At CNS, The Trump-Fluffing Never Stops
Months after Donald Trump left the presidency, CNSNews.com reporter Patrick Goodenough was still touting his alleged achievements in office.
By Terry Krepel
Goodenough grumbled in a Nov. 13 article: "The world may be grappling with a once-in-a-century pandemic, but World Health Organization member-states dedicated four hours of its annual gathering in Geneva on Thursday to discuss and condemn Israel, accusing it of violating the health rights of Palestinians in the disputed territories and Syrians in the Golan Heights." By contrast, you'll never hear Goodenough say, "The world may be grappling with a once-in-a-century pandemic, but a 'news' operation sent its interns to pester members of Congress about transgender students in locker rooms."
On Nov. 18, Goodenough declared it a "parting blow" when the Obama administration "chose not to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution" condemning Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory shortly before Obama left office, then touted how "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was expected on Thursday to became the first top U.S. diplomat to visit Jewish communities on disputed territory." Goodenough went on to frame the issue in right-wing talking points, writing that "Many Israelis view those areas, known for millennia as Judea (more than 800 references in the Bible) and Samaria (more than 110 references), as the Jewish nation’s historical and biblical 'heartland.'"
In a Dec. 1 article, Goodenough defended the honor of Jared Kushner for allegedly negotiating all those minor peace deals:
As President Trump’s administration winds towards a close, critics took to MSNBC airwaves on Monday to tear into White House senior advisor Jared Kushner for traveling to the Middle East, characterizing the president’s 39-year-old son-in-law as an abject failure and a “ridiculous” figure, and expressing relief that “serious, competent, intelligent people” will be returning to the executive branch soon.
And when Morocco signed a normalization pact with Israel in early December-- with the deal-sweetener of the U.S. recognizing Morocco's sovereignty over a disputed African territory -- Goodenough was on hand to gush once more:
President Trump on Thursday announced a fourth Arab-Israeli normalization agreement in as many months, as Morocco agreed to recognize the Jewish state. In return he issued a proclamation recognizing Morocco’s longstanding claim to sovereignty over a sparsely-populated disputed territory in north-western Africa an attempt to break a decades-long stalemate.
It wasn't until the 21st paragraph of his article that Goodenough got around to admitting that "Morocco’s human rights record in Western Sahara has been widely condemned. The territory is the seventh lowest-scoring country or territory in Freedom House’s annual assessment of civil liberties and political freedoms, just one place above North Korea." He then let Kushner simply handwave the issue by declaring that "Obviously, we don’t share the same values with all these countries" and that "we obviously respect the sovereignty of different places."
That enamor, for the deals and Israel itself, hasn't faded. Goodenough gushed in a Jan. 25 article:
Building on the foundation of the normalization agreement brokered by the Trump administration last summer, Israel on Sunday opened an embassy in the United Arab Emirates, and the Gulf state’s cabinet approved the establishment of an embassy in Tel Aviv.
Goodenough went on to complain that "some critics of President Trump played down their significance, arguing for instance that they were not peace agreements per se, since the Arab countries had not been at war with Israel."
Meanwhile, Goodenough used a Feb. 17 article to complain that President Biden hadn't called Netanyahu already, pointing out that "Netanyahu, whose relationship with President Trump was a warm one, is known to be wary of Biden’s plans to re-engage Iran, and his offer to re-enter the Obama-era nuclear deal if Tehran returns to compliance" and adding that "the length of time taken does appear to be a departure from the norm." But Goodenough had to revise his article later in the day after it was revealed that Biden did call Netanyahu.
Strangely, even though Goodenough and CNS care so much about Israel, it has completely censored an mention of the corruption trial Netanyahu was undergoing at the time (even though he petulantly walked out of the trial). Even though the trial has been going on since last May, CNS has devoted no article to it. Goodenough arguably has the time to do one, considering 1) he's the international editor and it's his beat, and 2) there was purportedly so little to do on that beat that he devoted a story to the "sexually explicit" lyrics of rappers campaigning for Democratic Senate candidates in Georgia (the state, not the country).
Still burnishing Trump
Months after Trump left office, Goodenough was still laboring to burnish trump's presidency. When Biden White House press secretary Jen Psaki failed to give Trump sufficient credit for his administration's Middle East initiatives, Goodenough took offense in a May 19 article, laboriously citing chapter and verse:
The Trump administration did little to advance peace in the Middle East, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki suggested yesterday.
Goodenough also demanded credit for Trump in a June 15 article:
As President Biden was attending the first NATO summit of his presidency, the lingering effects of his predecessor could be seen in the alliance’s most recent defense spending data.
Goodenough even worked Trump into something he had nothing to do with -- the 2002 authorization of force that led to the Iraq War -- in a June 18 article:
The U.S. House on Thursday voted to repeal the 2002 authorization for the Iraq War, with almost one-quarter of Republicans voting in favor.
By contrast, Goodenough has been much less kind to President Biden, subjecting him to nitpicky fact-checks he avoided doing when Trump was president.