MSM Litmus Test: State Department's Kerry Yachting Denial
The State Department was forced to admit it lied on July 3-4 about Secretary of State John Kerry's whereabouts on Wednesday as the transfer of power was occurring in Egypt. Breitbart.com's Ben Shapiro has been following the story.
Realizing the terrible optics of the situation if an admission was made that Kerry decided to go yachting during a crisis, the State Department issued a denial of CBS reporter's tweet that the Secretary of State was spotted on his yacht in Nantucket Wednesday. Admitting that CBS News' Mosheh Oinounou was right would present a picture of a top Obama administration official who seemed to be taking the Egyptian crisis lightly.
Here is what Oinounou reported Wednesday via Twitter:
The State Department flatly denied the CBS News reporter's tweet. On Wednesday evening, Jen Psaki, the official spokesperson, told the media:
Since his plane touched down in Washington at 4 a.m., Secretary Kerry was working all day and on the phone dealing with the crisis in Egypt. He participated in the White House meeting with the president by secure phone and was and is in non-stop contact with foreign leaders, and his senior team in Washington and Cairo. Any report or tweet that he was on a boat is completely inaccurate.
The Psaki statement leaves them no wriggle room whatsoever. It is a flat, complete, categorical denial.
Even after CBS News showed the State Department they had pictures of Kerry on his boat Wednesday, the officials there stood by their denial:
Since it is unlikely the State Department lost track of its own Secretary of State during an international crisis, it looks as if somebody decided to tell the media a deliberate lie. This constitutes a real litmus test for the American mainstream media. How are they going to react?
Imagine if it was a GOP President's State Department that told the media a lie such as this and was caught red-handed doing it, yet spokesmen claimed the Secretary was actually in Washington DC managing the crisis? Would the media briefly mention the fact that the Department had "corrected" itself and drop the matter?
I predict this is how Kerry's yachting misadventure is going to be handled. It is going to be mentioned in passing and then memory-holed quickly.