On today’s Barrack-Ast:
Stories are constantly fighting for time in the 24-hour news cycle. The Obama administration has proven quite adept at determining what stories dominate. If you see a story in any mainstream media outlet involving the administration, odds are beyond very good the administration wanted it there, even if it seems unflattering.
That’s usually because the unflattering story is preferable to the more damaging story.
Let’s take a look at various news stories fighting for news cycle oxygen right now.
1.) House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) report on Benghazi that smacks of cover-up.
2.) The release of 30,000 Lois Lerner emails.
3.) Jonathan Gruber’s video faux pas that reveal much of the truth about how Obamacare was passed.
4.) Obama’s Executive Order on Amnesty.
5.) Michael Brown / Eric Garner and the ensuing riots.
If you were Barack Obama, which story would you want the media focusing on nearly exclusively? How about if you were Mike Rogers?
Answer: Michael Brown / Eric Garner and the riots in Ferguson and New York City.
In fact, summoning Al Sharpton to the White House was likely more about giving the media more to obsess over than it was anything Sharpton would actually assist the administration with.
It certainly should be no surprise to see the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, CBS, ABC, et. al. covering the Michael Brown and Eric Garner stories ad nauseam. It’s the same dynamic that caused CNN to cover the missing jetliner incessantly even though there was nothing new to report. The stories that would damage the administration were ignored.
What’s maddening is that conservative media giants are taking the bait and doing the exact same thing relative to Brown and Garner.
One such example comes courtesy of Megyn Kelly. Before levying my critique, let me say that her show – the Kelly File – is the best cable news show on television right now but she’s taken the Obama bait on the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases perhaps more than anyone, especially in light of an opportunity she actually created for herself nearly a year ago.
On a typical Friday night document dump on November 21st, the HPSCI report on Benghazi was released, despite it having been completed in early August. The committee, led by Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) exculpated everyone but omitted any reference to perhaps the most explosive revelation. Kelly actually had a hand in confirming that revelation but has been so focused on the riots that she’s missed it, much to the delight of Obama… and Rogers.
In November of last year, Kelly interviewed Rogers. At the end of that interview, Kelly asked Rogers if he could confirm that Ambassador Christopher Stevens met with he and his committee in the days prior to his death. Shockingly, Rogers confirmed the meeting took place.
Yet, there is not one mention of that meeting or what was discussed in the HPSCI report.
On November 24th, the Monday after the Benghazi report was released the previous Friday, Kelly’s entire show was focused on the grand jury decision in Ferguson. In fact, it’s all that Fox News covered. With reporters in the street, the broadcasts that evening began with claims that the protests were small and there wasn’t much of a turnout.
As the time passed – and as the media continued its non-stop live coverage – the crowds grew (perhaps the media had something to do with that).
Just like the burning businesses in Ferguson were sucking oxygen from the air, so too was the Ferguson story sucking all of the news cycle oxygen from the air waves.
Again, much to Obama’s delight.
As the Ferguson story began to peter out, the Eric Garner story took center stage. Last night, the Kelly File again had reporters and cameras on the streets, this time in New York City. As her show focused exclusively and entirely on the racial issues the Obama administration delights in her focusing on, the Benghazi report wallows in obscurity.
There’s only one person who may be happier that Kelly isn’t focusing on Benghazi.
That would be the chairman of the Committee who released the report.