Donald Trump

83 Percent of Major Newspaper Editorial Boards Supported Syria Strike

Only The Houston Chronicle was opposed.


Lest we forget, war is not only the health of the state, it's one of the great enforcers of media groupthink. According to the tally put together by Adam Johnson at, out of 46 major newspaper editorial boards, exactly one—The Houston Chronicle's—opposed the Trump administration's bombing of a Syrian airbase last week. Seven were ambiguous. Reason's coverage has been anything but ambiguous, noting that from effectively every possible angle, the Tomahawk missile attack was not only ineffective—planes were flying out of the airbase within 24 hours—but unjustifiable.

Writes Johnson:

Of the top 100 US newspapers, 47 ran editorials on President Donald Trump's Syria airstrikes last week: 39 in favor, seven ambiguous and only one opposed to the military attack.

In other words, 83 percent of editorials on the Syria attack supported Trump's bombing, 15 percent took an ambivalent position and 2 percent said the attack shouldn't have happened. Polls showed the US public being much more split: Gallup (4/7–8/17) and ABC/Washington Post (4/7–9/17) each had 51 percent supporting the airstrikes and 40 percent opposed, while CBS (4/7–9/17) found 57 percent in favor and 36 percent opposed.

More here.

The difference between elite opinion (including elected officials; even liberal Trump critics such as Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi supported the attack) and the vox populi is striking and calls to mind Thaddeus Russell's comments in Monday's Reason podcast. Russell, a historian who is working on a book about the effect of Wilsonian ideas on U.S. foreign policy, noted that media and political elites have long been far more bellicose than voters writ large. Similarly, they have been more hostile to immigration and free trade than jes' plain folks too.

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  1. I don't know why they're all so big on sending in the military to get rid of Assad, just send over a stewardess from United and tell Assad he's being re-accommodated.

    1. I saw Assad wearing leggings the other day.

  2. "War is not the answer..."

    1. It is to the question "What is not the answer".

  3. Journalists have always been among the fiercest of warmongers. As it is for arms-makers, war is good for the business.

  4. media and political elites

    Throw in a few socialites and you have the guest list at a DC cocktail party.

  5. Imagine the clusterfuck Syria will become if Assad loses. I assume ISIS takes over most of the country. Then they get busy killing Christians and heretical sects of Muslim's by the thousands.

    1. That would happen either way, just to slightly different people. If Assad regains control of the country he's going to clean house. That country is screwed for the near future no matter what. Too many people there face an existential crisis if the wrong people win the war. The path to peace is going to be long and hard.

  6. Are these the same editorial boards that last year gave us stats like:

    Clinton, 63
    Johnson, 7

    Carry that water! Newsprint dissolves when wet.

    1. Yeah, that's what I'm saying!

      You know who they are, with their flush flashing!

  7. Ouch, it's going to hurt when the truth finally comes out:

    Assessment of White House Intelligence report on Syria nerve agent attack.

  8. "...even liberal Trump critics such as Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi supported the attack.."

    Is the fact that they're liberals supposed to make it more surprising? Waging war to protect other people from aggressors who are no threat to us has to be one of the most central platforms of modern liberalism.

    Also isn't Schumer a longtime buddy of Trump's? Some kind of New York asshole brotherhood.

  9. I don't even think Syria is the target. I think Trump is letting China know that if they don't do something about North Korea, he will. Syria simply made themselves a convenient punching bag. I won't be surprised if Trump does nothing to follow up the initial attack.

    1. "I don't even think Syria is the target. I think Trump is letting China know that if they don't do something about North Korea, he will"

      Isn't is amusing that folks can analyze the actual intent of those taking an action?
      Dick, the tin foil hats are available on aisle 6, with a blue-light discount for those who have attended law school and wish all others to know that they have; they have an "Esq." notation stamped on them so everyone will know you're special.
      I think you're "special".

    2. NO! The real target is the Mexicans.
      Now they know he means business.

      And Tacos.

    3. So what is the dimensionality of the chess game that Trump is supposed to be playing now? 12? 23,793? Paging Scott Adams, we need your 'expert' advice!

  10. I see the SF Chron is listed as a 'major newspaper'. Something wrong here.

    1. The Chronic has good surfing and pot coverage. That's major enough for me.

  11. The Ba'ath, Leninist Nationalist Socialists, are the gift that just keeps giving to the world.

    1. Which also explains why the Trotskyite neo-cons hate them so much. Though its hard to find anyone the neo-cons do not hate.

  12. The American elite are more than willing to have a war (WOD) on our own people. Why not on foreigners who can't vote in US elections?

  13. CIA Regime Change Manual. Chapter One. Step One: Gas Babies, frame target. Step Two: Takes photos, distribute to media.

  14. Whew! Relieved to discover it's the proggie newspapers' fault and not the guy who ordered the drone-murders: General Cheeto himself.*

    *Correction -- only Obama drone-murdered; General Cheeto used cruise missiles.

  15. Everyone says Donald has a very high IQ. I have taken the IQ test. I truly don't believe Trump has the attention span to take any kind of test let alone an IQ test. It isn't May yet and Trump has broken every one of his campaign promises. It now seems that Trump's two closest advisors are card carrying liberal Democrats. The rest of picks are either war mongers or police state fascists. Our politicians seem determined to start a nuclear war. Don't worry they have well stocked bunkers to hide in. They will take their cute little interns and nubile little boys to keep them company. Why you idiots just vote the bankers into office and leave us Autarchists the hell alone. We will pay our yearly tribute just to be done with you fools.

  16. Did you know Tolstoy originally wanted to name War and Peace "War, What Is It Good For?"

  17. "Unjustifiable" isn't a synonym for "I don't like it", Nick.

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