Networks Silent as Obama Gives Up on Closing Guantanamo, Previously Praised President as Bold

Barack Obama's State Department on Monday announced that it will close the office dedicated to shutting down Guantanamo Bay. According to the New York Times, this means that the President "does not currently see the closing of the prison as a realistic priority, despite repeated statements that [the administration] still intends to do so." Yet, all three network newscasts on Monday night and the morning shows on Tuesday skipped the revelation.

Such silence stands in contrast to the adulation Obama received in January of 2009 after the new president announced his intention to close the facility. On January 22, 2009, then-World News anchor Charles Gibson enthused, "The new President says America is taking the moral high ground in making the country safer." On the January 23, 2009 CBS Evening News, Bob Schieffer parroted, "He will close Guantanamo prison and outlaw torture. He has told the world that we will practice what we preach."

Here's what Obama's campaign website pledged in 2008:

Guantanamo has become a recruiting tool for our enemies. The legal framework behind Guantanamo has failed completely...The first step to reclaiming America's standing in the world has to be closing this facility. As president, Barack Obama will close the detention facility at Guantanamo.

Yet, the announcement that Obama has effectively given up on this promise has drawn little interest from the media.

In March of 2011, the President resumed military trials for terrorist suspects being held in Guantanamo Bay. The networks greeted this "stunning reversal" by covering it only in news briefs.


In contrast, When George W. Bush was president, Schieffer sneered that Guantanamo was a "cancer."

On June 9, 2005, comparing America to terrorists, he railed, "We need to think about what separates us from the people who are trying to take our freedom away from us....I don't want my kids to think this is how Americans are."

Is the United States government, currently run by a liberal Democrat, still similar to terrorists? How does Mr. Schieffer feel about Obama continuing such a "cancer?" Americans are waiting to see if he speaks out.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org