by UnHerd
Thursday, 15
April 2021
HerdWatch
14:44

Why the media love Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal

The President's policy is identical to Donald Trump's — but that's not how CNN sees it
by UnHerd
The goal of both President’s was exactly the same: withdraw American forces from Afghanistan. Credit: Getty

This week Joe Biden announced that the United States would begin withdrawing it’s military from Afghanistan in May, with the aim of leaving the country entirely by September 11th.

Biden is not the first President to announce this move. President Trump did so in 2019, and again in 2020.

Given that Biden is enacting exactly the same policy Trump wanted to pursue, you might expect the media coverage of these announcements to be similar.

Take CNN as an example. When Trump said he was pulling out the troops they found a NATO general to condemn the policy, an ex-diplomat to call it “reckless” and “wrong”,  and yet more diplomats to “worry” that Trump was risking the “success” of peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

The same narrative framing was employed by MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington PostTime magazine, NPR, PBS and ABC. They all said the same thing: Trump’s plans for Afghanistan were risky, worrying, dangerous, and ultimately wrong.

How much has changed since January, when Biden entered the White House? Well, the same policy is presented in a completely different way.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviewed sources in the Biden administration to get their thinking on the policy. She had no criticisms for them. The network then wrote up Barack Obama’s praise for Biden’s policy as “bold leadership”. At no point in CNN’s coverage, or in the coverage of MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington PostTime magazine, NPR, PBS and ABC, was Biden’s announcement condemned in the terms Trump’s announcement was.

Instead, the coverage frames Biden’s decision as one that is wise, just, thoughtful, and, as Obama put it, “bold”.

The goal of both President’s was exactly the same: withdraw American forces from Afghanistan. Much of the American media, especially during the Trump era, presented itself as impartial and truth-seeking. Or in the grand terms used by the Washington Post, the last barrier that could prevent American democracy “dying in darkness”.

It was always a fantasy. As this Afghanistan coverage shows, the narrative — regardless of the facts — trumped everything else. If it had to be twisted and shifted to make Trump look like a monster it would be. When Biden does the same thing, it can be twisted into something else all over again. Objectivity and detachment are gone — partisanship is the present and the future of American journalism.

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Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
1 year ago

What I find so annoying about this is that it is not like there wasn’t plenty of legitimate stuff to criticise Trump with, both politically and in terms of his communications generally.
Nor is it wrong to argue for or against this particular approach with Afghanistan, reasonable people may differ in their views. And I don’t expect that a particular news source will only have writers with one viewpoint either.
But an average person who was reading what were generally considered good papers at one time, today would easily get the impression that there was something wholly different about the Trump presidency even where it was very similar to others.
It’s only exaggerated with Trump, mind you, it has been the practice for a few presidencies now for writers to apply a wholly different set of judgements to those who differ from their own political views even when they say the same things.
But it’s very much part of degeneration of public political discourse.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

And I don’t expect that a particular news source will only have writers with one viewpoint either.
Yet here we are, with multiple sources where only one viewpoint is considered legitimate. The media shot its own feet and instead of addressing the wounds, chose to reload.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

If only Biden’s regime just enacted Trump policies and took credit for them ( typical politician)-unfortunately they have lots of bright new shiny ideas of their own-start new wars , impoverish people,be green etc which aren’t going to help America at all and a lot of the media are basically political cheer leaders, so won’t criticize them.

Walter Brigham
Walter Brigham
1 year ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

None of Biden’s or Democrat’s ideas are new or shiny.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
1 year ago

Really good comment.
Most in journalism have given up trying to present the facts or try and get to any form of universal “truth” on issues and instead pander to their target audiences.
You are 100% right to point out that this existed long before Trump, but how Trump has been written and spoken about completely exposed it for what it is – duplicitous.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

Just another example of the duplicitous evil of the MSM. We are seeing something similar with Ukraine right now. The descent of the vast majority of the media into lying partisanship is one of the most depressing facts of our time. Just yesterday I was talking to a very progressive liberal friend – albeit an open minded one – who says he has given up on The Guardian because they have been flat wrong about so many things.
Anyway, the repulsive and psychopathic neocons such as Lindsay Graham are already kicking up a fuss and saying that the troops must remain in Afghanistan. So, there is no certainty that the withdrawal will take place.

Last edited 1 year ago by Fraser Bailey
Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Isn’t it amazing how when the script is flipped everything switches at the same time. Position, talking points, messaging, terminology, all have to be in sync with each other. Unfortunately for our political and “journalism” class this has a slight problem. It makes them sound like unthinking, preprogrammed hivemind robots. The best part? They cannot figure out why everyone is starting to see through their crap.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt Hindman
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

Much of the American media, especially during the Trump era, presented itself as impartial and truth-seeking. 
And killed its credibility in the process. Despite WaPo’s self-serving statement about democracy dying in darkness, journalism has spent several years committing slow suicide in broad daylight.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The MSM are right out of the Lavrentiy Beria school of truth, And they have the same goals.

Walter Brigham
Walter Brigham
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Several decades. WaPo was labeling opinion as ‘news analysis’ in the early 90s as cover to print it on the front page. I had just moved outside DC and canceled my subscription immediately.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
1 year ago

I was thinking the exact same thing when reading the headlines this morning. American journalism has gone the way of Chinese journalism. The Chinese stopped listening to their mainstream media decades ago.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

It is scary when you watch RT for the truth in news because CNN, PBS, MSNBC, et al, are completely lies and propaganda directed at the total destruction of the West. It is like living one of those books about ‘What if the Germans had won WWII?’ or ‘What if USSR had won the cold war?’

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Yes, it certainly does feel like that.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Recommend France 24 – it’s not half bad

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago

Anyone else seen the Project Veritas video clip of the CNN Technical Director admitting that they colluded to bring down Trump? I saw this on Dave Rubin’s channel yesterday. There are no depths CNN and other mainstream media will plumb.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

Yes, Tim Pool, the Quartering, Shapiro and others have been reporting on this for some days now. Of course, it doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know. However, the admission that they actively cheered more Covid deaths because it was good for ratings was mildly shocking. (In the same way, they push for wars because they are good for ratings).
I think the admission that their next big push will be climate change because ‘it’s a never ending way to scare people’ is also mildly revelatory.
Whatever, it might awaken one or two normies to some form of reality.

Richard E
Richard E
1 year ago

The media are total frauds and should be made to pay for their fraud and treason.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard E

They hanged Lord Haw-Haw.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

As an American citizen! Difficult to commit Treason if one has the misfortune to be American.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

It is because Biden is The Frankfurt School Lizard King. The laws which surround him are different from the laws of the reality you and I live in.

Remember Hunter S Thompson in Las Vagas, he had dropped massive amounts of dubious brown blotter acid, and been huffing ether till just passing out and then breaking and sniffing amyl nitrates till he was pretty much whacked out and completely off his head, and in the elevator he noticed everyone else in it was a giant lizard…’Look at those huge claws on their feet’ he thought, ‘that’s why they are not slipping in all this blood on the floor’….

Any way, if you do what it takes and get your head right, you can see Biden is one of them, and the Press and MSM dare not say anything wrong, as he will not slip in all the mess getting at them if they do. That or the MSM are lizards too, and David Icke was right all along.

Last edited 1 year ago by Galeti Tavas
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
1 year ago

I just searched for CNN on Trump and Afghanistan and it came up with a story about Bernie Sanders saying Trump was right, a story about fears for women’s rights if US troops withdraw, a story about Biden telling Obama to go against the advice of his generals and a story about a Republican opposing Biden’s decision to remove troops.
My unscientific survey suggests a bit more of a balanced view than that portrayed in the article. Though, I’m not any kind of an expert on US media and I’m fully prepared to accept it’s as biased and partisan as the media anywhere can be.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Gid you use Google? They have algorithms you know.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Are you familiar with the latest Project Veritas expose of CNN? It has even woken up a few normies and progressives to the reality of their evil.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Oops, also posted on this. It was an absolute disgrace but of course we know already what is going on, just wanted some more proof.