On Friday, the Pentagon confirmed that the Aug. 28 drone strike was a “tragic mistake” that resulted in ten dead civilians, including seven children, which was meant to be in response to the Aug. 26 terrorist attack outside the Kabul airport that killed 13 U.S. servicemen.
This came one week after the New York Times published a stunning visual investigation that came to the same conclusion. The Biden administration had announced that “two high profile” ISIS-K fighters who were dubbed as “planners and facilitators” of the suicide bombing were killed in the strike.
ABC’s “This Week,” NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CNN’s “State of the Union” all skipped the damning Times report, which ultimately previewed the admission made by the Pentagon. CBS’ “Face The Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan briefly mentioned the botched drone strike during an interview with former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell. Fox News’ Chris Wallace addressed the subject during a panel discussion on “Fox News Sunday.”
While ABC offered a substantial course correction on Sunday addressing the controversy for nearly four minutes, that wasn’t exactly the case for NBC and CNN.
“Meet The Press” moderator Chuck Todd spent roughly nine seconds on the subject while listing the political woes plaguing President Biden. A graphic that read “U.S. admits drone strike a mistake, killed civilians” was put on-screen during a panel discussion for about 36 seconds while the discussion itself addressed Afghanistan more broadly and other topics.
Todd’s CNN counterpart, “State of the Union” moderator Jake Tapper, similarly spent ten seconds on the botched drone strike as one of several controversies the Biden administration is facing. It’s worth noting that it was Dana Bash, who alternates moderating “State of the Union” with Tapper, avoided the subject the week prior.
Neither Todd nor Tapper addressed the political firestorm facing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, who is facing calls for his resignation and accusations of treason after it was reported in the Bob-Woodward-Robert Costa book “Peril” that he called his Chinese counterpart in January and told him he would warn China of an incoming attack by then-President Trump that never took place.