When I heard Fareed Zakaria on CNN say that launching 59 tomahawk missiles into Syria was the moment Trump “became President,” I nearly threw my TV across the room.  When Brian Williams quoted Leonard Cohen for MSNBC’s viewers, talking about the “beauty of our weapons,” I realized we had a real problem on our hands.  And when Geraldo Rivera said that watching America drop bombs was “one of my favorite things in the 16 years I’ve been here at Fox News,” I decided it was time to fight back. 
War is not entertainment and waging it does not make you presidential. But the media is glorifying Donald Trump’s warmaking, and it’s time we make them stop.
When U.S. presidents order military action, the American people need and deserve a strong, vibrant, and independent news media, one that not only challenges the assumptions that lead us to war, but also one that holds our leaders accountable for the way in which they are conducted.
When President Trump illegally launched military strikes on Syria, and later, when the U.S. military dropped one of the largest conventional weapons in its arsenal on a target in Afghanistan, we witnessed some of the most irresponsible and reckless coverage from the corporate media  since they helped President Bush launch the Iraq war.
War is not beautiful and it’s not entertainment. It’s incredibly irresponsible for reporters to glorify it or, in the case of the MOAB attack in Afghanistan, use it to encourage a trigger-happy Trump to escalate tensions with North Korea. 
The American media cheered President Bush to war in Iraq in 2002 and 2003 to disastrous effect. And now, particularly with President Trump in the Oval Office, we cannot afford another complacent media leading us to more war. It took us years of demanding the media change its ways before they started reporting more responsibly on Iraq, helping shift public opinion against that disastrous war. This time, we have to demand change now, before it’s too late.
“Dropping bombs, having missile strikes, doesn’t make one presidential,” said veteran reporter Dan Rather, referring to the media’s fawning of Trump’s action in Syria. “Journalists have a tendency to rally around powder kegs. What’s best for the country is for journalists to be skeptical. Not cynical, but skeptical.” 
We couldn’t agree more.
Thank you for working for peace,
Stephen, Ben, Amy, Mariam and the Win Without War team
1. “CNN host: ‘Donald Trump became president’ last night” The Hill, April 7, 2017 http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/327779-cnn-host-donald-trump-became-president-last-night
2. “Brian Williams is ‘guided by the beauty of our weapons’ in Syria strikes” The Washington Post, April 7, 2017https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/07/beautiful-brian-williams-says-of-syria-missile-strike-proceeds-to-quote-leonard-cohen/
3. “Geraldo Rivera: ‘One Of My Favorite Things’ At Fox News ‘Is Watching Bombs Drop On Bad Guys’” Media Matters for America, April 14, 2017 https://mediamatters.org/video/2017/04/14/geraldo-rivera-one-my-favorite-things-fox-news-watching-bombs-drop-bad-guys/216032
4. “Media Praise Trump For Ordering Missile Attack On Syrian Airbase” Media Matters for America, April 7, 2017https://mediamatters.org/research/2017/04/07/media-praise-trump-ordering-missile-attack-syrian-airbase/215956
5. “Punditry On Syrian Airstrikes Is Encouraging Trump To Escalate Tensions With North Korea” Media Matters for America, April 13, 2017 https://mediamatters.org/research/2017/04/13/punditry-syrian-airstrikes-encouraging-trump-escalate-tensions-north-korea/216023
6. “Dan Rather to Trump: Dropping bombs does not make you presidential” CNN, April 16, 2017 http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/16/media/dan-rather-donald-trump/