Over the weekend and still dealing with the aftermath of the deadly terror attack in Paris on Friday night, broadcast and cable news outlets mostly focused their attentions on the gathering of information regarding the horrific tragedy that was reportedly committed by ISIS. However, by Monday, with President Obama appearing at the G20 summit and the regularly scheduled programming on the major networks ready to start talking about What It All Means, we started to see a scary propaganda-like push towards a neverending large-scale military campaign in the Middle East. Something we saw more than a decade before from our fourth estate.
While the cable news channels did provide us with a bunch of opinions over the weekend from the right regarding the need for further military intervention in Iraq and Syria — especially on Fox News — the push for war from the media itself didn’t really start in earnest until Monday morning. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski brought on nothing but Republican politicians to discuss the strategy this country should use towards ISIS. Also, Joe himself went on lengthy rants about Obama and how he has been weak and ineffective in his Middle Eastern foreign policy and that we need to be more forceful.
As one would expect, Fox News has gone all in on the need to further expand our military footprint in the region. Despite the United States having conducted over 6,000 airstrikes in the past 14 months, taking out a number of their leaders and generally decreasing the amount of territory ISIS controls, the network is steadfast in its belief that the administration has done diddly shit in regards to addressing the situation with the Islamic State. On Monday morning, Fox moved that mindset from the editorial/opinion side to the reporting area.
Anchor Bill Hemmer went off on a ‘passionate’ and totally not scripted rant about how the President’s unwillingness to engage in a full-scale war with ISIS in the Middle East is directly leading to innocent deaths.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Media Matters:
Not to be outdone in sanctimonious self-righteousness, CNN’s Jim Acosta decided to take the Major Garrett Grandstanding Award during Obama’s news conference at the G20. Despite the fact that the President had just answered three questions in a row regarding the United States’ ongoing strategy in the Middle East and how we won’t commit to a large-scale on-ground combat operation, Acosta asked him a highly editorialized question wondering why Obama won’t “just take out these bastards?”
Yes, an actual reporter asked this question. Below is video of the exchange, courtesy of Talking Points Memo:
The thing is, these three examples are just a tiny sample size of what’s been going on, and will continue to for the foreseeable future. Instead of sitting back and realizing that the embrace of fear and the descent into emotional fearmongering helped lead the march into war 12 years ago that completely destabilized a region and brought about more radicalized terror groups that hate Western culture, they’ll once again give voice to irrationality and xenophobic anger under the guise of reporting. Rather than present real experts who can engage in legit discussions regarding war and its impact, they’ll instead push the same type of simplistic flag wavers, war profiteers and self-styled patriots to the forefront.
As Henry Hill said in Goodfellas, “This is the bad time.” We already see Republican governors, encouraged by Fox, telling the President that they won’t take in any Syrian war refugees for fear of bringing terrorism to their towns and cities. You have Presidential candidates saying, without any type of pushback or questioning from the media, that we should only offer help to Christians in Syria and not worry about killing civilians during bombing raids. Are these against are supposed true values as Americans? Damn right. But in the shadow of war, those saying these things need not worry about any pressing questions from the MSM.
The drumbeats of war are getting louder, and once again, the mainstream media is in front with the baton leading the march.