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Sunday, January 26, 2020
CNS Hides The Fact That Defense Secretary Saw No Imminent Threat From Iran
Topic: likes to selectively report on interviews by President Trump's allies, writing around inconvenient revelations or criticism to focus on the Repubican talking point du jour. This happened again in a Jan. 13 CNS article that begins this way:

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday defended President Trump's targeted strike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

"We are safer today than we were just a few weeks ago. Why? Because we took out the world's foremost terrorist leader, Qassem Soleimani, who had the blood of hundreds of American dead service members on his hands," Esper told CBS's "Face the Nation."

"Secondly, we restored deterrence with Iran without any United States casualties. And, third, we reassured our partners -- partners and allies in the region that we will stand up and defend our interests."

Jones and CNS dedicated no other article to Esper's interview. Which means that Jones was writing around its big revelation, that Esper admitted he didn't see any evidence of what Trump portray as an imminent threat from Soleimani to attack as many as four U.S. embassies.

But CNS couldn't ignore that important information, though. So it was buried in other articles:

  • Another article by Jones waited until the 18th paragraph to note that "Even Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday he didn't see evidence of a specific threat against four U.S. embassies."
  • An article by Patrick Goodenough waited until the 12th paragraph to report that "Defense Secretary Mark Esper made headlines Sunday when he told CBS’s 'Face the Nation' that he had not seen specific evidence 'with regard to four embassies' being under threat of attack, as Trump stated on Friday."

This is bad journalism. If a mainstream media outlet did this sort of distortion, selective reporting and burying the lead, CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, would be going on the attack.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EST

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