The attacks on Paris brought out predictable calls for by war against ISIS by Republicans, but a surprising number of media figures also jumped into the fray.
Much like in the buildup to the Iraq War, TV news journalists have been reacting first and asking questions second following the attacks.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, who was in favor of the Iraq War before backtracking years later, sounded a familiar refrain on Monday.
“What has gone on before cannot go forward,” he said on “Morning Joe.” “We’re going to have to look at this terror threat in a different way – much like America had to after 9/11,”
Scarborough gave viewers a history lesson, pointing out that from 1945-1991, NATO countries would go to war with “belligerent” force if one of its own were attacked.
“Do we [the U.S.] need to do that now?” he asked retired Admiral James Stavridis about going to war against ISIS. “We do,” Stavridis answered.
For CNN viewers not paying close attention to President Obama’s G20 press conference, senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta could have been mistaken for a Republican presidential candidate.
“Why can’t we take out these bastards?” a frustrated Acosta asked the president. He set up the question by speaking for Americans who see the U.S. as having the “greatest military in the world” but not using it to fight ISIS.
And after Fox News dipped out of the president’s G20 speech, Bill Hemmer offered his own opinion: “If you were waiting to hear a U.S. President say, ‘I feel your pain,’ or if you were waiting to hear a U.S. President say, ‘It’s them or us,’ that is not what you just heard.”
Cenk Uygur, a former MSNBC anchor and current host of the web sensation “The Young Turks,” called out the media for beating a war drum.
“The establishment media just came up with a genius new idea — more bombing and war!” he told TheWrap. “I’ve got bad news for them, that’s exactly what we were doing right before the Paris attacks.”
Uygur pointed out that the U.S. has dropped an estimated 5,000 bombs on ISIS targets already.
“You might be able to argue that you like that strategy anyway, but you can’t argue that it’s been effective in stopping them,” he said.
Veteran journalist Mark Feldstein called Acosta’s line of questioning of the president “unprofessional.”
“It does a disservice to the public to engage in such shallow warmongering,” Feldstein, who teaches journalism at University of Maryland, told TheWrap.
Overall, the media’s war bias is on full display again, Uygur concluded.
“It would be unacceptably biased if the press pushed for a peace agenda, but the minute an opportunity arises they jump in with both feet pushing for a militaristic approach,” he said.
“How come pushing for war isn’t biased?”