Study: Fox News Has Aired Nearly 1,100 Benghazi Segments

Since the night of the Benghazi terrorist attacks in 2012 until the formation of a House select committee to investigate the attacks this year, the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America has kept a close eye on Fox News Channel’s coverage.

That isn’t new, of course. Media Matters was essentially founded to serve as a counterweight to Fox’s misinformation. But the results of the 20-month study, released Tuesday and reported on by the Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone, are nevertheless eye-popping.

From Sept. 11, 2012, when U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died in the attacks, until May 2, when House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) established the special committee, Fox has run 1,098 segments that “included significant discussion of Benghazi,” according to the study. That makes for an average of roughly 13 segments each week.

The study examined five different Fox programs: “The Five,” “Special Report with Bret Baier,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity,” and “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”

Here are some other highlights from the study:

  • The talking points used by Susan Rice during her 2012 Sunday morning talk show appearances — a huge driver of the right-wing conspiracy that the Obama administration engaged in some kind of “cover-up” after the attacks — were mentioned during 478 different segments.
  • Speaking of the “cover-up,” that allegation surfaced in 281 segments.
  • There were 120 comparisons between Benghazi to Iran-Contra, Watergate and other actions by Richard Nixon.

According to the study, “Special Report,” the evening newscast hosted by Baier, ran 382 Benghazi-centric segments.

Baier recently hosted a much-ballyhooed interview with the subjects of the book “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi,” billed as a “harrowing, true account from the brave men on the ground who fought back during the Battle of Benghazi.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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