Greta Van Susteren, a cable television personality since 1991, has spent her 14 year TV career building her reputation as a hard hitting, unbiased arbiter of the truth. She started working for CNN in 1991 as a legal analyst. She came into prominence during the OJ Simpson trial and after 11 years at CNN, she went to FOX News.
Greta is known for asking hard questions, but being respectful in the process. She garners respect from not only her colleagues, but also the folks that she has interviewed.
That is why it’s no surprise that Van Susteren is pulling no punches and reporting the latest attempt by the Obama administration to exert influence over and control the news. She says that someone within the Obama administration, someone that she knows personally, told her to tell Fox reporter, Jennifer Griffin to back off and stop investigating and reporting on the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi on 9/11/2012.
I remembered a disturbing phone call from a good friend in the Obama Administration. I have known this friend for years. The call was a short time after 9/11 (maybe Oct. 2012?) In the call, my friend told me that my colleague Jennifer Griffin, who was aggressively reporting on Benghazi, was wrong and that, as a favor to me, my friend in the Administration was telling me so that I could tell Jennifer so that she did not ruin her career. My friend was telling me to tell Jennifer to stop her reporting. Ruin her career?
In 20 plus years, I have never received a call to try and shut down a colleague – not that I even could – this was a first. Here is what I know: Jennifer is a class act…experienced…and a very responsible journalist. One of the absolute best in the business – no axe to grind, she just wants the facts.
I told my friend before I go to Jennifer telling her she is wrong, I need proof she is wrong, strong proof and you need to be specific – what are you saying she is getting wrong? We went around and around — including the statement again that this was just a call as a favor to Jennifer and me to save Jennifer’s career from reporting incorrect information. I got no proof. Zero. I smelled a rat. Favor to me? Hardly. My friend was trying to use me. I feel bad that a friend did that to me, tried to use me for a dirty reason. I knew then — and it is now confirmed by BIPARTISAN Senate Intelligence Committee — Jennifer was getting her facts right. I think it is really low for the Administration to stoop this low.
On her website, Gretawire, she posted that in the days following the attack, Fox was left out of the conference call hosted by the State Department press. Fox received no invitation to that call, while all other major news outlets were included. But it got worse, for a later briefing by the CIA followed the same MO by excluding Fox News.
“Our friends in other media outlets were scandalized that Fox was not included and told us all about it. They were suspicious of State Department forgetting us/Fox and courageous to tip us off. The State Department claimed it was [an] accident and not intentional,” Van Susteren writes.
And there were many times in the months and years since September 2012 when Obama Administration officials would make comments to suggest that Fox was just doing the Benghazi reporting for political reasons. The Administration was doing what it could to deter and demean the Fox News Channel investigation. They did not want to give us the facts — so their strategy was to attempt to belittle and demean our reporting.
It turns out Fox News wasn’t alone in being the subject of the Obama administration’s bullying tactics. CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson scared the administration so bad that not only was her very own network taking a dim view of her reporting, but she began to get stonewalled, having trouble getting her Benghazi stories on the air. But the veteran reporter persisted, even after her computer got hacked. CBS confirmed this, but stopped short of placing blame. Atkisson said:
I find [that] improper,” she said. “You could say suspicious.” Suspicious? “We don’t know what we don’t know,” she says. “There could be political reasons or valid national security reasons [for not replying]. I just don’t know. I know they haven’t made a good argument” for why public disclosure of the material would harm national security.
Breitbart would later report that the survivors, which were debriefed by the State Department immediately following the attacks have been kept out of the public eye, and that they in all likelihood they were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements.
It was reported that Nixon had an enemies’ list and he used similar thug tactics to control the message. The only difference being that the MSM was outraged by it and publicly took him to task. Today’s MSM and some of the cable news outlets may be just as outraged, but you’d never know it by listening to the evening news.