Conservative figures have resorted to linking the 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, to the July 17 crash of Flight MH17, a Malaysia Airlines jetliner reportedly shot down by pro-Russia rebels as it flew over Ukraine, killing nearly 300 people.
This form of exploitation has become commonplace among right-wing talking heads, who have repeatedly attempted to link Benghazi to a variety of unrelated events such as the Chris Christie bridge scandal, Yom Kippur, Monday Night Football, openly gay NFL prospect Michael Sam, the weather, and even the still-missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.
These media figures often invoke Benghazi to attack President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or to deflect scrutiny away from conservatives, and the deadly plane crash in Ukraine presented another opportunity.
Radio host Rush Limbaugh took aim at Obama's response to the plane crash by linking it to the administration's response to the Benghazi attacks. Criticizing Obama for not taking a harsher stance toward Russia and the pro-Russia rebels who reportedly shot down the plane, Limbaugh alleged on his July 21 show, “If we're not going to take action against Benghazi ... we're not going to take action here.”
Responding to Obama's July 21 statement on Ukraine and the downed plane, Fox News contributor and Townhall.com editor Katie Pavlich tweeted:
Obama will get to the bottom of the plane shoot down, just as he did for Benghazi, IRS, etc etc etc
-- Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) July 21, 2014
Fox News contributor and RedState.com editor Erick Erickson responded to Obama's initial statement on the plane crash on July 17 by invoking the inflammatory anti-Islam video linked to the 2012 Benghazi attacks. He tweeted:
Thankfully the President didn't blame a YouTube video.
-- Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) July 17, 2014