When President Trump says "jump," CNSNews.com asks, "how high?" That's the editorial agenda of CNS these days -- bolstering whatever pronouncement Trump makes with sycophantic echoing and random, anecdotal claims.
For instance, when Trump started ranting about claims of human trafficking over the southern border in order to justify building a wall -- which experts on the issue say is wildly overblown -- CNS rushed to bolster it:
- Melanie Arter wrote a Feb. 4 article featuring an activist who claimed that "human traffickers take advantage of the United States’ open borders to smuggle children into the country and force them to have sex for money."
- The next day, Arter wrote an article featuring a Border Patrol official claiming "human traffickers are using children to smuggle illegal immigrants across the border as a family unit and recycling the children back across the border to be used again."
When Trump announced that the U.S. would pull out of Syria and prematurely declared ISIS defeated, CNS continued the support mode there it started when Trump first made the announcement:
- A Jan. 16 article by Susan Jones complained that Trump's announcement "drew an instant backlash," then highlighted that "an undisclosed number of U.S. troops were killed on routine patrol in Syria."
- On Jan. 21, Patrick Goodenough noted another ISIS-linked bombing in Syria targeting U.S. troops.
- A Jan. 29 article by Jones pushed Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats' claim that "Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will seek to 'avoid conflict' with two of America's allies as he consolidates power in Syria and continues to 're-take territory' from what remains of ISIS." Jones then added a partisan spin by noting, "This is the same dictator that the Obama administration tried to topple."
- A Feb. 3 video featured Trump declaring that the U.S. needs to get out of "endless wars" like in Syria.
- On Feb. 5, Jones featured a report claiming that "ISIS is regenerating key functions and capabilities more quickly in Iraq than in Syria."
- Dmitri Simes wrote a Feb. 7 article touting Sen. Rand Paul's endorsement of Trump's proclamation.
- The same day, Goodenough promoted Trump's claim that "he expects the military coalition fighting ISIS to formally declare the end of the terrorist group’s hold on territory in Syria and Iraq as soon as next week."
We've already seen hwo CNS worked to echo Trump's public pronoucements on the government shutdown, even as those views constantly shifted.
Acting as a political echo chamber is not the same thing as journalism.
(Updated to note earlier Syria support.)