CNN ran an opinion piece with the unserious headline of “John Bolton’s mustache is more qualified to be national security adviser than he is,” but its author, David Rothkopf, is a supposedly serious senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Rothkopf didn’t offer any substantive critique of either Bolton, the newly designated national security adviser to President Trump (replacing H.R. McMaster), or the Trump presidency writ-large.
Rothkopf, who worked in the Clinton administration, wrote that “Having reviewed the available options and the nation’s national security needs, if Bolton’s famed mustache must go, I would strongly support it for the job over him.” Imagine what would happen if a conservative professor trying to substantively critique the Obama administration said the same about former attorney general Eric Holder’s facial hair?
CNN allowed Rothkopf to make a broad, unsubstantiated claim about Trump’s presidency: “So far it has gone about as badly as can be imagined. Unfortunately, even if Trump had made a good choice to replace the ill-treated McMaster, it is unlikely to fix what is broken at the National Security Council. Because that’s not the national security adviser, it is the President — compromised, erratic, inexperienced, possessed of terrible instincts, corrupt and disrespectful of his office and those who serve around him as he is.”
But CNN did not challenge Rothkopf to prove Trump’s foreign policy has been a failure in light of the routing of ISIS overseas, the increased in GDP spend on defense by our NATO allies, a North Korea finally brought to the negotiating table or Ukrainians armed by American-provided weapons to defend against Russian aggression.
CNN also allowed Rothkopf to say Trump has terrible instincts, but if anything, the 2016 elections showed candidate Trump had tremendous instincts.