CNN scolded on live TV for 'over-the-top' Afghanistan coverage: '5,000 people died of Covid in this country'
CNN/screen grab

During an appearance on CNN, former White House adviser Matthew Dowd and columnist Amanda Marcotte criticized the media coverage of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as being "over the top."

"[The coverage was] way over the top and unconnected to a perspective on the issue from the beginning," Dowd told CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday. "They've added more perspective in the final days but from the beginning, they didn't have a perspective on it."

"We should judge it by the data," he continued. "And sometimes the press has a tendency to judge things by anecdotes and not the data. And the data for the last week shows that Joe Biden has basically gotten 30,000 people out of Afghanistan without a single loss of American life."

Marcotte agreed.

"It's been over the top," she said. "I think that we were reminded of the factors that got us into some of the wars to begin with, which is there tends to be a bias in the press towards military intervention. And I think that we also see why it was so hard for presidents in the past to pull out of Afghanistan. They were afraid of exactly this kind of press overreaction."

"There's no way to surrender, leave, withdraw -- whatever you want to call it -- in a war without things getting ugly," she added. "And I feel there was something pollyannaish about expecting anything different and it disappoints me the press is behaving in this way."

Dowd, who served in President George W. Bush's administration, argued that the former president "is the one who should be lambasted the most in this coverage."

He also complained that some reporters have failed to acknowledge how their personal feelings and experiences have influenced the coverage.

"While this was going on, 5,000 people died of Covid in this country," Dowd pointed out. "500 people died of gun violence in the last week in this country. And not a single American has died in the midst of this chaotic situation in a political hurricane."

"I don't think the press fully understands what the context is for the American public," he remarked. "And so when you understand the context, not only of Afghanistan, but the context of what's going on in our country, there's far worse crisis situations, including the assault on our democracy, that get forgotten about in the midst of this."

Watch the video below from CNN.