CBS Praises Biden’s Afghan Withdrawal, Discounted Trump’s Peace Deal for It

There was some major whiplash on Tuesday’s CBS Evening News when it was reported President Biden would announce American’s withdrawal from Afghanistan after more than 20 years. The whiplash came from the network’s support for troop withdrawals being dependent on the party affiliation of the president behind it. They even discounted the peace deal President Trump struck to give America the opportunity, suggesting it was Biden’s idea.

“Breaking news: Leaving Afghanistan, President Biden to announce an end to America’s longest war, pulling all U.S. troops out by the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks,” anchor Norah O’Donnell cheerfully announced during the opening tease.

It was a happy tone that continued into the introduction of the full segment. “Now, here to Washington, a major announcement is coming from the President,” she touted. “Tomorrow, America’s longest war is coming to an end in a matter of months. A war that cost the U.S. more than 2,000 lives and taxpayers trillions of dollars.”

But almost six months ago to the day, on November 16, 2020, O’Donnell was appalled by President Trump’s decision to drawdown troops and bring them home:

Tonight, President Trump is expected to significantly reduce U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, that’s despite warnings from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper that the move could lead to more violence in those countries.

CBS’s approval of McConnell’s criticism also changed with the political winds. While O’Donnell promoted him back then, on Tuesday, vindictive senior White House correspondent Weijia Jiang used him to suggest Republicans supported continuing the endless war. “Republicans slammed the decision,” she sniped before playing a sound bite of the minority leader.

And despite the fact that the Trump administration signed the peace deal over a year ago, promising to withdraw troops completely in 14 months, Jiang lauded Biden’s decision to break the agreement and move the date back:

JIANG: Mr. Biden had recently hinted that he would make this move, frustrated with a war that is now in its third decade.

BIDEN: We will leave. The question is when we leave. [Transition] But we are not staying a long time.

JIANG: The Trump administration made a deal to withdraw the 3,300 troops currently there by May 1, but the President thought that was too soon.

Notice how she treated Trump’s peace deal as some sort of last-minute order given shortly before he left office.

At one point, Jiang even suggested that the plan to bring American troops home was entirely Biden’s idea. “President Biden’s decision to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan is notable for the deadline he chose, September 11; the 20th anniversary of the attacks that brought them there in the first place, to track down Osama bin Laden,” she boasted.

Put simply, CBS was trying to gaslight their audience.

This double standard for when to support American troops coming home was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Amazon and Ford Motor Company. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund. CBS Evening News has also asked people “text Norah” at this number: (202) 217-1107.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CBS Evening News
April 13, 2021
6:31:00 p.m. Eastern [Opening tease]

NORAH O’DONNELL: Breaking news: Leaving Afghanistan, President Biden to announce an end to America’s longest war, pulling all U.S. troops out by the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

(…)

O’DONNELL: Now, here to Washington, a major announcement is coming from the President. Tomorrow, America’s longest war is coming to an end in a matter of months. A war that cost the U.S. more than 2,000 lives and taxpayers trillions of dollars. CBS’s Weijia Jiang has more from the White House.

[Cuts to video]

WEIJIA JIANG: President Biden’s decision to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan is notable for the deadline he chose, September 11; the 20th anniversary of the attacks that brought them there in the first place, to track down Osama bin Laden.

Mr. Biden had recently hinted that he would make this move, frustrated with a war that is now in its third decade.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN (D): We will leave. The question is when we leave. [Transition] But we are not staying a long time.

JIANG: The Trump administration made a deal to withdraw the 3,300 troops currently there by May 1, but the President thought that was too soon. The White House said by September, Al Qaeda would no longer pose a threat to the U.S. homeland. Republicans slammed the decision.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Precipitously withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake.

JIANG: Afghan officials, fearful of a resurgent Taliban told CBS News a civil war was inevitable.

(…)

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