office. With the exception of a couple of much-talked-about histrionics, our lawmakers matched our media organizations on Benghazi fecklessness.

That’s the backdrop in which panel moderator Ernest Istook, a former congressman, declared, “Maybe someone, someday will come up with the right questions to ask about Benghazi, and maybe we will get the right answers.”

Also on Erik Wemple

Roger Ailes biographer follows people on Twitter