Accuracy in Media

The mainstream media, CNN included, often relied on catchy headlines to get more traffic and attention from its viewers and audiences. This practice, known as “clickbait,” is scorned by journalists and readers alike, but has become commonplace in an ever-changing media landscape.

CNN is guilty of employing “clickbait” tactics in its latest analysis on the Turkish military’s incursion into Kurdish-held territory in Syria. The analysis, entitled, “Putin’s dreams have just come true,” blamed President Donald Trump for withdrawing U.S. military personnel from Syria and therefore fulfilling “Putin’s dreams” in Syria and by extension, the Middle East.

The headline reinforced the ongoing media narrative that Trump is too friendly with Putin and is in the pocket of the Russian government, as demonstrated by the Russian collusion charges that ultimately flopped when the Mueller report was published.

It is no secret that the U.S. and Russia continue to engage in proxy warfare in Syria, with Russian President Vladimir Putin supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Turkey President Recep Erdogan in the region to balance against U.S.-backed Kurdish militia, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

However, for an allegedly-unbiased analysis to claim victory for Putin and Russia while blaming the Trump White House is disingenuous. One of Trump’s campaign promises was to draw down U.S. involvement in foreign wars. The media’s confusion over his stance on foreign wars stemmed from Trump’s deferment “to military officials who have requested more military personnel in the Middle East, Afghanistan and other overseas conflict areas” as the Military Times reported.

In the analysis, CNN included a scathing partisan rebuke to Trump’s decision in Syria:

“America’s imperfect pact with the Kurds was always going to fall apart one day. But nobody could have imagined the SDF’s 10,000-plus dead sons and daughters would have been betrayed by overwhelming ignorance, fealty to Turkish and Russian interests, and the toxic aversion to details that the Trump administration displayed.”

At this point, this analysis has morphed into an opinion piece and should not be considered an analysis. CNN should have placed this write-up in the opinion editorial section, as it is clearly partisan and one-sided instead of a fair and neutral analytical piece. 

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