Fox News' Dana Perino demonstrated her network's habit of using any story to invoke Benghazi by daring meteorologists who are scheduled to meet with President Obama to ask him about the attack.
On the final segment of The Five, Perino discussed an upcoming event in which national and local TV meteorologists will speak with Obama about climate change issues after the release of the 2014 National Climate Assessment. Perino used the opportunity to reference the Benghazi attacks, saying: “Tomorrow, President Obama is going to do interviews with meteorologists all across the country about a new climate change report. ... I hope they ask him about Benghazi. Like the weatherman from Montana should ask him about Benghazi, that would be great. I dare you.”
Perino's line underscores the one common thread behind all of Fox's recent news coverage: invoking Benghazi at every opportunity. After Fox anchors Jon Scott and Jenna Lee cut away from a White House press briefing, promising to return only if Benghazi was being discussed, MSNBC's Steve Benen summed up the network's coverage by pointing out that “Fox has deemed all current events unworthy” unless it pertains to Benghazi:
This is getting a little weird.
By Fox's reasoning, there is only One True News Story. If current events distract from the One True News Story, then current events must be ignored ... while we wait for something to happen with the One True News Story.
That the One True News Story actually happened 20 months ago - it can no longer be accurately characterized as a current event - is a minor detail that should apparently be ignored by real Americans.
Scott added, “Talking about energy efficiency, of all things, right now. But if they get to some questions about this House select committee, how it will work, we will take you back there live.”
First, “of all things” is a hilarious phrase in this context. It's as if the Fox host is offended that the White House is addressing an issue that's not the 20-month-old One True News Story - how dare administration officials take energy policy seriously right now, when Fox has deemed all current events unworthy.
On May 2, a Fox host said “we'll go back” to a news conference with Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel only if a reporter asked a question about Benghazi. That day, the network got the formation of the special Benghazi committee it had spent months agitating for. After a Fox correspondent bragged about the role the network played in spurring Republicans to form the committee, the network spent the day pushing Benghazi falsehoods both old and new, and aired a special investigative report about Benghazi.
UPDATE: On the May 6 edition of The Five, Perino responded to coverage of her comment that meteorologists should ask President Obama about Benghazi:
PERINO: When I suggested that the weathermen ask the president about Benghazi, I was joking. So all of you people who have called me the most horrific words today on the left, you can just relax. It was a joke.