The mainstream media is crediting President Biden for authorizing a U.S. drone strike that killed longtime al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri over the weekend, in sharp contrast to how the press attacked then-President Trump after he authorized operations to kill the leaders of two U.S.-designated terrorist organizations in 2019 and 2020.
Biden on Monday announced the death of Zawahiri , who had been the top leader of al Qaeda since 2011 and before then served as Osama bin Laden’s second-in-command.
“Justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said in his televised announcement. “We made it clear again tonight that no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out.”
Zawahiri was widely considered both the intellectual and ideological force behind al Qaeda, with some experts dubbing him the “operational brains” behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Virtually all mainstream media outlets reported on Zawahiri’s death and Biden’s subsequent comments. The coverage was largely neutral or positive, with networks, news sites, and newspapers reporting what happened and crediting Biden for ordering the drone strike.
Many also portrayed the operation as a unifying moment that helped close the chapter on the War on Terror.
CBS, for example, turned to a live shot of One World Trade Center in New York City after broadcasting Biden’s address.
“We leave you with a look at lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center,” said host John Dickerson. “All those that plotted the attack are either dead or captured when [One World Trade Center] stands as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, a reminder of the resilience of New York City and the American people.”CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter highlighted Dickerson’s comments and described Zawahiri’s death as […]
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