The Media Is Always, Always Wrong About Trump And National Security

The Media Is Always, Always Wrong About Trump And National Security

We should stop listening to the media on national security issues, since they are always wrong. As a captive audience, they make us accompany them through their stages of hysteria, and it's insufferable.
Erielle Davidson
By

If anything may be gleaned from the recent hyperbolic reporting about Iran, it is that our media betters, particularly those reporting on national security issues, are deeply and inexorably challenged at providing reasonable and thoughtful analysis due to a blinding animus towards President Trump.

Nothing evinces this phenomenon more succinctly than the recent days in which supposedly serious national security reporters waxed poetic about the likelihood of World War III, while sharing unverified reports about tens of killings of Americans from Iranian state media. If we knew what was good for us, we would never offer the privilege of precious airwaves again to such individuals, but alas, they remain alert in the bunkers, waiting for the next national security issue to spin into full-blown crisis, if only to crush Trump. They have become the self-anointed soldiers of the Resistance, defending the Obama foreign policy legacy at all costs, even sacrificing their reputations to take up the mantle formerly assumed by Ben Rhodes.

The level of breathless misinformation and disinformation spread after Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s killing by the individuals we rely on supposedly to report facts and offer analysis in a responsible and undramatized manner was stunning. But this isn’t their first rodeo.

No, such grossly hyperbolic reporting for the sake of convincing people that Trump may have created an epically destructive policy quagmire has become the new calling card of the media. The media has shown that they cannot eviscerate Trump with factual, state-of-affairs reporting because those affairs are never quite dire enough for the media. Similarly, for the sake of avoiding flat-out lying entirely (although it is entertaining to watch the “mistakes” go in one direction), the media is forced to cabin their criticism in fantastic projections.

Trump almost started World War III. Trump almost catalyzed the entire destruction of the Kurds. Trump almost started war with North Korea. Trump almost started a full-blown war between the Palestinian-Arabs and the Israelis. Trump almost devastated the economy by slapping tariffs on Chinese goods. See how much heavy-lifting the word “almost” is doing? It’s utterly bizarre, because these predictions never happen.

The word’s subjunctive quality has become a shield for the media as they predict wild policy outcomes that have no grounding in the facts. When President Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, we were essentially promised insurmountable bloodshed and the irrevocable destruction of any hope at peace in the region. Thankfully, we got neither. But that didn’t stop reporters from sheepishly convincing themselves that, although their prediction never achieved fruition, it still could have happened.

That is the same dance being rehearsed now  on Iran. Our firefighting media know the steps so well. The beauty of almost – and its ugly step-child could have – is that these reporters never have to be right for something to be almost true.

By all accounts, President Trump’s performance vis-à-vis Iran was stunningly effective at reestablishing the policy of deterrence (rather than appeasement) in the region. However, media reporting as of late has made it abundantly clear that wild projections of what could have been will continue to far eclipse what actually was. And the only people who suffer from such bombastic “analysis” are those who are forced to rely on it, given most people’s understandably limited knowledge of Middle Eastern geopolitics.

There’s a gross irresponsibility in such “reporting” and signals the ever-growing credibility crisis of the American media. Contrary to what Time magazine published (and delivered as a push notification), there is absolutely no reason you need to “discuss” Iran with your children. The hysteria is based on lies those in the media continue to recite to themselves and are dangerously projecting upon the greater population.

No, perhaps it’s time to “discuss” Iran with our media betters  instead of children, if only not to be dragged along through their hysterical meltdowns. Indeed, we would be spared the ahistorical and insufferable nonsense. At least until the next manufactured apocalypse.

Erielle is a former staff writer at The Federalist and a part-time law student at Georgetown University Law Center.

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