New York Times and the Benghazi Hearing

On October 22nd, Hillary Clinton testified to a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi while Clinton served as Secretary of State. New York Times provided up-to-date coverage by analyzing key moments in the hearing as they happened on a Benghazi Panel feed available for their readers (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/congress/hillary-clinton-testimony-at-house-benghazi-panel).

The very beginning of the feed reads as follows: “How interested are Republicans on the Benghazi committee in Sidney Blumenthal? According to Representative Adam Schiff, the Democrat from California, they are obsessed.” The article immediately begins by disparaging Republicans and framing them as lunatics, comfortable with taking any measure possible to bring Clinton down.

NYT’s feed features notable quotes that stand alone amongst the other analysis in a size much bigger than normal text. Among some of these quotes are: “’It seems to me that really what the majority is doing is that they simply wish to wear you down and hopefully get you to say something that they can later use.’ –Representative Adam Smith, Democrat of Washington”, and “’I want to begin by apologizing for my Republican colleagues who apparently want to write your answers for you, or testify for you because they think it fits into their outlandish narrative of what happened.’ –Representative Linda T. Sanchez, Democrat of California.” Almost all quotes used have been taken from democrats denouncing the conservative “witch-hunt” they believe have overtaken the hearing. Much of the content the New York Times uses for the feed denigrates the conservative House Committee as a waste of tax-payer dollars—while that may be true, it’s the New York Times’ job to provide its readers with fair and objective reporting regardless.

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New York Times and the Benghazi Hearing

2 thoughts on “New York Times and the Benghazi Hearing

  1. This is a very insightful point you make here Katie! I can see how the New York Times uses text font to emphasizes quotes that Democratic representatives make that show negative feedback towards conservatives. This action made by the New York Times is no doubt a form of bias, but I think that this emphasis of quotes can be interpreted in other ways also. The font size of the quotes may be used in order to promote conflict, criticism from others, and also to inform the public about how split the democrats and republicans were during the Benghazi hearing. Another point to take into consideration is that a person’s partisanship may have an influence on how this increased font size on certain quotes could be interpreted. While you point out that there is a bias present, and I completely agree with, the bias can be considered more republican or democratic depending on the partisanship of the person who reads it.

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  2. mattzagurski says:

    I think that this article is great and I really liked the use of the phrase “Witch Hunt” in reference to the Democrats. This hot button word is normally attributed to Republicans who use it all the time in reference to the perceived “liberal media.” In my comparing articles of Ben Carson he actually uses this phrase to describe CNN’s report that indirectly questioned the validity of his past.
    I think you hit on an important part of the political system here, the deflection and demonization of opposing views and questioning by opponents. This demonization and claims of persecution can be attributed to the news media’s sensationalizing of political news and the manipulation of the media by political players.

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