Melanie Arter cheerfully types in a July 30 CNSNews.com article:
President Donald Trump said Monday that he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani without pre-conditions, saying that it would be good for the country, Iran, and the world.
During a joint White House press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Trump was asked what Iran has to do to reduce some of the tensions.
“And you’ve met with the leaders of North Korea and Russia. Are you prepared also -- are you willing to meet with President Rouhani? And under what conditions? And have there been any preliminary discussions about something like that?” the reporter also asked.
“I’ll meet with anybody. I believe in meeting. The prime minister said it better than anybody can say it: Speaking to other people, especially when you’re talking about potentials of war and death and famine and lots of other things -- you meet. There’s nothing wrong with meeting,” Trump said.
When asked whether there would be preconditions, Trump said, “No preconditions. No. If they want to meet, I’ll meet. Anytime they want. Anytime they want. It’s good for the country, good for them, good for us, and good for the world. No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet.”
Unmentioned by Arter: CNS attacked President Obama for doing the same thing Trump is doing.
A Novmeber 2014 column by Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison praised Hillary Clinton for saying during the 2008 presidential primary that "she was unwilling to deal with Iran’s Mullahs 'without preconditions,'" while Obama "took the unusual, not to say, profoundly unserious, position that he could sweep away thirty years of hostility with a handshake.We need to understand what President Obama’s extended hand meant. We would “re-set” relations with Iran while they still held our embassy compound.
A July 2016 column by the Heritage Founcation's James Phillips similarly complained: "The [Obama] administration’s diplomatic engagement without preconditions has enabled Iran’s dictatorship to have its cake and eat it too. Iran remains the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, but has been rewarded on the nuclear front for what could be temporary and easily reversible concessions.
CNS has published no op-eds criticizing Trump for offering to meet with Iran without preconditions. A July 30 article by Patrick Goodenough on Iran's rejection of Trump's offer did parentically admit: "While campaiging for the White House, Barack Obama also expressed a willingness to hold talks with Iran without preconditions. Shortly after his inauguration he undertook to engage with Iranian leaders who were willing to 'unclench their fist' and it later emerged that secret talks began in Oman in the summer of 2012. Multilateral negotiations led to the conclusion of the JCPOA in 2015."
At least Goodenough understands what contextual reporting is. Arter, meanwhile, is simply content to be a stenographer.