The American press is offended that President Trump is more concerned about Iranian reporters than them. They are offended that Trump lies, and they catch him lying, but he still persists in being president every day. They are offended that Trump is encouraging the freedom of Iranian reporters but calling them “enemies of the people.” They’re at war, and by their own fog of war, they’re missing the bigger story.
The war between the media and the president has caused things that should be clear to become foggy. What’s not foggy, but clear and unarguable is: (1) Soleimani was a terrorist leader whose death is unmourned by all but terror-supporters; (2) President Trump didn’t need to justify eliminating Soleimani for any other reason–it was legal; (3) given Iran’s reaction, this is (so far) a national security win; and (4) Iran, alone, is responsible for downing a civilian airliner and lying about it.
The fog of war has caused American media to question everything the Trump administration has claimed, both publicly, and within the government–knowledge gained through sources friendly to the press. Therefore, the story has become: did Trump have “hard evidence” that Soleimani was planning more attacks on U.S. embassies or forces. Nevermind, that Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was talking on the Sunday news shows about what’s going on in Iran.
“You can see the Iranian people are standing up and asserting their rights, their aspirations for a better government — a different regime,” Esper said. He appeared on two Sunday news shows while national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, was interviewed on three others — pressing the White House’s campaign to bring “maximum pressure” on Tehran to change its behavior.
The media is focused on this part, though:
Both Esper and O’Brien said they agreed that Iran might have hit more than just the U.S. Embassy in the Iraqi capital. But Esper, when asked whether there was a specific piece of evidence, replied: “I didn’t see one with regard to four embassies.″ And in response to a question about whether Trump was “embellishing″ the threat, Esper said, ”I don’t believe so.”
Undoubtedly, a big part of the media’s antagonism is due to the president’s constant, unrelenting attacks on them, both personally and as a group. From the first day a harried and ill-suited Sean Spicer walked to the podium to claim that Trump’s inauguration had “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe,” the media has done everything it can to discredit this administration’s claims. Much of that, because of the president himself, is admittedly easy pickings.
The more the press goes after Trump, the more outrageous his statements and the more pointed his attacks. Thus, the fog of war reigns over everything.
The Iranian government lied to its people, and the Iranian people are very mad, and ready to pursue their grievances, at pain of death. Unlike Barack Obama, who played the side of the Iranian government, while the media lauded him for his even-handedness and smooth-talking, Trump is encouraging the Iranians to keep pushing for freedom.
This is remarkable, and the footage from Iran is equally moving.
From even the most professional of reporters, Maggie Haberman of the New York Times, we get this:
The American media is personally offended, but they are also free to say what they want about the president. They’re free to frame this story as one about justification to kill a terrorist leader, when no other justification was needed. They’re free to make this story about the president, and some narrative about “crossfire” to somehow hang Flight 752 on Trump.
Nobody in the U.S. media is worried about black SUVs pulling up to their homes and making them disappear. Nobody is worried about their families being kidnapped or imprisoned. They are free to write, or say on television, whatever they want. They are free to fact-check Trump’s every word, and show ironclad evidence he’s lying. They are free to miss the real story while others in Teheran are risking their own lives.
If Iran’s Islamic Republic is overthrown (and I hope it is), these reporters will find themselves clothed in shame. Armed with their Pulitzers, they will become the Walter Durantys of this century.