Politics can best be summed up by the lyrics of one of my favorite Frank Sinatra songs, “That’s Life”: “I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king. I’ve been up and down and over and out, And I know one thing: Each time I find myself flat on my face, I pick myself up and get back in the race.”
A few months ago, Hillary Clinton was “flat on her face” and to the casual observer her campaign seems to be on the rebound. The “success” of Clinton’s campaign has nothing to do with her fortitude and everything to do with the media’s desire to avoid doing their job. The question is why has our media abandoned their responsibility?
If we knew nothing about this presidential race, many of us would believe Donald Trump was the only person running for president. We would believe there were no other candidates or issues that need to be discussed. To believe this would make us fools. The press was meant to serve as a vital part of that defense, one of many guardians in the watchtower.
There was a time when we once believed in the nobility of the press. We had visions of the struggling journalist, much like the movie character Dutton Peabody, proclaiming “I’m your conscience, I’m the small voice that thunders in the night, I’m your watchdog who howls against the wolves, I, I’m your father confessor!” What Peabody was describing was a person not in search of the truth, but someone dedicated to reporting the facts wherever they may lead. This brings me back to the Clinton campaign.
On Dec. 6, Clinton appeared on George Stephanopoulos’ TV show. Stephanopoulos is a long-time Clinton ally who now pretends to play a journalist on TV. During that appearance, he asked Clinton about Benghazi and whether she blamed an obscure, anti-Muslim video for the consulate attack. In particular, he asked “Did you tell them (the family of the men killed during the attack) it was about the film? And what’s your response?” Clinton responded, “No. You know, look I understand the continuing grief at the loss that parents experienced with the loss of these four brave Americans. And I did testify, as you know, for 11 hours. And I answered all of these questions.”
This response was not only a lie according to the families of the fallen men, but her response was extremely condescending. Sean Smith’s mother, Glen Doherty’s sister and Tyrone Woods’ father have publicly stated that on Sept. 14, 2012, at Andrews Air Force Base, Clinton told them a video was responsible for their loved one’s death, stating “we are going to have the filmmaker arrested who was responsible for the death of your son,” reiterating several times “the filmmaker who was responsible for the death of your son.” This past week, Clinton lied on national TV, a lie she has repeated several times, and for the most part uncontested by major media outlets. But that was only one of two major Clinton issues exposed.
This past week, we learned from numerous sources, including the Wall Street Journal and National Review, that an email from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s chief of staff shows a U.S. special operations team was ready to deploy to assist the Benghazi consulate, far earlier than has been testified to. Had the special operations team been deployed, it would have arrived at Benghazi before the heaviest fighting started. According to reports, Jeremy Bash, Panetta’s aide, emailed Clinton’s top aides and informed them a quick reaction force was ready and were “spinning up as we speak” to deploy to Benghazi. Bash stated “Assuming Principals agree to deploy these elements; we will ask State to secure the approval from host nation, please advise how you wish to convey that approval to us.” Bash stated he at first tried to reach Clinton by phone, but was blocked because Clinton was in a meeting.
This recent email clearly contradicts Clinton’s testimony before the House committee, and begs the question, why was it not released earlier? The facts are simple: Our nation had an opportunity to deploy a fighting force to help those in need at the Benghazi consulate, and did not. Clinton and Obama love to brag about “being in the situation room” the night Navy SEAL Team Six got Bin Laden. How is it possible the attack on the Benghazi consulate did not warrant the same type of continuous gathering?
The media is content with lazy reporting; pretending the only person running for president is Trump. It is a pathetic excuse to abandon their responsibility. The press is the Fourth Estate, meant to serve as a pillar of a free society. The press was never meant to be ideologues, but to serve the cause of liberty as watchdogs. The First Amendment is not a recommendation, it is a principle men and women have died defending. The modern press is squandering this most precious right. Trump is worthy of coverage, but the media has gone overboard and appears to be using the latest “Trumpism” as an excuse not to do their job.
Some may believe the media has never lived up to the virtues portrayed in books and movies, that this romantic portrayal is nothing more than a lofty vision. Our Founding Fathers did not believe this, nor should we as a society that values integrity above all else.