Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Obama's 'Staggering, Inapt Activities' During Benghazi Attack? What? No, Really: What?!?

May 21, 2013 - There are gaps in the timeline. Where was Barack Obama on the long night of the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya on last September 11? Incredibly, we don't know. The White House staff won't say. Obama won't say. His representatives won't say.

"I got nothin' here. Hmmm. I'll give it a sexy
headline and send it to press. COPY!"
Maybe someone is about to tell us. Or maybe not. Or maybe somebody will say that somebody might tell us, sorta, but won't. Yes, that's confusing. Sorry....

Redflag News has a crappy post with a jolting headline on their website today:

"SHOCK: Obama Was 'Incapacitated' Due To 'Staggering, Inapt Activities' Between The Hours Of 1800 And 2300 On The Night Of Benghazi..." The post, by J. R. Elliott, is sensational to be sure. But the post is like candy, with empty calories. If you'll pardon the expression, the post raises some red flags.

"Incapacitated" due to "staggering, inapt activities?" One can only guess what Redflag means by that, because they offer no explanation in the post. "Inapt" means "inappropriate," but that could indicate anything from simply not paying attention to being absent without leave. My imagination, admittedly in the gutter, conjured up disturbing images of Obama in a sexual orgy with interns. Or smoking crack. "Incapacitated?" Drugs? Alcohol? Both? "Staggering?" As in mind boggling, or as in heavily intoxicated?

I am disturbed by these mental images, but I am also annoyed by posts such as the one by J.R. Elliott. The post breathlessly says, in effect, "Hey! Look! Some unnamed people are saying that Obama was doing inappropriate stuff!"

"Two sources close to the inner circle of the Obama White House," wrote Elliott, "have communicated exclusively to RedFlag News that during the night of Benghazi, President Obama was 'incapacitated' due to 'staggering, inapt activities' between the hours of 1800 and 2300."

And who are those sources? "In light of the clear culture of intimidation by the Obama Administration," Elliot wrote, "our sources are not in any position to come forward." Huh? So, how do we know that Elliott didn't just make this up? I'm not saying he did. But he's not proving he didn't. It's just not good to make sensational accusations and then attribute them to unnamed sources who will never be named. It casts your own reporting into question.

Well, okay. I appreciate that anonymous sources may have "communicated" with J.R. Maybe they have hot info. But it sounds like they didn't even tell Elliott what they meant by "'Incapacitated' Due To 'Staggering, Inapt Activities'." If they did, why didn't he share any of it with us?

What we do know is that we don't know what Obama was doing on Sept. 11, 2012. On May 19, "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace noted that there are pictures of Obama sitting in the Situation Room the night Osama bin Laden was killed, but on the night Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed we don't have so much as an artist's sketch.

Elliott's post seems to have no point other than to grab some hits for Redflag. Look, I'm no Bob Woodward, but he would have waited until he knew he had a story to say he had a story. Elliott's post is not journalism. It's like being promised a magnificent meal, but only getting a menu.

I've worked as a professional journalist (and have a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin). I fully appreciate the use of anonymous sources. I've done it myself. But you only mention your anonymous sources if doing so lends credence to your story. In the case of Elliott's Redflag post, there is no story, just speculation. If you have no story, you don't rush to press screaming that you have unnamed people saying something might have happened but you don't know what. It just makes you look stupid, as it did when J.R. Elliot made that mistake.

Elliott went on to say that his mystery sources urge the media to do their jobs to uncover the "most damaging story in American presidential history." Maybe Elliott hasn't been paying attention. The media, even much of the Mainstream, left-leaning media, have been clamoring to report this story. Believe me, they smell blood. If ABC or CBS or NBC can uncover "the most damaging story in American presidential history," they will sell out their beloved Obama for ratings. And why not? They're pissed at him for Obama's Dept. of Justice grabbing the phone and email records of Associated Press reporters and editors.

Did Elliott's mysterious sources tell him how Obama was "incapacitated," and what his "inapt activities" were? We must assume so, for surely Elliott is not so stupid as to base a story as "explosive" as his on being told simply that Obama was acting badly. Put yourself in his place: Wouldn't you ask the sources to give you some details? The sources, if they exist, would want the story out there. Why else would they tell Elliott what he says they told him? If they did tell him the details, why didn't he at least hint at what they were in his crappy post?

Contrast the empty Redflag post to much better one over at PJ Media, titled "More Benghazi Whistleblowers Come Forth With 'Devastating Info'." Unlike J.R. Elliott's post, we get red meat from PJM's Roger L. Simon.

What J.R. Elliott gave us in his Redflag post was a shiny package with nothing inside. Nothing.

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