Veteran newscaster Dan Rather over the weekend reminded his colleagues in the media that dropping bombs is “easy” for Donald Trump but keeping the peace is “what makes a person presidential.”
While speaking with CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday, Rather said that he was disturbed by the way cable pundits had covered Trump’s missile strikes on Syria.
“They are saying President Trump has established himself as now — quote — presidential,” Rather explained. “Dropping bombs, having missile strikes doesn’t make one presidential.”
“Just because a president exerts himself as commander-in-chief, there’s a natural inclination — and an unhealthy one — to immediately say, ‘Boy, that seems presidential, that makes him strong,'” he continued. “Look, it’s easy to drop bombs, easy to put missiles off. What comes after that, really what comes in the wake of that is much more difficult.”
“What makes one presidential is can you keep the peace? If it turns out that these actions keep the peace, we can say that was a good move. But it’s way too early to say that.”
According to Rather, journalists should fight their inclination to support every military action.
“Rallying around the flag doesn’t mean rallying around every military strike,” the broadcaster advised. “The flag is what’s best for the country. And what’s best for the country is for journalists — and I don’t except myself from this criticism — is to be skeptical, not cynical but skeptical. Ask the questions. What does this mean? Where can this lead? What was the real purpose of this? What was the real motivation of this?”
Rather pointed out that the missile strikes on Syria “changed the conversation from what did Donald Trump know and when did he know it about Russian influence in the election.”
“The second missiles were launched on Syria, the narrative changed to his advantage. Now, I don’t think that was his intention but it was one of the effects of it.”
Watch the video below from CNN.