Analysis: When Clinton Insinuates Gold Star Mom Is Lying, Media Gives A Pass
When a Benghazi mother came out to say that she still held Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton responsible for the death of her son, the media came out to call her testimony into question.
Pat Smith, the mother of Stephen Smith, told the audience at the Republican National Convention that she blamed Clinton for her son’s death in Benghazi. She said that Clinton had lied to her about the circumstances of her son’s death. Specifically, Smith was referring to a meeting she had with Clinton in which she alleged Clinton told her that the “producers of a video” degrading Muslims would “be arrested.”
There’s no way to prove, since no transcripts exist, if the conversation between Clinton and Smith occurred the way Smith recounts. Regardless, there’s strong evidence implicating Clinton’s department had loose security requirements in Libya and ignored repeated requests for more security.
Following Smith’s speech, Clinton went on Fox News Sunday and insinuated that Smith was lying, and various media outlets were quick to back her up with evidence that amounts to circumstantial.
“I don’t hold any ill feeling for someone who in that moment may not fully recall everything that was or wasn’t said,” Clinton said. Afterwards, the media came out to call into question Smith’s accusations.
The Washington Post published an article that pointed out their “fact checker” disproved Smith’s statements. The article referred to other families of Benghazi members disagreed with what Smith had said.
“None of the other family members who agreed to be interviewed said Clinton made any reference to a video. Indeed, other family members have been puzzled by the confident assertions of [Charles] Woods [the father of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods] and Smith,” the article stated.
The story also explicitly called Smith’s appearance “calculated” and noted that NBC’s Richard Engel wondered if she was being “manipulated,” two assertions that never seemed to cross a journalist’s mind about Khizr Khan appearance at the Democratic National Convention. Finally, WaPo quoted Engel, who said that while viewers should sympathize with Smith, her testimony to Clinton’s culpability for Benghazi was not necessarily true.
“It doesn’t correspond with the facts as I know them and as I’ve read them in subsequent investigations,” he said. In contrast, Politifact, in a 2014 article, noted that Clinton had ignored calls for more security in Benghazi.
The Huffington Post also joined in to support Clinton’s claims about Smith. The outlet had an article that said fact checkers could not prove that Smith’s claims were true.
Another Huffington Post article claimed that Smith’s unresolved grief was being used as a tool to stir up hatred against Clinton. The writer compared the Mothers of the Movements’ speech to Smith’s, saying that because “their message was valid,” it was actually heard.
“These mothers’ goals were not to point fingers at the individuals who took the lives of their children,” the article said.
ABC News ran a fact checking article where it said that the claim that Clinton lied about Benghazi was “questionable.”
MSNBC had an article that claimed Smith’s speech was based on “conspiracy theories” that most Republicans do not believe.
“It was a deeply unfortunate display: Smith, still struggling with the kind of pain few of us can imagine, used her time on the stage to repeat discredited conspiracy theories,” the article stated. Related: MSNBC: Pat Smith Speech Was ‘Offensive’ But Khizr Kahn’s Was ‘Memorable’
Another article on MSNBC stated that while we need to be sympathetic to Smith’s grief, that “doesn’t change the fact, however, that her claims last night simply weren’t true.” The article went on to say that her arguments “defy reality.”
Topping it all off, when Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, the CIA contractor and former SEAL who died in Benghazi, makes an appearance on CNN and attributes his son’s death to Clinton’s frugal security requirements, the wide media is mute.
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