How could the Republicans have blown it so badly? They had in their hands very new information: a just-obtained e-mail from Clinton to daughter Chelsea the night of the incident saying that it was an attack by an al-Qaeda-like group and, even more damning, a conversation the very next day in which Clinton told the Egyptian prime minister, “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack — not a protest.”

This evidence was presented at the hearing, but why not at the very beginning with every camera and microphone running, guaranteeing front-page coverage? To be followed by clip after clip of Clinton, Susan Rice and the president himself blaming the attack on a film and a protest, a fraud that went on for two weeks. That would have changed the entire proceedings.

True, the media played their part in overlooking and ignoring this prima facie evidence of mendacity and political expediency. But why make it so easy for them? Why bury the lede? Instead of highlighting this stunning new evidence, the committee offered endless questions about the e-mails of Sidney Blumenthal, someone the public has hardly heard about and doesn’t care about.