Congressional Republicans have spent more than $20 million so far trying to prove that Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton mishandled the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.
Eleven reports and 32 hearings later, they haven't succeeded. But that hasn’t stopped conservative pundits at Fox News from feeding their audience a regular diet of Benghazi conspiracy theories.
For the last two weeks, the network has been characterizing Michael Bay's new film, “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi," as a threat to Clinton's presidential campaign while promoting a number of discredited stories about the attacks.
Nineteen of the 32 segments the network has aired about the movie have treated it as an indictment of Clinton, according to Media Matters, a liberal watchdog group founded by Clinton ally David Brock. Fox News host Megyn Kelly alone has dedicated nearly 90 minutes to "13 Hours," including an hour-long special, describing the film as a potential "threat" to Clinton's presidential hopes.
Fellow host Andrea Tantaros has gone even further.
“If anyone sees this movie -- which everyone should go see it -- and then goes on to vote for Hillary Clinton, they're a criminal,” Tantaros said.
Yet despite the network's attempts to tie "13 Hours" to Clinton, the film doesn’t even mention the former secretary of state, according to The New York Times. It instead focuses on the armed operatives who defended the embassy compound and criticized the lack of security there.
The Times has dismissed "13 Hours" as a “cinematic catharsis” for those whose “understanding of the assault ... has been blurred by partisan politics.”
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple took issue with Fox News' Benghazi binge in a recent blog post.
“Fox News isn't acting as a news organization, which reports events as they arise; it's acting as an advocacy organization, verily rooting for the movie to tilt the contemporary political debate,” he wrote.