NEWS AND OPINION:
The recent anniversary of the deaths of 13 U.S. service members in Afghanistan has prompted one analyst to reexamine major broadcast network coverage since that tragic event, which took place on Aug. 26, 2021.
“The horrific incident was the culmination of Joe Biden’s disastrous pull-out of American troops,” wrote Scott Whitlock, research director for Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.
“While the month of August 2021 saw heavy network evening newscast coverage of the disaster — 409 minutes — it quickly fell off a cliff over the next year. By July of 2022, ABC, CBS and NBC’s nighttime programming allowed just a scant total of seven seconds for the coverage,” he said in his analysis, which was released Monday.
Yes, Mr. Whitlock said seven seconds. His meticulous study of the coverage revealed all.
“The fall in the amount of coverage was quick and steep. August 2021’s total of 409 minutes fell to 92 minutes in September and 16 minutes in October. By November, ‘World News Tonight,’ ‘The CBS Evening News’ and ‘The NBC Nightly News’ managed just over ten minutes of coverage for the ongoing disaster. It’s also important to note that when there was Afghanistan coverage, the words ‘Joe Biden’ were often missing from the stories,” Mr. Whitlock observed.
The scanty amount of coverage continued to trend downward through the spring and summer of 2022, he said, dropping to a “shocking low” of just seven seconds total in July. The anniversary in August, however, prompted the networks to produce retrospectives on the events of the chaotic withdrawal.
“But they continued to downplay Joe Biden’s role in overseeing the debacle. When it comes to the media, history is often a guide. With autumn and the 2022 midterms coming, journalists will likely go back to ignoring the perilous situation in Afghanistan. After all, Joe Biden is a Democrat and he must be protected. Even if that means ignoring chaos, suffering and death in a dangerous Afghanistan,” Mr. Whitlock concluded in his analysis.
THE PRICE ESCALATES
There’s still talk out there about college finances.
Let’s consider that the school with the most expensive college tuition is Columbia University, which with tuition and required fees is $69,986 per year in the 2022-2023 academic year, according to a Forbes analysis of tuition trends.
That in mind, let’s also consider the projected outcome of President Biden’s big plan for the nation’s colleges and universities.
“College tuition will skyrocket thanks to President Biden’s student loan bailout. Everything Biden touches gets more expensive,” writes Nate Ashworth, founder of ElectionCentral.com.
“College costs, especially at the most prestigious Ivy League schools, have been exceeding inflation for decades now. The average tuition rate has risen faster than just about anything else in the economy leading to more students taking on more debt,” he wrote in an analysis.
“With no incentive to reduce tuition or reduce the financial burden of higher education, colleges and universities will continue to raise prices knowing full well that federally-backed student loans will continue to cover it and the government will eventually eat the cost with loan forgiveness,” Mr. Ashworth pointed out.
“Did anyone in the Biden administration stop and consider the consequences of wiping billions in student debt and what message that would send to colleges?” he asked.
“The federal student loan program has been the primary driver of increased tuition. Everyone is approved for student loans regardless of creditworthiness or ability to repay. Thus, colleges can jack tuition up knowing that loans will cover it all even if the degree program isn’t worth a fraction of what a student pays for it,” Mr. Ashworth concluded.
A CALL FOR COMMON SENSE
The negative fallout from President Biden’s student debt relief program — which could cost $1 trillion, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School — continues to trouble many observers.
“You’re seeing pushback, not just from conservatives like me, but you’re seeing pushback from the left because they realize that this is the worst precedent to set for young people,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise told Fox Business Network.
“Look, I took out student loans when I was a student at Louisiana State University, I worked at Home Depot, and I took out student loans, and I paid them all back. I never expected anybody else to pay back those loans,” Mr. Scalise noted.
“What message are you sending young kids today that if the first loan they take out doesn’t have to be paid back? What if they go try to get a car? What if they try to buy a house? Should they have to pay that back too? You’ve got to reverse this quickly,” he continued.
“I think President Biden is hearing from people on both sides that he made a huge mistake, even if it’s legal, and I don’t think it is. And so, he should reverse it. And let’s get back to some common-sense ideas,” Mr. Scalise advised.
FOR THE LEXICON
“Commitment to America.”
The aforementioned House Republican Whip Steve Scalise said he was focused on “common-sense ideas.” So is the Republican Party, which has been quietly readying their specific, practical solutions to help bolster up the nation for months. The effort has a catchy title.
“We’re going to be rolling those out real soon, showing the country our ‘Commitment to America’ — what we would do if we had a Republican House, how we would confront inflation, lower gas prices, secure America’s border, deal with so many of these problems we’re facing that President Biden’s created,” Mr. Scalise said in his conversation with Fox Business Network.
POLL DU JOUR
• 64% of U.S. adults think it’s “likely” or “very likely” that the U.S. will become a cashless society during their lifetime.
• 56% like to have cash with them “at all times” when leaving their home.
• 43% are comfortable not having cash with them.
• 45% would be “upset” if the nation became a cashless society.
• 46% would be neither happy nor upset if the nation went cashless.
• 9% would be happy if the nation went cashless.
SOURCE: A Gallup poll of 1,013 U.S. adults conducted July 5-26 and released Aug. 25.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.