There are three levels of difficulty when it comes to covering Fox News Channel. Admittedly, the easiest job in the world is writing about Fox News Channel and its ongoing self-beclowning. Watching Fox News Channel, on the other hand, is a lot more challenging. But resisting the urge to bash the screen with a giant cartoon-sized wooden hammer while watching Fox News is nearly impossible.
We absolutely faced the third level of difficulty today when on Fox News' Out Numbered, moderator Andrea Tantaros brought up the topic of Hillary Clinton and the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and, instead of welcoming a foreign policy expert or even a presidential historian, Tantaros turned to former MTV veejay "Kennedy" and, yes, football color-commentator Terry Bradshaw for their [cough] insights.
We'll skip the Kennedy section in the transcript and jump right to Bradshaw.
TANTAROS: Do you trust Hillary Clinton?
BRADSHAW: Not really. Don’t particularly like her, never have. The best thing to do here because she’s selling a book — the only reason she’s on Fox is because she’s promoting books.I always say this, if you tell the truth, you don’t have to worry about covering up some other story. The truth sets you free. Just tell the truth. And now you can hang it — you’ll never forget it, and it becomes your foundation. [...] If she’s going to decide to run for president, she’s going to have to answer for the Benghazi deal.
Breaking news: Young Frankenstein says Clinton will have to answer for the "Benghazi deal." I suppose he should get credit for at least correctly pronouncing "Benghazi," so there's that. But this is what the issue has come down to. Fox News has so brutalized the topic that it's lost all gravity and been reduced to nothing but a "deal" -- another meaningless "gate" in a long list of War On Christmas style segment fillers. Slow news day? Benghazi! Why not?
It's reached the point where the word itself is no longer a place-name or the site of a tragedy or even the historic line in the sand where Qaddafi was finally stopped. It's a buzzword that Terry Bradshaw can belch out as a reason why he doesn't like Hillary Clinton, as if it matters. When in doubt, go with Benghazi. "Benghazi" is an outrage trigger for Fox News Channel -- another bit to exploit for the gawking delight of low information, angry white people. It's a carefully crafted topic wherein the details are irrelevant. Just shout "Benghazi," and the segment writes itself.
By the way, it's been 24 hours since The New York Timesreported that suspect Abu Khattala admitted to hitting the consulate in retaliation for the anti-Islam internet video. But you'd never know it listening to Terry Bradshaw and Kennedy. This is my surprised face.