Fox's Benghazi Poll Coincides With House GOP Report

Since last year's attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, Fox News has pushed several conspiracy theories in an attempt to damage President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. At the same time many of those conspiracies found a new outlet in the form of a House GOP report, Fox issued poll findings critical of the Obama administration.

From the day after the September 11, 2012, attack on the Benghazi facility, the right-wing media has attempted to use the incident to inflict political damage on Obama. Fox News has led the charge on this campaign, spending months inventing new ways to target the president for the attacks. Fox's campaign resulted in a report by congressional Republicans that echoed many of the conspiracy theories that have been promoted by Fox and the right-wing media.

But this smear campaign has fallen apart at every turn. In December 2012, the independent Accountability Review Board further dismantled many of Fox's attacks, including the claim that the Obama administration refused to send reinforcements during the Benghazi attack. The most recent attack to fall flat is that Clinton denied requests for heightened security based on a cable that bore her name. As several media outlets pointed out, “every single cable sent from Washington to the field is sent over the secretary of state's name,” even if she wasn't directly involved.

Just days before the report was issued, Fox News conducted a poll that asked respondents questions about Benghazi, including about Clinton and the security cable. The release of the poll coincided with the issuing of a report from House Republicans.

The report, which was released on April 23, claimed that “in a cable signed by Secretary Clinton in April 2012, the State Department settled on a plan to scale back security assets for the U.S. Mission in Libya, including Benghazi.” On April 20-22, Fox News was polling this exact issue: “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she did not see a cable from the U.S. consulate in Benghazi asking for reinforcements for its security detail and warning the Obama administration about the dangerous situation the consulate was facing -- How do you feel about that?”

While the fact that the House GOP was publishing an attack on the Obama administration at the same time Fox was conducting a poll on the GOP report's contents could be coincidental, the timing raises questions about collaboration. Fox has been caught in the past acting as the communications arm of the GOP.