Column: Only Some Terrorist Takedowns Are Unifying and Patriotic

As he began his reliably liberal “Reliable Sources” newsletter on August 1, CNN host Brian Stelter brought everyone’s attention to the inspiring way CBS host John Dickerson wrapped up the broadcast of President Biden’s speech touting the takedown of al-Qaeda terrorist chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.

CBS provided a live view of Lower Manhattan. Stelter touted “One World Trade Center in the center of the frame, sparkling in the golden hour of daylight.” Dickerson announced “All those that plotted the attack are either dead or captured. One World Trade is the highest building in Western Hemisphere. It is an example of New York City’s strength and American citizens. To show the Statue Of Liberty, the camera operator pulled away.

Isn’t that a nice patriotic moment for Americans who remember the horror of 9/11? Stelter promoted the tableau via Twitter.

Then let’s remember that CNN is also projecting that the takedown “hands Biden a political win.” This framing, then, might seem a little like Tom Cruise getting a standing ovation as he hops out of his jet at the end of Top Gun. Joy Behar shamelessly mentioned Biden in a similarity to action hero Liam Neeson if it is something you can stomach. Taken.

 In his August 1 newsletter, Stelter’s headline was a Biden quote: “Justice has been delivered.”

Stelter did not respond in this manner when Trump killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani the Iranian terrorist mastermind, who was responsible for many American deaths in Iraq. On January 2, 2020, Stelter’s headline was “War footing”His first words were: “Many Americans are swiping their phones on, turning on the TV, and asking what the hell is happening in the Middle East. They are hearing terrifying assessments of the situation and wondering who and what to believe.”

Stelter tweeted out his sermon on the January 5, 2020 program: “Don’t be fooled by the propagandists who want us to wear blinders. Asking for proof is patriotic. To question official accounts. To ask if public opinion is being used to justify a bigger war. It is patriotic to hold our leaders accountable.”

It’s patriotic to celebrate a win for Biden as a win for all of us. Two years ago it was patriotic for anyone to say that any celebration is equivalent to being misled by propagandists and wearing blinders.

Stelter didn’t sound pro-American at all, because Trump was in charge. “Americans and many others around the world are instinctively suspicious and distrusting of what Iranian leaders say. What about America’s leaders, then? President Trump squandered his credibility at the very start of his presidency, and many officials in his administration have followed him down the path of deceit.” Stelter even backed his argument by quoting Tucker Carlson!

This geopolitical distinction is because Soleimani was part a terrorist regime, while Zawahiri wasn’t a state terrorist. But it’s obvious that the most important difference for CNN is Democrat and Republican — especially when it was Trump, who still insists he won in 2020.

Stelter appeared to believe that everyone should be armed with pom-poms. He loved how CBS bathed Biden’s speech in a warm glow, but then sputtered that “Fox goes right back to Biden-bashing.”

New CNN CEO Chris Licht met with Republicans on Capitol Hill recently, campaigning to “win back your trust.” He’s made public noises about tugging CNN away from crusading for liberals and Democrats. But any Republican who still watches CNN with any regularity knows that CNN hasn’t changed. Double standards of the partisans are still very much in effect.

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