Fox Shows Why Other Media Outlets Aren't Following Its Lead On Libya Coverage

On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume claimed that Fox News is doing “all the heavy lifting” on covering the September 11 attack in Benghazi and criticized other media outlets for supposedly failing to adequately cover the story. Yet during the same broadcast, Fox figures pushed multiple distortions about the Benghazi attack.

Hume Claims Fox News Is Doing The Libya Coverage Other Media Outlets Refuse To Do

Hume: One Problem With Libya Reporting Is That Fox News Is Doing “All The Heavy Lifting On This Story” While Other Media “Have Not Done Their Job.” During the October 28 edition of Fox Broadcasting's Fox News Sunday, Fox anchor Brit Hume said, during a discussion of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, “One of the problems we're having here is that it has fallen to this news organization, Fox News, and a couple of others to do all the heavy lifting on this story.” Hume claimed that mainstream media “would be after this like a pack of hounds, if this were a Republican president,” and concluded that “a lot of the media ... have not done their job.” [Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Sunday, 10/28/12]

Yet During The Same Show, Fox Figures Pushed Distortions About The Libya Attack

Fox's Rove Pushed The Myth That “Support Wasn't Given” To Those Under Siege At Benghazi Compound

Rove Said “A Quick Rapid Force” Should Have Been Moved Into Position During Benghazi Attack; Claims “Support Wasn't Given.” Also during the October 28 show, Fox News contributor Karl Rove claimed that “support wasn't given” to those under siege during the Benghazi attack, saying:

ROVE: Yeah, you don't want to send people into harm's way without knowing what's on the ground. But you can at least begin to move assets to the fight -- to the conflict. You could have a C-130 gunship orbiting off of -- off of Benghazi, waiting for clarity. You can put a QRF, a quick rapid force into position. You could have them airborne. You can have them out there. The president says he ordered support to be given and, yet, support wasn't given. [Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Sunday, 10/28/12]

But Additional Forces, Including A Quick Reaction Team, Immediately Responded To The Benghazi Attack. The Associated Press reported that additional security forces did respond to the attack on the consulate:

  • AP: Agents At Benghazi Compound Alerted U.S. Officials To The Attack. In an October 9 conference call, a group of State Department officials reportedly told media outlets that additional forces came to the aid of the Benghazi compound as it was attacked. The Associated Press reported that in a control center at the compound, “agents watched on cameras as a large group of armed men flowed into the compound. They immediately sounded the alarm and made telephone calls to the embassy in Tripoli, officials in Washington, the Libyan authorities and the U.S. quick reaction force located at a second compound a little over a mile away.” [Associated Press, 10/10/12, via The Denver Post]
  • AP: Six-Member Quick Reaction Team And 60 Libyan Militiamen In Benghazi Responded To The Attack. The AP reported that a “six-member quick reaction security team arrived on the scene from its compound across town, the officials said. About 60 Libyan militiamen accompanied the team, and it again tried to secure a perimeter around [Ambassador Chris] Stevens' building, taking turns searching inside.” [Associated Press, 10/10/12, via The Denver Post]
  • AP: Reinforcements From Embassy In Tripoli Arrived The Same Night. The quick-response team returned to its compound across town and the same night, a “team of reinforcements from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli arrived on a chartered aircraft at the Benghazi airport and reached the security compound,” the AP explained. [Associated Press, 10/10/12, via The Denver Post]

Rove And Wallace Pushed False Claim That The CIA Asked For Backup During The Attack And Were Turned Down

Wallace: “CIA Operators On The Ground In Benghazi Asked For Military Backup And Were Turned Down Several Times.” Also during the broadcast, host Chris Wallace began a segment about the Benghazi attack by saying that “we learned” in the past week “the fact that CIA operators on the ground in Benghazi asked for military backup and were turned down several times while the attack was going on.” [Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Sunday, 10/28/12]

Rove Suggested CIA Operatives “At The Clandestine Annex Were Told Three Times, 'Do Not Engage.' ” Rove said during the broadcast, “If the CIA at the -- at the clandestine annex were told three times, 'Do not engage,' and we had men disregard the orders of their superiors and go to the fighting in order to save American lives, something went fundamentally and dangerously wrong.” [Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Sunday, 10/28/12]

But Fox News Itself Reported The CIA Denies That Its Operatives Were Refused Help. An October 26 article charged that the CIA chain of command denied a request for military back-up during the Benghazi attack, and that CIA commanders also told CIA operators to stand down rather than aid those under attack when shots were heard. The article acknowledged, however, that CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood “denied the claims that requests for support were turned down” and continued:

“We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi,” [Youngblood] said. “Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.  In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night-and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.” [, 10/26/12]

Fox News Has Repeatedly Distorted The Facts On The Benghazi Attack

Fox Figures Ignored Report To Claim Attack Was Unrelated To Anti-Islam Video. Fox News figures have repeatedly attacked the Obama administration for linking the Benghazi attack to an anti-Islam video filmed in the U.S. that sparked worldwide protests. [Media Matters, 10/16/12]

  • In Fact, NYT Reported Attackers Said They Struck U.S. Compound In Benghazi “In Retaliation For The Video.” An October 15 New York Times article reported that the people who attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi said that an anti-Muslim film prompted the attack.  [Media Matters, 10/16/12]

Fox Hosts Misinterpreted State Dept. Emails To Claim Admin. Immediately Knew Benghazi Attack Was Terrorism. Fox hosts Greta Van Susteren and Steve Doocy both claimed State Department emails showed that the administration knew during the attack that it was being committed by a terrorist group. [Media Matters, 10/24/12]

  • But Emails Only Show State Dept. Was Aware An Islamic Group Had Claimed Responsibility. As reported by CBS, one of the emails sent by State Department officials during the attack only stated that “the embassy in Tripoli reported the Islamic group 'Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibilty [sic] for Benghazi Attack'... 'on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.' ” [, 10/23/12]

Fox Spent Four Hours Trying To Explain Away The Fact That Obama Immediately Labeled The Benghazi Attack An Act Of Terror. In the second presidential debate, moderator Candy Crowley corrected Mitt Romney after he falsely claimed that President Obama had waited 14 days to describe the attack on the Benghazi compound as an act of terror. In the two days after the debate, Fox News aired 55 segments, totaling more than four hours, that attempted to portray Obama's reference to “acts of terror” as a general statement or as referring to another incident. [Media Matters, 10/22/12]

Fox Hosts Have Pushed A Multitude Of Falsehoods About Benghazi. Since the September 11 attack, Fox hosts have pushed many false claims about what happened in Benghazi, from supporting the smear that Obama “sympathize[d]” with the attackers to falsely claiming the Obama administration refused to call the attack terrorism. [Media Matters, 9/26/12