During the ’90s, many conservatives referred to CNN as the “Clinton News Network.” In an op-ed published Thursday by FrontPage Magazine, radio talk show host Michael Reagan coined a new term for the cable news outlet that might come into vogue: the Terrorist News Network.
At issue for former President Ronald Reagan’s son was a story written by NewsBuster Rich Noyes on July 19, with a follow-up on July 24. Reagan began: “On July 18, CNN correspondent Nick Robertson aired a report from Beirut. Throughout his entire report on ‘Anderson Cooper 360,’ Robertson accepted uncritically the claims of a Hezbollah ‘guide’ about what he was seeing.” After quoting much of Noyes’s initial report, Reagan pointed out:
All this led NewsBusters to wonder if Robertson is looking to be the next Peter Arnett, the disgraced leftist Aussie journalist who allowed himself to become a mouthpiece for Saddam Hussein.
Robertson finally came clean on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday, when he admitted that “… there's no doubt about it. They had control of the situation. They designated the places that we went to, and we certainly didn't have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath.”
This lead Reagan to make some interesting observations about the complex role of the media during wartime:
If Robertson was alone in allowing himself to be used by the enemy it would just be an isolated incident, but instead, he’s just one of a pack of journalists who never seem to be able to support the U.S. or its ally Israel in the war on terror.
Thanks to the mainstream media’s constant carping about alleged U.S. or Israeli “brutality,” the hands of the American military in Iraq and the Israeli’s in Lebanon are tied up in all sorts of politically correct handicaps that prevent them from taking decisive action when that’s what is required to win.
Recently on my radio broadcast I said if I were president for one day ending the war would be the easiest thing in the world. I would simply sign an executive order pulling all embedded reporters out of war zones where America is involved. I’d sign a second executive order having a complete media blackout of the war zone for the next six months.
I had an army Lieutenant Colonel on the show and I asked him if I did that, how long it would take him to you to end this war?
“Maybe thirty days or so,” he said.
Reagan astutely concluded:
The war goes on longer because of the media’s slanted coverage – we can’t do what we need to do for fear of the backlash with the media questioning everything we do, everyplace we go.
The media have no problem taking the word of every insurgent posing as an innocent civilian. They ignore the established fact that the insurgent’s main strategy is to bury themselves in the civilian population.
This is how they fight wars. They don’t mind women and children dying. That is all part of their strategy. They understand that the U.S., Israel and other civilized nations have values and a moral standard and they realize that we will do everything in our power to protect innocent people. They blend in with the people and when the innocent civilians they use as human shields are killed they use the deaths as propaganda tools and the media eat it up.
One thing that Reagan didn’t address was how many additional lives – both civilian and military – are lost when our nation is at war due to the media’s involvement. Somehow, that doesn't seem to matter to today's press, for getting the story is clearly much more important.
As Rich Noyes wrote me in a recent e-mail message, "If we had World War II''s media, we would be much further along in winning World War III." I couldn't agree more.