This afternoon Gen. David Petraeus resigned as Director of the CIA with a letter that cited his having had an extra-marital affair.
Petraeus: Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.
Despite the specificity of his letter, Fox News immediately began speculating as to the timing of the resignation and suggested that it had something to do with the investigation of the murders in Benghazi, Libya, and his scheduled testimony before congress next week.
Surprisingly, as Fox anchors were rumor mongering about Benghazi, Chris Wallace emphatically shot down such talk pointing out that Petraeus is a man of integrity who should be taken as his word. Wallace went on to point out that nobody tries to cover up political matters by confessing to cheating on their wife. But that moment of sanity was short lived.
The news broke on MSNBC at about 2:51pm ET, but Fox didn’t report it until 3:00. Then they spent about ten minutes stewing in Benghazi sauce without mentioning the Petraeus letter or the affair. It was clear they wanted to clutch onto the conspiracy theory that Obama must have orchestrated the whole thing to cover up his complicity in Benghazi-Gate. At one point Fox’s Trace Gallagher cryptically referred to Petraeus’ reason as “what we will now say is ‘unknown,’” which is evidence that he knew more than he was saying. And even after Wallace’s rational refutation, the conspiratorial ravings continued on Neil Cavuto’s program and The Five.
It simply doesn’t matter what the issue is. If Fox can’t pervert it into something that tarnishes President Obama, then it isn’t news. It couldn’t be more obvious that Fox intends to escalate their journalistic distortions in the coming second term of Obama. But it is repulsive that they would exploit this personal family tragedy as just more scandal bait to titillate their juvenile and easily manipulated audience.