A month ago, the mainstream media published headlines and featured television panelists which expressed fear about the escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran, after a U.S. airstrike killed Iranian general Qassam Soleimani in Iraq. Since then, the mainstream media scaled down their Iran coverage and pivoted back to the impeachment news on Capitol Hill.
Where has the media’s alarmist Iran coverage gone?
CNN, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, USA Today, the New York Times and Fox News published multiple articles on the fear that there could be a war between the U.S. and Iran over Soleimani’s death.
For example, USA Today’s headline read, “What you need to know about rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran after Soleimani death,” while the New York Times wrote, “As Tensions With Iran Escalated, Trump Opted for Most Extreme Measure.”
CNBC published an article that was a stark contrast to the rest of the mainstream media, which headline read, “A timeline: How the US and Iran got to the edge of war- and then stepped back.”
After Soleimani’s death, Iran launched missiles at a U.S. military base in Iraq, but it resulted in no American military deaths. But the attacks left several dozen military servicemembers with severe head trauma due to the impacts of missiles hitting the base’s buildings. Since the missile attack, escalations have drawn down, and with it, the previously-intense mainstream media coverage.
Now, the mainstream media reports on the ongoing impeachment trial in the Senate, without mentioning how Trump may have gained a political win by standing up to Iran and emerging politically unscathed.
None of the media’s gloomy and fear-mongering headlines and articles resulted in an open war between the U.S. and Iran, although Iranian-funded proxy groups remain functional in the Middle East regions where U.S. military service members have a presence.