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The Case on Syria

September 12, 2013

As much of the country and world focuses on America’s next move with Syria, I’ve been focusing on how the media has been covering the situation.

I watched the coverage of President Obama’s address to the nation on Tuesday night on CNN, and was actually pleasantly surprised to see political analysts on the coverage who were not simply going to restate and agree with everything the President said. The network even had a Democratic congressman, Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who was undecided about whether or not the United States should have a military action in Syria. After the speech, Cummings remained undecided in his stance and was not yet ready to commit either for or against a military strike.

However, outside of the coverage of the President’s speech, the news coverage of the debate over Syria has been much more widespread.

On the one side of the debate, the traditional further left-leaning news outlets have been making a case for Syria, just like the President. Some of them have even been suggesting to adhere to his agenda. They have been running video clips of injured Syrian residents and painting them as more or less the face of what the United States is trying to save. Video montages like this would be aimed towards convincing Americans to believe that the U.S. should have a military involvement.

On the other side, you can expect the opposite extremes. Instead of trying to show why the United States should have military involvement, the news agencies which are further right-leaning tried to show how any decision made by the President would be a bad one.

FOX News, in particular, has really been calling attention to itself with some of its sensationalized reporting during this debate. Throughout the conflict, Russia has been very against any American strike because of its interests in Syria. And, because of that, Russian President Vladimir Putin has also been outspoken against any involvement by the United States. Because of that, and Putin’s opposition to President Obama’s plan to strike Syria, FOX News went so far as to post a story on its site that states Putin should be awarded Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.

When word came out on Tuesday that the proposal to take international control of Syria’s chemical weapons may fail, which could in turn delay any American involvement, FOX News anchor Gretchen Carlson couldn’t help but turn it into a political debate. Carlson was interviewing West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin about Syria, and continued to take swipes at the President. Finally, Manchin stated that this issue should not be political and that Americans should be bipartisan when it comes to Syria.

That really is the main point of this issue. Americans get so entrenched into watching just what they want to see or hear that anything that involves politics or this country turns out to be a shouting match in the end. As is shown in the examples I provided in this post, it happens from both sides and from different news sources. Whether you personally agree or disagree with President Obama, it’s important to keep an open mind. And, while not all new sources are going to be over the top and trying to persuade you in one direction or another, many of them are, and it’s important to be wary of that.

Manchin’s point is right. Reporting the news, especially when it’s a very important issue regarding this country, should not be a divided topic. The decision about Syria is very important for this country, and nobody should allow politics get in the way of what’s best for the United States.

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