Before I get into individual stories, I wanted to talk briefly about something the media coverage has shown this week. Mainstream media personalities, “journalists,” and organizations suffer from a complete lack of intellectual curiosity. They are locked into a worldview and won’t follow stories out of it. That is why it was so refreshing that Ronan Farrow stuck with the Harvey Weinstein story, even after getting shot down by NBC News. Intellectual incuriosity is a cancer in the news media. For instance:
Why are we in Niger? … Over the past few days, the media have been doggedly wondering why the United States has troops in Niger. The answer was easy to find, for anyone with an internet connection and a search engine. Special Forces were sent to Niger in 2013, by Barack Obama, to fight Al-Qaeda affiliates, as this 2013 Reuters article reported. Also on October 5, 2017, Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed the deaths of the servicemen and explained why they were in-country. A fact the Washington Examiner’s Byron York reminded us of yesterday.
Chris Hayes obfuscates on Russian uranium scandal … MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is another person who is intellectually incurious. Yesterday on his program, he made it seem like there is nothing new about the Russians purchasing 20 percent of the U.S. uranium supply. He said the story was broken in 2015 by the New York Times. What was broken by the Times in 2015 was the Clinton Foundation angle, true. But that isn’t why Fox News is talking about it this week. It is because of the excellent reporting by The Hill that the FBI investigated bribery surrounding the deal, yet it still went through. This is NEW information. Ignorance or obfuscation, Chris Hayes?
CNN too … Yesterday, in a bit of ad-libbing coming back from the president’s press availability with the governor of Puerto Rico, Wolf Blitzer mentioned the Obama-Clinton Russian uranium scandal. It was brief and in passing, but it still remains as the only bit of coverage the new developments have received on CNN. It lasted about 10 seconds.
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Maddow makes a fool of herself … MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow spent her program yesterday trying to blame Donald Trump for the deaths of four special forces troops in Niger. Her thesis? Chad removed its soldiers from the country in response to the latest Trump “travel ban.” Central African expert Laura Seay had a remarkable tweetstorm debunking Maddow’s “massively irresponsible conspiracy-mongering.” It is more than worth the read.
Full-scale attack on General Kelly … There has been a full-scale attack on White House Chief of Staff, Marine General, and Gold Star dad John Kelly after his heartfelt remarks yesterday. CNN was particularly horrid. As was that guy who needs anger management, Lawrence O’Donnell, and his colleague Joy Reid at MSNBC. O’Donnell, who is, like Kelly, from Boston, blasted Kelly’s upbringing in Allston, a neighborhood of Boston. Joy Reid added her own little bit of flair. This attitude toward a decorated general and man who lost his son is exactly why the nation voted for Trump in the first place.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the erroneous date October 5, 2015, to October 5, 2017.
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Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.