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Hannity Doubles Down: The Phony Benghazi Scandal Committee Fox Built Was "Political"

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By RACHEL CALVERT


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Fox's Sean Hannity has doubled down on his admission that the Republican-led House Select Committee on Benghazi was part of a partisan strategy to diminish Hillary Clinton's chances in the 2016 presidential election. On September 29, Hannity gave Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy "credit where credit is due" for hurting Clinton's poll numbers with the committee's investigation, which was launched after months of Fox peddling sensationalized Benghazi myths and repeatedly calling for an investigation into the Obama administration's response to the September 11, 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya.

Hannity Gives "Credit Where Credit Is Due" To Rep. McCarthy For Hurting Clinton's Poll Numbers. On the September 29 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) -- widely touted as likely to become the next House Speaker -- listed the formation of the Benghazi committee as one of his signature accomplishments in Congress, bragging that Hillary Clinton's "numbers are dropping" as a result of the committee's investigation. Hannity agreed, saying, "I'll give you credit where credit is due" (emphasis added):

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY: The question I think you really want to ask me is, how am I going to be different? What are you going to see differently?

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I love how you asked my questions. But go ahead, that was one of my questions, go right ahead.

MCCARTHY: I knew you'd want to ask it. What you're going to see is a conservative speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win. And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought and made that happen.

HANNITY: I agree. That's something good, I give you credit for that, I give you credit for sequestration, I give you credit -- I'll give you credit where credit is due. [Fox News, Hannity, 9/29/15, via Media Matters]

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Hannity Doubles Down On McCarthy's Boast That Benghazi Committee Is Hurting Clinton: "Yeah, It's Political." On the September 30 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity doubled down on McCarthy's suggestion that the Benghazi committee is "political":

"HANNITY: This latest right-wing conspiracy that the criminal investigation into Hillary's server involves the Obama Justice Department. I was interviewing McCarthy last night, the press is making a big deal. He said, 'Well we started the investigation, and it brought Hillary's numbers down.' Yeah, it's political, but it wouldn't matter if she didn't lie. It wouldn't matter if she didn't break the law. But it matters because she did. It just reminds you, they are congenital liars. They lie about big things, small things. They lie in the morning, noon, and the night. They marry in all the seasons -- spring, summer, winter, and fall. They lie to the American people. They lie under oath. They lie like the rest of us breathe air. That's what the Clintons do. That's who they are." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 9/30/15]

Fox Aired Over A Thousand Primetime Benghazi Segments In the 20 Months Between The Attacks And The Announcement That Congress Would Convene A Special Committee. In the year-and-a-half between the attacks and House Speaker John Boehner's formation of a special committee to investigate the administration's response to Benghazi, Fox aired over a thousand evening segments about Benghazi. [Media Matters, 9/16/14]

During That Time, Fox Relentlessly Called For A Special Committee To Investigate The Attacks. For more than 18 months before the special committee's formation, Fox repeatedly called for a special investigation into Benghazi in the form of a special prosecutor or congressional committee. [Media Matters, 5/1/14]

Before His Appointment As Committee Chair, Gowdy Consistently Appeared On Fox To Push Benghazi Falsehoods. In the year before his appointment as the Benghazi committee chair, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) frequently appeared on Fox to push myths about the administration's response to Benghazi, including: that the administration's claim that assets could not be deployed in time to stop the siege at Benghazi "defies logic"; that the administration pushed a lie that the attacks were caused by an internet video; that no one knows where Obama was during the attack; and that the "sole function" of the State Department's Accountability Review Board was to insulate then-Secretary of State Clinton from blame over her handling of the attack. [Media Matters, 5/8/14]

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Fox News Led The Way In Creating And Promoting Lies, Smears, And Conspiracies About the Attacks. In the year following the Benghazi attacks, Fox led the conservative media charge to create and promote now-pervasive lies, smears, and conspiracy theories about Benghazi. Much of the criticism has revolved around two false charges: the Obama administration downplayed the role that terrorists played in the attack, and the administration held back additional U.S. military forces that could have been used to save lives. In reality, President Obama referred to the attack as an "act of terror" in his remarks the day after in the White House Rose Garden, and U.S. officials have made clear that all available and appropriate forces were sent to the scene as quickly as possible. [Media Matters, 9/11/13]

 

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Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

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