Media missing the mark on Afghanistan: Biden allies

WASHINGTON DC (Age-ncies): Biden allies are hea-ping criticism on the natio-nal media for what they say is unfair coverage of the pr-esident’s handling of Afghanistan.

More than a dozen American troops died in a terrorist blast at the Kabul airport, an event that prom-pted several of the most seasoned voices in Democ-ratic to unleash strong condemnation of the free press, claiming journalists have become cheerleading war mongers and suggesting that the news industry has made matters worse for the administration’s delicate operation on the ground.

Comparisons to the way the press reported on former President Trump have been drawn this week, causing some to scrutinize the coverage, as tragic scenes played on loop stunning audiences at home and abroad. “From 2015 until COVID, the media dishonestly refused to call a lie a lie. Now, equal coverage of Biden somehow translates to being identically acute,” said Philippe Reines, a media aficionado and longtime senior adviser to Hillary Clinton.

“The penalty for vehicular homicide is appropriately far harsher than doing 40 in a 25 zone. You’d never know it though watching cable news,” he said.

The influx of critiques from many in the Democ-ratic Party is unusual in the post-Trump media landscape, after the former pre-sident routinely reveled in the everyday bashing of journalists for what he saw as blanketed personal biases against him, his administration and his closest associates. Following countless attempts by Trump to cast doubt on the legitimacy of his press coverage, oftentimes singling out reporters he didn’t like and riling up crowds to join in, Biden pl-edged on the campaign trail and in the Oval Office that things would be different.

The president promised to not only strike a more cordial tone, but to respect the media’s role as a critical component of a thriving democracy. In May, Biden acknowledged that concept explicitly by writing: “Journalists uncover the truth, check the abuse of power, and demand transparency from those in power,” in an official White House statement.

But following his first major foreign crisis as commander-in-chief — a colossal geopolitical decision that past Democratic and Republican administrations had both punted for years — some sympathetic to the president’s strategy have quickly come to his defense. “Every Biden misstep or setback is treated like Trump said COVID will just go away, windmills cause cancer, or that he won re-election,” Reines said. “If the goal is to be truly honest, accurate, and fair when covering Biden, there are thousands of adjectives and countless degrees of indignation for the media to choose from. This isn’t hard.” Reines is hardly alone in airing public fury. His tough appraisal is shared among other prominent operatives, party loyalists, and liberal columnists who have massive o-nline followings. Many ha-ve direct experience wrangling the press.

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