DATELINE: Fibberville, Dec 31 – The claimed cause of the Benghazi massacre has come full circle, all the way back around to the anti-Islam video. At least for those the New York Times calls investigators. Their “investigative” report, published on Saturday, would be laughable if the tragedy did not cut such a wide swath of slaughter and destruction. Even President Obama has long since attempted, in his weasely-worded fashion, to distance himself from that little piece of descriptive hoo-ha. The report did at least earn a chorus of bipartisan boos from Congress, giving some relief from the constant partisan bickering of recent years.

Apart from State Department lackeys and other government-salaried shills, every knowledgable American who was even tangentially involved has stated the same cause for the disgraceful episode. It was not merely the result of a well-planned terrorist attack, it was undoubtedly Al-Qaeda led. The only videos that fired up these murderers were those showing desecrated American flags and U.S. citizens burning in effigy. Anyone who has experienced consciounsess in the past several decades has borne witness to similar demonstrations on what used to pass as the evening news.

So what’s new in the NYT report that heaps responsibility, once again, on top of the hapless video that insulted the Prophet Muhammad’s followers? Let’s see. The article has an eye-catching image of a blazing Benghazi compound positioned right above its title. It is also very lengthy – six chapters of words upon sentences upon paragraphs. It also has a bunch of other images, maps of the area and conceptual graphics of the compound and other locations. If multi-media and word counts were measures of authenticity, this report would ring the truth bell loudly. Fortunately, pretty doesn’t pass for verity at least not in the world of investigative journalism.

What’s wrong with the investigative report? Despite its fetching use of multi-media, the report is one-diminsional. It is the result of a ton of interviews of Libyans and a few others all with the same story to tell. It reads very much like the investigator sought out only those who could support a foregone conclusion. He gives their every word credence with verification from the scantest of sources like logged calls for telephone numbers the Libyans provided. The investigator’s gullibility is jaw-dropping. I’d like to have been a fly on the wall when those interviewed read the report. Except, of course, for the fact that I’d have been blown away by the force of their howling laughter. Got one over on us, again.

The NYT print and digital ad revenue is declining as I write this editorial. So is its print circulation revenue. The newspaper’s core readership was never from the conservatives among us so the drop means that it is losing moderates. Small wonder. The report isn’t even moderately believable.