Patterico's Pontifications

1/16/2014

Taking L.A. Times Columnist Robin Abcarian to Task for Her Misleading Column About Chris Christie, Benghazi, and the IRS Scandal

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

I have spent the last two days systematically dismantling a silly column by Robin Abcarian of the L.A. Times, who claims that Chris Christie’s bridge-closing deal is a big deal while the IRS and Benghazi scandals were manufactured and meaningless. Part One is here, and Part Two is here. Those posts run a little long, but I assure you it’s fun reading, with the type of joyous Times-bashing that is the reason I started this blog. I’d like to summarize in one short post the basic points I made, and update you on Abcarian’s supercilious responses.

  • Abcarian says “the IRS was trying to do its job” and claims the Inspector General focused on Tea Party groups only “because Issa had asked the inspector general to look only at how tea party-affiliated groups were treated.” Contrary to Ms. Abcarian’s false implication, I proved that the Inspector General had indeed looked at how progressive groups were treated, and found that conservatives were overwhelmingly the targets of higher levels of time-consuming scrutiny.
  • Abcarian says that “no any amount of reporting” (whatever that means) “can change the fact that Hillary Rodham Clinton did not cause the tragedy that befell four Americans at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.” I noted that nobody is claiming Clinton “caused” the deaths, but there is abundant evidence that her State Department was responsible for overly lax security, which is why a bipartisan Senate report said that she could have prevented the attack.
  • Abcarian claims that it is a “fact” that “the Obama White House did not lie about what happened.” I provided quotes from each of the five appearances Susan Rice made on the Sunday talk shows, with links to the transcripts, in which Rice consistently said that the killings were the result of a “spontaneous protest.” I also provided proof that the White House knew days earlier, within moments of the attack, that it was no spontaneous protest, but rather a planned terrorist attack.
  • Abcarian says the Obama scandals got plenty of headlines. I agreed that they did — but noted that the headlines (and stories) were misleading. For example, when Greg Hicks testified that the Obama administration retaliated against him for questioning Rice’s false talking points, the headline in Abcarian’s L.A. Times was “Envoy describes night of Benghazi attack.” The story, incredibly, never even mentioned Hicks’s testimony that he was effectively demoted for raising questions about the administration’s lies.

So how has Abcarian reacted to my detailed posts with links and sources showing that she had misled her readers? I told you yesterday about this exchange:

It wasn’t an implication on my part, but why let accuracy get in the way of (what you think is) a good line?

Last night and this morning I pressed Ms. Abcarian to back up her claim that my posts were false and misleading.

As I expected, she would not, taking a “let’s agree to disagree” attitude:

I pressed further:

And here it is: the classic Big Media dismissal:

What can I say to that?


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