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Corporate Media Pro-War Bias Found By FAIR After Tillerson Speech Promising More War In Syria

An analysis by FAIR found that a clear corporate media pro-war bias existed in articles that reported on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s speech at Stanford University last January.

According to a report by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave a speech at Stanford University last January promising more war in Syria, a clear corporate media pro-war bias existed in reports on Tillerson’s comments.

In the speech, Tillerson declared that the United States intends to keep military troops in Syria indefinitely. Tillerson’s reasons for maintaining an American military presence were to eliminate weapons of mass destruction which the U.S. claims Syria has, to diminish Iranian influence in the region, to help refugees, to combat ISIS, and to establish a stable post-Assad leadership.

According to FAIR’s report, corporate media failed drastically to report that the U.S. military presence in Syria is in violation of international law. The U.S. is in fact, illegally occupying a foreign country and attempting to force regime change all while ignoring Syria’s right to self-governance.

FAIR’s Report On Media’s Response To Tillerson’s Speech Highlights Corporate Media Pro-war Bias

As FAIR’s report found, various well-known corporate media publications praised Tillerson for his remarks despite the fact that the U.S. is breaking numerous international laws. FAIR’s report gave the below examples of the corporate media pro-war bias.


FAIR found that “Newsweek (1/19/18) ran an article from the Atlantic Council’s Frederic Hof that called Tillerson’s speech ‘a major improvement in the American approach to the crisis in Syria.’ The piece concluded that “what Mr. Tillerson has articulated is more than good enough as a starting point for a policy reflecting American values and upholding American interests.”

Washington Post

“Tillerson bluntly recognized a truth that both President Trump and President Barack Obama attempted to dodge: that “it is crucial to our national defense to maintain a military and diplomatic presence in Syria, to help bring an end to that conflict, and assist the Syrian people . . . to achieve a new political future,” The Washington Post reported.

The Atlantic

The Atlantic published a piece by Kori Schake last month, who said of Tillerson’s speech that it was “both sensible and fanciful. It was sensible in that it gave a history of Syria’s grisly war, stated clearly America’s interest in continued involvement even as ISIS is defeated, and outlined policies consistent with those interests. It was fanciful in that the policies outlined would require a much greater measure of American involvement than has been in evidence by this administration—or were committed in yesterday’s speech—to succeed.”

CNN And Buzzfeed

According to FAIR, accounts of Tillerson’s speech on CNN (1/18/18) and Buzzfeed(1/18/18) opted not to make any reference to the absence of a legal basis to the U.S presence in Syria.

How FAIR Reported Tillerson’s Speech

In a stark contrast to corporate media’s handling of Tillerson’s speech, FAIR’s report argued that what Tillerson promoted was careless and dangerous as it advocated ending a conflict with more conflict.

In addition to pointing out that the U.S. presence in Syria was illegal, FAIR pointed out that by continuing the war in Syria, the U.S. was creating more refugees. Additionally, not only was the U.S. occupying a foreign country but they were illegally promoting a regime change and increasing tensions with Iran and Russia.

As FAIR succinctly stated:

“Not only are media outlets failing to address the violence implicit in Tillerson’s policy, they are claiming the opposite and treating it as a plan for peace in Syria. These articles do not explain how a US-led regime change war will achieve that, instead of the years of war and slave markets such policies brought to Libya, or the half million to a million civilians killed in Iraq.”

After years of war, the Syrian government is not going to give in and sit happily by while U.S. forces occupy their land and provide aid to anti-government forces.

What Tillerson illustrates is a plan that creates more fighting, more refugees and will likely serve to increase tensions between the U.S. and Syria’s allies, namely, Hezbollah, Russia and Iran.

The corporate media pro-war bias came out clear and loud on this one.



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