Media top headlines August 24
In media news today, critics express outrage as Biden again takes no questions on Afghanistan, DeSantis blasts Associated Press in an open letter, and Psaki gets panned after saying it’s ‘irresponsible’ to say Americans are ‘stranded’ in Afghanistan
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin is facing intense backlash over a tweet critics are saying is promoting the Taliban.
Rubin has been one of President Biden’s biggest media cheerleaders amid the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan as the administration pursues its turbulent military withdrawal.
However, a tweet made on Tuesday suggests she has gone beyond echoing talking points from the White House.
“Taliban is asking, not telling: ‘We are asking the Americans, please change your policy and don’t encourage Afghans to leave,’” Rubin tweeted, along with a broken link to the Washington Post’s live Afghanistan updates page.
The Post reported, “The Taliban, which assumed power nationally last week, is still allowing foreign nationals to leave, spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said, but is stopping Afghan nationals from reaching the airport. ‘We are asking the Americans, please change your policy and don’t encourage Afghans to leave,’ he said.”
Critics blasted the “brain worms” hot take on social media.
“Are you serious,” Washington Examiner’s chief congressional correspondent Susan Ferrechio reacted.
“‘Asking’ at gunpoint,” GOP strategist Matt Whitlock shot back. “It’s one thing to shill for the Biden administration, it’s another to shill for the Taliban as they hurt their own people.”
Ruthless podcast co-host Comfortably Smug accused Rubin of “running comms for the Taliban” while former Trump White House aide Ben Williamson similarly knocked the columnist for “running PR” for the terror group.
“Wow, the Taliban are modernizing — they hired a spokeswoman!” National Review reporter Isaac Schorr quipped.
“blowing the url is perfect way to end this pro-taliban tweet,” Washington Free Beacon executive editor Brent Scher wrote.
Rubin denied she was offering a defense for the Taliban in response to Fox News. But when asked if she could explain what she meant by the tweet, Rubin replied “No.”
The former conservative writer has spent much of this week defending President Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal despite the strong backlash his administration has received.
However, she did offer rare criticism in reaction to Britain’s ability to get its citizens out of the Taliban-controlled country versus the U.S.
“at @DeptofDefense briefing: British paratroopers going out into Kabul to get their people. Why aren’t we? DOD isn’t authorized. WH needs to give that authorization and give enough troops to do that. WTF are we waiting for?” Rubin asked.
That brief criticism was quickly drowned out by her overwhelming praise for Biden.
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