Washington seems to be in an uproar over finding out what really happened at the US Consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, but it seems as though the general public doesn’t really seem to care. While politicians strive to learn more details and fight over whether there was a cover up, the public’s interest in the story seems to be limited.
Just 44 percent of Americans have followed the hearings on Benghazi according to a Pew Research Center study. This depicts virtually no change from when Ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified in January and shows a waning interest from the 61 percent who were tracking the story in October.
Despite the low public interest in Benghazi, there still seems to be a split between Republican and Democrats who are following the story. 70 percent of Republicans say that the Obama administration has been dishonest about Benghazi while only 16 percent of Democrats agree. Additionally, 60 percent of Democrats say that in hearings, Republicans have gone too far. Only 8 percent of Republicans make this same claim. However, the one thing that can be agreed upon is that that public lacks interest in finding out what happened in Benghazi, or even talking about it at all, but why?
What happened in Benghazi is becoming more and more about blame rather than the facts of what actually happened. Some Republicans blamed the Obama administration, and Democrats as a whole, for not telling the full truth and changing their story. Some Democrats blamed Republicans in Congress for pushing cuts in the security budget overseas leading to the susceptibility of an attack. No political party wants to be the one who is blamed and no member of the public wants to hear Democrats and Republicans fighting over yet another issue.
There are multiple other reasons besides political strife that could be attributed to the lack of public interest. One reason may be due to the very nature of the story itself. The Benghazi story is difficult to follow if you haven’t paid attention from the start and since it has gone on so long, it’s difficult for people to keep up. It is also a difficult story for the American public to relate to since it deals heavily with foreign policy and national security in other countries; things that Americans don’t deal with on a regular basis.
Whatever the reason, whether it’s because people are sick of the political partisanship or because it’s just too long of a story to track, it seems that the general public is not as interested as Washington is in what happened in Benghazi.
Please visit the Pew Research Center for more information.