National media chooses stranded Americans over Biden

National media chooses stranded Americans over Biden

Biden administration officials including Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, are getting peppered with tough questions from the national media as a deadline nears to leave Afghanistan. 

National media chooses stranded Americans over Biden

Thousands of American citizens remain stranded far from the Kabul airport, where an August 31 deadline is counting down for the U.S. to depart the country for good, and at the moment their best ally appears to be the American media, which is looking at the calendar and doing the math.

One leading figure is Fox News reporter Pete Doocy, the White House correspondent whose questions are already a daily irritant to the Fox-hating Biden administration.

On Monday, Doocy noticeably rattled the White House press secretary by pointing out, first of all, that the American public is not insisting the U.S. armed forces remain in Afghanistan permanently. That non-existent claim was stated by President Biden in two consecutive speeches only to be described as a desperate strawman argument. 

“Most of the criticism is not leaving Afghanistan,” Doocy pointed out to Jen Psaki. “It’s the way [Biden] has ordered it to happen by pulling the troops before getting these Americans who are now stranded.”

“First of all,” Psaki, visibly frustrated, lectured, “I think it’s irresponsible to say Americans are stranded. They are not.”

And yet they are.

Biden: 'I haven't seen that poll'

The pointed question from Doocy didn't surprise anyone who has watched him at work but left-wing news fixture Andrea Mitchell turned heads this week when she challenged the U.S. State Dept., too. In a daily news briefing with spokesman Ned Price, Mitchell pointed out that U.S. Embassy staff are stranded in that facility in Kabul, with no way to reach the airport. One of the staff members told NBC News, she said, it was “better to die” from a Taliban bullet than fight the crowds surrounding the Kabul airport.

“One staff member said they felt betrayed, that it undermined their sense of dignity, their loyalty," Mitchell told Price. “This is embassy staff, who should have been presumably prioritized. They were left behind when the evacuation took place.”

Price, responding vaguely to the question, told Mitchell that Secretary of State Antony Blinkin “pro-actively” raised that issue in a meeting earlier that day, and both Blinken and President Biden are “completely on the same page," he assured Mitchell. 

Beyond the Biden-blasting anchors and commentators at Fox News, cable news coverage at CNN and MSNBC have also skewered the Biden administration after the Taliban swept into Kabul over the August 14 weekend.

“You've been listening to President Biden speaking at the White House,” CNN anchor Jake Tapper told his audience August 16, “forced to talk about the worsening crisis in Afghanistan, forced to speak to the nation after the calamity of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.”

Tapper went on to describe Biden's defensive speech as a President who did not “accept any blame for the catastrophic exit that we have been watching on television in the last several days.”

In an August 22 address, Biden delivered yet another speech about Afghanistan before taking questions from the media. Pressed by a reporter about the bungled withdrawal and bad poll numbers, the President pivoted to his talking points about "ending the war" or "keep it going" after 20 years and 2,448 U.S. dead. 

Biden appeared to be unaware of the CBS News poll in which a whopping 74% said the removal of Americans in Afghanistan has gone "very badly." 

"The majority of Americans – forgive me, I'm just the messenger – no longer consider you to be competent, focused, or effective at the job," CBS News reporter Ed O'Keefe said of the poll. "What would you say to those Americans?"

"I haven't seen that poll," Biden, shaking his head, replied before pivoting to his stay-or-leave talking points.

After more than a week of such critical coverage, the Media Research Center noticed when CNN show host Brian Stelter complained that the tone of the mainstream media --- meaning every news outlet besides Fox News --- has been “scathing” toward President Biden.

“I heard complaints from Biden’s aides about this,” Stelter told his audience, which suggested to the audience that the CNN host was siding with the Biden administration. 

Back at the White House press briefing on Monday, Doocy was not done. Clearly not intimidated by the press secretary’s lecture, the Fox News correspondent pushed for Psaki to restate her position.

“‘There are no Americans stranded’ is the White House’s official position on what’s happening in Afghanistan right now?” he asked. 

“I’m just calling you out for saying that we are stranding Americans in Afghanistan, when we have been very clear that we are not leaving Americans who want to return home,” Psaki replied. “We are going to bring them home. I think that’s important for the American public to hear and understand.”