May 26, 2014

AP’s Babington IDs Benghazi, IRS Targeting As ‘Old Controversies’ Except at ‘Outlets Such As Fox News’

The Associated Press’s Charles Babington went so far over the top in his Monday morning dispatch on Republicans, the Obama administration’s scandals, and the fall electoral landscape that it’s hard to know where to begin.

The fingerprints of Obama administration operatives appear to be all over Babington’s report, both in what’s included and what’s left out. Most notoriously, there is no mention whatsoever of the Veterans Administration scandal. Ah, but there’s a specific reference to Democrats who complain that the Benghazi and IRS scandals have been “fading from national headlines” except at the specifically named Fox News. Excerpts from Babington’s babbling follow the jump (bolds are mine):



Republican strategy for the fall elections seemed set: hammer Democrats on the health care law and “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

As Democrats show increasing confidence on those fronts, however, House Republicans are gambling that ramping up new inquiries into old controversies involving the Internal Revenue Service and Libya will energize conservative voters without turning off moderates.

You’re kidding, Charles.

Just an hour after your dispatch’s current 3:14 a.m. time stamp, your own wire service’s Bill Barrow and Josh Lederman issued a report entitled “HEALTH LAW: EMBRACE, AVOID OR IN BETWEEN FOR DEMS” (covered at this NewsBusters post earlier this evening). If there’s “increasing confidence” in Obamacare, your two colleagues sure had a hard time finding it among Democrats on the ballot this fall.

Additionally, if everyone is so confident that Obamacare is working out well, why has the Obama administration chosen to “halt” monthly Obamacare enrollment reporting? What excuse could you possibly have for not reporting this incredibly relevant, non-transparent and unconfident move?

As to “jobs, jobs, jobs,” the unemployment rate is down, but rising part-time and temporary employment, other forms of under-employment, and unprecedented levels of discouragement among those who have dropped out of the workforce have caused most Americans to feel that the economy isn’t genuinely on the mend. Then there’s the cold hard reality that the government says the economy grew at an imperceptible 0.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter, while most economists expect that figure to be revised into contraction later this week. So exactly what about the economy justifies “increasing confidence” among Democrats?

Back to Babington’s bluster:

Over Democrats’ heated objections, House Republicans voted this month to hold an IRS official in contempt for refusing to testify. They also launched a new investigation into the September 2012 terrorist attack on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, which killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

Democrats say the moves reek of political opportunism and desperation.

Criticizing the president’s health care law “has run its course,” said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, and Republicans “have to find something else to talk about.” She called the new Benghazi inquiry a “political stunt.”

Republicans say their actions are serious and justified, even if they also might be good politics.

… Democrats spend little time defending the Obama administration’s role in Benghazi or the IRS’ actions in scrutinizing conservative groups that sought tax-exempt status. Instead, they cite the multiple hearings and inquiries already conducted into the matters, which were fading from national headlines except on outlets such as Fox News.

In a recent development Babington chose not to report, Lois Lerner (the “IRS official” finally named in a later paragraph) and the Justice Department appear to have been quite interested in charging Americans who formed groups sympathetic to tea-party values and other conservative not-for-profit activist organizations as criminals. Of course, Babington chose not to report that.

On Obamacare and Pelosi, again if she and her colleagues are so confident that Obamacare criticism has “run its course,” why has the administration stopped issuing monthly enrollment reports?

As to Fox — Really, Charles? As reprehensible as AP’s reporting has been for many years, I never thought I would see it sink so low that one of its reporters would carry water in a supposedly objective dispatch by presenting anonymous criticisms of a news outlet that Democrats and the Obama administration no longer have the courage to publicly utter themselves. It’s hard to understate how horrible Babington’s decision to serve as the left’s water boy in this manner is.

On substance, Fox’s choice of news coverage seems to more accurately reflect the American people’s interests than the establishment press’s broadcast and print networks. On Benghazi, polls done in January and May both show that that a majority of the American public believes that the Obama administration has misled them. Meanwhile, the establishment press ridicules every attempt to get to the truth the American people want to come out. Who’s out of touch here?

I could go on and on, but I’ll excerpt one final sentence which shows just how unacquainted with the truth reporters at the self-described “essential global news network” now more appropriately described as “the Administration’s Press” have become:

The (Benghazi) attack’s origins were murky at first. At the time, Egyptians were rioting over an amateur American-made video mocking Islam’s prophet Mohammad.

That’s “clever” horse manure, Charles. As I noted here last week, the AP’s own Bradley Klapper was involved in two separate reports on October 12, 2012 which directly refute your “murky at first” claim. The clearest contradictory verbiage was in the second dispatch:


The State Department now says it never believed the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was a film protest gone awry, giving congressional Republicans new fodder for criticizing the Obama administration’s initial accounts of the assault.

The State Department’s extraordinary break with other administration offices came in a department briefing Tuesday, where officials said “others” in the executive branch concluded initially that the protest was based, like others in the Middle East, on a film that ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad.

What about “The State Department now says it never believed the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was a film protest gone awry” don’t you and the rest of your colleagues understand, Charles?

Cross-posted at


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