- The Washington Times - Monday, August 1, 2016


I believe we should honor every family whose son or daughter gave the ultimate sacrifice serving in our law-enforcement or military.

That’s why I was so appalled at the way Patricia Smith was treated by the mainstream media after she gave a heartfelt speech at the Republican National Convention. Mrs. Smith is the Gold Star Mother of Sean Smith, a U.S. foreign service officer who was slain in Benghazi. She’s also charged that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied to her about her son’s death — blaming the incident on a viral anti-Islam video.

MSNBC host Chris Matthews claimed — immediately after her speech — that she “ruined” the evening with her criticism of Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Matthews called it a “gross accusation” that Mrs. Clinton had anything to do with the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.

“I don’t understand why the Republicans would choose to put this on prime-time television when they have such wonderful stories of American heroism to speak to the American people,” Mr. Matthews said. “I think it was wrong.”

He continued: “I don’t care what that woman up there, the mother, has felt. Her emotions are her own. But for the country in choosing a leader, it’s wrong to have someone get up there and tell a lie about Hillary Clinton. It’s not true. It’s logically not true. I think it’s wrong that they ruined their evening with this.”

To be sure, Politifact fact-checked the grieving mother the following day.

Patricia Smith, whose son Sean Smith was killed in the [Benghazi] attack, spoke passionately about the loss of her son,” Politifact wrote. “She said Sean told her that ‘all security had been pulled from the embassy … and when he asked why, he never received a response. Nobody listened. Nobody seemed to care.’”

After great analysis — please note my sarcasm there — Politifact concluded: “It is impossible to know with certainty what Clinton told these families in brief conversations at a private reception only three days after Benghazi. … There simply is not enough concrete information in the public domain for anyone to claim as fact that Clinton did or did not lie to the Benghazi families.”

No duh.

But the criticisms of Mrs. Smith didn’t stop there.

GQ’s Bethlehem Shoals, whose real name is Nathaniel Friedman, tweeted a death wish after Mrs. Smith’s speech.

“I don’t care how many children Pat Smith lost, I would like to beat her to death,” Mr. Shoals wrote. The tweet was deleted but captured beforehand by news watchdog Media Research Center. Mr. Shoals publicly apologized for the tweet.

And Sunday, Mrs. Clinton told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that not only was Mrs. Smith’s account wrong, she may have been delusional after the death of her son.

“Chris, my heart goes out to both of them,” Mrs. Clinton said about Mrs. Smith’s accusation. “Losing a child under any circumstances, especially in this case, two State Department employees, extraordinary men both of them, two CIA contractors gave their lives protecting our country, our values. I understand the grief and the incredible sense of loss that can motivate that.

“As other members of families who lost loved ones have said, that’s not what they heard, I don’t hold any ill feeling for someone who in that moment may not fully recall everything that was or wasn’t said,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Now, I don’t condone the way Donald Trump responded to the criticisms Khizr Khan leveled on him at the Democratic National Convention. It just appeared — even before Mr. Trump responded — the media had already sided with Mr. Khan’s argument, which was factually wrong. Perhaps no one can prove whether Mr. Trump has read the Constitution, but it is within the bounds of the Constitution for the president to limit immigration and build a wall at the Southern border.

Still waiting for the Politifact on Mr. Khan’s speech.

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