A couple of readers have complained over the past week about a lack of overage in the Times-News about the Benghazi consulate attack that left a U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others killed.
Here’s a note about it from Linda Hall of Mebane.
I really like the Times-News, but it is puzzling why you have not covered this story more. Every day more news comes out showing the White House knew more than it has told the American people. The president has told one thing and other about this. Ambassador Chris Stevens requested more security several times including the day he was killed. I would like to see The Times-News cover this not just from the AP press because they are not covering it too well. Benghazi is a terrible, but to not tell the truth about it could be worse.
MY TAKE: My thanks for Ms. Hall for writing and to the people who have called. It’s very frustrating.
The Associated Press is our primary news service, and we subscribe to the most limited options available as a matter of cost. That was implemented a couple of years ago when the newspaper business in general was struggling. By extension, the AP is as well. They don’t have nearly the number of reporters and photographers they used to. We also subscribe to a news service operated by McClatchy. That is a consortium of newspapers stretching across the nation from the Los Angeles Times to the Miami Herald and several large metros in-between, including Chicago, Dallas and Detroit. All of them had foreign bureaus at one time and a multitude of staffers in Washington.
So the availability of world and national news is more limited for the Times-News than in the good ol’ days.
That said, though, none are covering Benghazi on a daily basis. Fox News is. Therefore, people who watch Fox News believe the story is being way undercovered by the mainstream media.
At this point, I’m not sure how much of the Fox coverage is politically motivated. On the flip side, I’m equally unsure if the seeming indifference by AP and other wire services is similarly linked to political leanings. It’s not that AP isn’t covering it, they’re just not devoting each day to it.
I don’t particularly like being in the middle. From my perspective, when politics is involved, then nothing can be trusted.
I did have one rather angry caller who didn’t blame the Times-News for a lack of coverage, but our wire services. He compared it to Watergate, saying that no one ignored that story back in the day.
But that’s incorrect. In fact, no one but the Washington Post published stories about the break-in and subsequent cover-up for months after it originally began to unravel. That became a concern for Post editors at that time. Even within the Post, there were questions about the credibility of the story and whether the newspaper was unfairly targeting Republicans in an election year — especially because the Associated Press and other wire services failed to tag along.
Ultimately, though, it became clear that something was afoot.
We’ll see if that holds true here.