Wednesday, August 25, 2021


They love it so.
It is also a task that the media has felt no obligation to undertake. Mainstream coverage of Kabul’s fall and its aftermath has been anything but circumspect. Attempts to weigh the benefits of America’s withdrawal (e.g., the humanitarian gains inherent to the cessation of 20 years of civil war) against its costs have been rare; attempts to judge Biden’s execution of that withdrawal against rigorous counterfactuals have been rarer still. Instead, ostensibly neutral correspondents and anchors have (1) openly editorialized against the White House’s policy; (2) assigned Biden near-total responsibility for the final collapse of the proto-failed state his predecessors had established; and then (3) reported on the potential political costs of Biden’s actions, as though they were not actively imposing those costs through their own speculations about just “how politically damaging” the president’s failures of “competence” and “empathy” would prove to be.