CHAOS: One Year of the Networks Hiding Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster

One year ago on August 26, 2021 11 Marines and one soldier were killed by a suicide bomber at Kabul’s airport. The horrific incident was the culmination of Joe Biden’s disastrous pull-out of American troops.

Although the 409-minute coverage was intense on the evening newscasts, August 2021, it fell to a quick halt over the course of the year. By July of 2022, ABC, CBS and NBC’s nighttime programming allowed just a scant seven seconds. 

It was rapid and drastic that coverage fell. August 2021’s total of 409 minutes fell to 92 in September and 16 minutes in October. In November, World News TonightThe CBS Evening NewsThe NBC Nightly NewsThe ongoing catastrophe was covered for just over ten seconds. It’s also important to note that when there was Afghanistan coverage, the words “Joe Biden” were often missing from the stories. 

These numbers are expected to continue their downward trend through 2022, in the spring and summer.



It’s not as though life under the Taliban suddenly became peaceful and quiet once the President removed U.S. troops. On January 20,22 for instance, the evening news was broadcast only 6 minutes 31 seconds. However, the real reality in Afghanistan was chaos, death and suffering. Journalists didn’t seem to be able to see the extent of the catastrophe when they covered Afghanistan. 

A January 28, 2022 Nightly News segment, anchor Lester Holt warned, “We want to turn now to the crisis in Afghanistan. Five months after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal, a humanitarian disaster is unfolding.” Reporter Kelly Cobiella lamented, “It’s been five months since the chaotic and deadly U.S. The airport looks almost normal However, the people living on the streets are often desperate. Some selling their kidneys for cash.”

Explaining the bleakness of the situation, she concluded, “Meanwhile, Americans are still stranded here along with thousands of America’s Afghan allies.” This two minute and 48 second NBC News segment represented almost half of January’s total coverage.

Two words not spoken in the entire month of January in connection to Afghanistan: “Joe Biden.” The Afghanistan crisis seemed to be almost an act of nature with no one really in charge. 

Back in December, there were a few mentions of Biden’s handling and language that often described an apocalyptic disaster. The 15th of December 2021 World News Tonight anchor David Muir recounted the “horrifying” breakdown of civilization: 

Overseas, tonight, our team is back in Afghanistan, and what they’ve witnessed is truly horrifying. It is now a humanitarian emergency. Two-year-olds weighing only 11lbs are on the brink of starvation. ISIS has taken aim at the Taliban, who are now under their control. 

But the alarmed tone of Muir and others didn’t match the amount of interest by the networks. Only 12 minutes, 52 seconds of December. 

In summer 2022, coverage almost collapsed in the first two months. Only three minutes 31 seconds were recorded in June. July was worse than that: It fell to seven seconds, and it all came from Julius World News Tonight. In an otherwise unrelated story on veterans, one service member noted, “Everyone I knew in the veteran community had a mental breakdown when Afghanistan fell.” 

For the month, that was all. No utterances of the name Joe Biden and no stories on Afghanistan. 

Interest in the Afghan disaster grew again by August 2022. Retrospectives were shown on events in the past year, as well as the heroism of U.S. troops during chaotic withdrawal. But they continued to downplay Joe Biden’s role in overseeing the debacle. 

History is often used as a guide when it comes to media. The 2022 midterms and autumn are coming. Journalists will probably return to not paying attention to the dangerous situation in Afghanistan. Joe Biden, a Democrat, must be protected. Even if this means not paying attention to chaos, suffering and even death in Afghanistan.  

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