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Shame on You, Eleanor Clift
There’s not a lot that Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, agree on these days. They don’t see things the same way on taxes or climate change or affirmative action or abortion or a lot of other issues. But there is one item that should garner bipartisan support. And that is that Eleanor Clift, the long time liberal commentator, is a fool.
On the McLaughlin Group the other day, when the subject turned to Benghazi, Ms. Clift, who these days is a columnist for The Daily Beast and a contributing editor at what’s left of her old magazine Newsweek, said, "I'd like to point out that Ambassador Stevens was not murdered; he died of smoke inhalation in that safe room in that CIA installation."
This raises a question: Are you kidding??? That’s like saying JFK died in a car accident, someone tweeted.
It’s embarrassing to even point this out, but the only reason Ambassador Stevens was in that safe room is because if he didn’t go there he would have been killed in a hail of gunfire by the terrorists who had stormed the consulate. That they set the whole place on fire and that he died of smoke inhalation doesn’t mean he wasn’t murdered. A kid in middle school would know that.
But all of us, at one time or another, have said things we wish we could take back. And Ms. Clift had that opportunity to set the record straight a few days later when she was interviewed by radio host Steve Malzberg, who asked her to clarify her earlier remarks. “I was taking issue with the sort of glib use of the word ‘murdered,’” she said. “I think dying of smoke inhalation in the safe room of a CIA outpost has a slightly different feeling, and my point is that it was a very chaotic event.”
And when Malzberg asked the direct question, whether the victims who died during the September 11, 2001, terror attacks were murdered, Clift said: “I was just trying to add a little bit of complexity, and I’m going to stick with what I said.”
Malzberg then asked one more perfectly reasonable question. “If he was, God forbid, your relative, would you tell people that he was murdered or not?” “I would say that he died of smoke inhalation,” Clift replied.
Perhaps we should be grateful. At least she didn't say,"What difference does it make?" how he died.
So, given the opportunity to say she had made a mistake, that she didn’t really mean what she said, or at least, that the words came out wrong, she chose instead to stand firm. Eleanor Clift is that special kind of liberal who gives liberals a bad name. But we can’t ignore her politics, her left-of-center view of the world – because that is at the heart of her heartless statement.
Liberals in an out of the media just want Benghazi to go away. The so-called mainstream media has pretty much been AWOL on the story, covering it the way President Obama would like it to be covered – barely, or not at all. So, to even acknowledge the obvious, that Christopher Stevens was murdered by terrorists, is too much for a liberal like Eleanor Clift. Somehow that would be giving ammunition to the enemy. To immovable types like Ms. Clift, Stevens wasn’t killed. He simply died.
In sports, the fans know when it’s time for a player to retire. He slows down. He makes mistakes. He can’t keep up. It’s not unusual that the player himself is the only one who doesn’t know it’s time to leave the stage. Eleanor doesn’t know either. But it’s time for her to go. Not because she said something controversial. Rather because she said something shameful and is incapable of admitting how shameful it was.
Her liberal friends need to tell her how reprehensible her comments were. Surely they know. Everyone but Eleanor knows.