The veteran journalist weighs in on the media’s love affair with “shock and awe” and the damning precedent it sets for American journalism.

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Copyright 2017 MosaicPlanet | MosaicPlanet.org

In response to Donald Trump’s suspiciously timed and possibly even illegal air strike against Syria last week, many in the media praised the president’s unilateral decision as “presidential”.

“I think Donald Trump became president of the United States last night,” remarked CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. “I think this was actually a big moment.”

“For the first time really as president,” he added, “he talked about international norms, international rules, about America’s role in enforcing justice in the world.”

This, according to veteran journalist and former CBS News anchor Dan Rather is “concerning”.

“The role of the press is to ask hard questions,” Rather wrote on social media. “There is ample evidence that this Administration needs to face deep scrutiny. The lies we have heard, the chaos in governance, and the looming questions about ties with Russia – itself a major player in Syria – demand that the press treat this latest action with healthy skepticism. Perhaps it was the right thing to do. Perhaps a strong and wise policy will emerge. But that judgement is still definitely hanging in the balance.”

“The number of members of the press who have lauded the actions last night as ‘presidential’ is concerning. War must never be considered a public relations operation. It is not a way for an Administration to gain a narrative. It is a step into a dangerous unknown and its full impact is impossible to predict, especially in the immediate wake of the first strike.”

Since his inauguration, Donald Trump’s approval ratings have dropped to historical lows. However, after last week’s attack, his approval benefited from a “bombing bump” of 6 percentage points.

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Tim is an elementary educator on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, NYC whose writing interests primarily focus on Education and Economics. He holds a Masters in Education from Pace University and currently resides in Hastings, NY. He is also a die-hard Mets fan.