by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Christopher Bedford of the Federalist makes fairly safe predictions about the media’s approach toward coverage of Afghanistan in the days ahead.
“Look, we’ve closed the chapter on Afghanistan. And now we’re committed to America. We want to put the past behind us and are committed to build back better and infrastructure.”
“We want to focus on people, on jobs, on working-class Americans struggling to pay the bills.”
“We’re not dwelling on the past.”
None of these are quotes — yet. Already by the time you read this, that might have changed.
Because, even while the frantic Kabul evacuation effort was ongoing, the White House preferred to talk about anything at all other than their deadly and disastrous retreat. And we all heard Tuesday afternoon’s angry, 20-minute speech by the president: The retreat was a great success, a real Joe-Eagle example of this administration keeping its promises — and it’s all the fault of that terrible Donald Trump and the cowardly Afghan government.
The White House will face some obstacles in changing the narrative. This, for instance, is the first story since Super Tuesday that’s seen a largely complicit corporate media really go after the administration for any of its numerous and demonstrable failures.
It’s the first story that’s seen the same corporate media that virtually propped up now-President Joe Biden’s limp and barely responsive person begin to wonder aloud if his public mental decay might be a sign of — shock — mental decay. Finally, there are still hundreds of Americans and many more American-aligned Afghans stranded in the country — and likely hostages of a vengeful and merciless foe.
But in the end, there’s a high chance it will work.
Why? Let’s start with ability: The White House Press Corps, for instance, is largely made up of camera-ready vanity projects more interested in their Instagram followers and TV outfits than holding to account an administration they’re politically aligned with.