Hurricane Sandy is helping drown media coverage of several White House scandals in the crucial run-up to Election Day.
The storm has also dampened coverage of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s progress in critical Midwest swing states.
On Monday, the networks’ cameras were pointed at Obama as he stood at a White House podium to sketch out his administration’s response to the oncoming hurricane.
“I’m extraordinarily grateful for the cooperation of our state and local officials. … At this point, there are no unmet needs,” he said, speaking as the president, instead of a candidate.
The cameras weren’t pointed, however, at the Obama administration’s proliferating scandals, including the Justice Department’s “Fast and Furious” gun-smuggling project, the Treasury Department’s decision to strip Delphi Automotive workers of their pensions and the administration’s intelligence leaks.
The cameras also weren’t pointed at the top GOP officials who recently began demanding the White House provide support for Obama’s claims that he directed his deputies to immediately secure U.S. diplomatic sites after jihadis assaulted the Benghazi consulate on Sept. 11.
However, there’s no evidence that nearby U.S. forces — such fast-moving jets, helicopter-borne rescue forces or missile-armed drones — were rushed to help either the besieged officials in the diplomatic compound or the CIA officials in the nearby CIA annex.
Instead, Fox News has cited unnamed U.S. sources in Libya who said rescue attempts were countermanded three times.
“If in fact [Obama] did issue such an order, and the order was not carried out by the military, then Congress needs to get to the bottom of it,” said Republican Rep. Buck McKeon, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
”But I don’t think he issued such an order. … [He] did nothing to help our people on the ground,” McKeon told Fox News on Monday.
“The president’s leadership has been woefully lacking, [and it] looks to me like a cover-up, they just want to keep everything under wraps, until after the election,” he added.
Most established media outlets have ignored the GOP’s demands for documentation, and have downplayed disagreements and possible finger-pointing by Obama and other top administration officials.
The media has also declined to highlight the dramatic testimony from the father of one of the two guards killed at the CIA annex.
“Those people who made the decision [to not sent aid] and who knew about the decision and lied about it, are murderers of my son,” Charlie Woods, an attorney and the father of Tyrone Woods, one of the two killed security officers, said Oct. 26 on Fox News.
Similarly, Hurricane Sandy has minimized media pressure on the White House to respond to a new House report on the international Fast and Furious scandal, which contributed to the death of hundreds of Mexicans.