Although NBC and CBS on Friday covered the “unprecedented,” “deep frustration” that diplomats at the State Department have for Barack Obama’s Syria policy, ABC’s Good Morning America allowed a scant 18 seconds to the move against Obama. This is despite allowing 14 minutes to a Demi Lovato rock concert, clearly not as important a topic.
Here is the total of GMA’s coverage on Friday from news anchor Amy Robach: “President Obama's policies in the Middle East coming under fire. This time from diplomats at the State Department. More than 50 diplomats have signed a memo urging the President to launch air strikes against Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad, claiming there has been little progress in five years of war.”
In contrast, here’s how NBC’s Today covered it:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Another big story in politics breaking this morning. Dozens of U.S. diplomats are breaking ranks with the President, calling for air strikes against the Syrian government. Richard Engel, NBC's chief foreign correspondent, is in Istanbul this morning. Richard, good morning. This seems quite remarkable to have such an open break with the President from his own administration.
Reporter Richard Engel explained, “I think it expresses the deep frustration that is even within the State Department about the current U.S. policy in Syria.” Engel underlined that it’s unusual “more than 50 mostly mid-level State Department employees choose to use this dissent channel to say they want a different policy.”
Over on CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose sounded a similar warning: “An unprecedented challenge against President Obama's Syria strategy.” Correspondent Margaret Brennan marveled, “It is rare to see dozens of American diplomats formally object to U.S. policy. But after five years of brutal war, some within the Obama administration have had enough and are calling for action.”
Specifically, here is what the State Department officials are calling for:
MARGARET BRENNAN: The 51 State Department officials who signed the classified internal memo argue that the U.S. should destroy Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad's military might. The diplomats told CBS News that Assad has faced no consequence for his brutality. Continuing to ignore Assad while fighting ISIS is dragging out the five-year war, and they believe, is creating new extremists.
One would think this would be worth more of GMA’s time than a meager 18 seconds. But considering that show’s close ties to Hillary Clinton and co-host George Stephanopoulos's affinity for Barack Obama, it’s not surprising.
A transcript of the GMA brief is below:
8:02:50 to 8:03:50
AMY ROBACH: The big story this morning, President Obama's policies in the Middle East coming under fire. This time from diplomats at the State Department. More than 50 diplomats have signed a memo urging the President to launch air strikes against Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad, claiming little progress in five years of war.