Did The White House Threaten A Reporter’s Career Over Benghazi? Greta Van Susteren Says Yes
January 21, 2014 by Ben Bullard
Love her, hate her or ignore her outright, Greta Van Susteren isn’t a media figure who makes her living by testing the bounds of plausibility along the outermost fringes of conspiracy theory. That’s why it’s hard not to sit up and take notice when she writes that someone inside the Obama Administration threatened to end the career of a fellow reporter who was digging too deep into the Benghazi story.
Late last week, Van Susteren posted a damning account of how the Administration of President Barack Obama handled inquiries from FOX News after the Sept. 11, 2012 U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya, took the lives of one ambassador and three other Americans.
Given the demographics of its viewer base, it’s not remarkable that FOX News would go after the White House with more ardor than other mainstream news agencies when it comes to the concocted narrative spun by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration. But Van Susteren spoke with jarring conviction when she offered this (boldface and underline features are preserved from the original text):
As an aside, does the Obama Administration think politics is the reason the Democratically led Senate Intelligence Committee opened its investigation [into Benghazi]? Obviously not.
It is also interesting to note that The New York Times, thought by many to be the gold standard in journalism, recently reported that it was not Al Qaeda. According to the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report, the NY Times reporting is wrong. (Yes, the same New York Times that reported there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That was wrong, too.)
And then as I was sitting at my desk thinking about the reporting since September 2012, I thought about the weirdest of all and the worst of all for me personally! I remembered a disturbing phone call from a good friend in the Obama Administration. I have known this friend for years. The call was a short time after 9/11 (maybe Oct. 2012?) In the call, my friend told me that my colleague Jennifer Griffin, who was aggressively reporting on Benghazi, was wrong and that, as a favor to me, my friend in the Administration was telling me so that I could tell Jennifer so that she did not ruin her career. My friend was telling me to tell Jennifer to stop her reporting. Ruin her career?
In 20 plus years, I have never received a call to try and shut down a colleague — not that I even could — this was a first. Here is what I know: Jennifer is a class act….experienced..and a very responsible journalist. One of the absolute best in the business — no axe to grind, she just wants the facts.
I told my friend before I go to Jennifer telling her she is wrong, I need proof she is wrong, strong proof and you need to be specific — what are you saying she is getting wrong? We went around and around — including the statement again that this was just a call as a favor to Jennifer and me to save Jennifer’s career from reporting incorrect information. I got no proof. Zero. I smelled a rat. Favor to me? Hardly. My friend was trying to use me. I feel bad that a friend did that to me, tried to use me for a dirty reason. I knew then — and it is now confirmed by BIPARTISAN Senate Intelligence Committee — Jennifer was getting her facts right. I think it is really low for the Administration to stoop this low.
Even as the left dissembles away the Benghazi conspiracy (after all, an election’s coming up), the scandal just won’t go away. With mainstream reporters like Susteren and CBS’s Sharyl Atkisson coming forward not only with new information about the attack itself, but also the Obama Administration’s iron-fisted damage control, it’s an open question whether the American public has truly heard the last explosion in the long series of Benghazi bombshells.