After two Republican members of Congress and a Republican ex-staffer admitted the partisan aims of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, several Fox News personalities finally conceded that “of course” the committee is political, but tried to justify it by arguing that “everything” is in Congress and Washington.
Republicans Admit Benghazi Committee Was Designed To Go After Hillary Clinton
Two Congressmen And Ex-Benghazi Committee Staffer Admit Partisan Nature Of The Committee. Since September 29, three credible Republicans have admitted to the partisan nature of the House Select Committee on Benghazi and its primary goal of tarnishing Hillary Clinton. While the first admission may have been inadvertent -- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) boasted that the committee had achieved its goal of damaging Clinton's poll numbers during an interview with Fox News about his candidacy for House Speaker -- since then, former Benghazi committee staffer Bradley F. Podliska and a second Republican congressman, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), have come forward and admitted the committee was “designed to go after” Clinton. [Media Matters, 9/29/15; 10/11/15, 10/14/15]
Fox Figures Concede That “Of Course” The Benghazi Committee Is Political
Bill O'Reilly: “Of Course [The Benghazi Committee Is] Political,” Those Republicans “Want To Bring Down Hillary Clinton.” During the October 8 edition of Fox News' The Five, Bill O'Reilly defended the committee's existence but admitted that “of course it's political,” noting, “If you think those guys, those Republicans on that panel, don't want to bring down Hillary Clinton, you're six-years-old. Because they do”:
BILL O'REILLY: If you don't think the Benghazi thing is political, of course it's political. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't know what exactly happened, and why the secretary of state was ignorant about the security problems in Benghazi, Libya. But if you think those guys, those Republicans on that panel don't want to bring down Hillary Clinton, you're six-years-old. Because they do. So it is political. But it is also incumbent upon the most transparent human being that's ever lived, according to herself, Hillary Clinton. And you know, I think Claude Rains in The Invisible Man is offended by that, all right? It is incumbent upon her to explain a lot of things that she hasn't explained. So I don't mind that it's political. I just want to get to the bottom of it. And here is the bottom of it: Hillary Clinton will not be president of the United States if the FBI comes back and says she broke the law. And they may well. So that's it. It's the FBI, it's not the House Committee on Benghazi. Whatever they say isn't going to matter to Hillary Clinton. The FBI will matter, and we should have that I would say in three or four months. [Fox News, The Five, 10/8/15]
Brit Hume: “Nearly Every Investigation Ever Conducted In Congress Is Political” And That Applies To Benghazi “As Much As Anything Else.” During the October 12 edition of The O'Reilly Factor senior political analyst Brit Hume agreed with O'Reilly's assessment of the Benghazi committee's purpose, reasoning that “nearly every investigation ever conducted in Congress is political”:
BRIT HUME: Well, the first thing that needs to be said about this is that nearly every investigation ever conducted in Congress is political. It's political because it's a political institution. The investigation is being conducted by politicians who have an axe to grind on both sides, whether they're running the investigation as the majority party or whether they're in the minority. And that applies to this investigation much as anything else. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 10/12/15]
Bret Baier: “Clearly, Politics Plays In Everything That Goes On Here In Washington.” During the October 12 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, Bret Baier defended the “substance” of the Benghazi committee while admitting that politics play a role, saying, “Clearly, politics plays in everything that goes on here in Washington.” [Fox News, Happening Now, 10/12/15]
Fox Has Spent Years Politicizing The Benghazi Committee In Order To Attack Hillary Clinton
Fox Repeatedly Mentioned Benghazi During Discussions About Clinton's Potential 2016 Presidential Bid In The Months Before She Declared. Fox News anchors, reporters, and show hosts continually brought up the specter of Benghazi as speculation about the 2016 presidential race heated up. Fox connected the Benghazi attacks to a potential Clinton presidential run shortly after President Obama's 2012 re-election and then went quiet until May, 2013, when a Benghazi committee hearing sparked a surge of 19 mentions. Mentions of Benghazi as a potential stumbling block for Clinton steadily rose again in December 2013 and continued into 2014.
[Media Matters, 9/16/14]