Ari Fleischer, a pundit and former press secretary for President George W. Bush, on Thursday compared Michael Cohen’s campaign finance violations to “60 Minutes”’ Benghazi coverage — conveniently leaving out that Cohen’s crimes were not ones of editorial discretion, but rather, those of cold hard cash.
“The idea of media corporations not playing a role in campaigns is a joke. Does anybody remember when ’60 Minutes’ suppressed information about Barack Obama contradicting what he said in one of the presidential debates about Benghazi being caused by terrorism?” Fleischer said. “’60 Minutes’ sat on that, didn’t make that information public, that he was contradicted in their interview. They suppressed the news until the day before the 2012 election. Media companies do play roles in elections, and everybody knows it.”
He was referring to when “60 Minutes” withheld video for several weeks that showed Obama saying, the day after the Benghazi attacks, that it was “too early to tell” whether they were terroristic in nature.
But Fleischer missed the crucial point of Cohen’s confessed criminal activity: The former Trump fixer engaged in campaign finance violations — coordinating real payments of money to two women who allegedly had affairs with Trump, in order to help Trump’s electoral chances. American Media, Inc., the “National Enquirer” publisher, paid off Karen McDougal with Cohen’s coordination.
“60 Minutes” was never accused of being financially involved in the 2012 election on Obama’s behalf.
Ari Fleischer: AMI/National Enquirer 'catch and kill' is like when CBS/60 Minutes covered up Benghazi for Obama. pic.twitter.com/uskzzRmesC
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) December 13, 2018