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MSNBC's Hayes Gloats Over Kidnapping and Murder Stories Preempting Benghazi Media Coverage

Media Research CenterOn Wednesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes was gleeful over media coverage of the Benghazi hearings being preempted by both the story of three girls kidnapped and held prisioner for a decade in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as the verdict in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Hayes flippantly referred to the crime stories as "the next Lifetime original movie" as he teased the segment at the top of the show:

Good evening from New York. I'm Chris Hayes. Thank you for joining us. Cautionary tales abound tonight. A Republican Congressman tries to manufacture the next Watergate, but instead gets upstaged by the next Lifetime original movie.

At about 8:15 p.m., he plugged the segment again during a commercial break:

Still to come, the only thing that can kill a story manufactured for cable news is an even more lurid and more shameful story manufactured for cable news. I'll explain why Darrell Issa and Roger Ailes are having a sad tonight.

At about 8:43 p.m., the MSNBC host mocked conservatives for being so interested in Benghazi as he introduced the segment:

Today was set up to be a big day, a very big day for Roger Ailes; the Fox Network; Drudge Report readers; the denizens of Michelle Malkin's Web site, Twitchy; Sean Hannity's radio audience, and Congressman Darrell Issa. Why? Because today was (LOWERS HIS VOICE) Benghazi day.

After playing clips of several Fox News hosts talking up the Benghazi hearings, Hayes moved to undermine the notion of scandal in spite of Fox News attention:

So Fox News was all geared up today to really capture the outrage, to embrace the much-hyped whistle blower who second-guessed a decision allegedly made by Special Operations Command Africa not to send Special Forces from Tripoli, the capital, to Benghazi, the site of the consulate, after insurgents attacked the mission there.

A Pentagon spokesman reiterated today that Special Forces could not have made it to Benghazi in time to save lives and were needed in Tripoli to help secure the embassy there.

He continued:

That's not important because Fox was all teed up, promos had been made, hosts were properly outraged, the coverage plan was in motion, and then the cable news apocalypse happened.

After showing clips of FNC switching from Benghazi to crime story coverage, Hayes asserted that Fox was "sort of amusingly knocked off their game today," and accused the news network of "monomanical persistence" that has "created an entire alternate universe in which Benghazi is the most pressing issue facing the country right now, and Congress, your representatives are listening."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, May 8, All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC:

CHRIS HAYES, IN OPENING TEASER: Good evening from New York. I'm Chris Hayes. Thank you for joining us. Cautionary tales abound tonight. A Republican Congressman tries to manufacture the next Watergate, but instead gets upstaged by the next Lifetime original movie.

(...)

HAYES, DURING COMMERCIAL BREAK AT 8:15 P.M.: Still to come, the only thing that can kill a story manufactured for cable news is an even more lurid and more shameful story manufactured for cable news. I'll explain why Darrell Issa and Roger Ailes are having a sad tonight.

(...)

HAYES, AT 8:43 P.M.: Today was set up to be a big day, a very big day for Roger Ailes; the Fox Network; Drudge Report readers; the denizens of Michelle Malkin's Web site, Twitchy; Sean Hannity's radio audience, and Congressman Darrell Issa. Why? Because today was (CHANGES HIS VOICE) Benghazi day.

(CLIP OF FOX NEWS CHANNEL PROMO OF BENGHAZI COVERAGE)

Oh, Hillary Clinton, how did she get in there? If you have not been watching Fox News nonstop like we have here in the office, then you are likely unaware that the biggest story in America right now is, of course, the fallout, coverup, and nefarious doings behind the horrible death of four Americans in the attack on Benghazi on September 11, 2012. According to Fox News, this coverup is literally the biggest scandal since Watergate.

GREG GUTFELD, FROM THE MAY 1 THE FIVE ON FNC: Watergate: Nixon lied, but nobody died. Benghazi: Four dead, the White House went to bed.

BILL O'REILLY, FROM FNC'S THE O'REILLY FACTOR, CLIP #1: Will it become, like the Watergate thing, a huge story?

O'REILLY, FROM FNC'S THE O'REILLY FACTOR, CLIP #2: It's the same thing that happened with Watergate.

MIKE HUCKABEE, FROM THE MAY 5 HUCKABEE ON FNC: I still believe that if this is just about a little old video, then Watergate was just about a little old flashlight and some duct tape and a bungled burglary of the Democratic headquarters.

SEAN HANNITY, FROM FNC'S HANNITY: By the way, in that case, nobody died in Watergate.

HAYES: Nobody died in Watergate. So Fox News was all geared up today to really capture the outrage, to embrace the much-hyped whistle blower who second-guessed a decision allegedly made by Special Operations Command Africa not to send Special Forces from Tripoli, the capital, to Benghazi, the site of the consulate, after insurgents attacked the mission there.

A Pentagon spokesman reiterated today that Special Forces could not have made it to Benghazi in time to save lives and were needed in Tripoli to help secure the embassy there. That's not important because Fox was all teed up, promos had been made, hosts were properly outraged, the coverage plan was in motion, and then the cable news apocalypse happened.

MEGYIN KELLY, FROM FNC'S AMERICA'S NEWSROOM ON MAY 8, CLIP #1: Lots of breaking news this hour, including, look at this, live in Cleveland, as Gina Dejesus arrives home.

KELLY, FROM FNC'S AMERICA'S NEWSROOM ON MAY 8, CLIP #2: Wow, do we have some news for you now in Arizona where the jury has reached a verdict in the Jodi Arias murder trial.

Top of the professional cap to Megyn Kelly who rolled very smoothly with that. Now, even though Fox was sort of amusingly knocked off their game today by forces of derp greater than themselves, they have done something truly remarkable here. Through shear monomaniacal persistence, they have managed, almost single handedly, to make this something that elected representatives are devoting themselves to. They've created an entire alternate universe in which Benghazi is the most pressing issue facing the country right now, and Congress, your representatives are listening.

Joining me tonight, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Democrat from New York, who's on the House Oversight Committee, and was at today's hearing; and Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media Matters, who has been tracking painstakingly the increasingly byzantine manufactured Benghazi scandal on the right. Congresswoman, I guess I'll begin with you. Did you learn anything today? There was some very compelling emotional testimony from the deputy chief of mission about what happened that night. The story of what happened that night is harrowing and dramatic and upsetting for a variety of reasons, not the least of which, four Americans ending up dead, the notion of people being trapped in a safe building that's burned to the ground. Did you learn something new today?

(REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D-NY))

(...)

It doesn't seem to me at all wrong to second-guess the State Department or decisions that were made by the Department of Defense or anyone in government if there are things to be gleaned about it. The question is, there's a difference, right, Eric, it strikes me, between things that went badly and should have gone better and a scandal. I'm not seeing, no, I mean that, sometimes people make bad decisions, and then there's scandal, and I don't see how we get from the former to the latter.

(...)

You know, and I can't help but notice that, at this point, so, just to track through, and I don't want to like spend, I do not want to drain, your, dear viewers' emotional and cognitive energy on getting into the weeds of Benghazi, because, for the most part, the weeds are unedifying. But, you know, what I can't help but notice, even today at the hearing, going back to these attacks that we saw back in September, I mean, Susan Rice shouldn't have said the things she said on the morning shows, which maybe what she said wasn't the full picture, although again, it was a pretty chaotic situation, but that was, you know, six, seven months ago. That, I thought we'd been through that, and yet, Congresswoman, those same things that we were hearing back in, you know, October were being trotted out again today.

-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center