Fox News is heavily promoting efforts to convene a House of Representatives select committee to investigate the September attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Though a discharge petition for the committee has “zero chance of passing” and numerous congressional committees have devoted months to investigating the attacks, Fox News treated an anti-Obama group's support for the effort as big news with numerous live reports and interviews.
Anti-Obama Group Partners With Rep. Stockman For Benghazi Discharge Petition
New York's Chait: Rep. Steve Stockman's Discharge Petition “Has Zero Chance Of Passing.” Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) is circulating a discharge petition for House Resolution 36, which calls for a select committee to investigate the attacks in Benghazi. A discharge petition is a parliamentary procedure that takes a resolution out of committee and brings it directly to the floor for a vote. Stockman's discharge petition is opposed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and HR 36's sponsor Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA). New York reporter Jonathan Chait explained that “Stockman's petition has zero chance of passing”:
Stockman's petition has zero chance of passing. 160 Republicans have already endorsed the select committee, and even if all them signed, which they won't, it would fall well short of the 218 signatures needed. But the petition is not designed to pass. It's designed to raise the profile of the demand, and more broadly, to ratchet up the pressure on the Republican leaders to placate their angry maximalists.
Conservative Special Operations Speaks Group Unveiled “60-Foot Long Petition/Scroll” Pushing Discharge Petition For Select Committee On Benghazi. On July 23, Special Operations Speaks (SOS) unveiled a petition of special operations veterans “urging House members to sign the Discharge Petition forcing House consideration of HR 36 -- the bill to establish a Select Committee to fully investigate the Benghazi Massacre.” [Facebook.com, 7/24/13; SpecialOperationsSpeaks.com, accessed 7/24/13]
SOS Founder: “I Have To Admit That I'm A Birther.” Foreign Policy reported that Larry Bailey, the founder of SOS, believes that President Barack Obama is a socialist who was raised by communists and wasn't born in the United States:
President Barack Obama is a socialist, was raised by communists, and wasn't born in the United States, according to the former Navy SEAL who founded the group Special Operations Speaks (SOS), which aims to portray Obama as anti-military in this election season.
“I have to admit that I'm a Birther,” said SOS founder Larry Bailey, a retired 27-year veteran of the Navy SEALs, in an interview. “If there were a jury of 12 good men and women and the evidence were placed before them, there would be absolutely no question Barack Obama was not born where he said he was and is not who he says he is.”
Bailey, who is part of the leadership of SOS's effort to mobilize thousands to take to the streets to denounce Obama's treatment of the military through an SOS project called Operation Street Corner, doesn't only believe that the president is a foreigner. He also believes that he is not actually the son of Barack Obama, Sr. Bailey trumpeted the conspiracy theory that the president is actually the love child of Ann Dunham and writer Frank Marshall Davis. [Foreign Policy, 8/17/12, via Media Matters]
Fox News Previously Hyped SOS' Efforts On Benghazi. Fox News previously hyped the group's letter in April calling for another investigation on Benghazi by featuring it during several Fox News programs. [Media Matters, 4/8/13]
Fox Treats Benghazi Discharge Petition Efforts As Big News
Six Fox News Programs Covered Petition On July 23 Alone. According to a TVEyes.com search, Fox News devoted heavy coverage to the group's efforts supporting the discharge petition throughout the day on July 23. Fox & Friends (6am-9am ET), America's Newsroom (9am-11am), Happening Now (11am-1pm), America Live (1pm-3pm), Special Report (6pm), and Fox Report (7pm) all aired reports about the group and the discharge petition. Fox dispatched Chief Intelligence Correspondent Catherine Herridge to deliver live reports on the group's efforts.
Fox News Hosted Rep. Stockman To Discuss Petition. America's Newsroom hosted Rep. Stockman to discuss his efforts backing the discharge petition and a special committee investigation on Benghazi. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 7/23/13, via FoxNews.com]
Fox's Allen West A Featured Speaker At SOS Petition Event. Fox News contributor and former Rep. Allen West was a featured speaker at SOS' Benghazi discharge petition event. [SpecialOperationsSpeaks.com, accessed 7/24/13]
West Promoted Petition On Fox & Friends. Fox & Friends hosted West on July 24 to discuss his support for the discharge petition and the select committee on Benghazi. West claimed of the Benghazi attacks: “Without a doubt, there has to be seen as a cover-up and everyone that is complicit in this to include the media and those not willing to sign the discharge petition or H. Res. 36.” [Media Matters, 7/24/13]
Benghazi Attacks Have Been Thoroughly Investigated By Congress, Obama Administration
At Least Seven Different Congressional Committees, State Department Have Investigated Benghazi. The House Oversight Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence, House Judiciary Committee, House Armed Services Committee, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and Senate Intelligence Committee have conducted investigations into the Benghazi attacks. Furthermore, additional hearings have been scheduled on the attacks. The State Department also investigated the attacks through the non-partisan Accountability Review Board process, with the inquiry led by career diplomat Thomas Pickering and retired Admiral Mike Mullen. [Media Matters, 7/24/13, 5/13/13; Judiciary.House.gov, 5/24/2013]
For information about how Fox News has pushed myths and falsehoods about the attacks on Benghazi, go here.