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EDITORIAL: This Week In Stupid Questions, Stupid Answers And Hot Takes

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Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Are they stranded or aren’t they? The White House says Americans aren’t stranded in Kabul — but people on the ground say they are. The White House also insists that no one trusts the Taliban — and yet, every logistical decision aimed at getting American citizens and Afghan allies out of Kabul depends on the Taliban honoring their deal.

The 24-hour news cycle — coupled with thousands of media outlets and a gradual return from pandemic boredom to a somewhat normal life — makes it all but impossible for anyone to truly stay abreast of all the news.

So here it is, the week that was:

  • President Joe Biden gave a press conference on the evacuation process in Afghanistan that was so misleading it prompted Fox News national security reporter Jennifer Griffin to say that it couldn’t be fact-checked in real time.
  • “Chaos is what is in control,” former Army National Guard officer Pete Hegseth said, arguing that a case could be made for the Taliban knowing more about American allies in Kabul than American officials did.
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki called Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy “irresponsible” for referring to Americans trapped outside the airport in Kabul as “stranded.”
  • Psaki’s claim touched off a series of responses from media personalities like CNN anchor Jake Tapper who said, semantics aside, that people certainly felt “stranded.”
  • American government worker trapped on the ground in Kabul — who risked being whipped or beaten if she attempted to reach the airport — said that the were, in fact, “stranded.”
  • Fox Nation host Lara Logan criticized the Biden administration for effectively letting the Taliban call the shots. “What we’ve forgotten is we can bomb the Taliban back into the stone age overnight. They don’t have to be in charge of  Kabul,” she said, adding that it did not send a message of strength for the world’s greatest super power to bow to a terrorist group.
  •  Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff said that despite the White House’s reassurance to the contrary, he did not believe it was likely that all American citizens and Afghan allies would be able to get out before the Aug, 31 deadline.
  • Hegseth called on Biden to speak the only language he said the Taliban would understand: strength. “We are calling the Taliban and asking permission and not pushing out to secure perimeter and making it very clear if you harm a hair on the head of an American, we’re going to stack Taliban bodies,” he said.
  • Despite the chaos, Vice President Kamala Harris touted the drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan as “successful” when she spoke to reporters in Singapore.
  • Fox Business host Dagen McDowell criticized Biden over his administration’s handling of Afghanistan, saying, “he seems to be allergic to the truth, to strength, to competence and reality.”
  • Pentagon press secretary John Kirby suggested that service members who refused the now-mandatory COVID-19 vaccine would be subject to re-education. “The individual will be offered a chance to sit down with a physician and have that physician communicate to them the risks that they are taking by continuing to not want to take the vaccine,” Kirby said. “They will also be offered a chance to sit down with their chain of command and their leadership to talk about the risks that their objection will impose on the unit and on the force and on their teammates.”
  • New York Times reporter Peter Alexander asked Biden what he planned to do if Americans were unable to evacuate Afghanistan prior to the Aug. 31 deadline, and Biden replied with a smirk and a joke. “You’ll be the first person I call,” he said.
  • Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham accused Biden of signing “death warrants” for thousands who may not be able to get out of Afghanistan.
  • Former Democratic strategist James Carville defended Biden, blaming “hysterical and stupid” media coverage for the chaotic situation in Afghanistan.
  • Following news of a terror attack outside Kabul that killed 13 American service members, former Infantry CPT and Republican Pennsylvania Senate candidate Sean Parnell accused Biden of effectively replacing the provisional Afghan government with the “global jihadist all-star team.”
  •  And retired Marine bomb tech Joey Jones, who has been very critical of the administration’s handling of the chaotic situation still unfolding, said that the only “courageous or honest” thing Biden did with regard to Afghanistan was take a question fro Fox’s Peter Doocy.