UPDATE 2:17pm — AP asked that I also include the link to the article they reference in the discussion below. CLICK HERE for that link.
From: Kurtz, Howard
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2014 9:31 AM
Here are the responses from AP spokesman Paul Colford on our inquiries about the exchanges between his reporter Matthew Lee and then-State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. Thanks.
See below my email to Howie Kurtz from earlier this evening in response to a query from him regarding newly surfaced emails from 2012 between AP State Department reporter Matthew Lee and State spokesperson Victoria Nuland. The emails suggest that Lee was criticizing Fox News, when Lee, in fact, was belittling a new Benghazi “report” in The Independent (link below) that Fox was citing on air that night.
The Independent’s report (link below) was shot down by the Director of National Intelligence after Fox had aired its contents, and then Fox, too, dropped references to The Independent’s dubious “revelations.”
Clearly, Kurtz passed along some of my email below, after speaking with Bret Baier on “Special Report,” because Martha MacCallum, after 9 p.m. this evening, noted on-air what I also mentioned to Kurtz — that Lee had mistakenly mistakenly referred to the Guardian in his emails to Nuland when he meant to slam a story in The Independent.
But here’s the bottom line: The newly surfaced emails that MacCallum and also Greta Van Susteren criticized AP and Lee for tonight have nothing to do with the Ben Rhodes / Benghazi / talking points email that Fox has been exploring in greater detail all evening, especially on Bill O’Reilly’s show and now with Martha MacCallum.
The emails between Lee and Nuland are focused on a discredited story in The Independent that Fox itself later dropped from discussion.
KINDLY CIRCULATE THIS EXPLAINER AMONG ALL FOX SHOWS, PLEASE, BEFORE THIS MISUNDERSTANDING GETS FURTHER TRACTION ON FOX. I WOULD BE MOST GRATEFUL.
Thank you very much.
Begin forwarded message:
From: “Colford, Paul”
I see the exchange you’re referring to.
Matt Lee, as you know, is one of the more aggressive reporters covering the State Department and he’s been as tough in his questioning of Victoria Nuland as anyone else at the podium. (See the clips on YouTube.)
In the exchange you refer to, he was not criticizing Fox, but rather a key source of “information” that Fox was citing that night in its Benghazi coverage before the “story” in question was discredited and Fox backed away from it.
In the exchange, Matt refers to the Guardian. That’s incorrect. He meant to say The Independent, because of this story in the paper: http://ind.pn/1kiZzYC
(Story is dated one day ahead, it appears – UK time.)
Thanks very much for checking.