The Washington Post

Fox News’s Benghazi coverage: Van Susteren says Obama administration excludes Fox


Ninth in a series about Fox News’s Oct. 26 story on Benghazi, Libya.

Frustrations with the Obama administration are spilling from Fox News. Though the network’s formal PR shop hasn’t returned the inquiries of the Erik Wemple Blog regarding Benghazi coverage, the network has another way of getting its message out.

Through the fabulous GretaWire, that is. GretaWire, of course, is the platform of “On the Record” host Greta Van Susteren, and it's raw and fun and informative.

In a post dashed off late last night, Van Susteren goes after the Obama administration for excluding Fox News from two official briefings on the Benghazi story. One of those exclusions anchored Part Seven of this series, as Fox wasn’t invited to a briefing last Thursday with a senior intelligence official to rebut the now-famous Oct. 26 Fox News story that accused the CIA of incompetence in defending U.S. assets in Benghazi.

The other snub, alleges Van Susteren, came at the hands of the State Department. In her words, the occasion was an Oct. 9 conference call that came after “Fox started to push for answers. The State Department invited all the news organizations except Fox. The State Department said it was an oversight that Fox was excluded from this briefing. I didn’t believe it then and don’t believe it now but whatever.”

Well, let’s at least give the State Department a shot at this one. A State Department official says that several other outlets, along with Fox, were not included in a briefing notification that went to the core reporters at State. Fox, according to the official, hasn’t had a beat reporter at State since 2010, the inevitable result of which is that sometimes it’ll miss out on a briefing or two. State’s public affairs squad apologized to Fox for the omission and gave the network a transcript of the proceedings.

Whatever, whatever: Van Susteren charges that the “CIA and the Administration is trying to punish us so that we ‘learn not to ask them questions they don’t want to answer.’ ”

The series so far:

First: Media outlets fail to follow Fox News.

Second: Does Fox story stand up to government timeline?

Third: Geraldo blasts storyline that government didn’t try to protect personnel

Fourth: Fox contributor decries politicization of Benghazi

Fifth: Fox News’s “laser” allegation: For real?

Sixth: CIA no-comments new blast from Fox News

Seventh: Why exclude Fox News from intelligence briefing?

Eighth: Fox News picks fight with State Department

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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