Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 has been missing since March 8, and the search for its whereabouts has consumed media attention worldwide. But to Fox News, the missing airliner is reminiscent of Benghazi.
Conservative media have repeatedly attempted to link the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, to a variety of unrelated events, often invoking the tragedy to attack President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or to deflect conservatives from scrutiny. Inside the right-wing bubble, the Chris Christie bridge scandal, Yom Kippur, Monday Night Football, and even openly gay NFL prospect Michael Sam are all opportunities to invoke Benghazi.
It was only a matter of time before Fox brought the same mentality to its coverage of the missing plane:
Host Bill O'Reilly: Media Are Talking About The Plane To Avoid Talking About Benghazi. Bill O'Reilly complained about the media “running wild” coverage of missing flight MH370 on the March 20 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, arguing that so much attention is devoted to the story in part because the press “doesn't want to cover important stories like the IRS and Benghazi.”
Analyst Ralph Peters: Missing Airliner Is To Malaysia What Benghazi Is To U.S. Fox's strategic analyst Ralph Peters told The Kelly File on March 18 that for the Malaysian government, the missing plane is “their Benghazi”:
PETERS: The Malaysian government was obviously blindsided. They didn't know what to do. It was sort of their Benghazi scandal. The Malaysian military was embarrassed, the Malaysian airline was embarrassed.
Analyst Peter Johnson, Jr.: “Incredible Phenomenon” That Newscasts Don't Focus On Benghazi, Only The Missing Plane. On Fox & Friends on March 21, Fox's legal analyst Peter Johnson, Jr. called it “quite incredible” that media is so focused on the missing Malaysia flight rather than “things like Benghazi”:
JOHNSON, JR: This is quite incredible, and it's an incredible phenomenon. Leading the nightly newscasts in America for the last 11 days, these newscasts don't focus on things like Benghazi, Fast & Furious, and IRS. But they do have the capacity to understand this story, and as do we here at Fox News Channel.
Host Andrea Tantaros: Grieving Families Of Plane Passengers “Feels Like The Families Of Benghazi. Just Saying.” On March 20, Fox's The Five highlighted the obstacles grieving families of passengers aboard flight MH370 are facing in learning the fate of their loved ones, leading co-host Andrea Tantaros to invoke the Benghazi attacks: “I mean, living in Malaysia, the government seemingly ignored these people. They didn't want their stories to get out ... Feels like the families of Benghazi. Just saying.”
Host Greg Gutfeld: America Could Find The Missing Plane As Long As It's “Not Hidden In Benghazi.” The Five co-host Greg Gutfeld began the March 19 episode of the Fox program by blaming America for the failure to find the missing airliner, claiming: “But America could close this investigation fast if it wanted to -- Well, as long as the plane's not hidden in Benghazi or the IRS building.”