When one hears the word "Benghazi" in today's media and political landscape, it doesn't just call to mind the city in Libya, but rather the terrorist attack that killed four Americans there in 2012 and the alleged White House cover-up of its response.
For the Left, it's a punchline. It's a Republican "witch hunt." It's something to mock, ignore, and dismiss, coming to a head with a fiery exchange between White House spokesman Jay Carney and ABC reporter Jonathan Karl on April 30.
Before and since then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's infamous "What difference at this point does it make?" comment in January 2013 about what prompted the attack, the consistent tone from Obama administration members and the liberal press has been to deride any investigations into it.
President Obama angrily called the probe into the false talking points about blaming Benghazi on an anti-Islamic video, to further the campaign narrative of having al Qaeda on the run, a sideshow.
"Dude, this was like two years ago," NSC spokesman Tommy Vietor said to Fox News host Bret Baier about his role in editing the talking points Susan Rice fed the public.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), who had not read the newest emails revealing a coordinated effort to shield Obama from political damage, complained Thursday, "Why aren't we talking about something else?"
Of course, the always-reliable MSNBC has been there to buttress the White House during this trying time by marginalizing the investigation any time it appears in the headlines.
"Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi," the young host Ronan Farrow groaned Monday afternoon in his lead. "This thing called Benghazi," Chris Matthews once said disparagingly. MSNBC personalties can barely contain their smirk when forced to discuss it, some of them even roll their eyes or take on a resigned, childish tone.
As for Obama, this and other issues, such as IRS targeting and Fast & Furious, are "phony scandals" not worth the time of the media or public, and MSNBC is more than happy to Lean Forward and play along.
That has not deterred Republicans intent on getting to the bottom of it. House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) announced Monday Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) will lead the select committee into investigating it further.