Dan Rather Cautions the Media: War Must Never be a Public Relations Operation
Woah. Get out of my head Dan Rather.
“The President of the United States is the Commander in Chief,” Rather began in his post, which as of this publication been shared over 10,000 times, with over 38,000 reactions. “Committing the use of force and American men and women in uniform is about as serious as it gets. But the truly great presidents understand that knowing when NOT to act is as important as knowing when to act.”
Rather pointed out the tendency to “rally around the flag,” citing that a “President who takes on a war footing can see a boost of support,” but was cautious about Trump’s strategy. “Whether there is a coherence to this missile strike fitting into a larger foreign policy strategy is a question that should give us all pause,” he said.
(Following the strike, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley threatened additional actions against the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.)
“The role of the press is to ask hard questions,” Rather advised, citing “ample evidence” that the Trump Administration must face scrutiny and a “healthy skepticism” in all of its actions, a response to “the lies we have heard, the chaos in governance, and the looming questions about ties with Russia – itself a major player in Syria.”
“Perhaps it was the right thing to do. Perhaps a strong and wise policy will emerge. But that judgement is still definitely hanging in the balance.”
“The number of the press who have lauded the actions last night as ‘presidential’ is concerning,” the celebrated journalist cautioned. “War must never be considered a public relations operation.”
“It is not a way for an Administration to gain a narrative.”
“The full post can be read here.”
I say Get out of my head as those are my thoughts exactly. As Rather says it may have been the right move, it may not have been. As I’ve argued in previous posts, part of the problem is Trump himself. Even if you support the action you have to wonder where the about face from everything he’s ever said comes from.
Was it just impulse? Wag the Dog? It’s a bothersome question. Either way, the media has to do it’s job rather than simply mindlessly cheerlead.
Rather also gets credit for calling out many of his colleagues.
"Trump is an unstable, ignorant, madman with no regard for democracy but I'm glad he's shooting missiles" is a bizarrely popular take.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) April 7, 2017
No doubt the award for worst pundit reaction is Brian Williams.
Brian Williams just now:
"Wow, the beauty of our military weapons. What a sight."@MalcolmNance "Not beautiful for the victims, Brian."
— McBlondeLand (@McBlondeLand) April 7, 2017
I’m with this guy-though I got lucky:
People tuned in for Rachel Maddow and got Get Your War On with Brian Williams. Way to respect those viewers you've been cultivating, @MSNBC.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) April 7, 2017
I tuned into watch Rachel too, but as soon as Brian Williams took over, I shut off cable for the night. So got to miss Williams have an orgasm contemplating Trump’s missiles.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
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