Syria

By Curtis Houck | September 9, 2014 | 10:27 PM EDT

Tuesday evening marked a return to ignoring President Obama’s poll numbers for ABC News as its evening newscast, World News Tonight with David Muir, failed to report on the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll and its findings. 

Over on CBS, it continued to ignore these poor numbers as the CBS Evening News made no mention of them on its Tuesday evening newscast. In contrast, NBC Nightly News both unveiled and discussed its own NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

By Matthew Balan | September 9, 2014 | 6:21 PM EDT

Don Lemon returned to the question of whether Islam is an inherently violent religion on Monday's CNN Tonight, as he interviewed Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison and author Reza Aslan. Lemon turned to his two Muslim guests for their take on a recent Tweet by atheist HBO host Bill Maher: "ISIS, one of thousands of Islamic militant groups beheads another. But by all means let's keep pretending all religions are alike."

By Matthew Balan | September 8, 2014 | 5:48 PM EDT

On Monday's New Day on CNN, Jonathan Martin of the New York Times and Bloomberg's Margaret Tavel ran to President Obama's defense over his handling of ISIS. Martin hyped that "the President is in a tough spot here....these two beheadings of journalists...have really outraged a lot of folks....and the President is forced to act. But again, there is not any appetite in this country to put ground troops back in that region. And so, the President is somewhat handcuffed."

By Mark Finkelstein | September 8, 2014 | 10:51 AM EDT

Joe Scarborough scoffs at Thomas Friedman's suggestion that the way to confront ISIS is for the US to adopt a carbon tax and permit oil exports.

By Jeffrey Meyer | September 7, 2014 | 6:17 PM EDT

During an appearance on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Donna Brazile, former campaign manager for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, admitted to not knowing what a caliphate was while trying to defend President Obama’s policy regarding the terrorist group ISIS. 

 

Brazile argued that the battle with ISIS is “a medieval war that we're looking at to establish a caliphate” before conceding that she had to ask conservative commentator Bill Kristol “exactly what that [caliphate] meant.”

By Jeffrey Meyer | September 7, 2014 | 10:26 AM EDT

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had some strikingly harsh words for President Obama over his lack of a coherent strategy to combat the terrorist group ISIS.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday on September 9, Romney slammed President Obama by insisting that he was “too busy on the golf course to pick up the phone and meet with the leaders around the world and to say what happens if.” 

By Tom Johnson | September 4, 2014 | 9:04 PM EDT

On Wednesday, American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman noted the rhetorical contrast between President Obama and Vice President Biden regarding ISIS. Essentially, Obama has sounded cool and detached, a la Miles Davis, whereas a revved-up Biden, in a Portsmouth, N.H. speech, worked up a sweat and fed off the energy of the audience in the manner of Bruce Springsteen.

“You get a sense now,” wrote Waldman, “that not only is [Obama] being cautious about what actions the United States should take with regard to ISIS, he's also being cautious in how he talks about it. He doesn't want to raise expectations of a quick and glorious victory.”

By Matthew Balan | September 4, 2014 | 4:40 PM EDT

Don Lemon surprisingly shot down a common moral equivalency argument in defense of the Islamic faith during a panel discussion on Wednesday's CNN Tonight. Lemon asked, "Is Islam a more violent religion than other faiths?" When CNN analyst Tom Fuentes answered, "Yes, it must be," guest Arsalan Iftikhar retorted by playing up that "Christian extremist organizations...have bombed gay nightclubs and...abortion clinics in the name of Christendom."

The CNN anchor interrupted Iftikhar as he made that talking point, and zeroed in on the vastly different death tolls between abortion clinic bombings and Islamist terrorist attacks: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Jeffrey Meyer | September 4, 2014 | 1:30 PM EDT

Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler took aim at White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Wednesday, September 3 and the result wasn’t pretty. At issue was Earnest’s attempt to clarify remarks made by President Obama during an interview in January where he labeled the terrorist group ISIS as a “JV” team.

Despite the press secretary’s best efforts to argue that Obama was “not singling out ISIS” when he called them “JV”, Kessler made clear that nothing could be further from the truth and gave Earnest four Pinocchios for his efforts. 

By Kyle Drennen | September 4, 2014 | 1:00 PM EDT

While both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning on Thursday highlighted Republicans and Democrats in Congress taking President Obama to task for failing to have a strategy to combat the ISIS terror network, ABC's Good Morning America skipped any mention of the growing bipartisan frustration with the White House.

On This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes reported: "Lawmakers from both sides tell us they believe the President has the authority to act right away....they want to see signs that he is crafting a plan and they want the White House to share that plan with them as soon as possible....[they] want more than just promises. They want evidence that a strategy is taking shape."

By Curtis Houck | September 3, 2014 | 9:49 PM EDT

On Wednesday night’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams completely missed the mark on President Obama’s mixed signals regarding how his administration intends to deal with the threat of the Islamic terrorist group ISIS and omitted remarks from Obama that ISIS can be contained to the point of being “a manageable problem.”

At the top of the broadcast, Williams made this blatant falsehood: “[F]or all those who may be wondering if the U.S. is going to rise up, take the bait and get into the fight to root them out, the answer today from both the President and Vice President appeared to be clear and unambiguous.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Kyle Drennen | September 3, 2014 | 4:50 PM EDT

Appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Wednesday, NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel ripped into President Obama having no strategy to combat ISIS terrorists: "This has been going on for over three years. The buildup of ISIS has not been rapid, it has been quite slow. It has been quite well-documented....I met an ISIS fighter and I broadcast it on Nightly News....So that we have no strategy to deal with ISIS is quite – is quite ridiculous at this stage."

That followed Engel revealing on Sunday's Meet the Press that military officials "are apoplectic" over the President's failure to act on the crisis. "They think that this is a clear and present danger. They think something needs to be done. One official said that this was a Freudian slip, that it shows how the United States does not have a policy to deal with Syria," he added. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]