New York Times columnist Paul Krugman took major cable news organizations to the woodshed on Monday over their cheerleading for President Donald Trump’s use of military force in Syria.
In his Monday column, Krugman explained that Trump’s Tomahawk missile strike against a Syrian airbase was mostly an empty gesture that did little to change the dynamics of the Syrian civil war.
“Ordering the U.S. military to fire off some missiles is easy,” he noted. “Doing so in a way that actually serves American interests is the hard part, and we’ve seen no indication whatsoever that Mr. Trump and his advisers have figured that part out.”
Nonetheless, the strikes earned swooning reviews from cable TV news personalities such as MSNBC’s Brian Williams and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria — which led Krugman to conclude that much of the media is making the same mistakes that it made in the lead up to the Iraq war.
“The media reaction to the Syria strike showed that many pundits and news organizations have learned nothing from past failures,” he wrote. “The U.S. fired off some missiles, and once again Mr. Trump ‘became president.’ Aside from everything else, think about the incentives this creates. The Trump administration now knows that it can always crowd out reporting about its scandals and failures by bombing someone.”