, Dan Gainor
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The U.S. drone strike this week that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani – a terrorist murderer responsible for thousands of deaths – resulted in extensive news coverage that criticized President Trump for ordering his killing and falsely portrayed Soleimani in a positive light.
Journalists couldn’t pile on enough praise or make enough ridiculous comparisons glorifying Soleimani – from the despicable to the ridiculous. He was like Gen. George Patton or the Duke of Wellington (Business Insider), and former French President Charles de Gaulle or the French Foreign Legion (CNN).
That strategy was hardly new. Back in 2017, Time magazine piled on the praise, saying Soleimani was “James Bond, Erwin Rommel and Lady Gaga rolled into one.”
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Wacky leftist “Young Turks” correspondent/producer Emma Vigeland joined the postmortem comparison chorus with her own oddball take: “Imagine the Iranian government assassinated Mike Pompeo with a drone, at the direction of the president, and called it self-defense,” she wrote. Only she wasn’t done, adding that “Iran’s self-defense claims would be more legitimate.”
Journalists were really just getting started. Ryan Cooper, the national correspondent for The Week, delivered one of the most-despicable commentaries. He declared: “America is guilty of everything we accuse Iran of doing.”
Cooper bemoaned people cheering the “Putin-style cold-blooded murder of a foreign statesman.” Statesman? Cooper at least admitted that Soleimani “killed a lot of people, directly or indirectly, many of them American soldiers.” That didn’t appear to bother Cooper much.
Then Cooper bashed America and our leaders for involvement in wars – including former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and “Our own Soleimani, General David Petraeus.”
“If any accused war criminal at an airport is fair game, then there are a lot of people in D.C. and Northern Virginia who better start traveling by train or ship,” Cooper said.
It was moral equivalency craziness fresh out of the Cold War, when leftists pretended the U.S. and Soviet Union were much the same. Here’s hoping Cooper is at least gets extra screening during air travel.
Other journalists said Soleimani was “revered” or an “icon.” “CBS This Morning” reporter Holly Williams must have used her thesaurus. She deployed in a short segment: “a revered figure,” “an inspirational military leader,” and, of course, a “military genius.”
The New Yorker depicted Soleimani in heroic, macho fashion as “a flamboyant former construction worker and bodybuilder with snowy white hair, a dapper beard, and arching salt-and-pepper eyebrows.” I was surprised the web page didn’t include some Wagnerian soundtrack or maybe just The Village People singing “Macho Man.”
The nation’s two foremost newspapers lived down to their far-left reputations. The Washington Post treated Soleimani like he was a legitimate leader. The print headline called him a “key Iranian commander,” not a terrorist. In fact, the only one calling anyone a terrorist in the story was Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, saying the U.S. drone attack was an “act of international terrorism.”
The Post joined in the killer scoops with this important news: “Soleimani posted memes antagonizing Trump on social media.” The paper couldn’t even decide if Soleimani was a bad guy so it reported that only Republicans thought so.
The Post tweeted: “As Republicans praised President Trump for a decisive blow against a man they consider a war criminal, Democrats expressed concern that the killing could be a dangerous step toward war.”
The New York Times called Soleimani simply the “Commander of Iranian Forces” and, once again included the Iranian quote about terrorism. The terrorist responsible for more than 600 American military deaths in Iraq, along with many more wounded, was never once called a terrorist.
Of course, the Times didn’t exactly come across as anti-terror. Reporter Farnaz Fassihi tweeted about a “Rare personal video of Gen. Suleimani reciting poetry” that was “about friends departing & him being left behind.” She then got mad that people criticized her for humanizing a monster.
When journalists weren’t lamenting Soleimani’s death, they were bashing his attacker. Both the BBC and CNN called killing the terrorist “murder.”
CNN’s “New Day” anchor John Berman called Soleimani’s killing a “murder,” then quickly changed it to “assassination.”
BBC Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet gave a generally neutral report until she noted how the escalation between the U.S. and Iran “ended with the murder of Qassem Soleimani.”
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But the worst CNN moment came not on TV but online. CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins wrote a piece so insipid that it should be used in journalism schools about what not to do in major news events. Her story focused heavily on what the president had been eating during the attack.
Here’s how one paragraph began: “As meatloaf and ice cream were served, the Pentagon confirmed….”
But Collins, who used to work for the Daily Caller, has fully embraced the CNN way of spinning the news. She also reflected back to another attack and how “Trump went into great detail about the chocolate cake he had with Chinese President Xi Jinping.”
In fact, the latest story was almost entirely a rehash of that previous event and the “new” part of the news was really just one more way for CNN to mock the president who had just gotten rid of a terrorist responsible for the deaths of more than 600 Americans.
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CNN Politics even tweeted the story: “President Trump dined on ice cream as news of the airstrike broke.”
I bet Collins got a nice holiday bonus.
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