Today, President Biden announced his intention to end the war in Afghanistan, to great media fanfare.
You may remember, way back in 2019 & 2020, President Trump said the same thing.
Let me know if you can spot the difference in coverage then vs. now⤵️
When Trump said we were leaving, @CNN quoted the NATO Sec Gen with a “stark warning” about how “dangerous” the move would be.
But Biden’s decision? Well, on that one, we just get to hear from his people.
One of the things I’ve discussed before is how outlets can frame the narrative they want by focusing on people who support or oppose a certain policy. It’s misleading, but also a calling card of @CNN.
Starting to see it?
Once upon a time, @nytimes told us that Trump’s decision was a capitulation to the Taliban where we would get nothing in return - as if blood not shed and treasure not spent means nothing.
But Biden’s call? Well, for some reason these concerns seem to have evaporated.
For Trump, we hear about the “fears” of Afghan officials from @nytimes.
Biden, on the other hand, gets a sympathetic write up despite being the second most powerful man in the country during the height of US forces. Just incredible memoryholing here.
This one from @TIME might be the most egregious of them all. I mean. Cmon.
Also, what even is this, @TIME?
Everyone has been doing this.
These tweets are mere months apart from @MSNBC. Stunningly, they found people to say the exact opposite things about the decision to pull out.
So much of today’s coverage reads as if nothing had ever been said to the contrary by anyone on @MSNBC
@washingtonpost presented without introduction.
Some places, like @NPR, don’t even seem to be trying at this rate.
Were no military leaders worried when Biden made the decision to do the same thing?
For PBS @NewsHour, Trump’s decisions were instantly refracted through the lens of those who oppose him.
For Biden, we just hear from him directly on the benefits of his plans.
When it was Trump making the decisions, @ABC rushed to tell us about how the decision would “undermine his administration’s agreement with the Taliban.”
It didn’t. And now that Biden is calling the shots, we’ve got nothing but pomp, circumstance and PR pull quotes.
I’ve got a separate thread on this but let this be your reminder that there isn’t any evidence of the existence of the Russian bounties story. And yet it also found its way into @ABC’s coverage for Trump. @nytimes too.
Previous thread on bounties:
And @JRubinBlogger is so, so close to getting it.
I’ve got to hand it to him, though. He may be wrong, but @MaxBoot is consistent in his urging that America be invested in building democracy or what have you despite the overwhelming evidence opposing the wisdom of doing so.
This situation has given us one of the clearest examples of framing for materially similar actions by different presidents.
Would anyone look at these side by sides and think they were impartial and balanced?
It should go without saying, but this is really, really bad.
The narrative shift is striking even though the goal of each policy is the same.
It isn’t sustainable to have information twisted and crammed into narratives this way.
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