The Sarin gas attack on Tuesday in Syria was one of the worst atrocities this generation has ever seen, but when it came to the U.S. fighting for those affected, all MSNBC’s maniacal hooligans Chris Matthews and David Corn could think of is how any military strikes would distract from the Russia investigations.
The Syrian Assad regime has “killed at least 13,000 people since the start of the 2011 uprising in mass hangings at a prison north of Damascus known to detainees as ‘the slaughterhouse’,” according to an Amnesty International report covered by The Associated Press. This is the same regime that has used chemical weapons to control its own people. Despite all three networks posting the AP story on their official websites yesterday early afternoon (ABC was the last at 1:56 PM), the evening shows of ABC, CBS and NBC refused to mention this staggering report.
Shortly after the conclusion of Sunday's second presidential debate, in reaction to Trump's statement that "Assad is killing ISIS," the AP tweeted: "Trump wrong that Syria's Assad is fighting Islamic State militants." There's one insurmountable problem with that statement, namely that, as PJ Media's Patrick Poole noted, "recent AP reporting documented fighting between the Syrian regime and ISIS." The plot thickened from there, to what should be the wire service's complete embarrassment.
The AP claimed in a Monday "fact check" that "Trump [is] wrong that Assad fights IS." However, this headline put it more bluntly than their write-up, which asserted that the billionaire's claim about the Syrian dictator is "only partially true...Assad considers the Islamic State group to be among numerous "terrorist" groups....Assad does use air power against IS-held areas and his ground forces are engaged in fighting with the extremists." An April 2016 article from AP itself also reported that Syrian troops "captured another town controlled by the Islamic State group....a week after [they] recaptured Palmyra."
While Donald Trump was hate-tweeting on Monday morning about Morning Joe and the gossip site rumors surrounding co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, the latter co-host prided himself as being a Trump critic (he wasn’t) but more importantly called out the Obama administration and government for collectively having “blood on our hands” for the inaction in Syria’s civil war to, in part, preserve the Iran nuclear deal.
NBC News foreign correspondent Bill Neely interviewed Syrian President and brutal dictator Bashar Al-Assad that began airing on Wednesday night and, somehow, large portions of the hour-long special were dedicated to harping on Donald Trump’s candidacy, if his lack of foreign policy experience concerned Assad and if his Muslim ban hurt his feelings.
Monday’s Morning Joe began with an evaluation of the actions of the White House prior to and after the attack on Paris Friday night. Joe Scarborough began by demanding to know if the roundtable thought the President actually looked involved and engaged in understanding “the level of threat.” When Mike Barnicle tried to claim the President “looks fully engaged,” Scarborough felt it necessary to confront him on it.
It seems more than fair to say that establishment press coverage of the deteriorating situation in Syria has been much lighter than what we'd see if a Republican or conservatives was in the Oval Office. Additionally, what has been reported in the admittedly complicated situation has been confusing at best and misleading at worst.
There was a moment of disconcerting clarity today which, if reported, should disturb even those Americans who only have a vague understanding of what's going on in that country. As reported by Tim Mak and Nancy A. Youssef at The Daily Beast:
It was almost a funny moment . . . until you realized that members of the press were openly laughing at the fecklessness of the ostensible leader of the free world.
On today's Morning Joe, the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, his voice occasionally cracking with emotion, repeatedly insisted that President Obama would use military force if necessary to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Andrea Mitchell eventually had enough, saying in a devastating aside "ask Bashar al-Assad," an allusion of course to how President Obama ran away from his red line in Syria. Joe Scarborough laughingly joined in, repeating "ask Assad." Even Mika Brzezinski couldn't suppress a smile [see screencap below.]
Appearing on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Monday, MSNBC host Joy Reid repeatedly refused to characterize either Russian president Vladimir Putin or Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as “evil.” During a contentious debate over Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine, Hewitt asked his guest point-blank, “Do you agree that what Russia is doing is evil?”
Reid hedged on her answer, replying:
Kudos to the Daily Beast for reporting this story. Don't hold your breath for the network news outlets to pick up on it and doggedly pursue it.
In an exclusive published at the website today, Josh Rogin and Noah Shachtman explain how there's credible evidence that regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad may have used chemical weapons in January 2014, something that U.S. intelligence officials are denying but which eyewitnesses on the ground insist occurred (excerpt follows; emphasis mine):
What was the best way for NBC to begin that network's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia? Have sports anchor Bob Costas host a brief profile on Vladmir Putin in which the Russian president is hailed as a global statesman superior to U.S. president Barack Obama. '
During a video portion of the profile, Costas said that Putin is an accomplished peacemaker, crediting him with preventing an American airstrike on Syria and coaxing the Iranian government to the nuclear negotiating table.