West Ottawan Opinion: Real news?


Alec Behrendt

On March 8, the White House announced that President Donald Trump would be willing to meet with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. American and North Korean officials are currently discussing possible dates and locations for a meeting; analysts expect the meeting to come in the next few months. The statement released by the White House is directly similar to former President Barack Obama’s statement that he was open to meeting Kim, and even though Obama did not meet with Kim or any other leaders, he made it clear that he was open to a meeting.


When asked if he would be willing to meet with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, Obama said that he would meet with them. “And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration — is ridiculous” Obama said.


The White House was curt in its announcement confirming that Trump would meet with Kim, simply stating that Trump “will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”


Both statements had the same principle: the president would meet with the enemy in order to restore peace.


After the statement, Trump received widespread praise from FOX News, which credited his bravery and diplomacy. However, many of the analysts who are now praising Trump’s decisions also widely criticized Obama’s meeting with Kim.


Of all media sources, FOX news has been by far the most vocal in response to the White House’s  statement, just as they were when Obama released his similar statement. FOX News, a conservative news company, has praised Trump’s agreement. The only difference between Obama’s and Trump’s situations is political affiliation. FOX was quick to attack the decisions of Obama, a Democrat, and just as quick to praise Trump, a Republican.


“The commander-in-chief is now leading to a major foreign policy breakthrough,” “It is a definite win for the president and huge win for the country,” FOX host Sean Hannity said.


“President Trump proves the experts wrong again and scores a stunning diplomatic triumph,” Laura Ingraham said during an interview on FOX news. Ingraham then once again referred to the meeting as “another stunning Donald Trump breakthrough.”


John Bolton, former politician and current National Security Advisor, enthusiastically said “Why wait until May? Let’s do this by the end of March” in reaction to Trump’s meeting.


“He may be the one president who would actually do this,” FOX analyst Tucker Carlson said. Carlson added “Is he going to stop on his way there, in Oslo, to get the Nobel Peace Prize?”


Obviously, FOX reporters are very supportive of an American president travelling to North Korea for a diplomatic meeting. However, only ten years ago, these FOX analysts held the exact opposite opinion when Obama said he would meet with Kim Jong Un.


“Look, it’s a bad idea for president to speak with Kim Jong Un” Bolton claimed in an interview with FOX. On a different interview, Bolton supported this by saying “The idea, which has been fanciful from the start, that we could talk North Korea out of its nuclear weapons program.”


Carlson also criticized Obama’s position on North Korea, claiming “The current president truly believes he’s the chosen one, cannot deal with criticism.”


Several other FOX analysts also took firm positions against Obama’s statement. “Those who hate us will always hate us. The hatred for America will never go away” FOX reporter Michelle Malkin said. “You cannot make such a promise. Not when you’re dealing with these madmen who do want to destroy America,” Sarah Palin said.


The opinions held by FOX analysts changed so drastically and obviously after only ten years on the exact same issue. FOX isn’t necessarily the only news station to change its views over some time, but this change in view is unacceptably drastic. It’s extremely obvious that FOX reporters are willing to completely contradict themselves to agree with Trump and to disagree with Obama, just because of their political alignments.


To take a stance on an issue is absolutely acceptable, and almost necessary for a news station to get viewership. However, a major news corporation, such as FOX, must have some fairness and consistency in its stances. Once it takes a stance on an issue, that is a precedent for similar issues, and to change stances so obviously is a blatant example of hypocrisy.