For several weeks Fox News has been spearheading a smear campaign against U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for comments she made on Sunday news programs about Benghazi. The actual substance of her comments was specifically limited by her qualification that the information was evolving as investigations continued. Nevertheless, Fox falsely portrayed her as having misled the nation. And further, they accused the President of conspiring to alter intelligence reports in order to downplay the involvement of Al Qaeda in the attacks.
Today there is a report in the Wall Street Journal that obliterates the dishonest reporting that has been plastered on the airwaves on Fox for weeks.
“The officials said the first draft of the talking points had a reference to al Qaeda but it was removed by the Central Intelligence Agency, to protect sources and protect investigations, before the talking points were shared with the White House. No evidence has so far emerged that the White House interfered to tone down the public intelligence assessment, despite the attention the charge has received.”
The WSJ story corroborates earlier reports about what Gen. Petraeus told members of congress in closed-door meetings: That the CIA was responsible for the revisions and approved them before they were distributed to the White House. It also exonerates Amb. Rice from the allegations that she did anything inappropriate in her public appearances.
The significance that this report was published in the Wall Street Journal cannot be understated. The Journal is the kingpin of Rupert Murdoch’s news empire. The fact that it is openly contradicting his other news outlet, Fox News, is a powerful condemnation of the cable network.
Now it remains to be seen if Fox News will broadcast a retraction of the lies they have been promulgating about Rice and recant the disparaging coverage of speculation about an appointment to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. It will also be interesting to see whether John McCain, Lindsay Graham, and other Rice bashers will offer their apologies.