Over 3,100 people died in the United States yesterday as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But their deaths received only a cursory mention on Fox “straight news” program Outnumbered Overtime. By contrast, the program mentioned the 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, three times, after former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice was announced as chief of the White House domestic policy council by President-elect Joe Biden's transition team.
During the December 10 edition of Outnumbered Overtime, Fox anchor Harris Faulkner mentioned the previous day’s COVID-19 death toll of 3,124 at about 1:19 p.m. EST:
At 1:50 p.m., Faulkner mentioned Rice and Benghazi in a tease before playing a 2013 clip of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) attacking her over the Obama administration’s response to the attacks.
After the break, Faulkner discussed Rice’s appointment with guests Jessica Tarlov and Lanhee Chen, and Benghazi was mentioned twice more. Additionally, on-screen graphics juxtaposed Rice and images from the 2012 attacks:
It is not worth getting too deep into these right-wing media disinformation efforts against Rice. The truth is that in Sunday show appearances discussing the Benghazi attacks that conservatives have focused on for years, then-Ambassador Rice used talking points that were approved by the intelligence community. She also admitted that any assessments were preliminary and that an investigation was ongoing.
But on Fox News, these debunked attacks from eight years ago merit more discussion on a “straight news” program than the deaths of over 3,100 people yesterday.