Accuracy in Media

John Bolton clearly as not the mainstream media’s choice for national security adviser.

First, he replaced H.R. McMaster, who was believed to be the source of several juicy leaks during his tenure in the Trump White House. Second, he’s just not their kind of guy.

The Washington Post was particularly incensed.

Not now, it said. Not with peace on the Korean peninsula at hand. Bolton had been called “human scum” and a “bloodsucker” because he had authored a piece calling for the U.S. to demand North Korea’s nuclear program be shut down without offering meaningful concessions.

“In the same article, a representative of the North Korean Foreign Ministry said Pyongyang would no longer deal with Bolton, the then-undersecretary of state for arms control and international security – indeed, Bolton did not attend talks with North Korea that took place the next month. Almost 15 years later, it is unclear whether that ban still stands.”

Other headlines from the Post included:

“The return of John Bolton paves the way for more war;”

“Iran: Naming John Bolton national security adviser shameful;”

“Will Bolton’s Hawkish Views Rub off On Trump?”

“John Bolton’s extremism could lead the country to catastrophe,”

“The return of John Bolton, a hawk on North Korea and Iran, sparks concerns around the world;”

 “The real reason Trump’s choice of John Bolton should terrify you;”

“John Bolton is smart and effective. That’s why we should be concerned;”

“John Bolton wants regime change in Iran, and so does the cult that paid him,” by Jason Rezaian, the Post reporter who was imprisoned in Iran and released just before President Trump took office, and, finally,

“John Bolton is dangerous, but Trump’s inept White House might restrain him.”

Elsewhere, there was the obligatory ‘quote story’ from Jimmy Carter. In what was supposed to be an interview about the former president’s new book “Faith: A Journey for All,” Norah O’Donnell of “CBS This Morning,” asked Carter about the selection of Bolton.

“I have been concerned at some of the things he’d decided,” Carter said. “I think his last choice for national security adviser was very ill-advised. I think John Bolton has been the worst mistake he’s made.”

Max Boot, former Wall Street Journal editorial writer who was hired by the Washington Post to write “conservative-perspective” criticisms of President Trump, actually wrote a piece to explain why he approved of Bolton when Bolton worked for President Bush but not now. He even dredged up the John Maynard Keynes quote: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

What changed?

“Back then, Bolton was being nominated for a post in which he was supposed to echo the president’s views,” Boot wrote. “And that president – George W. Bush – was a traditional conservative who believed that the United States needs to promote free trade and freedom more broadly.”

“But today Bolton isn’t being sent to Turtle Bay [site of the U.N.]. He is going to the West Wing, where he will be one of the most important influences on a president who is so ignorant that he makes Bush seem like an international relations PhD by comparison – and whose protectionist, isolationist, authoritarian instincts are at odds with more than 70 years of U.S. foreign policy.”

Politico’s Susan Glasser also took aim on Bolton.

“John Bolton has advocated for war with Iran and North Korea,” she wrote. “He loathes the United Nations, disdains international law and still thinks the 2003 US invasion of Iraq was the right idea. He’s a China skeptic and a Russia hawk who, as one former colleague from the Bush administration put it to me the other day, never met a military option he didn’t like.

“And he’s confrontational in person too. Bolton … is already criticizing the staff he stands to inherit, publicly owing to bulldoze any bureaucratic ‘munchkins’ who stand in his or the president’s way. Bolton is, in short, a most unusual figure in American foreign policy: personally belligerent and professionally bellicose and soon to be the closest adviser to an inexperienced president on how to handle all the world’s many challenges.

“So how alarmed should we be?”




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