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Benghazi Becomes #Benghazi as Oversight Committee Streams Hearing Online

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, May 8 2013

The House Oversight Committee is streaming its Wednesday proceedings live as committee members hear testimony from State Department personnel concerning the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

The hearing is being broadcast live over YouTube and, as of this writing, has more than 2,800 simultaneous viewers.

House Oversight has been at the forefront of an effort by House Republicans to make more video from House hearings available online. (Although it's easier to gain access to hearings about some things than about others.) The Benghazi hearing is perhaps the highest-profile and most politically contentious one of the current Congress so far. It concerns the circumstances surrounding the deaths of four Americans. It also addresses the performance of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a potential candidate for president in 2016, and revisits an issue that has already been addressed in previous congressional hearings — including testimony by Clinton herself — and in a State Department review.

Despite the outreach, the Washington Post reports that the Twitter conversation around the Benghazi hearings has not expanded far beyond the realm of people who have been interested in the attacks since they happened: Citing analysis by Demographics Pro, the audience for "Benghazi" on Twitter is primarily journalists, lawyers and managers, likely white and male, with an average age of about 53 years and an average income of $61,800 a year.

That better-off, white male audience presumably includes Rep. Jeff Duncan. Duncan's account announced on Twitter that Greg Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya, said the Benghazi attack was claimed on Twitter by extremist group Ansar al-Sharia even as it was taking place.