Greta Van Susteren /Jennifer Griffin Fox News – (Photo) Forbes
Recently Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren shared very personal and disturbing story about the extent to which the Obama administration attempted to shut down Fox News from reporting on the terror attack in Benghazi.
The day after the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi was released, Van Susteren blogged, “Gretawire,” saying the Obama administration “has some explaining to do.”
Taking her readers for a “little walk in history” to remind of how Fox News was the only network “shut out” of a State Department conference call specifically set up to answer questions about Benghazi for the media” in the days after the attack in September 2012. She reminded them that the CIA briefing about Benghazi at the CIA was for all the networks – except one: Fox News Channel; the CIA would not let Fox News Channel attend.
It was the phone call she received from a “good friend in the Obama administration”, she wrote, “that was most shocking and the most ‘low’.”
This “friend” attempted to have Greta stop Fox News’ national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin from reporting on Benghazi.
Van Susteren held nothing back in her blog piece but the “friend’s” name, as she wrote:
After Benghazi on 9/11/2012, the Obama administration tried very hard to discourage Fox News Channel from reporting on it. The effort was obstruction – pure and simple.
They tried to prevent the truth from coming out and the Administration tried just about everything to discourage Fox from investigating and reporting.
All the American people wanted, and all I ever wanted, was just the facts – why did 4 Americans die? What happened?
The Obama Administration put out that phony video story — but who could not have been suspicious of the Administration after hearing that? Frankly, if they had been candid on day 1, the Benghazi story would have been over in short order. It would not be to the point we are now: with a Senate Bi Partisan Intelligence Committee report with the very painful conclusion that the murders at Benghazi could have been prevented.
So let’s take a little walk in history…just a sample of how the Obama Administration tried to shut Fox News Channel’s reporting down:
In the early days after Benghazi, the State Department omitted only Fox News Channel from its conference call to all the media when it claimed to be answering questions about Benghazi for the media. Our friends in other media outlets were scandalized that Fox was not included and told us all about it. They were suspicious of State Department forgetting us/Fox and courageous to tip us off. The State Department claimed it was accident and not intentional.
And then shortly thereafter, there was the CIA briefing about Benghazi at the CIA for all the networks – except one: Fox News Channel. The CIA would not let Fox News Channel attend.
Then we had to listen to all the silliness about a video….what was with that? Did anyone ever really think that was legitimate?
And there were many times in the months and years since September 2012 when Obama Administration officials would make comments to suggest that Fox was just doing the Benghazi reporting for political reasons. The Administration was doing what it could to deter and demean the Fox News Channel investigation. They did not want to give us the facts — so their strategy was to attempt to belittle and demean our reporting.
As an aside, does the Obama Administration think politics is the reason the Democratically led Senate Intelligence Committee opened its investigation? 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.