Fox News can't seem to talk about the Chris Christie bridge closure scandal without invoking Benghazi.
Fox & Friends devoted five segments during its January 10 broadcast to the growing scandal surrounding Republican Gov. Chris Christie and his administration's involvement in deliberate traffic gridlock across the George Washington Bridge as political retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee, NJ.
But in every segment purporting to discuss Christie, the hosts and guests used the story to attack President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by bringing up the September 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
Right-wing media figures have attempted to deflect from the Christie saga by attacking Obama and Clinton with tired myths, a tactic Fox's coverage took to new heights today. But the network's dogged determination to tie Benghazi to the Christie story is contextualized by new revelations about Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and his focus on influencing national politics.
Ailes has long expressed a love for Christie and reportedly lobbied hard for him to throw his hat in the ring for the 2012 presidential race. As a New York Times article on the upcoming biography of Ailes explained, he aimed in 2012 to use Fox News to “elect the next president.”
Media critics have already begun speculating that Fox's scant coverage of the Christie scandal the day it broke is evidence of a motivation to protect Christie's political brand before the 2016 election. The network's attempt to hide Christie behind Benghazi only strengthens that view.