“CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” was the only evening newscast last night to not cover newly uncovered emails from White House adviser Ben Rhodes, which provided talking points to former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice before her Sunday show interviews several days after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya in Sept., 2012.
Rhodes’ email to Rice advised her to stress that the Benghazi attacks were rooted in a controversial YouTube video, “and not a broader failure of policy.”
CBS did cover the emails 10 hours earlier on “CBS This Morning.” White House Correspondent Bill Plante also mentioned that Ben Rhodes is the brother of CBS News President David Rhodes. A CBS News spokesperson also says Plante reported the news on CBS News Radio and CBSNews.com, adding, “There also was a thorough editorial discussion about it at ‘CBS Evening News’ and David Rhodes was not involved.”
ABC’s Jonathan Karl, who got into a heated exchange with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney over the emails, reported a 2-minute story for “World News with Diane Sawyer,” while “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” produced a :30 voice-over story on the emails.
CBS Evening News has been criticized for not aggressively covering the Benghazi story. Last May, now former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, said “there hasn’t been an appetite” for the stories she offered on Benghazi. CBS launched an internal review after Lara Logan’s discredited Benghazi report on “60 Minutes” last October. Logan remains off the show.
The new Rhodes emails first hit the Web on Monday published by JudicialWatch.org. The story started getting traction on Fox News on Tuesday and on CNN and MSNBC on Wednesday.