Withdrawing Troops From Afghanistan Went From ‘Sabotage’ To ‘The Right Call’ In Just 5 Months

(Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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President Joe Biden vowed Wednesday that no U.S. troops will be in Afghanistan by Sept. 11, delaying former President Donald Trump’s May 1 deadline for troop withdrawal.

Biden’s announcement was met with a flurry of agreement, while Trump’s announcement was covered with decided negativity. Freelance journalist Drew Holden drew attention to the stark contrast in coverage in a Twitter thread.

Here’s a look at how Biden’s announcement got covered compared with coverage of Trump’s announcement.

CNN tweeted on Nov. 17 that reports of Trump’s withdrawal drew a “stark warning” that prematurely withdrawing could be “dangerous.”

Just months after CNN focused on the alleged potential dangers, CNN pulled a “source familiar” with Biden’s plans and tweeted the source believes “no amount of US troops in the country can be a game changer anymore.”

But that wasn’t the only instance demonstrating stark contrast in coverage. (RELATED: US Commits To Taking In Afghan Interpreters And Refugees, Paying Salaries Of Afghan Security Forces After 9/11 Withdrawal)

When it came to Biden’s decision, CNN pulled in former President Barack Obama who “praised” Biden’s “bold leadership” for his decision to withdraw the troops.

Other outlets changed their tune, as well.

The New York Times wrote an article about the alleged “fear” Afghan officials felt after Trump’s initial reduction of troops in Afghanistan was announced. The NYT cited Afghan officials who feared Trump’s decision would “encourage the Taliban to keep fighting.”

The NYT did report on possible effects Biden’s withdrawal could have on Afghanistan, but rather than directly tying the fear to Biden himself as they did with Trump, the NYT instead tweeted the concerns as open-ended questions.

The NYT also focused on some personal quotes Biden made in his announcement intended to pull at the heartstrings of most Americans.

The Times also lauded Biden for ending the “20-year, largely unsuccessful American effort to remake Afghanistan,” despite Trump making a similar announcement months ago.

MSNBC pulled commentary from two different individuals who gave completely opposite analyses on the same decision. Trump’s was “sabotage.”

When it came to Biden’s announcement, MSNBC pulled former vice presidential nominee Democratic Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine who said the Biden administration’s decision was the “right call.”