NBC’s Mitchell Omits Obama in Wondering: ‘When Is the World Going to Pay Attention’ to Syria?

Giving proper coverage to the heartbreaking and tear-jerking scene out of Aleppo, Syria with a bloody and dusty young boy sitting in an ambulance, MSNBC/NBC’s Andrea Mitchell devoted a full segment to the matter on Thursday afternoon but of course made no mention of President Barack Obama or his administration’s inaction in Syria to dispose of the Assad regime or ISIS in the over five years since the conflict began. 

Engel explained how he and his NBC News crew were able to come into the possession of the image as well as the underground hospital that the child was treated at and appropriately described it as “a heartbreaking image, it's been an image that many people have shared, the question is will it change anything.”

“We've seen these iconic images come in the past, that was year ago where there was the terrible image of the young boy washed up on a beach in Turkey...I think we could have more of these symbols — more of these horrific wake-up moments. We keep having wake-up moments yet nobody seems to be waking up,” he added. 

Mitchell’s tone-deafness was next on display as she seemingly ignored Obama’s inaction, failing to live up to his own red line on Assad using chemical weapons, ability to have a sufficient international coalition, and the letter doctors sent to the President when she wondered to Engel: “I was going to say, your reporting, your extraordinary reporting, your courageous team and these images and all the pictures that we get from the resistance, when is the world going to pay attention to this war?”

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A man who has been far less hesitant to call out the President on issues like this, Engel didn’t bring up the President in lamenting that it’s likely that “nothing else will change” and predicting (probably correctly) that the latest cease-fire proposals won’t work. 

“It is incredibly disheartening. You would hope that awareness would help. You would hope that by doing reports and putting them on TV and that talking about them that people would wake up, they would see, they would feel and maybe call for action and the calls are being made but the action isn't being taken,” Engel concluded.

In contrast, CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper and Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr gave multiple nods to the widespread critiques of the Obama administration as well as sympathizing with the lack of humanity being seen by the attacks on innocent civilians like that young boy.

The relevant portion of the transcript from MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on August 18 can be found below. 

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports
August 18, 2016
12:45 p.m. Eastern

ANDREA MITCHELL: And turning to Syria and the siege of Aleppo where civilians and anti-Assad rebels have been under intensive aerial bombardment including alleged chemical attacks from the regime and its Russian allies. Opposition activists releasing this disturbing video. A young boy rescued from the rubble after one of those air strikes. The child, reportedly only five years old, sitting alone in the back of an ambulance. Joining me now is our chief foreign affairs correspondent Richard Engel on assignment in Rome and Richard, you were just days ago in an underground hospital, the very hospital where this child was being treated or was brought to. What is the state now as the United Nations investigates these alleged chemical attacks?

RICHARD ENGEL: So, the report you're talking about, NBC News a few days ago was given access to this underground facility and we were using a cameraman that was giving us pictures from inside this bunker of a hospital and unfortunately, there's been — the latest victim, the latest symbol of the war in Aleppo, he was being treated in that very same facility. A reportedly five-year-old boy. His injuries, luckily, not life threatening. He's already been released. His parents want to take him outside of the city but it was his image, this young boy, his feet barely able to — barely hanging over the edge of the seat he was in in the back of an ambulance covered in dust, in total shell shock, wiping the blood away from his own face, his face covered in dust, that image has been tweeted around the world today and he's come to represent the people of Aleppo. It's a heartbreaking image, it's been an image that many people have shared, the question is will it change anything? We've seen these iconic images come in the past, that was year ago where there was the terrible image of the young boy washed up on a beach in Turkey. He died on the refugee trail and unfortunately, now we have another image and without any kind of plan in place to top the fighting in Aleppo, I think we could have more of these symbols — more of these horrific wake-up moments. We keep having wake-up moments yet nobody seems to be waking up. 

MITCHELL: I was going to say, your reporting, your extraordinary reporting, your courageous team and these images and all the pictures that we get from the resistance, when is the world going to pay attention to this war? 

ENGEL: Well, it is — it's been more than five years and the images have been heartbreaking. This latest one a young, very sweet-looking child, terrified, silent, being incredibly brave, it's getting people's attention. It is a wake-up call but you think, well, tomorrow there will be some sort of new image and we'll talk about it and nothing else will change? In Aleppo right now, there are several hundred thousand people who are besieged. They are under attack, they are surrounded. In many cases, they are starving. There has been this proposition today to allow some sort of cease-fire, perhaps for 48 hours. These propositions have been made in the past but very little has been done so frankly, it is incredibly disheartening. You would hope that awareness would help. You would hope that by doing reports and putting them on TV and that talking about them that people would wake up, they would see, they would feel and maybe call for action and the calls are being made but the action isn't being taken. 

MITCHELL: Well, it’s not for lack of your trying, thanks so much, Richard Engel. Thanks for everything you're doing. 

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Foreign Policy Middle East Syria Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Military War on Terrorism Political Groups Liberals & Democrats CNN The Lead MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports Obama Watch Video Government & Press Bashar al-Assad President Obama President Barack Obama Andrea Mitchell Richard Engel Jake Tapper Barack Obama
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