May 10, 2013

Benghazi: The Fox News Narrative That Just Won’t Stick

Fox News hosts and personalities have a long history of pumping up “news” stories they wish to see permeate the mainstream media. And regardless of the outcome, it’s a win-win situation for Fox News. If the narrative posited by Fox News is picked up and repeated by other news outlets — Win. If their narrative is ignored by other new outlets, they cry media bias — Win.

Megyn Kelly - Fox NewsSpeaking of Benghazi, Fox News host Megyn Kelly said, “if you look at, sort of, across the mainstream media, it was a collective yawn.” Of course that is not true. And this is not to take anything away from that tragedy, but with so many important issues right now, it’s remarkable how much coverage Benghazi is still garnering in the press. Erik Wemple wrote on his Washington Post blog that The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal all devoted front page space to Benghazi and ,”all three networks ran packages on the hearing last night.”

But here’s the rub.

Megyn Kelly and her Fox News cohorts aren’t specifically lamenting the lack of Benghazi coverage, they are lamenting the lack of Benghazi conspiracy coverage. Because the mainstream media isn’t repeating (Fox News approved) opinionated claims of what did or didn’t happen at Benghazi, that equates to a “collective yawn.” And with that result, Fox News hosts go into “media bias mode.” This is nothing new. This is simply how Fox News operates. Throw conspiracy theories to find which ones stick, and blame media bias for the ones that don’t. Because as Jon Stewart pointed out earlier this week on The Daily Show, Fox News is saying a lot of “if this happened” when covering this story. They aren’t actually reporting anything factual to back up their Benghazi conspiracy claims. What they are “reporting” are pet theories about what could have happened to paint a narrative that comports to the preconceptions of their audience.

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