Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Well, well, well . . . the "nothingburger" of the conservative media entertainment complex's "Benghazi! Benghazi!! Benghazi!!" faux scandal now has a real scandal, only this one involves a GOP operative "misrepresenting" the contents of an email to an all too gullible "lamestream" media wanting to out-FOX FOX News.
Jake Tapper, who used to work for ABC News but has moved to TeaNN (formerly CNN), has a scoop today on how his former employer got played by this GOP operative in its "exclusive" report last week. CNN exclusive: White House email contradicts Benghazi leaks:
CNN has obtained an e-mail sent by a top aide to President Barack
Obama about White House reaction to the deadly attack last September 11
on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that apparently
differs from how sources characterized it to two different media
The actual e-mail from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for
Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes appears to show that whomever leaked
it did so in a way that made it appear that the White House was
primarily concerned with the State Department's desire to remove
references and warnings about specific terrorist groups so as to not
bring criticism to the department.
Rhodes, White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri, and
White House press secretary Jay Carney, could not be reached for
In the e-mail sent on Friday, September 14, 2012, at 9:34 p.m., obtained by CNN from a U.S. government source, Rhodes wrote:
“Sorry to be late to this discussion. We need to resolve this in a
way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the
“There is a ton of wrong information getting out into the public
domain from Congress and people who are not particularly informed.
Insofar as we have firmed up assessments that don’t compromise intel or
the investigation, we need to have the capability to correct the record,
as there are significant policy and messaging ramifications that would
flow from a hardened mis-impression.
“We can take this up tomorrow morning at deputies.”
You can read the e-mail HERE.
ABC News reported
that Rhodes wrote: “We must make sure that the talking points reflect
all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we
don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation. We thus will work through
the talking points tomorrow morning at the Deputies Committee meeting.”
ABC News notes in its report that it was provided summaries of White
House and State Department emails, not the emails themselves.
The Weekly Standard reported
that Rhodes "responded to the group, explaining that Nuland had raised
valid concerns and advising that the issues would be resolved at a
meeting of the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee the
following morning." Nuland refers to then-State Department spokeswoman
Whoever provided those accounts seemingly invented the notion that
Rhodes wanted the concerns of the State Department specifically
addressed. While Nuland, particularly, had expressed a desire to remove
mentions of specific terrorist groups and CIA warnings about the
increasingly dangerous assignment, Rhodes put no emphasis at all in his
e-mail on the State Department's concerns.
The context of the e-mail chain is important.
* * *
Previous reporting also misquoted Rhodes as saying the group would
work through the talking points at the deputies meeting on Saturday,
September 15, when the talking points to Congress were finalized. While
the previously written subject line of the e-mail mentions talking
points, Rhodes only addresses misinformation in a general sense.
Context here, too, is important.
* * *
So whoever leaked the inaccurate information earlier this month did so
in a way that made it appear that the White House – specifically Rhodes –
was more interested in the State Department’s concerns, and more
focused on the talking points, than the e-mail actually stated.
Media Matters reports on how the ABC News "exclusive" was picked up by other media outlets without question, giving new life to this faux scandal last week. New CNN Report Indicates The Media Echo Chamber Has Run Amok Again On Benghazi Email.
The Hill reports today the White House asserts that a GOP operative "fabricated" the information leaked to ABC News and The Weekly Standard. White House: GOP fabricated leaked Benghazi email:
The White House on Tuesday accused congressional Republicans of
fabricating emails leaked to two different media organizations that
suggested interest in scrubbing the Benghazi, Libya, talking points.
"Republicans who were leaking these emails that have been shared with Congress didn't just do that. They decided to fabricate portions of an email, and make up portions of an email in order to fit a political narrative," Carney said. "I'm not surprised by it because we've seen it again and again."
Both ABC News and The Weekly Standard reported last week that then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes wrote an email primarily concerned with the State Department's suggested edits of the Benghazi talking points.
The email appeared to give credence to those who had suggested a greater White House involvement in scrubbing mentions of specific terrorist groups and prior CIA terror warnings from the final talking points distributed to administration officials and congressional leaders.
But a full version of the email, obtained by CNN,
suggests that Rhodes never specifically says he wants the concerns of
State Department official Victoria Nuland to be addressed at a meeting
to work through the talking points. Rather, he wrote that he hoped the
concerns of all those involved in the process are considered.
said Tuesday that apparent contradiction was evidence of Republican
willingness to "cherry pick information, or in this case, make it up in
order to fit a political narrative."
Dan Pfeiffer, a senior White House adviser, also suggested that Republicans had falsified the leaked email.
on Capitol Hill, a GOP source is having a series of awkward
conversations with reporters about the fabricated Benghazi email,"
Pfeiffer said on Twitter.
When the evidence doesn't fit the narrative, the GOP just fabricates the evidence. It's time for ABC News and The Weekly Standard to out who this GOP operative is. It's also time for the "lamestream" media to stop taking this faux scandal seriously.
UPDATE: Josh Marshall explains,
"I guarantee you Jonathan Karl had a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach
when he saw [his source's] explanation. Because that explanation by reference to
earlier comments in the [email] thread is pretty weak. Karl's follow on piece is
entitled 'More Details on Benghazi Talking Points Emerge' but the
substance is, 'How the Story Changes When I Realize the Notes I Was
Using Weren't Reliable.' The answer here is that Karl pretty clearly got
burned by his source. But he at least seriously singed himself by
making it really, really look like he was looking at the emails
themselves when he wasn't."